Council Adopts Decorum Rules For Public Comment Sessions

Council Adopts Decorum Rules For Public Comment Sessions

The Goldsboro City Council approves new decorum for its public comment sessions.

At the last April meeting, the council approved returning to holding a public comment period at each of the council’s two regular monthly meetings.

Speakers will be limited to three minutes each and the entire public comment session is not to exceed 30 minutes.

At Monday’s meeting, Councilwoman Hiawatha Jones presented several ideas for the manner of speaking during the public comment sessions.

Jones’ suggestions included ensuring speakers refrain from personal attacks or threats against the city council, staff, mayor, and members of the public.

Speakers would also need to be civil and courteous in their language and presentation at all times.

Councilwoman Brandi Matthews worried some of the measures could be too restrictive including the idea of having speakers sign up before the public comment sessions.

Matthews also says attacks against council members can be a matter of perspective and residents should be allowed to tell the city if they disagree with a decision.

The council decided to eliminate Jones’ proposal for making residents sign up to speak during the public comment session.

The council will also be able to extend public comment sessions beyond 30 minutes if so it chooses.

The Goldsboro City Council then voted unanimously to adopt the new decorum rules for its public comment periods.