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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