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May a Township establish a set of rules for public comment?

August 2019

Yes. The Michigan Open Meetings Act provides in MCL 15.263(5) that a person shall be permitted to address a public body “under rules established and recorded by the public body.” Significantly, the rules must be “established” and “recorded” by the public body. It is recommended that Townships adopt their public comment rules through official action, such as adoption of a resolution or a motion vote on a written public comment policy. Those rules, however, cannot require a person to register, provide his or her name, or other information as a condition to attend the meeting. MCL 15.263(4). The Township may also “establish” reasonable rules and regulations to minimize disruption during the meeting (in addition to those rules applicable to public comment periods). MCL 15.263(3).

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