Town Board FAQ
1. Difference between a regular meeting and a work session.
Regular meetings, held the first and third Tuesday of each month, starting at 7:30pm, are when the board officially transacts business, such as holding public hearings, passing resolutions, appointing employees, awarding contracts, etc. The board meets in pre-session to go over agenda items and also to discuss other matters in the Supervisorís office at 6:45pm.
Work sessions, held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month with varied starting times, are less formal and it is at these sessions that the board discusses items that may later appear on the agenda at future public meetings if board action is required. Some items discussed at work sessions are only for informational purposes, e.g., a department head will give an update report on a particular issue. No official votes can be taken at a work session.
Work sessions are open to the public, but the public can only address the board with the approval of the board.
2. Addressing the Town Board
The public can address the Town Board during two sections of the meeting agenda.
Public hearings: The public can make comments during scheduled public hearings. The comments are limited to the subject of the hearing and there generally is no time limit on the comments.
Courtesy of the Floor: The public can also make comments during the two Courtesy of the Floor sections of the boardís regular meeting on any topic, the first at the beginning of the meeting after the board members have made announcements, and a second at the end of the meeting after all the agenda items have been dealt with. Speakers may address issues of concern to their property or the neighborhood. They may comment about anything before the town board or any other board. They may bring up issues relating to their contacts with town departments. They may make an announcement about an upcoming community event or something that happened in the community. As of January 3, 2012, there is no time limit when speaking during Courtesy of the Floor.
3. Executive (closed) sessions
By state law, all board meetings, both regular and work sessions, must be open to the public. However, there are some topics that the board is permitted to discuss in closed, or executive session, such as lawsuits, personnel issues and labor negotiations. Before going into an executive session and while still in an open session, the board must identify the purpose of the closed session and then vote to go into closed session.