Amending Administration Code Public Participation

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Drafted byCity Clerk
Sponsored by/Referred byCity Council
Introduced onJanuary 11, 2016
Advertised onJanuary 18, 2016


BILL No. 2 - 2016

AN ORDINANCE


AMENDING §5-209 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION


Whereas the City of Reading Council hereby ordains as follows


Section 1. Amending §5-209 of the Administrative Code, Public Participation as follows:


§5-209. Public Participation.

These rules are intended to promote an orderly system of public comment, to give every person an opportunity to be heard, and to ensure that no individual is embarrassed by exercising his right of free speech. Public comment is permitted at the regular meetings of Council which occur on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Public comment is not permitted at the City Council work sessions, committee meetings or Committee of the Whole meetings.


  1. Regular Meetings. Citizens desiring to address the Council at its regular meetings may do so by providing notice verbally or in writing by providing their name, address and the subject matter to be discussed to the City Clerk any time before 5 pm on the day of the scheduled meeting or by printing their name, address and the subject matter to be discussed on a sign-up sheet found on the podium in Council Chambers between 5pm and 7 pm on the day of the scheduled meeting.


  2. Special Meetings. Citizens desiring to address the Council at its special meeting may do so by providing notice verbally orin writing by providing their name, address and the subject matter to be discussed to the City Clerk any time before 5 pm on the day of the scheduled meeting or by printing their name, address and the subject matter to be discussed on a sign-up sheet found on the podium in Council Chambers before the Special Meeting is called to order between 5 pm and 7 pm on the day of the scheduled meeting.


  3. All remarks must be directed to Council as a body and not to any Council member or public or elected official in attendance. Any person making personally offensive or impertinent remarks or who shall become unruly while addressing Council may be called to order by the Presiding Officer, and may be barred from speaking before Council, unless permission to continue speaking is granted by a majority vote of Council.


  4. Any person making personally offensive or impertinent remarks or who shall become unruly while addressing the Council may be called to order by the Presiding Officer, and may be barred from speaking before the Council unless permission to continue to speak is granted by a majority vote of the Council.


  5. All comments by the public shall be made from the speaker's podium. No comments shall be made from any other location except the podium, and anyone making "out of order" comments may be subject to removal. There will be no demonstration at the conclusion of anyone's presentation.


  6. Citizens may not ask questions of Council member or other elected or public official in attendance. However, Council members, elected or public officials may make a statement in response to comments made by citizens at the conclusion of the public comment period.


  7. Public Hearings. Citizens desiring to address the Council at its public hearing may do so by providing notice verbally orin writing by providing their name, address and the subject matter to be discussed to the City Clerk any time before 5 pm on the day of the schedule dhearing. Any person who fails to sign in with the City Clerk shall not be permitted to speak until all those who signed in have done so. Those testifying must limit their comments to 3 minutes. No person who has previously spoken during the public hearing on a particular item may speak again unless all other persons desiring to give testimony at the public hearing have spoken. A person speaking for a second time shall limit his comments to not more than 1 minute.



Section 2. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after it adoption, in accordance with Sections 219 & 221 of the City of Reading Home Rule Charter.