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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Azusa : Council Cuts Speakers' Time

March 05, 1992

In response to complaints that residents rambled during the public participation section of City Council meetings, the council on Monday voted to reduce speakers' time from five to three minutes as part of a package of procedural changes.

Two regular speakers opposed the resolution, arguing that it is their constitutional right to speak as long as they want.

Councilman Stephen J. Alexander, who cast the dissenting vote, agreed, saying the council is trying to silence people it doesn't agree with or doesn't like.

Councilman Anthony Naranjo, defending the decision, said the meetings have run too long due to the constant extension of time limits. He said as time drags on his decision-making ability diminishes.

The council also voted to modify the rules regarding the consent calendar, the portion of the agenda listing items expected to pass without council discussion.

Now people will be allowed to speak for or against an item rather than just against it, as was previously ruled.

Another new rule requires those wishing to speak to submit a card at the beginning of the meeting rather than before each item.

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