In an effort to keep television viewers tuned in to live broadcasts of its meetings, the Burbank City Council voted Tuesday to restrict the amount of time allowed for public comment.
The decision came, in part, because a number of regular speakers, called "gadflies" by city officials, were taking a large amount of time at meetings. The speakers often did not address themselves to specific council agenda items, officials said.
Council members agreed that they did not want to discourage public comment. But the majority complained that the group of regulars--including a janitor who sometimes yells during the meetings, a presidential candidate from the American Nazi Party and a resident who claims he is menaced by helicopters and people with sophisticated radar--were taking up too much time.
The present five-minute limit on public comment was reduced to three minutes for matters on the agenda. A second oral-communications period will be held following the regular meeting so speakers can discuss any subject for five minutes, the council decided.