Ordinance proposed on meeting participation in Loda
LODA — In the interest of civility, Trustee John Zalaker told the village board that it was time to adopt an ordinance regarding public participation at meetings.
Various audience members have been interrupting trustees in the middle of their discussions in recent months. The agenda always features an opportunity at the end of every meeting for anyone to offer their opinion or bring up questions on any matter.
Zalaker said the ordinance follows closely the rules that both the township and the county use. One provision is that members of the public who want to speak about any matter on the agenda at the time the matter is being discussed by the board must register with the village clerk before the meeting begins. The mayor will give them a chance to speak once the board has finished its discussion.
The ordinance would not limit to the number of speakers allowed, but each speaker would be limited to 5 minutes. Two minutes would be allotted for a rebuttal. If the speaker needs more time, he or she can submit comments to the board in writing.
Also, the board would reserve to right to not respond immediately to a speaker as well as to remove anyone it believes is disrupting the meeting. The board would also retain the right to record with audio or video at a meeting at the mayor's discretion.