Providing Testimony Best Practices

As the hearings are a legal proceeding; they need to strictly follow procedures. 

  • Testimony at a hearing is for testimony only. Questions will not be answered by the applicant, staff, or Commission.
  • The presiding officer, or the Committee/Council/Commission, is authorized to revise the default time frames and order of proceedings so long as due process rights are maintained.  In the event of a disagreement by governing board members with procedural rulings by the Chairperson, the governing board may suspend or amend any one or more of these rules by a majority vote of members of the governing board then in attendance, provided that due process rights are preserved.
  • Anyone who intends to appear as a representative of a group, at a hearing where spokespersons will be allowed, should contact the development services department at least five (5) days prior to the hearing.  Staff may then apprise the representative of procedures for the hearing and any special limits or allowances concerning testimony.
  • No person shall be permitted to speak before the Committee/Council/Commission at a public hearing until such person is recognized by the Chairperson.
  • Testimony should directly address the subject at hand.
  • Testimony should not be repetitious with other entries into the record.
  • Testimony should not be personally derogatory.
  • Testimony should comply with time restrictions established by the hearing agency.
  • If oral testimony fails to comply with the aforementioned standards, the Chairperson may declare such testimony out of order and require it to cease.
  • All public hearing proceedings are recorded electronically and all persons speaking at such public hearings shall speak before a microphone in such a manner as will assure that the recorded testimony or remarks will be complete.