NJEDA PUBLIC COMMENT POLICY
During the open portion of its Board meetings, the NJEDA provides the public with an opportunity to offer comments regarding matters pertaining to the Authority. Pursuant to provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-12, NJEDA is entitled to permit, regulate or prohibit public participation in its meetings. Public participation and comment shall be governed by the following rules to maintain order and prevent disruption of the meeting.
Members of the public may attend the open portion of all Board meetings. The public may participate in-person or via teleconference. Seating will be available for the public on a first-come, first-served basis, until all seats available have been occupied. Members of the public may not reserve seats on behalf of others who are not present. All attendees should be seated by the start of the meeting. If all seats in the Board Room are filled, members of the public may not be able to enter. NJEDA may require that all present, including the public, wear a mask and social distance when required by guidelines in effect at the time of the meeting.
Members of the public who attend meetings in-person or by teleconference will have an opportunity to comment. Members of the public who participate by teleconference and wish to speak should follow the instructions provided by the operator at the beginning of meeting. Members of the public who attend in person and wish to speak during the public comment period should register to speak prior to the start of the meeting on the form provided at the door. Registrations will also be accepted via email (email@example.com) at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Registration information shall include: the speaker’s name, any organization affiliation (where applicable), municipality of residence, and the topic on which remarks will be given. Speakers may provide related documents, printed comments, or materials upon signing in, or attached to an email. Any written comments will be provided to the Board and attached to minutes but will not be read out loud during the Board meeting.
Each speaker will have a maximum of three (3) minutes to speak and should limit comments to matters pertaining to the Authority. The speaker will be directed to conclude their remarks once the speaker’s time has expired. A speaker may not register to speak more than once during the same public comment period. No time may be yielded to a speaker by another speaker. Groups are asked to select a spokesperson to speak on their behalf.
The Chair will acknowledge speakers in the order in which their names appear on the registration sheet. Speakers will address the Board from the podium and are asked to begin their remarks by stating their name and municipality of residence.
Board Members are not obligated to answer impromptu questions or address remarks from members of the public during the public comment period. Speakers should expect the Board to refrain from engaging in a dialogue, except to the extent necessary to clarify the speaker’s comment. The allotted time for speaking from the podium is the method to address the Board during the public comment period. The Board will not entertain questions or comments called out from the audience. Absent exceptional circumstances, the Board will not take action on an item presented during public comment. When appropriate, the Board may refer inquiries and items brought up during public comment to Authority staff for follow up.
Speakers and members of the public should at all times maintain proper decorum and shall make their comments in a civil manner. Personal attacks, obscenity, derogatory or slanderous remarks will not be tolerated. Speakers will not discuss matters regarding the candidacy of any person seeking public office, including the candidacy of the person addressing the Board.
Members of the press are asked to inform the Authority in advance of their attendance at meetings via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), when possible, and will be asked to sign into the meeting listing their name and organization. A designated area will be reserved for cameras and/or equipment, given space limitations, if the area is already occupied and the room is full, no further cameras and/or equipment will be allowed.
The board room will open to the public approximately 20 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
An exception to the preceding provisions of this policy will be made for a single person speaking on behalf of a person or entity appealing an Authority decision at the time the Board is making a final administrative decision. The person will be allowed to speak to the Board after the hearing officer presents his or her report to the Board and before the Board votes on the appeal. An appellant or a person representing the appellant will have a maximum of three (3) minutes to comment and their comments should be limited to arguments raised in previously submitted written materials.