WF City Council Cutting Public Comment Time Due to "Negative Comments"

Also during the city council meeting, the public comment portion itself was up for discussion. Public comment allows tax payers the chance to speak in front of the councilors and the public to voice their opinions or concerns.

Since the last city council meeting, the public comment rules have changed. Before, public comments occurred soon after the meeting began at 8:30. Now it is held after all of the agenda items are discussed at the end of the meeting.
The comment time was also reduced from five to three minutes.

"We had so many negative public comments a lot of the time that is reserved for the public to come in with an issue and it started being used as a time for somebody to vent and once we started having people coming up there asking for resignations and pointing people out we had to start establishing a rule for those comments. If you're able to get those situations handled outside of council chambers sometimes they just want to use it as a public forum because they know that they can get on the air like seeing themselves on Youtube. They like seeing the replays on channel 11," Stephen Santellana, Wichita Falls Mayor.

While one citizen today spoke out saying they felt the council was limiting their freedom of speech.

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