Evening Lane County Commission Public Forums will be held to accommodate day workers, Diana Jones publishes schedule. by Pat Farr.

 

On May 21 I suggested that Lane County Commissioners begin holding evening public comment sessions to facilitate testimony from people with day jobs.

Late in the day on May 21, 2019 I suggested that the board of Lane County Commissioners begin holding monthly evening public comment sessions in order to accommodate people who work days and are unable to state their opinion at our regular board meetings on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. See the webcast of the May 21 meeting here.

In 1997, as President of the Eugene City Council, I changed public forum sessions from once monthly to each Monday regularly scheduled meeting.  My change was received with enthusiasm and that schedule continues to this day.

At the regular Board of Commissioners meeting on May 21 a large number of people signed up for public comment, usually held from just after 9 am until all comments had been received and ending before 9:30 most meeting days.  On that day so many people wanted to testify on one particular subject that others had to leave before their turn to talk was called.  Time certain agenda items were delayed causing staff and other presenters to wait beyond their allocated time or leave the meeting.

At my suggestion, the Lane County Board of Commissioners is increasing opportunity for public participation by holding regular evening public comment sessions. The evening public comment sessions are in addition to the regular daytime opportunities.

 The evening public comment sessions will generally be held on the third Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. (I initially suggested 5:00 pm) in Harris Hall, as long as there is also a regular, daytime meeting scheduled on that date.

Public comment will last from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and be open to all Lane County residents to comment on any topic. Speakers will be given a maximum of three minutes.

The currently scheduled evening public comment sessions for 2019 are:

  • Tuesday, June 18, at 5:30 p.m. in Willamalane’s Ken Long Room (250 S. 32nd Street, Springfield)
  • Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)
  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)
  • Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Hall (125 E. 8th Avenue, Eugene)

 I would like to thank the Board of Commissioners, including Jay Bozievich, Joe Berney, Heather Buch and Pete Sorenson for unanimously supporting my recommendation for evening public comment sessions, and particularly thank Diana Jones for building the schedule.

Scheduled evening public comment sessions are listed on the County’s online calendar at www.lanecounty.org/calendar.

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