Flint city council members will be given 5 minute limit - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint city council members will be given 5 minute limit

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(03/07/14) - From now on, Flint City Council members will be given five minutes to address matters during their meetings.

This comes after Flint's Emergency manager signed an executive order limiting how long they can speak.

Emergency manager Darnell Earley says the purpose is to ensure that meetings are conducted in an orderly manner.

At least one council member doesn't like this idea.

Before this month, Flint council members weren't under a time limit when responding to public comment or discussing city issues at the end of their meetings.

Now they'll face a five minute restriction. Council member Eric Mays thinks it's unfair.

"It's not only not fair, it's ridiculous. I don't think it, I know that it is. It's unprecedented. In my ward, I've had some murders, I've got snow plowing issues, you only meet once a month. We used to meet four and five times a month. You have to try to cram some things into one meeting," he said.

Council President Scott Kincaid says some members have been known to speak for long periods and that takes away time from issues that need to be addressed during the meetings.

He thinks the executive order will help meetings flow more smoothly.

"It's not fair for people in the public to sit out there waiting to address the public for a long period of time. It takes away from the professionalism of the city council," he said.

"When we start talking about a yransition advisory board, one of the tenets of that transition has to be to the ability of the local unit to govern itself and simply it should be able to demonstrate the ability to conduct meetings that are focused on business and have a specified time period for which those comments should take place," said Darnell Earley.

Scott Kincaid says this will only help the city move forward in the right direction.

Council members in Saginaw are limited to five minutes during their meetings as well.

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