Does City Council want to mute the public?

COMMENTARY

RICHARD WINGER

Former Vero Beach Mayor Richard Winger.

Editor’s note: The following comments from former Mayor and City Councilman Richard Winger concern a longstanding question about where to position open public comments. It is the sitting mayor’s prerogative whether public comments are placed on the agenda. Currently, open public comments come at the beginning of the meeting; if approved at the next City Council meeting, they would come at the end. Comments related to items on the agenda would still be allowed when those items are under discussion.

At next Tuesday’s 3:00 City Council Meeting Council, lead by Mayor Zudans, is bring forth a proposal under Agenda item 9A, at the very end of the meeting, to move your time to be heard from the front of the meeting, to the very end.  It is as follows in this extract from the new proposed ordering of the agenda:

Section 3 – Order of Business for City Council Meetings.

The order of business for City Council meetings shall generally be as provided herein and shall appear on the meeting agenda in substantially the following form:

CALL TO ORDER.

PRELIMINARY MATTERS.

CONSENT AGENDA

PRESENTATIONS

CITY COUNCIL MATTERS.

NEW BUSINESS

OLD BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ORDINANCES

RESOLUTIONS

PUBLIC NOTICE ITEMS FOR FUTURE PUBLIC HEARING

CITY CLERK MATTERS

CITY MANAGER MATTERS

CITY ATTORNEY MATTERS

COUNCILMEMBER MATTERS

PUBLIC COMMENT (3-minute time limit)

ADJOURNMENT

If the last two years are any indication, this will mean you will have to sit many hours to voice your concerns, problems, and opinion to your City Council.  It also means almost all TV viewers will have tuned out before you get your First Amendment right to speak!

This is intolerable!  Stand up Tuesday, while you still can, and voice your displeasure.

 

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