An agenda is developed by the town administrator with input from the members of the board and approval by the chairman prior to each meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The agenda is usually completed by the afternoon of the Thursday preceding the regularly scheduled Monday meeting. It is then posted and widely distributed by email. Late items requiring immediate attention are from time to time added after the distribution of the agenda but prior to start of the meeting though this practice is discouraged.
The purpose of the agenda is to provide “notice” to the public of the items to be addressed and issues to be discussed at the upcoming meeting so that those having interest can attend and provide input. It also guides the conduct of meeting in a predictable manner so as to allow interested parties to attend only those portions of the meeting in which they have interest or have been scheduled.
The recommended and preferred procedure for having a topic for discussion by the board added to the agenda is to contact the town administrator in advance with a request. The town administrator will work with the interested party to determine the nature and intended goal of the request and whether the topic is best handled by the board, is sufficiently researched and developed and is appropriate to be discussed in public meeting at this time. The town administrator will discuss the request with the chairman and they together will determine if and when the topic should be placed on the agenda.
A public comment period is provided toward the end of each meeting to allow the public to briefly present information, topics or issues that they feel should be considered by the board. Presentation should be limited to five minutes and be summary in nature. The board may decide to discuss the topic briefly at that time or to request its placement on a future agenda. In keeping with the intent of “public notice”, no vote or other determinative action will be taken on any topic or proposal brought up in the public comment section unless it is determined to not be of interest to the public and it has the unanimous consent of all three members of the board to move to a vote if appropriate.