Council member John Chapman proposed several changes in the rules for public hearings which would limit public comment and require participants to swear that they are telling the truth.
The proposed changes, which will be discussed again at a later meeting, seemed to be supported by the other council members present, but were strongly opposed by Mayor Barbara J. Doerr and several residents, who said the changes would favor project proponents.
Chapman said he was proposing the changes in an attempt to streamline the often-lengthy public hearings. Chapman suggested that a group that wants to speak on the same subject be required to choose a spokesman to voice its position, instead of having each member speak. He also proposed that no one be allowed to speak more than once on the same subject.
Proponents and opponents now can present their positions and then rebut arguments. Chapman proposed eliminating the opportunity for rebuttal.
Council member Marcia Martin was absent.