8/03/2007

3-Minute Rule

I can't find it online, but the Tribune is reporting that the City will reconsider the 3-minute rule for public comment at City Commission meetings. Apparently they intend to increase it to 5 minutes.

" If the five-minute rule passes, there will be no time extensions," according to Mayor Stebbins.

(LK, I took the liberty of moving your comment.)

UPDATE: I was wrong. It is online.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! I see that the city council is going to vote on extending the three minute rule to five. A good start. Now, might I be so impertinent and off point to suggest one more teesny tiny little vote? ON THE FREAKIN' COAL PLANT! BY THE PUBLIC! You see, I was thinkin' that NOW that they're interested in what the public is saying, why not a REAL vote that counts?! Or would that be just a wee bit TOO representative?, as in representative government! You know, of the people etc., not of, by, and for jonny no vote! (was that particularly vulgar? Anon, help me out here. I'm haven't had my coffee yet so I might still be a bit irascible.)

LK

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, our City Commission might step back and stop viewing every citizen comment with distrust and suspicion? Maybe there is something to be learned from the discontent of those you govern?

Keep an open mind. Why would our Mayor say "there will be no extension?" What if someone has a really good idea, or is making really good points? Why do our elected officials not want to hear these things?

Anonymous said...

Look, I tease the city council a lot, but I really do admire all of them including the mayor. Because, let's face it, they are all good, caring, civic-minded people. But the point you make is extremely importatnt. I like to say that if you don't rule with the consent of the governed, you will rule with the contempt of the governed. And by that I mean you really must listen to what people are saying. For example, I talk to many, many people about the coal plant. I have yet to find ANY support for it among the people of GF. So, why then is it full steam ahead with this project? This is a mystery to me. There is a real disconnect somewhere. And I attribute it to the inability of the public to be heard on this issue. The public is out there, ready, willing, and informed about the issue, but there's no public forum for the debate. (or vote) So, I welcome the extension. It's a start. Now, if the commission will start actually listening to what the people are saying, and NOT just to one unelected, unaccountable, soon-to-be-retired-and-probably-working-for-SME-or-some-such individual!


LK

GeeGuy said...

Larry, if you comment like that I don't know how anyone can have a complaint.

Anonymous said...

RE: there will be no time extensions

Can a person go to the end of the line and begin again with another 5 min?

Anonymous said...

Are they going to allow the public to comment on the three minute rule change and if so how many minutes do they get?

That extra two minutes x 5 or so speakers is going to cut into Miller time. Oh the horror of it, the rubber stamp is going to get cold waiting so long.

TL

Anonymous said...

Prohibited Language??? Is this commission 'wise' enough to know? And to denigrate any citizen - including Mr. Hubbard - is another example of their contempt..........will HSCC, coal, become forbidden words in the citizenry?

Anonymous said...

Why when the mayor or commission speaks about or to the public do I feel as if they are addressing us as kindergartners?

No, no and more no!

There will be no extension!
No discussion!
No vote!
No backtalk!

Because we said so, that's why!

Anonymous said...

The history of current politics in GF

Too little, too late

WolfPack said...

Up is down, sideways is straight ahead and LK is the most thoughtful poster in this thread. What is going on here?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Wolfpup, everybody has their off days!


LK

Concerned Citizen said...

Will the Police Chiefs untrained plain clothes officers still be hidden in the waiting to pounce when Donna screams "Remove him or her "after five minutes plus x-seconds?

Anonymous said...

Nice try from a desperate politician looking to stay in office. The mayor lost me with her two comments.

Stebbins said this week that she still believes people should be able to get their points across in three minutes, but she is willing to go along with a five-minute limit.

If the five-minute rule passes, there will be no time extensions, Stebbins said.

FYI madam mayor, when you say you're sorry, STOP right there and take a long pause. Don't say "I'm sorry, BUT ....."

You almost had my confidence in you up, But.

mary jolley said...

I think that the city should pass a different 5 Minute Rule.

Ord."Before every vote of the commissioners there shall be at least 5 minutes of public discussion by the mayor and the other four elected officials."
This will cut way down on the necessity of public comment. If we just knew what or if they were thinking before voting then -public remarks or attempts to clue them in would be cut way down.
Next they will be voting to outlaw snickering.

Anonymous said...

I REST MY CASE! (do you guys really say that, Gee Guy?) The council now rules with the contempt of the governed as evidenced by the posts above. And that's too bad. And snickering?? Good grief. What's next, flatulence?? You see, I'm as breezy as the next fella! And I've read that's it's not healthy to try to restrain them!

LK

Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing. The Commission race is nothing more than a referendum on the power plant as will will be County Commission race next year. The power plant will never be built and a few smug, shrill people in the community will think they won. Cascade County will continue to fall behind in population and opportuntity. The loss of the missiles in the Conrad field and the 500 jobs at the Base are only the beginning of the ulitmate closure of MAFB. Great Falls is destined to be another ghost town on the Plains.

Ed Mcknight said...

Another example of pretending to be empathetic while tightening the screws. Anyone could have spoken for 5 minutes or more to start with but now it's 5 minutes and no more. Now that you are guaranteed 5 minutes can you just babel on incoherently for five minutes? This is why I say time is irreverent and the quality of the speaker is relevant. My poor little blog is feeling left out. I've had my 3 minute opinion on for a while with zero comments and G gets 15 in hours. Oh well, he's put in a lot more time and effort than I have.

Anonymous said...

"Much ado about nothing." Really?

"The Commission race is nothing more than a referendum on the power plant" Really?

Another one looking to the government for a handout. 500 jobs? You mean 500 paid by the taxpayers? The base cannot be the source our of economy.

If you are not part of the solution, see ya.

GeeGuy said...

Ditto. I've had it up to here with the unabashed and unrelenting negativity.

Anonymous said...

Let's do SOMETHING, even if it's wrong! That pretty much seems to be the mantra of the pro development crowd. But they've forgotten that economic development must make economic sense. It bears repeating. Economic development must make economic sense. For far too long we in Montana have been simply a resource colony. The robber baron types had their way with us. And you know what? That get's real old. This plant, like NW's proposed gas fired plant before it, does not make economic sense. So why do it?? I remember with the gas plant, GF was promised anywhere for eight to fifteen jobs. Yeah, right! For a measely eight jobs, we got the privilege of a HUGE increase in our electric rates, and we also got the privilige of paying for the damn construction! How in the hell is getting screwed a good deal for GF?? It ain't. This proposed coal plant is much the same, only worse. We get the mercury, particulate matter, dioxon (YES, DIOXIN) etc. coming out of the stack! I mean, let's get real here, shall we? No one wants that plant other than a few shortsighted construction boys. And that's it! I attended the one, the ONLY public meeting held. Of the hundred or so speakers, it was evenly divided pro and con. But nearly absolutely EVERY one of the speaker against the plant was from HERE, GF, or downwind of the plant. All the pros (except for two or three union guys) were ALL from elec companies around the state. (they imported'em to speak) So, hey, it's OK that this a referendum on this damn plant. So be it. There was NO vote allowed, so why not THIS vote? It's called democracy, folks. Look, some of us fought those healpleach gold mines for years because they were horrendous things. They canNOT be cleaned up. EVER! What's left behind is a perpetually festering toxic dead zone. So, eventually, the people of Montana rose up and kicked those greedy bastards out! It was NOT economic development because it costs WAY more in trying to stop their pollution than any money made by the state. (by the way, over the course of the tweny or so year life of the Zortman/Landusky mine, does anyone know how much they paid in taxes? A measely twelve million dollars! That's it! So, they took out BILLIONS in profit, went bankrupt, left WE TAXPAYERS with a cleanup mess that can't be cleaned up! And multiply this by many times, and you can SEE why people are just a wee bit touchy and negative. We're DAMN tired of getting SCREWED in the name of "economic development". So, please pardon our outrage. It would have been cheaper to pay the miners to stay home, and we'd not have a billion dollar clean in the Little Rockies. And this coal plant is simply the latest outrage and boondoggle in a trend. I say, vote'em all out and get people in their that will look out for OUR interests! Ain't nuthin' wrong with public power.


LK

Anonymous said...

Concerned Citizen said...

Will the Police Chiefs untrained plain clothes officers still be hidden in the waiting to pounce when Donna screams "Remove him or her "after five minutes plus x-seconds?

Maybe citizens should plant a ringer in the audience and that person can use their 5 minutes at every meeting demanding to know which people in the room are plain clothes cops.

Anonymous said...

Are we paying overtime for the police to attend city meetings?

Anonymous said...

Gee Guy, I think that the council brought all this negativity on themselves. Inadvertently of course. But they did it. For as I've mentioned before, who the heck really CARED about what the council did before the coal plant issue? (except for mike whitsoe, who I assume gets his MAIL delivered there) But now, the lid is off. I think that all this negativity will bring about some necessary changes. As CC mentions, we need to re-think the police presence at the meetings. That's a good thing. We need increased public participation. That's a good thing. We need people who might be a little more motivated in fostering a more democratic body. That's a good thing. And we need more scrutiny of city government, which is happening. All these are good things. So, yeah, there's some negativity. But is that really a bad thing?

LK

GeeGuy said...

When I mentioned negativity, I was referring to this post:"Great Falls is destined to be another ghost town on the Plains."

Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Before every vote of the commissioners there shall be at least 5 minutes of public discussion by the mayor and the other four elected officials."

Makes sense

Anonymous said...

The current commission has not had 5 minutes of coherent speech between them, over 5 meetings.

Concerned Citizen said...

Anonymous said...
Are we paying overtime for the police to attend city meetings?

I would not be against a regular uniformed officer by the door if the Commissioners feel that threatened. I would like to know if any Commissioner can tell us who and why the plain clothes cops were ordered to be present in the recent past? Come on Ms.Donna Stebbins Mayor here is your chance to step up to the plate with an explantion. I know you visit here often, and I am
identified....JT

Anonymous said...

Prohibited Language.

I see. A NEW form of censorship.

We now have 5 minutes to speak unless we say something that Stebbins/Commissioners A) find profane (Would that be the truth,perhaps?) or B) don't want to hear (Would that be the truth, perhaps?) or C) they are expected to answer. (Would that be WITH the truth, perhaps?)

Anonymous said...

Gee Guy is dismayed about "negativity." Hmm. Gee Guy welcomes both negative and positive comment on various subjects, and actually gives liberal opportunity for people to give comment regardless of which side of the fence they are on. He pays attention to what is being said, and has strong thoughts about a vision for the hope and future of a community in which he was raised.

He is sensitive, however, when someone has something unflattering to say about GF, particularly when something is said with some baseless and rather uninspired generalization that has no substance. He apparently gives a s***. Sure, so do alot of us.

But he also possesses a drive that has ultimately resulted in engaging a thought process by others. He provides opportunity for public participation and comment, and he listens and has sensible ideas.

He's intelligent, he cares, and he's educated...does anyone at all not agree that this is the kind of guy that should consider giving up that healthy income of his, and serve his community by becoming a public official? Besides, the City Mgr's salary isnt that bad for just a few year stint.

See, one can have alot to say, but when they have the ability to try to do something substantial to try to make a difference and they don't...well, what sort of solution is that to the solution they are seeking?

GeeGuy said...

Sheesh, you're wearing me out, anonymous. One minute you're calling me "nauseatingly outrageous" in my arrogance, and the next you're being all nice to me and stuff.

:)

Seriously, though, when I said that I am not qualified to be City Manager I was not being coy. I am simply not qualified. I am a lawyer and part owner of a couple small businesses. I have no experience managing an enterprise the size of our City.

As far as the suggestion that I am sort of slacking by not seeking the position, I disagree. I am entirely comfortable where I fit into this whole process, and it isn't as a City employee. If I can help out the discussion a little bit by, hopefully, engaging some different points of view, well that's a nice byproduct.

I have no illusions that I will change the world. In fact, if you go back and read the very first post I ever wrote, you will see that this is really just a very selfish hobby.

So, thanks, anonymous for your kind words. Thanks, too, for opening my eyes to the fact that I am apparently perceived as quite arrogant. I guess it's a fine line between being confident about my positions and coming across as a know it all puke. I'll work on that.

And as far as my "healthy income," I am not sure what you are talking about. Sometime I'll buy you a beer and tell you about Missoula...

Anonymous said...

Ah, I wish I would have read this post before commenting on another one where you seemed to have kicked my ass a bit! Heaven knows, I absolutely do not want to debate with you, because I know when I'm out of my league!

And uh, well, I wouldn't exactly say that you come across as a "know it all puke". Truly, I don't think that.

Your "selfish hobby" has, factually, made a difference. I don't think you are slacking. I just truly, honestly, and genuinely believe you would be a great local public official. I really mean that.

Sometimes, influencing from behind the scenes can be stronger. And your contributions have been far more than a byproduct.

You're not underqualified.

A local businessman, with a law degree, and a passion for the town he grew up in, is not, at least in my opinion, underqualified for what this community needs. (despite my tendencies to call you arrogant; clearly I would be a political supporter if you ever needed one!)

Anyway, a humble thank you for the blogs and insight.

Maybe one day over a beer...

Anonymous said...

I think I'm gonna puke. Why don't you two go get a room.


:)

GeeGuy said...

I think that last comment was Firefly in disguise!

Anonymous said...

"it is deemed proper to prohibit
racist, discriminatory and incitingly violent speech because of recent loud, outrageous and
heinous comments made during the Petitions and Communications Agenda period."

Nobody suggests racist, discriminatory and incitingly violent speech. What is very insulting to the public is the derogatory language used by the commission is writing this draft. They show utter contempt for the public and their message is clear.

And the penalty for violation? Billy club to the head, taser,Guantanamo, what?

You will be handed a big pink slip come November.

Anonymous said...

"it is deemed proper to prohibit
racist, discriminatory and incitingly violent speech because of recent loud, outrageous and heinous comments made during the Petitions and Communications Agenda period."

Hello city commission, nobody suggests racist, discriminatory and incitingly violent speech.

What is very insulting to the public is the derogatory language used by the commission in writing this draft. They show utter contempt for the public and their message is clear.

The penalty for violation of the 5 minute rule? Billy club to the head, a taser attack, Guantanamo, what? No place is that spelled out.

A big pink slip is coming your way in November. How's that for incitingly violent speech?

a-fire-fly said...

Nope, I woulda put my name on that.

Anonymous said...

A little late wouldn't you say?

Will Susan Overfield get to come back for two more minutes?

Anonymous said...

Good point? And will they un-arrest her?? They'd probly better if they don't want to end up like the fuzz down in Billings! They're gonna have to have a tax increase just to pay for the PD screwups! Oh well, as any good cop will tell you, people only start paying attention when you hit them in the wallet! You can give them warning after warning. But that does no good. One good fine is the best behavior modification OUT there! And I think that the GFPD is need of a little BM!

Anonymous said...

RE: "Another one looking to the government for a handout. 500 jobs? You mean 500 paid by the taxpayers? The base cannot be the source our of economy."

That is a point that must be reiterated over and over ad nauseum.