Smith: Guidelines to be Strictly Enforced

The Meridian City Council has adopted guidelines for citizen comments during regular meetings.

Council president Bobby Smith says allowing people to address concerns publicly is a long-standing practice, but is not required by state law.

Smith says it's a forum for unresolved issues, after efforts to deal with problems through your councilman and the mayor have failed.

"We're going to be strict about it. I was not strict enough today," said Smith. "I was kind of lenient because of, we need to let everybody speak. If anybody's got a problem within the city, we need them to discuss it with us. We need to take care of it, by all means take care of it. But do it in the proper way."

The rules appear below:

1. Total time for all speakers – 15 minutes, as watched and called by the Clerk of Council.

2. Each person shall: a) identify themselves and state their residence; b) speak within the allowed 3 minute time limit; c) state topic to be discussed.

3. The only topics allowed shall be those that: a) are relevant to the current meeting’s business; b) are not disruptive of the Council’s business; and c) are not scandalous, argumentative or such as may lead to a disturbance of the peace.

4. Each speaker’s demeanor and language, at all times, shall be respectful and non-personal.

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2010 at 04:24 AM
    hey the way GOv is even pres. B.O. has told all the same thing you spoke now shut up sit down.. i will do it my way ... but those that voted to get the new mayor in need to get the rest of the old mess out.. so the area as can get its act together
  • by Guy South of I-20 on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM
    Some of you need to read up on the law. Nowhere in the Mississippi Code does it say anyone has the right to speak at a meeting unless they are on the agenda or otherwise called upon to speak. They don't have to provide a "citizens comment" time at all (in fact, most cities don't). The days of people taking over the meetings where city business is supposed to be conducted are over and thank God for it. If you have a problem, write a letter. Don't just show up at a meeting and ramble on about your neighbor's howling dog or the "drug house" next door. There are ways to handle things without people having to put on an act for the Comcast cameras (of course, most people who want to speak at the meetings are nothing but attention hogs in the first place).
  • by community conscience Location: around on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:26 AM
    Wade and Patti will need to cut in short now. You knew this would happen, didn't you? "We know, your house was torched in 2003 and no one has done anything about it. Thanks. Next, please."
  • by RC Location: Meridian on Mar 3, 2010 at 06:36 AM
    Sit down, shut up, we don't have to listen to you...that is the state law! Wonderful way to get opinions from constituents. I'm sure I won't be voting for Bobby Smith next time. I think I might run against him.
  • by jr Location: meridian on Mar 3, 2010 at 04:10 AM
    They want to disguise the real reason for this which is to shut any criticism up from the people. I thought the people aree entitled to know the business of the council and also have a right to free speach. As long as there are not vrebal attacks then the people should have the roght to talk on any subject that pertains to the council or their representative.
  • by PJ on Mar 2, 2010 at 06:27 PM
    I've watched some of the council meetings. Some of these people go on and on, dragging up old stuff, or getting on a soap box about something that just affects them personally. They don't need to take up a lot of time to say what their issue is. Sometimes more is less. I applaud the council, if they actually stick to this, regardless of whether it's an election year or not. They're not shutting people up. Just asking them to get to the point. That's a good thing.
  • by Frankie on Mar 2, 2010 at 05:39 PM
    I guess Bobby Smith told you, Meridian!
  • by connie Location: Meridian on Mar 2, 2010 at 04:28 PM
    Here we go again, lets leave the people and their opinions out.
  • by gw Location: meridian on Mar 2, 2010 at 03:29 PM
    please!!!!practice what you preach!!!!!
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