Terms ‘public hearings,’ ‘public comments’ are different
I want to thank Don Bremmer for last week’s letter (“Why take comment after action done?”) suggesting that the public be allowed to comment before the Council takes action on an item that is on the agenda. I agree and that is why we have “public hearings” before we pass ordinances.
I also want to take a moment to clarify the terms “public hearing” and “public comment.” When an ordinance is introduced (first reading) on the Council’s agenda there is, generally speaking, a “public hearing.” At this hearing anyone who wishes to speak has the opportunity to do so.
Separate from these public hearings is a section on the agenda titled “public comment.” Anyone who wishes to speak about something having to do with the City has a few minutes to do so. Often people use the public comment section to speak about something that is not on the agenda, but is of concern to them. If you want to speak about something that is on the agenda, we have a sign-up sheet for public comments on agenda items so that we can know to ask for your comments before the Council takes action.
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Regardless of whether you attend a Council meeting and speak at a public hearing or during public comment, we thank you for taking the time to come to a Council meeting.
Mayor of Gig Harbor
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