The Waunakee Village Board will consider a change to the format of its regular meetings, allowing more public comment.

Village President Chris Zellner asked the board to consider inviting public comment on matters on meeting agendas before those items come up for discussion. In the past, the board has allowed the public to comment only on matters not on the meeting agenda and typically not taken comment on items scheduled for discussion.

The change would allow the public to comment on all matters, whether or not they are listed on the agenda. Members of the public would have two minutes total to comment, rather than just one minute to comment on matters not on the agenda, Zellner said.

“Really, to me, the program didn’t make sense,” Zellner said about the existing policy. “I was trying to carry on what previous boards had done and how they had handled it. It didn’t sit well with me,” he said.

Zellner said he was unsure about the reasoning for the longstanding policy.

“I was just told this is the way it’s been. I tried to stay consistent with what we’ve been doing,” Zellner added.

The change would allow another opportunity for people to make a comment about matters to be discussed by the board. The board could then answer any questions members of the public might pose when that agenda item is discussed. Zellner said citizens are also encouraged to call or email board members with questions and concerns, but the change in policy would allow them to state these in a public forum.

The Waunakee Village Board will consider the change at its next meeting July 7, prior to the public comment section. If the board votes in favor, the change may be implemented at that meeting.

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