Public Comment at Board Meetings
Protocol for Public Comment at Board Meetings of the Massachusetts Port Authority
In order to promote an open, public and transparent Board process, the Authority encourages members of the public to comment on matters related to the Authority or its operations during the public session of its monthly board meetings.
The Authority’s Board will allocate approximately thirty minutes per meeting for public comment. Priority will be given, on a first come basis, to those individuals who wish to speak on a subject noticed as an agenda topic for the meeting. (The Board’s agenda is typically posted on the Authority’s website several days before the meeting). Individuals wishing to speak on subjects not noticed as agenda items will be allowed to speak if time permits.
Speakers at a Board meeting must observe the following rules and requirements:
1. Pre-Registration and Order of Speakers. An individual may not address the Board without permission of the Chair. Permission will ordinarily be granted, in the order that names are received, to those individuals who register in advance of the meeting with the Authority’s Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. The Authority’s Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Michael A. Grieco, can be reached at 617-568-1036, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. When registering, speakers must identify themselves, their affiliation (for example, employer, labor union), the subject of their comments, and any special needs, including the need for an interpreter or accommodations for the disabled. If time permits, and at the discretion of the Chair, individuals who have not pre-registered may also be permitted to address the Board.
2. Time to Speak. Each individual recognized by the Chair will be allowed three minutes to speak. At the discretion of the Chair, and if time allows, a speaker may be granted additional time to finish a presentation.
3. Presentation of Written Materials. Individuals who wish to present written materials for the Board to review should present the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer with ten copies of any such materials prior to the start of the meeting.
4. Conduct of Presentation. Each speaker, once recognized by the Chair, will begin by stating his or her name and affiliation, if any. Remarks shall end when the speaker’s allotted time has expired. The Chair may request an individual to end his or her remarks if the speaker’s comments are repetitive, slanderous, or otherwise inappropriate for a public meeting of the Authority’s Board. If, after clear instruction from the Chair to end his or her remarks, a person continues to speak, is disruptive or otherwise prevents the Board from conducting its business in an orderly manner, the Chair may order the person to leave the meeting, and if the person does not leave, the Chair may authorize a constable or other officer to remove the person.
5. Recording a Public Meeting. The public has the right to make an audio or video recording of an open session of a public meeting. Anyone wishing to record a meeting of the Authority’s Board must notify the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer in advance so that the Chair can inform the other attendees of the recording. All recording devices must be unobtrusive and cannot interfere with the meeting or with any attendee’s ability to observe and participate in the meeting. Any person secretly recording a meeting or whose recording devices interfere with the meeting will be asked to stop recording and may be asked to leave.