FRONT ROYAL — A code amendment relating to proposed new public comment rules will be the subject of a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday Board of Supervisors public hearing.
Public comments or presentations are a portion of each board meeting during which citizens have the opportunity to address the supervisors.
County Attorney Dan Whitten previously explained that the changes are needed because the county’s meeting policy and procedures guidelines conflict with the Warren County code regarding the public comment period.
The proposed new rules state that speakers must limit their remarks to five minutes and that they cannot yield any unused portion of that time to other citizens. Speakers, however, may be allowed an extra five minutes from the board’s chairman.
Another proposed stipulation is that citizens cannot speak on the same on topic more than three times per 12 month period.
These rules would replace the portion of the code that states: “Any orderly person present at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors may, upon recognition by the presiding officer, request permission to address the board; and the presiding officer may grant such request if he considers it to be in the public interest...and he shall grant such request upon demand of any two supervisors.”
County officials have denied that the rule change is related to Mark Egger, who during the public comment period made accusations about the former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority executive director.
Egger last appeared at the supervisors’ Nov. 20 meeting, during which he spoke for the third time in 2018. The need for a change in the code was first broached three weeks later during the supervisors’ Dec. 11 meeting.
Emily Mounce, the Board of Supervisors’ clerk, said earlier this month that if the proposed new rules are approved, Egger will not be able to speak regarding the EDA until March 2019.
The Board of Supervisors will also:
• Hold a public hearing regarding a conditional use permit for a proposed 199-foot Verizon Wireless telecommunications tower at 2455 Happy Creek Road.
• Hold a public hearing regarding the proposed Osprey Lane Sanitary District.
• Enter closed session for consultation with legal counsel regarding accounting and debt services and for discussion of its board of equalization personnel.