Citing what he calls an intimidating atmosphere and a lack of true engagement with the city council, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt is proposing pulling the plug — literally — on citizen communications as they are now.
Instead of letting people speak on any topic they wish, as CVTV cameras broadcast it all, Leavitt wants to limit citizen comment during the televised meetings to topics on that night’s agenda only, a move that would effectively end what’s become a weekly parade of pro-and-anti Columbia River Crossing speakers.
Those who want to speak about nonagenda topics would be given the opportunity to do so during a once-a-month town hall to be held after a city council meeting is over, he said. And that would be done with the CVTV cameras off.
However, Leavitt’s proposal has enraged a number of council meeting regulars, who say that Leavitt is trying to silence their public criticism of the CRC.
Turning off CVTV and limiting speaking topics is a violation of free speech, Councilor Jeanne Stewart said.