A rule on the books imposing limits on how many times a resident may address the Halifax County Board of Supervisors is being reexamined.

While reviewing the bylaws at their Monday night meeting, ED-6 supervisor Stanley Brandon and ED-8 supervisor William Bryant Claiborne aired concerns on a specific issue: a rule stating residents are only allowed to speak four times a year during comment periods for the board.

In addition, county residents currently — by the rules — are only allowed to speak on one topic a year once every three months.

Also, the board has a four-minute time limit for speakers.

Brandon and Claiborne questioned this rule saying it takes away from a person’s freedom of speech.

“Our people have a right to representation,” said Brandon.

While the rule may not be enforced, it remains a technical sticking point in the code book.

“If someone is not satisfied with something then they have a right to speak to us about it and if that problem is not fixed then they have the right to bring it up again next month until the issue is resolved,” Claiborne said.

With many heads nods and chants from the crowd, it set off a discussion among board members.

Vice chairman Garland Ricketts made a motion to send the idea for changes back to committee for further discussion.

That created more debate from Claiborne who insisted the public should know what is happening.

“When it comes to a decision like this, they have a right to know what we are doing,” he said.

In a final motion, the board decided to send the issue back to committee.