Citizens get less time to speak before Beach commission

SPECIAL OFFER FOR HISTORIC CITY NEWS READERS

Under Old Business at this morning’s meeting of the St Augustine Beach City Commission, held at City Hall on Saturday, January 6th, at 9: 00 a.m., Historic City News learned some disturbing news for those who will come before the commission in the future.

In the first Resolution before the commission this year, City Manager Max Royle presented Resolution 18-01 to amend the City Commission’ s Policies and Procedures Manual by updating policies in the Agenda Format and Commission Meetings sections. In it, the commissioners considered whether to limit public comments from three-minutes per speaker to two-minutes.

The City’s newly seated Mayor, Undine George, voted against limiting public comment; typically allowed before agenda items are discussed by the legislative and policy-making body of the City. Also, Commissioner Maggie Kostka voted against further limitation of public comments.

However, in a split decision, Commissioners Margaret England, Rich O’Brien and Don Samora voted 3-2 for the Resolution, limiting, by policy, the length of time members of the public can voice their observations and opinions concerning business brought before the commission.

Both other local government boards, the St Johns County Board of County Commissioners and the St Augustine City Commission allow up to three-minutes for each public speaker.

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