Does the public have the right to speak at a meeting of a governmental body?
No. Although Wisconsin’s open meetings law requires that the public be allowed to attend an open meeting of a governmental body, the public does not have the right to address a governmental body unless the meeting is a public hearing specifically designed to give the public input on a particular matter. However, it is not uncommon for governing bodies to designate a public comment period on the agenda so they can hear constituent concerns. Some governing bodies establish rules governing public comment (e.g., time limit for each speaker), to balance the need to listen to the public’s concerns with the need to run meetings in an efficient and orderly manner. (rev. 6/19)