A few disruptions from residents attending a virtual Woodmere session last month has prompted some Village Council members to consider permanently eliminating one of the two public comment segments of all meetings.
Members are talking about removing the public participation time now scheduled at the beginning of meetings before council votes on agenda items.
We certainly do not condone the actions of some residents who were somewhat disruptive and perhaps even a bit childish during the Zoom meeting. But that is no reason to punish other citizens who might want to be heard on issues before council votes. And maybe those residents were behaving in that manner for a reason. Were council members listening to what was being said?
Afterall, council members are elected by the people, and some of those constituents are showing up at meetings to share their concerns with officeholders.
Council has the power to set rules for public comment segments during meetings. So instead of eliminating an entire segment, council might consider establishing better guidelines for public participation.
Communication between residents and elected officials is vital to the democratic process.