County Information Desk:
A Citizen's Guide to the Board of County Commissioners Meetings
Board of County Commissioners:
The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative and governing body of Pinellas County. The seven-member commission is responsible for establishing policies to protect the health, safety and general welfare of Pinellas County residents.
Commissioners are elected to serve four-year staggered terms. Four are elected from single-member districts in which they must reside. Three are elected at-large, but must reside in the geographic district they represent. Commission members take office two weeks after they are elected in general elections held every two years on the first Tuesday in November.
The board selects a Chairman to preside over the County Commission and a Vice Chairman to assume those duties in the absence of the Chairman. These appointments usually take effect in January.
What your Commission does:
The Pinellas County Charter and Chapter 125.01 of the Florida Statutes establish the specific duties and powers of the Board of County Commissioners.
Exercising its legislative powers, the County Commission adopts ordinances and resolutions to establish policies and programs and to provide public services and facilities primarily for the unincorporated areas of the county.
The County Commission considers major problems facing county government and guides the growth and development of the county in a manner that is consistent with public interest.
Commission meetings are usually held in the fifth-floor Assembly Room of the Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court Street, in Clearwater.
Regular commission meetings are held twice a month, usually but not always, on the first and third Tuesdays. The earlier meeting in the month begins at 9:30 a.m. (with the exception of the September meeting, which begins at 2 p.m.) with an Invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, Presentations and Awards, Scheduled Public Hearings, Citizens to be Heard and Agenda Items.
The second meeting in the month is held in two parts. This meeting begins at 2 p.m. with an Invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, Presentations and Awards, Citizens to be Heard, and discussion of Agenda Items. The commission reconvenes at 6 p.m. with Scheduled Public Hearings. Evening meetings are designated for zoning and land-use matters as well.
All Board of County Commissioners meetings are shown live (and replayed) over PCC-TV, and can be seen via streaming or archived video on the Pinellas County website, www.pinellascounty.org/tv.
Meeting agendas are usually available on the Thursday afternoon prior to any Tuesday meeting. Copies of the agenda are available from the Board Records office (fifth floor of the County Courthouse), and fifth floor courthouse corridor. Meeting agendas with supporting documentation for board consideration are posted on the county website, by close of business on the Thursday before the Tuesday board meeting and shown on Pinellas County Connection TV prior to the live meeting.
Four main sections comprise the agenda:
1. Scheduled Public Hearings
The public has a right to address the commission during items scheduled as advertised public hearings. In conducting public hearings, the commission will call for a staff presentation, followed by the applicant’s proposal. The applicant will present his/her entire case, including rebuttal, within 20 minutes.
The commission will then invite proponents and opponents from the audience who have completed a Public Hearing Comment Card to speak regarding the issue. With the Chairman’s permission, speakers may ask questions of the presenters involved or seek clarification of any issues discussed during the presentation. An individual who wishes to address the commission must fill out a Public Hearing Comment Card, submit it to staff at the Staff Table and be prepared to step before the commission when the Chairman calls his/her name. All decorum rules as outlined in the following Citizens to be Heard paragraphs apply during the public hearings. Individuals may speak for up to three minutes at the Chairman’s discretion. Representatives of groups consisting of five or more individuals who are present during the public hearing may speak on behalf of the group for up to 10 minutes at the Chairman’s discretion. To do so, the individuals must have waived their time to the representative by providing their information on the back of the Public Hearing Comment Card.
Citizens should be aware that if they decide to appeal any decision made at the meeting, they will need a record of the proceedings. It is advised that a verbatim record of the proceedings be made, including the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based. Records of all commission meetings are also available through Board Records, (727) 464-3458.
2. Citizens to be Heard
The commissioners have set aside time to listen to public comments about Pinellas County government, ensuring the individual’s right to participate in a public meeting, yet maintaining necessary decorum during that meeting. Each person who wishes to address the commission during Citizens to be Heard must complete a Citizen Comment Card and submit that card to staff at the Staff Table prior to speaking. Remarks may be up to three minutes at the Chairman’s discretion.
Speakers will be called by name to address the commission. When called, each speaker shall approach the lectern and identify him/herself by name and name of city or neighborhood.
Speakers should make their comments concise and to the point and present any data or evidence they wish the commission to consider. All remarks should be addressed to the commission as a body and not to any one member. Speakers must be respectful of others’ opinions and refrain from making personal attacks. Any person who becomes disorderly or who fails to confine remarks to the identified subject or business at hand shall be cautioned by the Chairman and given the opportunity to conclude his/her remarks in a decorous manner and within the designated time limits. Any person failing to comply as cautioned may be barred by the Chairman from making any additional comments during the meeting unless permission to continue or again address the commission is granted by the majority of the commissioners present.
If an individual is declared out of order, he/she may be requested to leave the lectern and may be subject to physical removal from the Assembly Room.
Signs, Placards and Banners: Signs or graphic displays of any kind shall not be allowed in the County Commission meeting rooms except in connection with a scheduled presentation made to the Board by a speaker at the lectern. Please be respectful and refrain from clapping, applauding, heckling or verbal outbursts in support of or opposition to a speaker or his/her remarks.
A complete list of public participation and decorum rules, meeting information, archived meetings and webcasting can be found at
3. PowerPoint or Video Presentations
Requests and the PowerPoint must be submitted to the agenda coordinator in the County Administrator’s office by the close of business, five working days prior to the meeting. This time is needed for scheduling and technical preparation. Presentations are contingent upon approval of the Commission Chairman consistent with county policy for terms of submission (*). The maximum length of the entire presentation (verbal, video and/or PowerPoint) is three minutes and a Citizen Comment Card must be turned in to staff at the Staff Table prior to presenting. For public hearing items only, if the entire presentation is more than three minutes, representatives of groups consisting of five or more individuals who are present during the public hearing may speak on behalf of the group for up to 10 minutes at the Chairman’s discretion. To do so, the individuals must have waived their time to the representative by providing their information on the back of a Public Hearing Comment Card. PowerPoint presentations must be submitted in presentation format (.pptx). All presentations will be reviewed and submissions that violate copyright or trademark laws will not be permitted.
*Terms of submission: Any submission for publication by Pinellas County shall not contain any abusive, profane, inflammatory, obscene or racist language in accordance with FCC regulations; nor may submissions solicit, promote, or discuss any commercial product or activity not currently under consideration by the commission.
4. Consent Agenda
The Consent Agenda consists of a group or series of routine items for the commission’s vote. Generally, all items on the Consent Agenda are approved by the commission in one motion.
5. Regular Agenda
The regular agenda is broken down by department subject matter, as the commission considers each item individually.
6. Work Session Meetings:
Work sessions are scheduled as needed, usually on the Tuesdays when no Board of County Commissioners regular meeting is scheduled. Work sessions address specific subjects of particular interest to the commission and are usually held in the fifth floor Assembly Room of the Pinellas County Courthouse. These meetings are generally shown live on PCC-TV and can be accessed through the county’s website. Meeting agendas and supporting documentation for the work sessions are usually available to the public on the Thursday before the scheduled meeting. Agenda copies are available from Board Records (located on the fifth floor of the County Courthouse) and in the Assembly Room.
Citizens are invited to share their comments with the commission during work session meetings. Each speaker must fill out a Citizen Comment Card and submit it to the staff at the Staff Table. Remarks may be up to three minutes at the Chairman’s discretion. Public participation and decorum rules apply.
A complete list of public participation and decorum rules, meeting information, archived meetings and webcasting can be found at www.pinellascounty.org.
Enhanced listening devices are available in the Assembly Room. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To obtain accessible formats of this document, please call (727) 464-4600/TDD (727) 464-4062. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in these proceedings at no cost to you, please contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 300, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 464-4062 (V/TDD), at least seven days prior to the event.
Terms to be familiar with:
- Amendment - A change to any previously approved document, resolution or ordinance
- Ordinance - A local law approved by the County Commission; requires at least one public hearing
- Proclamation - A document approved by the board officially recognizing an event or accomplishment
- Resolution - An expression or decision made by the board concerning administrative matters or government business; may require a public hearing
Enhanced listening devices are available in the Assembly Room.
Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
To obtain accessible formats of this document, please call (727) 464-4062 (V/TDD). If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. At least seven days prior to the meeting, contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 464-4062 (V/TDD).