Recently, the city council agreed to limit the time allotted for public comment at council meetings.
The new rule allows for only 30 minutes, total, for the public to have their say at the beginning of the meetings. Before this, there was no time limit.
Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), are crying foul because it could disenfranchise members of the public from addressing their concerns.
Whatever you think of this new restriction, this limit is not unheard of in other communities.
While council wants to trim the length of their meetings, a good starting point might be in following their own rule on how long each councilmember can talk about an agenda item.
That rule limits them to a maximum of five minutes each.
Too bad that’s never enforced. The real culprit for lengthy council meetings is that councilmembers can’t stop yammering on and on about this or that resolution.
It would help if councilmembers actually did research on agenda items and made inquiries before the meeting, instead of wasting the public’s time, and the time of the administration.
To each councilmember, we say, police yourself before going about policing others.
Posted Sept. 15, 2023