R-18-02 Draft

A PDF of the actual Resolution is attached below. I have tried to keep all spelling and grammar errors intact.

GREGG TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Meeting Policies and Procedures
Resolution No. R-18-02

NOW BE IT RESOLVED that all regular and special meetings of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Gregg, County of Centre, Pennsylvania shall be conducted according to the following order of business;  however, it may be necessary to adjust the order of the business to accommodate schedules of the speakers or presenters, or to provide a time efficient manner to address all business:

CALL TO ORDER
PUBLIC COMMENTS
GUEST SPEAKERS/SUBDIVISION PLAN REVIEW
LIAISON REPORTS
SECRETARY/TREASURER’S REPORT
ROADMASTER’S REPORT
OLD BUSINESS
NEW BUSINESS
REVIEW OF CORRESPONDENCE
ADJOURNMENT

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that public comment at regular or special meetings shall be governed by the following rules and regulations:

1. All individuals shall treat one another with dignity and respect.

2. The Chairman of the Board, or Acting Chairman in the event of the Chairman’s absence, shall preside over the public comment period, and may within his/her discretion:

a. Recognize individuals wishing to offer comment. Anyone wishing to address the Boards, who has not been recognized by the Board should first obtain recognition by raising his or her hand. The Board, at its discretion, will recognize that individual or party for comment.

b. Require such persons to identify themselves.

c. Allocate available time among individuals wishing to comment.

d. Rule out of order scandalous and redundant comment, or any comment the discernible purpose of which is to disrupt or prevent the conduct of the business of the meeting.

3. A period of public comment shall be held at each regularly scheduled meeting. The time allocated for the public comment period at each meeting is five (5) minutes per person with four (4) or fewer people wishing to make public comment, or two (2) minutes per person with five (5) or more people wishing to make public comment. There is no reason for anyone to interrupt or speak over another person. The exception is that the Board of Supervisors has the right to interrupt any speaker for the purpose of clarification or a question or to extend that speakers time at their sole discretion. In the event that there is insufficient time for public comment at the beginning of a meeting, the Board of Supervisors, at its discretion, may accept public comment at another time during the meeting, or defer the public comment period to a meeting held in advance of the next regular meeting, or until the next regularly scheduled meeting.

4. All comments should be addressed to the chairman of the Gregg Township Board of Supervisors. Arguments between parties or the public are prohibited.

5. Individual or group outbursts, comments, sarcasm, insults, or intentional disruptions will not be tolerated.

6. All cellular devices must be turned off or silenced during public meetings.

7. All audio and video recording of the Gregg Township Open Meetings will abide by the Gregg Township Open Meetings Recording Policy. (see attached policy)

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Board of Supervisors reserves the rights to amend these rules at any time either verbally or in writing. Violation of any of the aforementioned rules may result in the Board of Supervisors requesting you to leave the meeting. The presiding officer of the meeting can request an individual to leave the meeting when they do not observe the rules of reasonable decorum. In addition, he or she may request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person’s conduct interfered with the orderly process of the meeting. Any violation of the above rules will be deemed interference with the orderly process of the meeting. Should your conduct provide a threat to public safety or be of  such an egregious nature, you may be banned from future public participation in meetings.

Gregg Township, Centre County
Board of Supervisors
Recording of Open Meetings Policy

Overview: The implementation of audio and video recording of the Board of Supervisors’ meetings will serve several purposes within the Township including the following: 1) to improve residents’ understanding of Township decision making; 2) to improve the transparency of the decision making process; and 3) to extend the reach of information regarding decision making to residents unable to attend public meetings.

Rule 1  Official Recording of Open Meetings

A. Audio/Video Recording: All open meetings of the Board of Supervisors may be audio and/or video recorded by an individual or company hired by the Board of Supervisors, from time to time to produce an authorized video recording of the meeting for the Township. Board of Supervisors executive sessions will not be recorded.

B. Custody of Official Tapes: All township audio and video recordings produced under this Rule shall be kept by the Township Secretary.

C. Distribution Policy: The Township Secretary shall make copies of this policy available to the public at all regular and special open meetings of the Board of Supervisors.

D. Minutes: Any recording made of any Open Meeting shall not supersede or replace the minutes of said meeting as the official record of the meeting.

Rule 2  Rules of Procedure for Public Audio/Video Recording of Open Meetings

A. Policy: It is Gregg Township’s policy to comply with the Pennsylvania Open Meetings Act and to cooperate with representatives of the print and broadcast media, and with other members of the public who wish to record public meetings of the board, so long as the recording of the meeting is not disruptive to the meeting and does not violate the rights of the members of the public body, witnesses, and the public.

B. Rules of Procedure:

a. Recording Permitted: Provided that the person gives notice to the Board of Supervisors prior to recording, any person may record the Township’s open public meetings subject to the following rules. “Recording” is a nonofficial duplication of sound or image by any mechanical means, including photography, audio recording, or videography.

b. Closed Meetings: Meetings which are closed to the public may not be recorded except as required and authorized by the Pennsylvania Open Meetings Act.

c. Sign-in Sheet: No recordings shall be allowed unless the person seeking to record a public meeting notifies the Township Secretary of his or her intent to record said meeting prior to the meeting by signing in on an appropriate sign in sheet. Secret or hidden recording devices shall not be permitted. At the start of any meeting that is to be recorded, the Township Secretary shall notify the audience that the meeting will be recorded.

d. Audio Recordings: Anyone making an audio recording of the meeting must visibly display the recording device and locate the device in a stationary position while the Board is in session. The audio recorder shall be located in a position that does not obstruct the view of the members of the public of the Township officials present at the meeting.

e. Video Recording and Photography: All members of the audience using video recording equipment of photography equipment during the meetings of the Board of Supervisors shall set up behind the last row of seats, and clear of any doorways, in an area designated by the Board of Supervisors for video recording equipment. Members of the audience using handheld video recording equipment or photography equipment must visibly display their recording or photography devices and may locate them in a stationary position in the last row of seats of the meeting room, provided they do not disrupt the surrounding members of the audience.

f. Disruption of Meetings: Any member of the public who is recording the meeting shall restrict his or her movement while using the recording equipment or take other steps that are deemed necessary to preserve the decorum of the meeting and facilitate the conduct of business. Anyone taking photographs of the meeting shall, likewise, restrict his or her movement during a meeting session as not to disrupt the business of the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors may impose additional rules or limitations on any recording, as it deems necessary or appropriate to preserve the orderly operation and decorum of the meeting. The Board of Supervisors may prohibit the recording of any audience member who objects to being recorded. The board of Supervisors shall order the immediate termination of any recording which is being conducted in a manner disruptive to the meeting, or which distracts, disturbs, or is offensive to members of the public body, witnesses, or the audience.

g. Tripping Hazards/Tripods: To prevent a tripping hazard from extension cords, individuals using recording equipment shall have their own power source. To Board of Supervisors may designate an outlet to be reserved for the official Township video recorder. Tripods shall be positioned so as to not create a tripping hazard for the audience. Loose wires shall be contained under a tripod.

h. Use of Chairs or Benches: People recording the meetings shall not stand on chairs or benches, or use chars or benches as equipment tables.

i. Special Accommodations: Any requests for special recording accommodations must be made to the Township Secretary at least two (2) business days before the meeting. The Board of Supervisors may grant other special accommodations by motion at a meeting if a need is demonstrated for a special accommodation.

j. Witnesses: If the Board of Supervisors conducts any open meeting at which a witness is required to testify before the Board, and the witness refuses to testify on the grounds that he or she may not be compelled to testify if any portion of his or her testimony is to be broadcast or televised or if notion pictures are to be take on the witness while he or she is testifying,
the Board of Supervisors shall prohibit such recording during the testimony of the witness.

C. Violations and Penalties:

The Board of Supervisors may take whatever action it deems appropriate against any person violating the terms of this Policy, including injunctive relief. All attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the Township in enforcing this Policy shall be paid by the violator.

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