Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somebody asked me about the process at VMRC Commission and committee meetings I thought I would post a little about the way things work.

Committee meetings like FMAC or the Blue Crab meeting.

On each agenda item staff will give their talk as will the scientists from VIMS, etc. There are generally limited questions from the members of the Committee and once in a while the public will ask a question. It is generally a bad idea to bad mouth staff or the scientists even if you think what they are saying is bogus.

Once staff is done, the committee members discuss the matter.

After they talk for a while the public is asked to provide their input. Frequently this ends up being an open exchange between the committee members, staff and the public. Often times the same person from the public will contribute to the discussion several times. Additionally, the committee members will ask those speaking specific questions, etc. The public who want to speak are asked to come forward to the podium state their name and speak into the microphone, as the meeting is recorded. My feeling is that the public input is genuinely appreciated by the committee members.

After the public gets done the committee members decide if they want to make a motion, etc. and vote on the measures. Roberts rules of order come in to play here with substitute motions, amendments to motions, etc. and the measure is voted upon.

If someone wants to give a presentation or make a specific proposal that is not already on the agenda they should talk to Jack Travelstead first and he will put them on the agenda as new business.

Commission meetings are more formal.

First there are several types of items.

Habitat items. Anytime someone objects to a habitat issue such as a pier, boat house, marina, etc. they are brought before the Commission. Unlike fisheries items everyone who speaks regarding a habitat item must be sworn in. Staff stand up at the beginning of the meeting, Lawyers already are by some other legal means. Staff give their presentation. The permit applicant is given the chance to speak, then those for and against are allowed to speak (all for it speak then all against speak, not tit for tat. I can not remember who goes first.) After those that object speak, the permit holder is allowed to respond. Except for the applicant, generally folks are only allowed to speak once.
<o:p> </o:p>
Requests for public hearings done by staff. Sometimes these go pretty quick and very seldom is the public allowed to speak.

Presentations by staff or VIMS. These can be lengthy and seldom is the public allowed to speak.

Public hearings. By law these must be advertised. By law the regulation changes can not be more restrictive then advertised. They can be less restrictive. Usually the deal is a staff presentation (with a few questions from the Commission) followed by VIMS, then the public comment, then staff or VIMS if the Commission has further questions. You are only allowed to speak once. You do not have to sign in first. Usually there is no time limit.

Emergency measures. These are measures the Commission decide must be put in place prior to a public hearing. By law they can only last 30 days. If they are to last longer there must be a follow up public hearing at the next Commission meeting.

Public comment. This happens at the beginning of the afternoon session. Anyone from the public is allowed to speak on any matter except for matters that have a public hearing scheduled that day. Often times this is what I call the curve ball time. From time to time the Commission takes action on these items or sends staff off to research and do a follow up presentation. Although the Commission takes snap actions less frequently now than in the past it does happen. If you are interested in the Commission taking action you should contact the appropriate staff members of Commissioner Bowman first. Things go smoother if you can get someone from the agency on your side.
<o:p> </o:p>
Recreational Fishing Advisory Board.
<o:p> </o:p>
The first meeting of the six month (4 meeting) cycle is for those seeking funds to present their proposal. This can be a lonnnnggggg meeting. The public is generally not invited to speak.
<o:p> </o:p>
The second meeting is the public comment meeting. The items are gone through one by one and the public is allowed to speak in support or against the projects. Although those seeking funding are generally in attendance, as a rule they do not speak.
<o:p> </o:p>
The next two meetings are the work session and voting meeting. Again the public is not invited to speak.
 

·
Tidal Fish SUPER Commercial Subscriber
Joined
·
10,897 Posts
Thank you Tom

Thanks Tom for making this information available to us. I plan to avail myself of the VMRC's accessibility during their Tuesday evening meeting.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top