Letting the Public Speak Is Important
There have to be rules governing how local government meetings are held. Allowing verbal free-for-alls serves no one.
But East Liverpool City Council members ought to rethink one of their restrictions. A news report the other day noted that a building contractor, who wanted to complain about receiving a citation for not having a municipal contractor’s license, was told he could not address council.
It seems council members have a rule that only East Liverpool residents and people with businesses inside the city can address them.
Obviously, there needs to be some flexibility in the rule. The contractor in question appears to have had a legitimate reason for wanting to speak.
From time to time, municipal councils, county commissions, school boards and other public bodies in our area discuss ways of ensuring meetings are held in an orderly fashion. East Liverpool provides an example of a restriction that should not be considered.