Rules for public comments at Council Meetings

The standing rules for public comment at Regular and Special sessions of Tribal Council follow:

 


 

Registering for Public Comment at Regular Session

I. A person registering for public comment:

  1. Must be a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
  2. Must register via email or telephone with the recording secretary in order to make a public comment;
  3. Must provide the recording secretary with the following information:
    1. Name;
    2. Age;
    3. Occupation;
    4. Physical Address;
    5. A short, but descriptive, summary of the subject matter they wish to address the Council; and
    6. Whether the citizen is addressing Council as an individual (“Individual Speaker”) or representing a group of six (6) or more (“Group Speaker”).

2. If the citizen is addressing the Council as a group representative of six (6) or more citizens, the Group Speaker is responsible for satisfying procedural guidelines l (c).

3. Groups may either register together or the recording secretary, in consultation with the Speaker of Tribal Council, may group together individuals or groups who have similar interests on the same matter. The group is responsible for selecting a Group Speaker.

4. The deadline to register for public comment each month is the first day of that month.

5. NOTE: REGISTERING AND BEING PLACED ON THE AGENDA FOR PUBLIC COMMENT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT PUBLIC COMMENT WILL BE PERMITTED BY COUNCIL. COUNCIL HAS FULL DISCRETION IN APPROVING OR DENYING PUBLIC COMMENTS. SEE CHOC. CONST. ART. X, § 4.

Guidelines During the Public Comment

6. The Sergeant-at-Arms will have authority to monitor the activity of the citizens while they address the Council. The Sergeant-at-Arms will have the responsibility of informing the citizens when it is their time to speak, as well as remind the citizens of the procedural guidelines set in place during their address.

7. There will be a maximum of five (5) public comments per regular session allowed unless Council determines otherwise.

8. The approved speakers will address the Council at the beginning of the regular session unless Council determines otherwise.

9. Time - Each individual speaker may speak for up to 3 (three) minutes. A group of six (6) or more must elect a representative to speak on behalf of the group and will have a time limit of five (5) minutes. A timer will be used, and the speaker should conclude their remarks when they are made aware of the time expiring.

10. Topics - All comments should address a matter related to the health and welfare of the Nation. The Council will not hear public comment that involves a complaint about an individual employee, a personnel action, or pending litigation. Such matters should be reduced to writing and sent to the appropriate authority.

11. Decorum - The Council expects that each speaker will be courteous. Speakers will address their comments to the entire Council and not to one individual Council member, nor to the Chief, Assistant Chief, legal counsel, nor to the audience. Speakers will not engage in personal attacks.

12. Written Comments - If a speaker would like to present written comments to the Council, fourteen (14) copies must be provided.

13. Violations - The Speaker of Tribal Council, or the Speaker Pro Tempore in the absence of the Speaker, may use discretion to ensure these rules are followed by each speaker or suspend any remaining time of those speakers who violate these rules.

14. These standing rules may be suspended, modified or replaced for the length of a meeting by Speaker of Tribal Council with consent of Tribal Council.