It’s important to speak on a Tuesday in April or early May, before the Council holds its next cemetery Work Session later in May … because we will probably be put even more badly at a disadvantage in that next session … so far this council has already shown no hesitation in beginning to render a verdict before they even have notified our neighborhood and the community, much less heard from people. April 25 would be the most convenient, since you could probably leave by 7:45. On May 2 you might have to wait to speak until later in the evening, and there will probably be no public speaking period on May 9.
Council Meetings & Rules
The meetings start at 7:00 almost every Tuesday from September through June (but not on the 5th Tuesday, if there is one). There is a period early in nearly every meeting where anyone can speak on anything, but only for up to 3 minutes. This can start as early as 7:10, but might not start until 7:30. You can arrive after 7:00. There could be anywhere from 1 speaker (you) to 5 speakers. On these routine Tuesdays you can almost always leave before 8:00! But if you are speaking about an item on that evening’s agenda (anything pertaining to Westwood Cemetery) then you will need to wait to speak until later in the meeting when that item comes up. There will be no public speaking period at all if the entire meeting is a “Work Session”. If your topic is a subject for a “Work Session” that takes up only part of the evening then you will not be allowed to speak that evening. The agenda for each Tuesday appears late Friday afternoon; please double-check that before making plans. Get agenda here.
Arranging to Speak
It’s best to email Town Clerk Wesley Barker Tuesday afternoon to reserve a spot … if there are other speakers then this will put you ahead of the others in line. But you can also sign up on the clipboard outside the door between 6:45 and 6:58. As a last resort, on most Tuesdays the mayor will ask for “anyone else?” after everyone who has signed up has spoken. firstname.lastname@example.org
(If you can’t attend a meeting for a good reason, then it might be possible to email in a short video to the Town Clerk as was possible during Covid, but as of April 20 he is not sure if the Mayor will allow this. Zoom would require a set-up of special equipment, so that’s probably too much trouble for them.)
If you’re trying to say anything that is at all involved, it’s best to have an outline (if not an actual script, which is what I do) … the 3 minutes goes by quickly! If you want to show slides you can email them to the clerk that afternoon … be careful if you have a lot of photos … their email-size-in limit is 20MB. If you have a larger file then you would need to coordinate with the clerk about some kind of cloud hand-off, or else bring a thumb drive by on Monday for the tech person to scan it for viruses.
Start with your name and say where you live in Carrboro. You don’t need to get lean into the microphone (you will be amplified even if it doesn’t sound like it), but try to speak clearly.
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