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 typically transacts official business, such as holding public hearings, passing resolutions, appointing employees, awarding contracts, etc. These meetings are televised and meeting videos are archived on the town's web site, yorktownny.org. The latest meeting is also rebroadcast on the town's public access channel: Channel 20 for Cablevision and Chanel 33 for FIOS.
Work sessions, held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month start at different times each meeting and are not televised. These meetings 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. The Town Board can, and often does, pass resolutions, at work sessions. 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 at regular meetings 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: This is the public's opportunity to adderess the Town Board on almost anything: an issue concerning their make an announcement about an upcoming community event. While traditionally, Yorktown has had two Courtesy segments on the agenda, one at the beginning and one at the end of the meeting. However, as of Jnauary, 2016, the Board is scheduling only one Courtesy -- and at the end of the meeting. While Courtesy comments are generally limited to three miniutes, this "rule" is not uniformly enforced.
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. Votes to spend money must be made in open session.