Five-minute public speaking limit
Aug 03, 2014 | 1566 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

Over the years I’ve attended hundreds of city council meetings and many times it’s quite apparent that many council members, both now and in the past, don’t have an understanding of the ordinance that they are about to vote on after the close of the public speaking. The same holds true for the budget meetings. For many council members including this administration, the first time they’ve been to a council meeting is after they got elected. They don’t know the history, what has really transpired over the years with all the empty promises and how city government operates. They vote like they’re told. Now they want to go home early by muzzling the public.

On Wednesday, July 16, the council voted 7 to 2 to introduce Ordinance 14.085 to curtail the public speaking portion at all meetings to 5 minutes including any questions posed to you by a council member. The only 2 council members who voted no are Council President LaVarro and Councilman Ramchal.

In addition, if there’re a group of people who showed up to oppose, say a tax abatement, only 1 designated person can speak for 5 minutes! These are individuals, not an organized group. What a Gestapo tactic. Instead of encouraging people to be involved with their communities and local government, which everyone pays a ton of taxes to operate, they want people to keep quiet. I guess we’re all to believe all the hype from the Fulop emails and stay home.

The second reading and vote on this ordinance is Wednesday, August 20. This may be your last time to speak freely on any ordinance up for a vote including this one. Of course this meeting falls during a popular vacation time. Former Mayor Frank Hague must be smiling in his grave. The transparent, reformer Fulop Administration is just more of the same nonsense.

Mia Scanga, CPA
Jersey City

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