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In Coupeville, time’s up in 5 minutes

Town Council sticks to limit

Have something to say? Then you’d better take five minutes or less to express yourself.

That’s a message the Coupeville Town Council sent when members rejected a proposal to increase the public comment time from five minutes to 10 minutes.

Councilwoman Ann Dannhauer introduced the proposal during the council’s Tuesday evening, saying some people in the community presenting information don’t finish in the five minutes currently allotted during the public comment portion of meetings.

However, the other council members weren’t keen on the idea of doubling the time people have to speak.

“I’ve been quite comfortable with the way we’ve been handling it,” Councilman Jim Phay said.

Councilwoman Molly Hughes noted that audience members often interject comments throughout the meetings and don’t confine themselves to the official public comment period.

Hughes said that people with a lot to say would get more of the council’s attention by submitting their comments in writing.

Phay suggested people wishing for extra time call ahead to be placed on the agenda.

By comparison, people are limited to three minutes during the public input period in the beginning of the Oak Harbor City Council meetings.

In addition to extending the comment time, Dannhauer wanted to allow the use of overhead projectors for the public. However, other members were against that, in part because the information on the projectors is often too small to read.

“I’m not really interested in using an overhead projector during audience input,” Hughes said.

In the end, Dannhauer’s proposal failed 3 to 1. Hughes, Binder and Phay rejected the proposal while Dannhauer voted for it. Council member Bob Clay didn’t attend the meeting.

Town Council sticks to limit

Have something to say? Then you’d better take five minutes or less to express yourself.

That’s a message the Coupeville Town Council sent when members rejected a proposal to increase the public comment time from five minutes to 10 minutes.

Councilwoman Ann Dannhauer introduced the proposal during the council’s Tuesday evening, saying some people in the community presenting information don’t finish in the five minutes currently allotted during the public comment portion of meetings.

However, the other council members weren’t keen on the idea of doubling the time people have to speak.

“I’ve been quite comfortable with the way we’ve been handling it,” Councilman Jim Phay said.

Councilwoman Molly Hughes noted that audience members often interject comments throughout the meetings and don’t confine themselves to the official public comment period.

Hughes said that people with a lot to say would get more of the council’s attention by submitting their comments in writing.

Phay suggested people wishing for extra time call ahead to be placed on the agenda.

By comparison, people are limited to three minutes during the public input period in the beginning of the Oak Harbor City Council meetings.

In addition to extending the comment time, Dannhauer wanted to allow the use of overhead projectors for the public. However, other members were against that, in part because the information on the projectors is often too small to read.

“I’m not really interested in using an overhead projector during audience input,” Hughes said.

In the end, Dannhauer’s proposal failed 3 to 1. Hughes, Binder and Phay rejected the proposal while Dannhauer voted for it. Council member Bob Clay didn’t attend the meeting.

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