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  • Writer's pictureJohanna Rasmussen

Do You Ever Feel Like Our City Council Isn't Listening to Residents?

Well, wonder no more!

Tomorrow night, they will be voting to limit the amount of time they have to listen to us!

Item 6J on tomorrow night's *Consent Calendar proposes reducing the amount of time residents will be allowed to speak at Council Meetings.

Currently, residents are allowed to speak for 3 minutes during Public Comment for each item on the agenda. The new proposal will reduce this time to 2 minutes.

15 out of 19 cities in San Mateo County have time limits of at least 3 minutes.

Portola Valley says it best: "Public comment at open meetings of Council is a cherished element of local government and a critical component of the decision-making process."

If you would like to hear what your neighbors have to say and believe our elected representatives should care what their constituents have to say,

I urge you to e-mail City Council right now at

and tell them to take this item off of the Consent Calendar and to vote NO on this outrageous proposal.

*Consent Calendar- The Consent Calendar is made up of items that are grouped together, to be voted on all at once. Typically, these items are limited to "ordinary course of city business" type stuff. Consent Calander items don't get the time or attention regular agenda items do, and the vast majority of residents only learn about these items after they have been approved.

Some of you may be asking, Where did this Proposal originate?

It appears to have originated from the City Council Governance Sub-Committee.

Who serves on the City Council Governance Sub-Governance Committee?

Mayor Diane Howard, Vice Mayor Giselle Hale, & Councilmember Diana Reddy

The City Council Governance Governance Sub-Committee met on April 27, 2021.

Item 2 on this Agenda was: Consider modifications to City Council meetings, including public comment and meeting start time.

The Minutes from this Governance Sub-Committee Meeting tell an intriguing story.

The Committee discussed this item. Motion and second, Reddy/Howard, to make the following three recommendations to the full City Council:

(1) Adjust the start time of regular City Council meetings from 7 pm to 6 pm for the remainder of 2021 with the option to reevaluate the effectiveness of the earlier start time in six months

2) Reduce public comment from 3 minutes to 2 minutes

(3) During Study Session meetings, hold public comment after Council discussion of the item, as no formal action will be taken on the item during the meeting.

The motion passes (2-0); Vice Mayor Hale left the meeting at 5:00 pm before the vote.

ADJOURNMENT - The meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.

Vice Mayor Giselle Hale left the meeting 5 minutes before it ended, allowing her to conveniently skip what was certain to be a very controversial vote.

The complete April 27, 2021, City Council Governance Sub-Committee Meeting Agenda and Minutes can be read below.

Download PDF • 1.14MB

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