Council clamps down on open mike rules and subject matter

Council is changing its criteria for open mike discussions and clamping down on the subject matter.

Council is changing its criteria for open mike discussions and clamping down on the subject matter.

At its meeting, May 26, council voted unanimously in favor of revising the bylaw regarding open mike sessions.

Wording has been changed to state that people who want to talk at the open mike forum will have to speak only on issues that are discussed during that council meeting. The previous bylaw stated the public was allowed to bring any town related issue to the forum.

However, council agreed holding open mike sessions in such a way was not productive, as councillors would be able to better to answer these questions after looking into the matter and obtaining the correct information.

Council want the public to phone or come into the town office and request to be put on the agenda as a delegation if they have issues they wish to discuss that are not related to the current meeting.

The bylaw states the open mike session is to be no longer than 20 minutes and no formal decision shall be made on any matter discussed with council during the session.

The new bylaw was not received favorably by at least two people in the gallery.

“I think you are limiting the open discussion more than it needs to be,” said Jim Moore.

Florence Stemo questioned the fact council gave all three readings to the bylaw at the same meeting.

Council initiated the open mike forum after the fall election.