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July 12, 2024

Bloomington, IL. passes new public comment policy –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 14, 2015

Bloomington, IL. (ECWd) –
During Bloomington’s City Council meeting on July 13, 2015, public comment started at around the 2:10 mark in the video.
ECWd’s Kirk Allen spoke second, but the city somehow decided to delete his comment and others from the video (unless it was an inadvertent glitch in the recording?).
ECWd’s John Kraft spoke later, at 22:05, with the suggestion that they extend the comment time to at least 30 minutes per meeting, referencing this information contained in this article.
There were many others that talked about the proposed public comment policy.
At around the 1:07:32 mark, the City brought the matter to discussion and vote. Alderman Kevin Lower motioned to extend the public comment sessions to 30 minutes at each meeting, which would double the time currently allowed.
Alderman David Sage, the lone dissenter, talked about his thoughts that “most of the time” they do extend the time limit – but he failed to understand that the Mayor has in the past refused to extend the time when he saw his opposition ready to speak. In my opinion, Mayor Renner has used this time limit as a controlling mechanism over the public.
Alderman Amelia Buragas brought that point up in her comments, saying that she did not like the idea of the absence of guideline on rule suspensions that come with the 15 minute time limit – she suggested adopting the 30 minute time limit.
ECWd would like to thank those aldermen voting in favor of extending this time limit and voting in favor of enhancing the ability of the public to comment at its meetings.
City Council video of the July 13, 2015 meeting is below.



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