If you want to speak at a meeting of the Cooke County Commissioners' Court, be sure you stay on topic.

On Monday, Sept. 14, members of the court unanimously agreed to update its meeting rules of procedures to specify that members of the public who wish to speak can do so on agenda items only. All members of the court were present for Monday's vote.

“Although we have not recently seen any abuse of this, I have heard from other counties that had individuals using the time to give campaign speeches or attempting to sell a product,” Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley told the Register after the vote. “This helps limit the time to business of the county.”

The other change to the court's meeting policy was to allow anyone who signed up to speak on an agenda item to do so.

“The one before last year limited the number to three people per side or six total,” Brinkley said.

Members of the court updated the meeting policy last September, as well, which prompted the review for the county's upcoming fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, he said.

Brinkley said it would be ideal to review the court's rules of procedure, conduct and decorum annually.

“This time of year we routinely approve or review many policies and contracts, as well as meeting times,” he said.

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