Changes to Gainesville City Commission Public Comments
Gainesville, FL -- There are some new rules when it comes to the Citizens Comments portion of Gainesville City Commission Meetings.
It was a unanimous vote among the Commissioners, but the public did not all agree. Some even went as far as to blame the Commissioners for taking up too much time in their meetings.
Currently there is one time slot for public comments, at 6 P.M. Under the new rules, there will be another time slot added after 1 P.M. which will run for no more than 30 minutes.
The public will have another opportunity to speak for half an hour before the 6 P.M. evening session.
If the meeting ends before 11 P.M, citizens will have another opportunity to comment.
Under the old rules, the public could speak for about five minutes, running the Citizens Comments portion past eight on some nights. But the new rules say each person may have no more than two minutes if there's a large crowd.
Critics of the resolution said the meetings are running late because the seven commissioners are taking too much time to speak about the issues.
"You need not look any further than today's meeting to identify the most common reason for City Commission Meetings running late and it isn't the citizens," said resident Debbie Martinez.
The issue will be revisited in October to decide if the new process is working better.
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