Loudoun Supervisors Write New Public Comment Policy

During their organizational meeting Jan. 4, county supervisors adopted a new rule encouraging people signing up to speak during public comment sessions to provide their full name, election district, topic to be presented, and a means of contact. Sign up forms already ask for that information, although some speakers opt to leave some fields blank.

The proposed rule had originally said those people “shall” provide that information, but under questioning from some supervisors was changed to “should.” County Chair Phyllis Randall said it would not be a problem to write “shall,” which she proposed, because she did not plan to enforce it.

“What we have found is a lot of times when people are speaking, supervisors want to get in contact with them afterward to follow up, and they often haven’t given any contact information,” Randall said. “… I never have, and we never would, stop anybody from speaking if they wanted to.”

“I just don’t think it’s necessary, and I think it could lead to an unnecessary story that we’re trying to restrict people’s First Amendment rights to speak with us,” said Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Catoctin).

The policy passed with the rest of the board’s Rules of Order unanimously.

3 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors Write New Public Comment Policy

  • 2022-01-14 at 10:05 am
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    I’m all for robust public commenting. And I believe the supervisors are, too. It’s especially gratifying to know folks can speak on any subject. Even if they must do so at a particular time during the meeting. Simply because a topic isn’t on the agenda doesn’t mean it cannot be addressed by the public. That’s very important. You see, just like every issue is a woman’s issue — every issue is a supervisor’s issue. No undue restrictions on free-speech rights. Happy MLK Day Loudoun!

  • 2022-01-14 at 11:27 am
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    I want the rule but don’t plan on enforcing it ranks right up there with the check is in the mail.

  • 2022-01-14 at 12:14 pm
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    “County Chair Phyllis Randall said it would not be a problem to write “shall,” which she proposed, because she did not plan to enforce it.”

    These are not serious people.

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