Lake City News
Lake City’s Rules of Procedure: Racist? Dictatorial? Fair? – It’s Back to the Drawing Board (Part II)
Posted July 2, 2019 09:15 pm
LAKE CITY, FL – Last night in City Hall it wasn’t only the City’s Rules of Procedure that were being questioned, it was the process itself.
City Rules of Procedure:
Monday afternoon, former City Council candidate Vanessa George put out a call to arms urging folks to show up in City Hall. She wrote: “Hey guys, it is imperative that as many people show up tonight to the city council meeting at 6. They have put on the agenda restrictions and time regulations to public comments. Please show your support against this with your presence.”
Monday Evening at the City Council
Mayor Witt gaveled the meeting to order at 6:06 pm.
After the pledge and the prayer, Mayor Witt opened the first public hearing, which was enacting an ordinance, which among other things necessitated the City to replace the City’s Rules of Procedure [Darby’s rules] with new ones.
Glenel Bowden: the first speaker.
Mr. Bowden criticized the short amount of time the material was available for public inspection before the meeting. He said, “The ordinance is detailed and is very long.”
Mr. Bowden also commented about the length of the complete agenda, “I get it on Friday. You get it on Friday. There is no way you could have read the whole thing… I’ll be hard pressed to believe that you took the time to read this entire agenda package and digest it all to the point that you can make a critical decision.”
Mr. Bowden continued, saying he thought the time restrictions were aimed at the comments of specific speakers, specifically Sylvester Warren and possibly himself. “I think it’s personally motivated and it may have a racial overtone,” he said.
He continued, “The restriction of time is motivated by you (Mayor Witt) and Ms. Moses (Councilwoman Melinda Moses). I want to let you know I believe you are doin’ it for the wrong reason.”
The Council’s new proposed rules, if implemented, would give speakers a total of three minutes to address the complete agenda, other that public hearings, which are controlled by Florida statute.
Mr. Bowden concluded that the evening’s agenda was “over a hundred pages of ordinances, resolutions, letters and that kind of stuff… I think three minutes is too short of a time.”