Meridian Council Considers Guidelines for Citizen Comments

Meridian, Miss. After several citizens picketed at Meridian's City Hall demanding to be heard, the council says they want to listen.

A set time period for citizens to speak at meetings is a tradition that was allowed for years until the council says citizens began to abuse that privilege. Now the council is setting guidelines to keep it from happening again, restrictions such as a deadline to sign up, time limits and only discussing relevant topics.

"If we're going to have citizens' comments, we want them to relate to the city, we want them to relate to things that the city's involved in or the people in Meridian are involved in. We don't just want them coming with general comments or complaints," Ward 1 Councilman George Thomas explained.

The return of citizens' comments during meetings is not yet set in stone, but the City Council hopes to vote on the issue by the first meeting in November.