Council Resumes Twice-A-Month Public Comment Sessions

Council Resumes Twice-A-Month Public Comment Sessions

Goldsboro residents will have more opportunity to speak their mind before their elected representatives.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent gathering restrictions hit last year, the Goldsboro City Council moved to limit its traditional public comment periods to just one meeting per month.

At the council’s last meeting, Councilwoman Hiawatha Jones said that she’s watched plenty of city council meetings, and she didn’t always find the public comment session “effective.”

She says children may be amongst the audience watching the council meetings, and its not appropriate to allow public speakers to disrespect others or use foul language.

Jones says the council needs to demand a certain type of order during the public comment sessions.

Councilwoman Brandi Matthews worried that limiting the public comment session could become “discriminatory,” noting that residents have the right to praise or criticize city leaders.

Matthews suggested going back to twice a month and ensure the council follows the policy of stopping public speakers that do not follow proper decorum.

The Goldsboro City Council voted 4 – 2 and approved holding a public comment session at each of the council’s two regular monthly meetings.

Speakers will be limited to three minutes and the entire public comment session will last no longer than 30 minutes.