Search the Archive:

Back to the Table of Contents Page

Back to the Voice Home Page


Publication Date: Friday, March 09, 2001

Ambra seeks to get public comment in earlier Ambra seeks to get public comment in earlier (March 09, 2001)

By Justin Scheck

An effort by Mayor Mario Ambra to move the open speaking time for residents to an earlier stage in council meetings was voted down by the council Tuesday.

The public comments portion of the meeting is currently at the end of the session.

Ambra said he wanted to allow residents speaking on non-agendized items to come before the council near the beginning of the meeting, because he sees community members waiting for over three hours to comment for three minutes.

"How would you like being there until 10:30 at night, waiting to address the council on something?" Ambra asked last week.

Ambra said that allowing public comment earlier in the meeting is part of an effort to get the council to be more accessible to community members. He said also that he has concerns about responsiveness on the part of city staff.

"If a tree needs to be trimmed, if the sewer needs to be backed up, they need to be responsive," Ambra said last week.

But Council member Rosemary Stasek, who voted against the measure, said that when similar measures have been offered in the past they have failed, owing to the fact that if the public comment period for non-agendized items occurred earlier, those waiting to speak on agendized items would have to wait.

"I'm inclined to hear the people who are there speaking on agenda items first and to take them in order of the agenda," Stasek said.

Ambra said that while he wants to continue to address issues of accessibility, he did not know what other issues the procedures committee, of which he and Council members Matt Pear and Ralph Faravelli are the members, would discuss in the near future.

"I haven't sat down and looked at what I want to look at in the future," said Ambra. 


Copyright © 2001 Embarcadero Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Reproduction or online links to anything other than the home page
without permission is strictly prohibited.