ABJ: "Voters to decide if Akron City Council should permit citizens to speak during meetings"

Just sayin' - from the Akron Beacon Journal last week:
The proposed charter change headed to the ballot would require council to “enact legislation to permit members of the public to address council at council and committee meetings.”

The comments would have to be “in accordance with the rules of council” and the majority of council could vote to extend the speaking period.

The amendment also says council can “impose reasonable limits on speaking and may restrict speakers to matters within council’s authority.”
To be clear: this charter amendment comes from sitting Akron City Council members seeking a way past the current situation which is, according to the ABJ piece, that, "Citizens currently are not allowed to speak at Akron council meetings unless a public hearing is held on a specific topic or they receive permission from the council president."

If the amendment is approved,

...a special committee would be formed to look at how other cities handle speaking periods.

[Council President Marco] Sommerville said council also would hold a hearing to get public input before voting on the ordinance. Sommerville thought Tarle’s language would be disruptive because one council member would have had the opportunity to extend the speaking period as long as he or she wanted.
Good luck, Akron.

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