August 1, 2020
TO: FINANCE COMMITTEE
FROM: Stephen Schreibeis
There will be a Finance Committee meeting on TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2020 @ 4:00 PM in the DCHS Cafeteria
Please note that the Dawson County Health Department has alerted everyone that Dawson County now has 5 active COVID-19 cases. They have initiated Governor Bullock’s mandatory mask directive that will require everyone to wear a face covering at the meeting. Because this meeting will most likely have more than 50 people attending, it had to get approved by the Health Department. Please follow all safety protocols that will be in place at the meeting.
Montana law recognizes the right of the public to make comments at a board meeting. This right stems from our constitutional provisions concerning the public’s right to participate in government: “No person shall be deprived of the right to examine documents or to observe the deliberations of all public bodies or agencies of state government and its subdivisions, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.” Article II, Sections 8 and 9.
There are many ways that the public can provide input: committee meetings, solicitation or receipt of written comments, oral comments at a meeting of the board prior to a final decision, or any other method of the Board which is “reasonable.” The right of participation is not unlimited.
Public Comment is allowed in two areas of this board meeting:
Public Comment Section - The public will have a chance to address the board on any “public matter that is not on the agenda of the meeting and that is within the jurisdiction of the [school district] conducting the meeting.” The board may not take action on any matter discussed unless notice is included on an agenda and public has been properly notified on the matter. The board is not required to respond or participate in a give and take discussion or debate during public comment and the board chair has complete and final authority to govern the general comment period.
Oral comments prior to a vote on a motion - A member of the public is permitted to provide their perspective on a matter on which a public agency is going to take action. Prior to the vote on that motion, the public may express their opinions on that specific matter only. As in the public comment section, the board is not required to respond or participate in a give and take discussion or debate during public comment and the board chair has complete and final authority to govern the general comment period.
Ground Rules for public comments:
Be respectful of the Board - The Board has the constitutional authority to supervise the District. All Trustees are operating in good faith and each Trustee is doing what each believes to be in the District’s best interest.
Civility is the rule - Please make sure all comments are civil in nature. Uncivil conduct will not be tolerated.
Time limit - Each person wanting to make a public comment can address the board once and will have a two minute time limit.
Rights of Privacy - Comments need to be made in a way to protect the rights of privacy of others. Comments will be called out of order when these rights of privacy are violated.