By: Diane Benjamin
Monday night the Normal Council will be asked to amend their Public Comment policy. The original policy was written in 2011. They were forced to change it in 2014 and 2017. When government is FORCED to change, it tells citizens: We don’t care about your opinions, we are only changing it because we have to.
Normal is forced once again to change the policy. It’s getting closer to legal, but still not there. The two hour advance sign-up is gone in favor of at least 15 minutes. The only reason to not allow people to sign up before the meeting starts, even if it’s two minutes, is too exert control. Citizens get to waste time arriving in advance to fill out the official comment form. (For and By the People?)
This is what is proposed:
“Must be germane” to the agenda violates the right of citizens to address their government. Council meetings aren’t held for TOWN business, they are the PEOPLE’s business. There is no Town without the people, people must be allowed to speak on any topic they want. Has the Attorney General ruled on the complaint Karyn Smith filed months ago yet? She was not allowed to speak about the mural.
Limiting the time to 20 minutes violates other rulings of the Attorney General. Adequate time must be provided in relation to the number of citizens. If #9 is changed to the Trustees can change the allotted time by majority vote, #3 would be legal. Chris Koos isn’t god, the trustees represent voters. Extending Public Comment time should be in their hands, not one tyrant.
See #6. Chris Koos has the sole power to not let anyone speak he doesn’t want to hear from because he picks the order. If the 20 minutes is used up, he has the sole right to end Public Comment. Again, extending Public Comment should be in the hands of the Trustees.
This item is on the Omnibus Vote Agenda, so unless it is pulled by a Trustee, it won’t be discussed.
2 thoughts on “Normal: Public Comment policy not there yet”
So I guess the guy who ran Koos’ campaign, then ran for council and lost then showed up at a meeting and rambled for longer than his allotted time will be one of the exceptions to the 3 minute rule. I wonder who else will get special treatment with Koos in total control and losing his damn mind. Normal Citizens should all go to city hall and take their chamber back. Hiss and boo every time Koos speaks. He’s not a dictator regardless of what he believes, he is a representative.
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Not allowed banners or place cards? Isnt that a violation of my freedom of speech? Koos has turned the council meeting into the three monkeys: Hear no citizen: Speak no citizen : And dont see the banners and place cards the citizens have the right to show. Must not exceed 20 minutes. Is that all the attention span Koos has?
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