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Citizens’ Communications Guidelines

Modified Guidelines for Videoconference/Telephonic Meeting*

  1. To be recognized to speak, you must request a speaking slot using our Public Communication online registration form or by leaving a voicemail by 4 p.m. the day of the meeting. Individuals are asked their preferred language as they register to speak, and both the online form and voicemail greeting are in English and in Spanish.
  2. All speakers will be recognized by name and in the order their speaking request was received. PLEASE keep your phone muted until you are called on to speak.
  3. Please introduce yourself by name before beginning your comments. Also, if your comments will focus on a specific item or issue on the agenda, please indicate the full item number.
  4. Each speaker will be limited to three minutes. Staff will be timing each speaker and will announce when a speaker has reached their time limit. To ensure the efficiency of the meeting, once we have let speakers know they’ve reached their limit, we will allow 30 more seconds to wrap up their comments before they are muted. Once again, speakers will be muted at 3.5 minutes to ensure the efficiency of the meeting.
  5. Speakers may not “donate” their time to other speakers. As a courtesy to others and to be respectful of time constraints, please try not to repeat other speakers’ comments.
  6. Depending on the number of speakers and the total time being spent in the Public Communication portion of the meeting, the Board Chair may, in her discretion, impose additional limits on time or comments.
  7. Due to the restrictions of the Open Meetings Act, the Board may be restricted in discussing any items that are not listed on the agenda for this meeting. The Board may choose to set aside any new issues for discussion at a future meeting.


*To reduce the possibility of infection as a result of in-person meetings, the board will meet via video/teleconference beginning with the Board of Managers meeting Wednesday, March 25. This practice will continue for all future meetings until further notice. Pursuant to an Emergency Executive Order issued March 16, 2020 by Governor Greg Abbott, government bodies in Texas are allowed to hold such video or teleconference meetings without any members present in a physical location.

Standard Instructions for In-Person Meetings

For the purposes of Citizens’ Communications and public hearings conducted by the Board of Managers, the following guidelines apply:

1. Any person may speak during (a) the Citizens’ Communication portion of any Central Health Board of Managers meeting at which Citizens’ Communication appears on the agenda or (b) any public hearing that is conducted by the Central Health Board of Managers.

2. In advance of speaking, an individual must complete a sign-in sheet that includes the person’s name, address and group being represented, if applicable. The individual must also provide a brief description of the topic or matter on which the individual intends to speak, if the topic or matter does not relate to an item on the agenda. At the individual’s option, he or she may provide a telephone number and email address as well.

3. The Chairperson will call individuals to speak in the order in which they are listed on the sign-in sheet.

4. Each individual has a limit of three (3) minutes.

5. Each individual may address the Board only one time during any particular Citizens’ Communication or the particular public hearing.

6. An individual may not “donate” his or her three minutes or any part thereof to another individual who desires to speak.

7. An individual does not have the right to speak if he or she signs in after Citizens’ Communication or the public hearing is closed. Public hearings will be closed once the last individual who has signed-in has spoken.

8. Depending on the number of individuals wishing to speak, the Chairperson may, in his or her discretion, impose additional procedural guidelines on the time and/or manner of speaker’s presentations to ensure the efficient and orderly conduct of the meeting.

Due to the restrictive nature of the Open Meetings Act, the Board is restricted from discussing any item that is not included, or posted as an item involving discussion, on the meeting agendaFor this reason, Citizens’ Communication is usually a one-way communication vehicle.