This item was discussed a public meeting
TRUCKEE MEADOWS FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT
January 21, 2020
Washoe County Administrative Complex
1001 E. Ninth Street
Agenda Item #9
“Staff considered the most efficient and practical way to rebalance resources and align those resources to call demand. If Washoe Valley stations 30 Bowers and 32 Eastlake are consolidated, the District would move the excess personnel to the north and add one firefighter per shift to the Washoe Valley station to increase the crew size from 3 to 4. Initially, the excess staff of 2 firefighters per shift would staff a 2-person squad at Sun Valley / Spanish Springs.”
Learn the outcome from the video of the meeting:
You are a vital part of the decision-making process! Please plan to attend future meetings or contact Washoe County Commissioners with your concerns.
Email Send an email to the commissioner for our district, Bob Lucey, at email@example.com and tell him what you think about this proposal. Copy the County Clerk at ClerkBoard@washoecounty.us to make your email official and on the record.
You are invited to:
1. submit comments in writing on an agenda item
2. comment up to 3 minutes during the Public Comment at the beginning of the meeting
3. comment up to 3 minutes when an agenda item is being discussed
4. be present to show support
How to Speak at a Meeting
by Cliff Low, President, West Washoe Association
If you have never before spoken at a local government meeting, here are some things to know to be more comfortable for your first time.
As soon as you arrive at the meeting, you should complete a separate ” Request to Speak”card for each time you plan to speak. Then, when the chairman calls your name, it’s your turn to step up to the podium and talk to the commissioners. As a member of the public, speaking at one of these meetings is called “public comment.” Each person is allowed to speak for up to 3 minutes for each public comment “opportunity” during a meeting. Generally, you may speak for 3 minutes during each “specific” agenda item meeting. In addition every meeting has two public comment periods when anyone can speak about ANY subject whatsoever. There is one such General Public Comment period near the start of the meeting, and one at the very end of the meeting .
Beyond the Basics:
Parking, which is free, at the County Complex has become tighter over the last few years. So the earlier you arrive, the shorter your walk. If the parking lots are full, there is usually a small number of parking spots on Ninth Street; just pay attention to residents’ driveways, etc. if you park on the south side of Ninth. Building A runs along Ninth Street and is west of the parking lots. The main entrance is through the courtyard adjacent to the circular part of one of the driveways into and out of the parking lot. The public entrance to Commission Chambers is through those glass doors then immediately to your left.
As you enter the Commission Chambers, to the immediate left there is a desk area with some glass walls. That is the place to get a Request to Speak card. That is also the place to turn in your card after you fill it out. The only items you are required to write on the card are the date of the meeting, your name, and the agenda item during which you want to speak.
As mentioned above, each person has up to 3 minutes to speak during each public comment opportunity. There is a small countdown timer showing the remaining amount of time for each speaker’s 3 minutes. That timer is in the corner of each of the two large video screens on the walls behind where the commissioners are seated. When the time is up, a tone sounds; but the chairman will usually allow a speaker to complete their sentence (within reason).
If you cannot, or don’t want to, stay at the meeting until the commissioners get to an agenda item , you may speak about that topic during the first General Public Comment period . But I think public comment relating to a specific agenda item is more effective if it occurs DURING the actual agenda item, mainly because the commissioners will be dealing with other issues between General Public Comment . It’s better if what you had to say is fresher in their minds. But if it’s a choice between your speaking early in the meeting or not at all, go ahead and speak during the early General Public Comment period.
If you want MORE than 3 minutes to tell the commissioners what’s on your mind, you can speak during the first General Public Comment period, during the agenda item , and even during the General Public Comment period at the end of the meeting .
Have an idea of what you want to say. (I am NOT an expert on this.) For most people, this means having your comments in writing, at least the “bullet points” you want to make, if not everything word-for-word. It is also a good idea to practice your public comment at least one time – multiple times is better. It is also a good idea to time yourself during your practice to make sure your comments are no more than 3 minutes. (My personal experience is that the 3 minutes addressing the commissioners flies by.) If your comments are well over 3 minutes, you can decide whether to edit them down or to break up your comments over more than one public comment opportunity.
Only you can decide WHAT to say. Feel free to share both how you FEEL and what you THINK about this proposal. Almost anything goes, as long as you are not abusive, threatening, etc. Also, if you start to speak directly to a single commissioner, the chairman will caution you to address your comments to the commission “as a whole.”