The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 26, 2013

Examining the veteran hiring process

(Continued)

"When they do go a little over time, as long as what they're saying is relevant to the issue and not redundant, they should have the chance to finish what they're saying," Flanders said. "I felt really badly when one of the council insisted the rules be followed strictly and individuals were not able to finish what they wanted to say when they still had points to make."

In 2010, the ordinance was changed to reduce the time for citizen input to three minutes, he said.

The proposed ordinance changes would also give the mayor or a council member the right to limit citizen input to three minutes if there's a large group of people who want to speak on an item.

"But I don't think I've had, at any time when I was mayor, too many to speak to reduce to three minutes," Flanders said.

Several individuals speaking on the same issue could also yield their allotted time to one spokesperson, who would be limited to 30 minutes or less.

"What it comes down to is the citizens' rights to not only free speech but to redress their government over issues they are concerned by," he said. "Whenever that's curtailed, it's not right because we work for the people."

Finally, the council will discuss the estimated cost of including an additional sidewalk on the up-river side of Market Street Bridge during its upcoming overhaul.

The council will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in council chambers at City Hall. The meeting will air live on GO-TV, cable channel 6.

— To follow reporter Chelsea Davis on Twitter, head to twitter.com/chelsealeedavis.

 

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