St. George Mayor Responds To Public Criticism Of Comment Ban
Many citizens in St. George are incensed with Mayor Michele Randall's decision to eliminate the public comment portion of city council meetings.
Randall issued this statement today, leading up to some crucial budget meetings:
Since 2014, the Mayor and members of the Council have enjoyed having the opportunity to hear public input from citizens at one meeting each month on matters of City business. Opportunities for public input are not required by law at any Council meeting but can be allowed by the Mayor. Recently, however, the public input has devolved into statements unrelated to City business and at times, has disrupted the regular conduct of the City’s meetings and business. As a result, as Mayor, I put a “pause” on public input at City Council meetings in order to create more efficiency in accomplishing the City’s business.
As we enter into the budget approval season in the next few weeks, it is crucial to be able to devote as much time as possible to that process. There will be a public hearing specifically on the budget prior to adoption in June. It should be noted that public hearings required by law are very different from public input. Public hearings are conducted under the rules set forth in Utah law and comments must relate to the specific application or issue under consideration.
Beginning July 6, 2023, I will be placing public input on the City Council agenda, however, going forward these comments will be limited in nature and subject to the following rules:
1. Those wishing to provide public input must reside within the City of St. George, providing their name and address to the City Recorder prior to commenting. Public input shall not be allowed on any agenda item or pending land use application.
2. All public input should relate to City business, be respectful with no obscene or profane language used, nor contain attacks on any individuals.
3. There will be time to hear from up to ten (10) persons with a limit of two (2) minutes per person. The Council may not respond to comments or questions but will take the comments under consideration for possible discussion at another time. If there are more than 10 persons wishing to give public input, they will be selected by random draw.
4. In order to provide an opportunity for a broader scope of residents to give public input, any person selected to provide input at a meeting will not be able to provide public input again for three (3) months (once per quarter), but written comments may be submitted any time (see Rule 6 below).
5. Members of the public who disrupt the meeting with undue applause, jeering, uninvited comments, or other protests will be asked to leave the Council Chambers but may view the meeting from the lobby or other location.
6. Written comments will continue to be accepted at any time by residents of the City by either hand delivery or mailed to the City Recorder at 175 E. 200 N., St. George Utah 84770 or via the City’s Website at or email at email@example.com
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