Buncombe County Commissioners preview: End of the public comment blackout?

Buncombe County Commissioners preview: End of the public comment blackout?-attachment0

The years-long blackout on televising public comment at meetings of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ meetings may end soon, as a vote to change their meeting rules tops the Jan. 20 meeting agenda.

Under the rules changes, which the board first brought up at its retreat earlier this month, the pre-meeting public-comment period would end. There would be a single public-comment period at the end of the board meeting, and it would be televised. Currently, there are pre-meeting and end-of-meeting public-comment periods, but neither is televised, unlike the rest of the meeting. That has led to criticism about a lack of transparency from activists across the political spectrum.

The new rules would also make it easier for the public to comment on an item of new business, requiring only one commissioner to call for public comment. Currently, the consent of both the chair and a fellow commissioner is required.

The board will also hear a report on the status of tax collections.

The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20, in room 204 of the Buncombe County Courthouse. A pre-meeting, including public comment, begins at 4 p.m.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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2 thoughts on “Buncombe County Commissioners preview: End of the public comment blackout?

  1. Gordon Smith

    David,

    Do you know if folks will still have to sign up before the beginning of the meeting in order to speak? If so, then people can expect to wait hours before getting their voices heard.

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