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Public Hearing [by Lori Blake]


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We have a Planning & Zoning Commission consisting of 9 commissioners. They always move to go into a "Committee of the Whole" I would like to clarify that they must close the public hearing before they can move to go into a committee of the whole. The last meeting, the commission decided to postpone the case being heard to allow for more testimony, but they had closed the public hearing. Can they move to re-open the public hearing?

 

Thank you.

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Your planning and zoning commission is almost certainly a public body and will therefore probably be subject to state open meetings laws and possibly to other state laws and local ordinances as well as its own rules and procedures.  All of those will take precedence over RONR.

 

I'm not aware of anything in RONR that would prevent re-opening a public hearing.

 

I also don't understand why the commission feels the need to constantly go into committee of the whole.  This seems rather unusual to me.  Can you provide any insight?

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They prefer the informal discussion, and the fact that the discussion is not included in the minutes. Thank you for your help.

The discussion even in a regular meeting should not go in the minutes unless you have a rule that requires it.  The minutes should be a simple record of what was done, not what was said.

 

This commission might have a custom of putting discussion in the minutes, but RONR certainly does not require it and even says  specifically that it should NOT be in the minutes.

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We have a Planning & Zoning Commission consisting of 9 commissioners. They always move to go into a "Committee of the Whole" I would like to clarify that they must close the public hearing before they can move to go into a committee of the whole. The last meeting, the commission decided to postpone the case being heard to allow for more testimony, but they had closed the public hearing. Can they move to re-open the public hearing?

Sure, but this all seems needlessly complicated for such a small assembly.

They prefer the informal discussion, and the fact that the discussion is not included in the minutes. Thank you for your help.

Discussion is never recorded in the minutes, and discussion is already informal in small boards.

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Outside the scope of this forum but maybe a CPP can answer, is Mason's Committee of the Whole different than RONR's Committee of the Whole and that's why they're doing it?

 

1. Yes, such a discussion would be outside the scope of this forum.

2. Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure is used primarily by bicameral state legislatures, and it is not part of the American Institute of Parliamentarians' syllabus for the CP or CPP certification exams.

3. I think the answer to your question is: it's highly doubtful that a Planning & Zoning Commission consisting of 9 commissioners is doing anything because of anything that is said in Mason's Manual.

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