(Every public entity allows Public Comment)…Sometimes, however, public comment can get out of hand.
That is the reasoning used this week by the Imperial Irrigation District Board. They agreed to revise their public comment rules. Under the new rules, individual public comments cannot not exceed 3 minutes. The total public comment period will be no longer than 20 minutes. Signage is allowed at the speaker’s podium, but not anywhere else in the meeting room. Speakers can no longer make profane, slanderous, impertinent or personal comments. If they do, the speaker can be removed from the room. The new rules give the Board President the authority to clear the entire room, if he or she feels it is necessary. Director James Hanks cautioned the rest of the Board to proceed with the new rules with care not to cross the line into censorship. He said every member of the public has the right to speak his or her mind. Director Norma Galindo voted against the new rules, saying she had a problem putting more and more restrictions on things that shouldn’t be.