Striking a blow against long-winded public hearings, the City Council has decided to end sessions by midnight.
The council voted 4 to 1 Monday to impose the midnight cutoff and to limit rebuttal comments. Mayor William Tarozzi, standing firm on his commitment not to stifle public debate, voted no.
The decision comes after a 13-hour September hearing on a controversial drive-through McDonald's restaurant.
At public hearings, people who favor a project speak first, followed by those opposed. Then, under the new format, a single rebuttal period--only for those who spoke first--will be permitted.