At their regular weekly assembly last Tuesday, the Mitchell County Board of Supervisors (BOS) Chairperson Barb Francis released an etiquette guide for members of the public to follow when addressing the BOS in public forums.

Typically, there is a section for public comment at the end of the BOS agenda, but meeting attendees are reminded that they may only speak during these sections or when expressly invited to do so by a board member.

In order for public parties to speak at a BOS meeting, they must follow these guidelines, according to a pamphlet issued by the board: people may only speak one at a time, and on one topic only, for a maximum duration of three minutes; the speaker must wait to be acknowledged by a board member and beckoned forward to address the chairperson; the speaker must state their name and the organization that they represent, if any; the speaker must respect the 30-seconds-remaining announcement from the county auditor; the speaker must refrain from straying off the subject they are addressing, slanderous remarks or personal comments; the speaker may not allocate their time to another member of the meeting; the speaker must keep in mind that the BOS cannot take action immediately following a public address, but will put items on future meeting agendas as necessary; the BOS reserves the right to cut off a speaker at any time for any purpose; and meeting attendees are asked to turn cell phones off while the BOS meeting is in session.

In other county news, Mitchell County Sheriff Greg Beaver reported no concerns or issues anticipated with the law enforcement budget this quarter.

County officials are deliberating refinancing a portion of outstanding county bonds in order to save roughly $415,000, according to county supervisors’ discussions last Tuesday. A public hearing has been set for residents of Mitchell County to ask questions about the refinancing project, or the fate of the excess funds it would generate, at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Supervisor Stan Walk proposed to the BOS a $2 million secondary road maintenance repair project that would address gravel roads in need of upkeep. This proposition, however, was tabled due to the pending refinance of pre-existing bonds.

The supervisors agreed that, since the county is at only 48% of its legal debt capacity and will have approximately $2.5 million in excess tax increment financing (TIF) funds annually beginning the next fiscal year, the prospect of a secondary road improvement project could be reintroduced following the settlement of county debt refinancing.

The next regular BOS asembly will be on Tuesday, Jan. 14. at 8 a.m. in the
Mitchell County courthouse.

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