Monday, February 17, 2020
Feb. 17, 2020

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Council OKs changes to citizen communications

The Columbian
Published:

The Vancouver City Council on Monday approved changes to its citizen communications.

The changes, which initially drew much ire from several of those who speak regularly at meetings, were approved Monday night 6 to 1, with Councilor Jeanne Stewart dissenting.

Weekly citizen communications will be held at the beginning of the meeting, but topics will be restricted to what is on the night’s agenda. Twice monthly, on the nights when the council has a shorter consent-agenda meeting, the council will hold a 90-minute forum allowing citizens to speak on any topic.

Though the proposed changes originally stirred much controversy, few people turned out to talk Monday about them.

Stewart said that she felt the changes made it too confusing for most people to know when they can speak about what.

Mayor Tim Leavitt, who proposed the format change, said he liked that citizens could now speak to items on the night’s agenda before the council takes any action. The all-topic forums, he said, allow “an active dialogue,” he added.

The change takes effect immediately. The next meeting, on Monday, will be a consent agenda meeting, meaning it will start at 6:30 p.m., with a 90-minute citizen forum following.

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