MUCH WAS MADE BY SPENCER LOFTON AT LAST NIGHT’S MEETING ON THIS ORDINANCE/RESOLUTION. AS LONG AS YOU ARE WILLING TO BE EJECTED FROM THE MEETING THE RESOLUTION IS AS WORTHLESS AS THE PAPER IT IS PRINTED ON. THERE IS NO CLEAR PATH OF ENFORCEMENT. BESIDES CITIZENS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OBEY TOWN RESOUTIONS IF THE TOWN DOESN’T KEEP ALL OF ITS RESOLUTIONS OR ORDINANCES. ENTER RESOLUTION ORDINANCE 98-01 which is the zoning code. For 20 years I have been trying to get the Council to enforce this Ordinance to no avail. Joe McKire said in 2002 that it takes time to enforce the ordinances. 20 years is long enough. Further the resolution can’t be enforced if the citizens didn’t have the opportunity to object or to voice an opinion on the resolution, which we weren’t allowed to do.
What this means is that citizens can now ask questions of the Council and individual members of the Council according to Florida Supreme Court ruling Neu v. Miami Herald Publishing Company. Spencer will rue the day that he introduced and then got passed this resolution. I don’t know what he was thinking. It couldn’t have been for the Citizens could it?
Afraid of being sued Spencer and Walter? Just throw me out of one council meeting for voicing my opinion of the Corruption that is the town council and you will know what a Civil Rights suit is all about. Here is Section 6 of the Resolution
SECTION 6 Public Input Standards
The following standards and procedures shall apply to public input at Town public hearings, meetings and workshops upon request, and the Town Council may require these standards and procedures to be posted or otherwise displayed during public hearings, meetings and workshops:
(1) Citizens from the Floor for Items not on the Agenda:
Individuals may address the Town Council on issues not on the Council’s agenda during the time allotted on the agenda for Citizens from the Floor. Such public participation and/or comment shall be limited to local Town of White Springs issues and matters or of concern to its citizens.
(2) Presentations and Comments on Town Council Agenda Items;
Individuals who wish to address the Town Council on agenda items where public presentations are permitted shall address the Town Council after Town staff and applicant input, if any, and prior to the Town Council deliberation of the Town Council Agenda item. Individuals shall not address the Town Council after commencement of Town Council deliberation on an agenda item after public input has concluded; however, the Mayor and members of the Town Council have the discretion to recall individuals to provide additional information or to answer questions.
(3) Time Limitations:
Members of the public shall be allowed five (5) minutes for comment during citizens from the floor for any issue not on the Town Council agenda. Members of the public shall be allowed five (5) minutes for any comment on any item that is listed on the Town Council meeting and workshop agendas.
(4) Submission of Written Statements and Other Documentation:
The Town Council encourages the submission of written statements and other documentation in lieu of or in addition to oral testimony or comment.
(5) Standards and Decorum for Public Hearings and Workshops:
(a) Town Council to be addressed as a Whole.
All remarks, comments, presentations, and the like shall be addressed to the Town Council as a whole unless the individual is answering a question of a specific member of the Town Council or Town staff. All communication from the audience must be made at the podium, after being recognized by the Chair.
(b) Personal Attacks and Insults.
The Town Council and Town staff encourages constructive criticism. Notwithstanding, the preceding, all personal attacks shall be prohibited. this prohibition applies to the members of the Town Council, Town Staff, Citizens of the Town and members of the audience. The Chair shall determine whether the purported constructive criticism actually constitutes inappropriate personal attacks based upon whether or not the comment(s) in question reasonably relate to the performance and qualifications of the target of such criticism or are comments that have no bearing on performance and qualifications and serve no purpose other than to insult, belittle, or denigrate the target of such criticism. The Chair’s decision may be appealed by members of the Council to the Council.
(c) Disruptions and Decorum:
All speakers, Town Council members, members of the public, and anyone in attendance at Town Council meetings are requested to afford the utmost courtesy to members of the Town Council, Town Staff, other members of the public appearing before the Council and members of the audience, and shall refrain at all times from rude or derogatory remarks, disruptions, reflections as to integrity, slander, abusive comments, profanity, vulgarities, and statements as to personalities. There shall be no vulgar language, threats, fighting words, statements or other statements or actions that encourage or incite people to break the law or disrupt the public meeting such as that the orderly and proper business of the public is unduly delayed or otherwise compromised during Town Council meetings.. Audience Members do not speak out and cause disruptions. Members of the Public may make comments at the podium as provided for in this resolution. The Chair and Town Council have the right to find a violation of this subsection in the event a person’s conduct or speech is, by way of example, and not limitation, duplicative, irrelevant, redundant, constitutes a display of abusive behavior, or is otherwise causing a substantial disruption.
(d) Warnings and Removal
In the discretion of the Chair and Town Council, any violation of the provisions of this Resolution may result in the issuance of verbal warnings relating to any disruptions, curtailing of the speaker’s comments or presentation, or removal from the public meeting. The Chair shall issue a verbal warning to any person determined to be in violation of the provisions of this Resolution. Following the issuance of an initial verbal warning, the Chair may, in the Chair’s discretion, issue further verbal warnings, curtail or otherwise conclude a speaker’s comments or presentation, or remove such person or persons in the event additional violations of the provisions of this Resolution occur. In the event a presentation, testimony or comment period is curtailed in accordance with this subsection, the Chair may accept and encourages submission of written statements or other documentation to afford ample, alternative channels for the speaker to have an opportunity to convey his or her message, testimony, or viewpoint to the Town Council. The Chair’s decision may be appealed by members of the Council to the Council.