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Putnam Planning Commission Approves New Rules For Public Comments

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Planning Commission Approves New Rules For Public Comments

The Putnam County Planning Commission approved an amendment to its by-laws Tuesday night regarding how public comments are handled during its meetings.

The new plan will allow for three people to speak for two minutes about each item on the agenda. Commissioner Phil Wilbourn said he thought the speakers should have more time.

“We got situations here where there are a lot of people here that wanted to say something, and we need to find ways to let them, not vent and not take up a lot of our time, but at least give them the opportunity, I think,” Wilbourn said. “I mean, this is a public commission and people, people want to be heard.”

The amendment allows the chairman of the commission to increase the number of speakers on a subject or the time allotted for any speaker as needed. Planning Director Kevin Rush said the new regulations come as a response to a change in state law that requires planning commissions to hold public comments where they were previously optional.

“We’re allowing a certain number of speakers to speak for a certain amount of time at each meeting,” Rush said. “So it’ll allow more people to comment on items before the commission.”

Rush said he wrote the initial proposal for the amendment, which allowed for four speakers per agenda item, but Secretary Dale Moss said that number was too high.

“We’ve found that in the commission, if you….they repeat themselves over and over,” Moss said. “You know, everybody’s got…not everybody, but the majority’s got the same idea and they’ve talked about it before they got there most of the time.”

In other business, the commission approved four minor subdivision plats in the county. The plats included a division of a one-acre lot at the corner of Bunker Hill Road and Lafever Road and a redivision of three lots around the property of the White Plains Plantation, which was approved contingent on the resolution of an encroachment issue on one of the lots.


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