Local government in North Carolina is public by nature and law. Every meeting has a public comment period where people can contribute on any topic they like. Most items on the agenda each month also have a public comment period. Additionally, meetings (with very few exceptions) are open to the public— as well as all notes, plans, expenditures, etc.
Most importantly, public input is strongly desired by the City Council and it carries a tremendous amount of weight. Don’t hesitate to use this privilege. It is not hard, and it will help the city leadership get a balanced understanding of the perspectives of the city residents.
Here are some suggestions on how to get involved in our local government:
- Be aware of what is coming: if you hear about it after the public comments period, you may have missed your chance.
- Attend a city council meeting and see what they are like. That will make it much less intimidating to contribute in the future.
- Be clear and concise because public comments are usually limited to 3 minutes. So prepare your comments in advance for maximum effectiveness!
- Be respectful of all, especially those who will disagree with you.
I want to facilitate great awareness and greater involvement in city affairs. So please ask me questions, go to a meeting with me, and let’s impact Mebane together.