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Public Forums

As Outlined in Knox County Commission Rules [SECTION O. PUBLIC FORUM]

The Commission desires to hear from individuals and/or groups on matters important to local government. As a normal practice, time is set aside at each Commission meeting for Public Forum, during which individuals or groups may request to speak to the Commissioners.

The Commission provides the public the opportunity at the Agenda Work Session and Commission meetings to address an agenda item during the Commission’s discussion or consideration of the item. Citizens are also provided additional opportunities to address an agenda item or express an opinion on any matter during Public Forum. At the 5:00 p.m. regularly scheduled Commission meeting (Legislative Session), Public Forum at the beginning is for agenda items only and Public Forum at the end of the Legislative Session is open to any topic as shown in Rule I, Section B.

At the Agenda Work Session, Public Forum at the beginning of the agenda after the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag is for agenda items only and Public Forum at the end of the agenda after Spread of Record and discussion items is open to any topic. The Commission’s public forum is primarily designated for Knox County citizens and property owners. Those who live outside of Knox County may speak to Commissioners at the discretion of the Chair.

Individuals or groups seeking to address the Commission during Public Forum should register by contacting the Commission Office via telephone (865-215-2534) or e-mail no later than 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to the scheduled meeting or by speaking with the Commission Vice Chair in person prior to the start of the meeting. Information required for Public Forum registration will include name, contact information, address, and topic. The Chair or a Commissioner may also recognize individuals who have not arranged to speak beforehand if they determine that such is in the public interest. A majority vote of members present can overrule the decision of the Chair or a Commissioner.

Public Forum speakers shall address remarks to the entire Commission and not individual members. Each person speaking shall state his or her name and county of residence and have up to three (3) to five (5) minutes to make remarks at the discretion of the Chair unless objected by a Commissioner. Employees of Knox County shall state their first and last name, title and department name. Members of the Commission and the Knox 9 County staff members may have the privilege of asking questions of any person who addresses the Commission.

The Commission respects and appreciates the good intentions that bring citizens to speak at Public Forum. The Commission asks that speakers show their respect for the Commission, the staff and other citizens by speaking in a manner that is civil and courteous. The Chair or Vice Chair shall have the authority to terminate the remarks of any individual who is disruptive, degrading and/or insulting or who does not adhere to Public Forum rules. Individuals seeking additional information about Public Forum or any item on a meeting agenda shall direct inquiries to the office of the County Commission.