Yamhill County Commissioners hold two meetings per week. The public is invited to attend both, however there are differences in the work done at each and in the level of public comment opportunity offered. Below are more details, which I will keep updated if procedures or location/time change. I will post upcoming agenda items and testimony opportunities here on my website, as well as on my Facebook and Instagram accounts so that you can follow me in the method that works best for you.
Tuesday Commissioner Meetings
1:30 pm in Room 32, Yamhill County Circuit Court (see below for more info)
Tuesday meetings focus on the business-side of county operations (approval of contracts, etc.) as well as setting the agenda for Thursday meetings, including items that will be open for public testimony. As of right now, Tuesday meetings do not have a public comment period.
Thursday Commissioner Meetings
10:00 am in Room 32, Yamhill County Circuit Court
Thursday meetings work through the agenda set on Tuesdays and usually address questions of land-use with opportunities for public testimony. Thursdays also begin with a weekly opportunity for 3 minute public comment on topics other than those already on the agenda. Please note that the public comment period is not intended for back-and-forth discussion with the Commissioners, but serves as an important opportunity to bring up issues that could be put on future Commissioner meeting agendas.
Location of meetings
Currently both weekly meetings are held in Room 32 of the Yamhill County Circuit Court (535 NE 5th St, McMinnville). The easiest parking is in the parking garage across Evans St but there is also 2-hour on-street parking available. You will have to go through a security screening to get into the courthouse, and you are not allowed to bring any weapons inside. Once you are through the security screening, take the stairs or elevator to the left down to the lowest level. Room 32 will be across the hall from you. The location of County meetings may soon move, so check back for updates!
Tips for 3 minute public comment
If there is an issue or concern that you think the Yamhill County Commissioner should know about, this is an important opportunity for you to share news or information face-to-face. If it is an issue that warrants further discussion or investigation, suggest to the Commissioners that it might be put on future meeting agendas.
But for the public comment, remember that you only have three minutes, so write out what you will say ahead of time and keep it on topic and concise. You will be asked to say your name and address for the record before you begin and speak into a microphone.
You are also welcome to submit written commentary to support your verbal presentation. I recommend bringing five copies of your written commentary so that they can be immediately handed to everyone who will want to read them (the three commissioners, county council, and county administrator).
Tips for public testimony on agenda items (aka “hearings”)
Some Thursday agenda items will include hearings, which are opportunities for the public and other involved parties to submit verbal testimony on land-use decisions or particular legislative issues in Yamhill County (changes in ordinances, rules, etc.). If you want to give input on one of these topics, you are welcome to submit written testimony beforehand or during the meeting.
There will also be time dedicated to brief verbal testimony during the hearing itself. You will be asked to provide your name and address for the record before you begin and will speak into a microphone. Unless you are one of the parties directly involved in a case (such as a land-use applicant or appellant), you will likely only have 3-5 minutes for testifying, so prepare to be concise and on point.
To the best of your ability, try to understand what the legal context is for the agenda item and provide evidence for your point-of-view. The heartfelt, emotional perspective is valid, but it may not provide the Commissioners the legal grounds they need to vote in your favor. Again, do your best — your perspective is always important to share if you feel strongly about the issue.
Also, if others have testified before you and said something similar to what you were planning to say, consider simply saying that you agree with them in order to save time.
Remember: you are welcome to participate in our shared public process! I will do my best to organize information to help you here on my website, but please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns (or agenda item ideas for future meetings!). Thank you!