Council approves changes to open forum procedures

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Open forum presenters at Albert Lea City Council meetings will no longer be limited to one topic.

The council unanimously approved the change to its council rules and procedures on Monday.

Chad Adams

Chad Adams

“We don’t get a lot of public forums — and we’re generally going to stay with the three-minute timeline — but that should provide citizens with the opportunity to bring up a couple of items, or maybe more than that, depending on whether they have questions or they want follow up on something,” said City Manager Chad Adams.

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Presenters will be able to ask for more time, if needed, Adams said.

“That’s likely going to be granted when there is not a very heavy agenda,” he said.

The change is one of the steps city officials have taken over the last couple years to communicate with the public, such as moving the public forum to the top of the meeting agenda to be more accommodating to community members, Adams said.

To Adams, the change was made to be more convenient to community members who do not attend a lot of council meetings.

“It’s been working very well, and this is just another modification to try to encourage more public feedback on more than one topic,” he said.

The resolution also addressed meeting times and places, the role of the presiding officer, record keeping, voting, ordinances, resolutions, motions, petitions and communications, rules for addressing the council, rules of decorum and maintenance of order.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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