Public Comment Participation & Protocol Policy
Columbia Housing appreciates hearing from its residents, program participants and the general public about items on its agenda, and desires to set aside time at the start of each scheduled board meeting for Public Comment.
The public, particularly residents and program participants of the housing authority, are cordially invited to attend board meetings. The board conducts meetings for the purpose of carrying on the official business of the housing authority. Regular, special and emergency meetings are open to the general public, and news media.
The board urges all persons to participate through the established procedure set forth in this Public Comment Participation and Protocol Policy. This procedure is designed to encourage participation and ensure the orderly management of the housing authority. The board is committed to compliance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act as well as all other federal and state laws which regulate or impinge on board actions and policy.
on August 25, 2019, Columbia Housing's Board of Commissioners approved the following procedures for the public comment period via Board Resolution 2019-654.
- At all board meetings, any person wishing to provide input or make comment on a matter pertaining to an agenda item must notify the Executive Director's designee prior to the start of each meeting in writing or verbally.
- The person(s) making the request must provide his/her name or the group he/she is representing, their address, email address, phone number and the purpose of the request and the topic to be addressed.
- Written comments submitted prior to the meeting shall be considered in the same manner as oral comments.
- The Executive Director's designee will make the Public Comment agenda list of those wishing to provide input available for public inspection.
- The chairperson of the board or presiding officer will introduce speakers who have previously submitted a request to the board at the appropriate time during the agenda and invite them to make comments on agenda topics.
- Speakers may offer objective comments on housing authority operations and programs that concern them. Speakers shall be courteous in their language and deportment and shall not engage in or discuss or comment on personalities, or indulge in derogatory remarks or insinuations in respect to any member of the Board, or any member of the staff or the public, but shall at all times confine their remarks to those facts which are germane and relevant, as determined by the presiding officer, agenda or to the questions or matter under discussion.
- A citizen may seek to provide public comment to a matter unrelated to the agenda at a time designated by the chairperson of the board or the presiding officer. That person shall provide their name and address.
- Members of the board will not respond directly to matters presented by the public but shall instead direct the Executive Director (or its designee) to provide a written response to all matters presented to the board during an established meeting. Any matters addressed before the board requiring follow-up shall be addressed within five to seven business days.
- To ensure equal opportunity for the public to comment, a speaker's comments shall be limited to three minutes per person, per meeting. Where necessary, due to the number of persons who want to address the Board, the presiding officer shall retain authority to limit all persons' remarks to an equal period of fewer than three minutes. To further ensure equal opportunity for the public to comment, each person may address the Board only one time during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.
Individuals wishing to participate in the public comment section of any of our public meetings may do so by contacting CHCares. You may also call CHCares at 803.254.3886 ext 227.