S Memo 15-4Posted on Jun 4, 2015 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law
S Memo 15-4
June 4, 2015
Limitations on Oral Testimony
Requester asked whether the Kauai County Council (Council) violated the Sunshine Law by not allowing Requester to present oral testimony at the time that an agenda item was called during its meeting on December 18, 2013 (December Meeting) and its Budget Review Meeting on April 12, 2013 (Budget Meeting) because Requester had instead provided oral testimony during the early Public Comment period at the start of each meeting.
OIP concluded that the Council’s limitations on oral testimony did not violate the Sunshine Law’s requirement to afford all interested persons an opportunity to testify on any agenda item and that the Council’s administration of oral testimony by rule was reasonable. See HRS § 92-3 (2012) (regarding testimony). Because the Council did provide an opportunity for oral testimony on every agenda item when it was called, the Council could properly restrict those speakers who elected to instead present their oral testimony during the Public Comment period at the start of each Meeting, specifically by requiring these early speakers to present all testimony on any agenda item within a time limit and restricting them from testifying a second time when the agenda items were called during each meeting.