Municipal Authority and Sewage Treatment Authority – PUBLIC COMMENT POLICY

The following Public Comment Policy was approved by the Upper Saucon Township Municipal Authority and Sewage Treatment Authority for their respective meetings. This policy does not apply to the Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors Meetings or any other Upper Saucon Township Board, Council, Commission or Committee.  The Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors does not have any jurisdiction over this policy. 



The Authority (indicating both the Municipal and the Sewage Treatment Authority) recognizes the value of public comment on issues arising at Authority meetings and on issues pertaining to the services provided by the Authority.
In order to permit fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Authority will provide a period for public participation at all open or specially advertised meeting of the Authority.
The presiding officer at any Authority meeting shall conduct meetings substantially in accordance with the following guidelines:
1. Public participation shall be limited to public comment and questions directed to the Authority presiding officer and shall not be directed to individual Authority members to which the Authority may immediately comment, reserve comment to a later time, or decline comment.
2. Public participation shall be limited to residents, ratepayers, tax payers, or individuals interested in making use of the sanitary sewer service provided by Upper Saucon Township.
3. A participant must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface his or her comments by an announcement of his or her name, address and group affiliation if appropriate.
4. Public comment shall be limited to matters of concern, “Official Action”, or “Deliberation” which may come before the Authority. “Official Action” is defined as – the establishment of policy, decisions on Authority business, and the vote on any motion, proposal, resolution, rule, regulation, report or directive. Deliberation is the discussion of Authority business held for the purpose of making a decision.
5. If the matter is a non-agenda item, public comment shall be received at the beginning of the meeting. If the matter is an agenda item, or is added to the agenda, then, prior the Authority taking any official action, public comment shall be received. At the discretion of the presiding officer, the public comment may be limited to the beginning of the meeting. Or may be deferred until immediately before the Authority takes official action.
6. Duration of the public comment period shall be determined by the presiding officer, taking into consideration the length and complexity of the agenda, the normal length of the meeting, the possible length of the current meeting, the availability of the Authority members, the hour of the day, the number of proposed participants and other factors relevant to the conduct of an orderly meeting. The presiding officer may limit each participant’s public comment to a prescribed number of minutes and to this end may preliminarily poll the audience for the number of expected participants. Guideline – three minutes limit for those individuals wanting to make comments.
7. If a participant is denied the opportunity to comment at meeting, the Authority’s Secretary shall record the participant’s name on a list so that said participant shall have first opportunity to comment during the public comment period of the next open meeting.
8. The presiding officer may interrupt of terminate a participant’s statement when the statement is to lengthy, repetitive, personally directed, abusive, obscene or irrelevant.
A copy of the Authority’s meeting agenda shall be made available to all in attendance at the meeting.