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  1. #1
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    Ask few questions on spending , ban on guns in county buildings and failure to comply with Americans with disabilities .

    http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090913/NEWS01/709139978&frompost=1



    .



    Will board set limits on citizen time?






    BY DOUG DONNELLY


    doug@monroenews.com

    The chairman of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners has asked county attorneys to draft a proposal that would limit the amount of time citizens can speak at county board meetings.

    No formal discussion has been scheduled, but William Sisk, chairman of the board, said the idea has surfaced because of complaints he has received about people “rambling on and on” at board meetings.

    “I field at least five complaints every week about certain indi­viduals rambling on at meet­ings,” he said. He heard about some things that other counties do to limit time and discussed the matter with township attorneys. Right now the board has no time limit in place.

    “I said, ‘let’s put something together and we’ll take a look at it,’” he said. “I think we are put­ting the cart before the horse a little bit here (on having a news­paper story in The Evening News about the idea). We haven’t even discussed this yet or scheduled when to discuss it.”

    Mr. Sisk said the item did sur­face at a board agenda commit­tee meeting and commissioners decided to refer it to the board’s personnel committee.

    “They haven’t set a date for it,” he said. “It will probably be this calendar year. … This isn’t a by­law change, it’s a policy change.” The county legal team has drafted a proposed plan for the committee to review.

    Jan Jay of Exeter Township frequently speaks at county board meetings and has done so for years. He said he absolutely believes the board is looking into such policy directly because of him and things he has said at the podium over the years.

    “You cannot silence the citi­zens when they are upset or feel they have been betrayed,” Mr. Jay said. “… A lot can be said in five minutes.”

    Mr. Jay said he attends board meetings and speaks his mind when he feels government has done something inappropriate or needs to be questioned, not just to ramble on and on about a topic. He also said such a rule would have to be enforced equal-l­y, meaning no one could stand up before the board and praise them for more than the allotted time, just as they couldn’t spend more time questioning them or critiquing their actions.

    “What is it they are afraid of ? The truth?” Mr. Jay said.

    This isn’t the first time the idea of shortening or limiting citizen comment time has come before county commissioners.

    In 1996 the board discussed, but ultimately rejected, changing its bylaws to include limiting the amount of time for citizen com­ment.

    In 2001, the full board consid­ered a policy that would limit public comment time to a total of 15 minutes and to three min­utes for each individual speaker and would also make speaking a more formalized process, asking for name cards to be filled out.










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    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Seems simple enough to me.

    I think it's unconstitutional of them to limit public comments.

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    dougwg wrote:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Seems simple enough to me.

    I think it's unconstitutional of them to limit public comments.
    Their must be a herd of sheep this flock is very timid !

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    i do not think it is all that uncommon for public comment time to be limited to 5 minutes per person. The town board meetings in my town have that rule, as do the romeo school board meetings.

    I do not see it as an attack on freedom of speech.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    lapeer20m wrote:
    i do not think it is all that uncommon for public comment time to be limited to 5 minutes per person. The town board meetings in my town have that rule, as do the romeo school board meetings.

    I do not see it as an attack on freedom of speech.
    Is time limit enforced at all times ?

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    dougwg wrote:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Seems simple enough to me.

    I think it's unconstitutional of them to limit public comments.
    Except for the fact that its not congress limiting free speach its the county of Monroe.

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    the500kid wrote:
    dougwg wrote:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Seems simple enough to me.

    I think it's unconstitutional of them to limit public comments.
    Except for the fact that its not congress limiting free speech its the county of Monroe.
    Please do not forget second amendment in county buildings .This Started November 02 2007 Open Carry Came To Monroe !!

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    the500kid wrote:
    dougwg wrote:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Seems simple enough to me.

    I think it's unconstitutional of them to limit public comments.
    Except for the fact that its not congress limiting free speach its the county of Monroe.
    The county board is "A Congress". It's a local congress.

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    the five minute rule allows EVERYONE to have a voice, rather than having a single person blab on and on for hours. If you had something to say at a meeting, but didn't get the opportunity because the people ahead of you chose to talk into the evening/early morning hours i think you would be dissatisfied.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    Many municipalities adopt an imposed limit on citizen communications during meetings. Not only can citizen communications be limited (often to 5 minutes), but the NUMBER of citizens communicating the same issue can be limited (often 3 to 5 total). I'm familiar with these limitations, as I've attempted (what I call) "filibusters" on certain subjects... organizing several people to speak about one topic; each of us delivering a 5-minute section. They usually shut you down after the third speaker, or once they realize that everyone speaking is discussing the same topic.

    The name of the act escapes me at the moment, but it is currently legal in most jurisdictions. If memory serves, it has something to do with the forum... in that a meeting is to conduct municipal business and not to be used as a political or personal soapbox. You can speak outside of the venue until your heart's content, but it's not permissible to hijack a municipal meeting to pursue an agenda. That's the nuts and bolts of it, as I understand it.

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    If you really feel strongly about a topic it is better to work to have it added to the agenda than to rant in a meeting... I would know I chair a planning commission... I have had to have people removed by the police when they kept speaking over me or other members who were trying to conduct business... NOTE they were ranting about stuff we have no control over and that we can do nothing about! In most cases they were allowed to return if they ceased disrupting the meeting.

    I have never imposed a time limit on topical comments or discussion of issues that the planning commission can address. I do however sometimes ask them to be present at the next meeting and add their issue to the agenda... as time is limited and I do not want to be their until midnight... and then have to go to work at 5:45 am...
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    autosurgeon wrote:
    If you really feel strongly about a topic it is better to work to have it added to the agenda than to rant in a meeting... I would know I chair a planning commission... I have had to have people removed by the police when they kept speaking over me or other members who were trying to conduct business... NOTE they were ranting about stuff we have no control over and that we can do nothing about! In most cases they were allowed to return if they ceased disrupting the meeting.

    I have never imposed a time limit on topical comments or discussion of issues that the planning commission can address. I do however sometimes ask them to be present at the next meeting and add their issue to the agenda... as time is limited and I do not want to be their until midnight... and then have to go to work at 5:45 am...
    Well enough said. Bottom line is that there is a time and place for things. I'm guilty of pursuing issues in the wrong forum on occasion... we all do it. But at the end of the day, if you want to be taken seriously, you must choose the proper media, as well as FORUM, to deliver your message.

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    the500kid wrote:
    dougwg wrote:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Seems simple enough to me.

    I think it's unconstitutional of them to limit public comments.
    Except for the fact that its not congress limiting free speach its the county of Monroe.
    Try to remember that the first amendment has already been incorporated. That means that it applies to all State, County, and local governing bodies. This means that the word "Congress" can be interchanged with "State Legislature" or "Town Council". So "The City Council shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    The second amendment is currently in the courts working for the same treatment.

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    Veritas wrote:
    Many municipalities adopt an imposed limit on citizen communications during meetings. Not only can citizen communications be limited (often to 5 minutes), but the NUMBER of citizens communicating the same issue can be limited (often 3 to 5 total). I'm familiar with these limitations, as I've attempted (what I call) "filibusters" on certain subjects... organizing several people to speak about one topic; each of us delivering a 5-minute section. They usually shut you down after the third speaker, or once they realize that everyone speaking is discussing the same topic.

    The name of the act escapes me at the moment, but it is currently legal in most jurisdictions. If memory serves, it has something to do with the forum... in that a meeting is to conduct municipal business and not to be used as a political or personal soapbox. You can speak outside of the venue until your heart's content, but it's not permissible to hijack a municipal meeting to pursue an agenda. That's the nuts and bolts of it, as I understand it.
    Time limits is not Bad .You have got to be pulling our leg on allowing the limiting of speakers or the topic [ citizens ] time .Parse or chastise ! ? Now once a time limit is in place ,if not enforced at all times it is non enforceable rest of year . Plus Must be Passed at organizational meeting by 4/5 of all members .What is next Dress Code ?

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    taxwhat wrote:
    Time limits is not Bad .You have got to be pulling our leg on allowing the limiting of speakers or the topic [ citizens] time .Parse or chastise ! ? Now once a time limit is in place ,if not enforced at all times it is non enforceable rest of year . Plus Must be Passed at organizational meeting by 4/5 of all members .What is next Dress Code ?
    Not pulling any legs, I assure you.

    As for dress code, I've heard it discussed, but never legally enforced. One subject that has come up a handful of times is the wearing of hats. Some local municipalities ask that speakers remove their headgear when approaching a podium. I don't believe they have the power to enforce it, though.

    I, personally, haven't had any grievances to address with any councils recently... so I have not yet tested the open carry waters in that forum. But if an issue arises, I would show up to the podium in the same manner that I ordinarily carry myself... armed.

    Another thing I've noticed, more on the local (city) level, is the act of hosting a prayer before the meeting. Out of respect for those who choose to participate, I stand. I don't bow my head nor close my eyes... but I do stand. I'm reconsidering that practice, however. Not to be a jerk... but just to make a statement to anyone who cares to notice. The statement being that not everyone in the chambers believes what they believe, in regards to religion, and that I shouldn't have to play along just to avoid offending some folks. Personally, I am not offended by folks who wish to gather in prayer... I have no issue with it. But in the same vein, folks should have no issue with me peacefully, and quietly, choosing not to participate.

    And just once... for ***** and gigs, I'd love to see a citizen of a differing (i.e. non-Christian or Catholic) faith request that their respective religion be represented in prayer prior to the start of city business. I'd love to see a Moslem or a Jew deliver a prayer and watch as folks in the chambers squirm to get through it. Only then might they (Christians/Catholics) truly understand how the proliferation of their religious ceremonies make the rest of us feel.

    I'm not a Scientologist (I don't claim any faith, to be frank), but I know enough about the faith to stumble through a "prayer". Perhaps I should try it once? Haha

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    To Allow any Time Limit on TOTAL time by the People is Unacceptable !

  18. #18
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    Veritas wrote:
    And just once... for @#$%s and gigs, I'd love to see a citizen of a differing (i.e. non-Christian or Catholic) faith request that their respective religion be represented in prayer prior to the start of city business. I'd love to see a Moslem or a Jew deliver a prayer and watch as folks in the chambers squirm to get through it. Only then might they (Christians/Catholics) truly understand how the proliferation of their religious ceremonies make the rest of us feel.
    I agree with sitting down during a prayer, if one doesn't believe in god. But most municipalities say a generic pray asking God for help, etc. At least ours doesn't mention Jesus or Allah, or a particular God, just a good old generic God. Somost traditional faith would be included in the prayer.


    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Venator wrote:
    Veritas wrote:
    And just once... for @#$%s and gigs, I'd love to see a citizen of a differing (i.e. non-Christian or Catholic) faith request that their respective religion be represented in prayer prior to the start of city business. I'd love to see a Moslem or a Jew deliver a prayer and watch as folks in the chambers squirm to get through it. Only then might they (Christians/Catholics) truly understand how the proliferation of their religious ceremonies make the rest of us feel.
    I agree with sitting down during a prayer, if one doesn't believe in god. But most municipalities say a generic pray asking God for help, etc. At least ours doesn't mention Jesus or Allah, or a particular God, just a good old generic God. Somost traditional faith would be included in the prayer.

    The ones I have seen have been hosted by Catholic Priests or Christian Pastors and include references to both God and Jesus.

    I believe in the right to host prayer before a meeting, even government meetings. But I also believe that if one religion is going to be represented, then anyone requesting representation from a different religion should also be appeased. If there comes a point where too many religions are eating up time, then it may be best to simply skip the prayer and get right down to business.

  20. #20
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Veritas wrote:
    Venator wrote:
    Veritas wrote:
    And just once... for @#$%s and gigs, I'd love to see a citizen of a differing (i.e. non-Christian or Catholic) faith request that their respective religion be represented in prayer prior to the start of city business. I'd love to see a Moslem or a Jew deliver a prayer and watch as folks in the chambers squirm to get through it. Only then might they (Christians/Catholics) truly understand how the proliferation of their religious ceremonies make the rest of us feel.
    I agree with sitting down during a prayer, if one doesn't believe in god. But most municipalities say a generic pray asking God for help, etc. At least ours doesn't mention Jesus or Allah, or a particular God, just a good old generic God. Somost traditional faith would be included in the prayer.

    The ones I have seen have been hosted by Catholic Priests or Christian Pastors and include references to both God and Jesus.

    I believe in the right to host prayer before a meeting, even government meetings. But I also believe that if one religion is going to be represented, then anyone requesting representation from a different religion should also be appeased. If there comes a point where too many religions are eating up time, then it may be best to simply skip the prayer and get right down to business.
    I agree, one generic god or none at all.
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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