Procedures for Public Comment at Board and Committee Meetings
Oral and written comments are welcome and receive equal consideration. Written comments may be submitted electronically, and the WMATA website will describe a convenient and accessible method for electronic submission. Persons unable to submit electronic comments may bring a copy of their comments to the Board Secretary. All comments on Board and Committee agenda items received prior to noon on the Wednesday before a meeting will be forwarded to the Board or Committee Members for their information and consideration in advance of the meeting. The Office of the Secretary will administer the Public Comment procedures, and will maximize the benefits of technology and other available methods to ensure the earliest possible notice regarding issues on which comments will be received, that commenting is convenient, and that comments are promptly shared with the Board.
1. Public Comment at Board Meetings
The Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) shall provide an opportunity for members of the community to provide comments during its monthly Board meetings. Comments shall be limited to matters that pertain to WMATA or other transportation issues. The Board Chair shall have discretion to waive or modify any of the following Procedures for Public Comment.
The public comment period shall follow the approval of minutes on the agenda, and generally shall be no more than 20 minutes.
2. Public Comment at Committee Meetings
Committee Chairs may designate items on their agendas on which written and oral comments will be received. The agenda released to the public will clearly identify all items on which comments will be received. Comments shall be limited to matters germane to designated items. Committee Chairs shall have discretion to waive or modify any of the following Procedures for Public Comment.
The public comment period shall follow the approval of minutes, and shall be for the period of time set by the Committee Chair, generally no more than 20 minutes.
Procedures for Public Comment
1. Any person wishing to make comments during the public comment period shall sign a speakers' list prior to the commencement of the meeting. The speakers list will be available at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting, and it will be closed once the meeting begins. Persons who have not signed up prior to the start of the meeting will not be permitted to provide public comment. The Office of the Secretary shall be responsible for ensuring that members of the public have properly signed up for the public comment period, and will ascertain the topic to be discussed consistent with these guidelines.
2. Speakers shall identify themselves in writing on a sign-up sheet by providing their name, address, signature, and the subject matter and/or agenda item to which their comments pertain.
3. Comments related to individual employee personnel issues, claims against the Authority or disputes concerning the award or administration of specific contracts will not be allowed in this forum, as there are other avenues to pursue these matters.
4. At the public comment period, each person will be limited to a time not to exceed two minutes. The Chair shall have discretion to modify the allotted time for speakers, and shall do so before the start of public comment. WMATA staff is responsible for ensuring the time limit for each speaker is not exceeded.
5. Public comments will be made in the order in which individuals signed up, and are to be directed to the Board or Committee as a whole. The public comment period is intended to provide an opportunity to hear members of the community. Board Members may refer matters that arise to the CEO for investigation and/or follow-up.
6. The Chair will moderate the comment period. The Board reserves the right to ban from public comment persons who engage in a consistent pattern of disruptive behavior at WMATA meetings. This may include use of slurs, derogatory comments, or any other conduct, whether physical, verbal or written directed at another person or based upon another person's race, color, origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age.
7. Should the time allotted be used before all those who signed up have provided public comment, those who did not have an opportunity to speak will be transferred to the next meeting. At the next meeting, their names will be placed at the beginning of public comment order, and be permitted to speak in the order they appeared on the original list.