County Commission adopts revised policies

St. Johns County Public Affairs Specialist Karen Pan reported to Historic City News that the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners adopted revised Board Rules and Policies during the regular meeting on Tuesday, February 17.

Originally created in 1998, the Rules and Policies had not been updated since 2002.

Three key revisions addressed regular Commission meeting dates, terms for members of appointed boards and committees, and group representation during public comment.

The new Rules and Policies call for the Board of County Commissioners to meet at 9:00 am on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Previously the Commission met every other Tuesday, which meant the meeting weeks varied from month to month. This simplified schedule allows the public and County staff to know well in advance on which Tuesdays regular meetings will be held.

Another component of the revised Rules and Policies addresses the length of terms for members of appointed boards and committees. Previously volunteers were appointed to four-year terms, with a limit of two, for a total of eight years of possible service. The new policy makes appointments in two-year increments, but extends the limit to four, so the total limit remains eight years. The change was made to two-year increments to better reflect elections and potential changes on the County Commission.

A third key revision addresses organized group representation during public comment in County Commission meetings. Previously speakers could assign their time to a different speaker who may wish to speak longer than the allowed time. The new policy formalizes that process by saying groups may designate a representative to be the official spokesperson for the group, who will be permitted to speak for an appropriate length of time as established by the Board. Potential speakers will no longer be able, nor have a need, to assign minutes to another speaker’s time. The policy was changed in an effort to be fairer to those in attendance for other agenda items and prevent anyone from being unduly delayed.

Other revisions to the Rules and Policies were minor, mostly dealing with format improvements and language clarification.

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