Jurupa Valley residents now have less time to speak at council meetings
By Imran Ghori
Jurupa Valley is reducing the public speaking times at its City Council public hearings and limiting speakers’ ability to pass on time to others.
The changes, approved unanimously by the City Council Thursday, Nov. 2, aimed to streamline meetings and make city policies more consistent with other cities, City Manager Gary Thompson said.
The council’s past practice has been to allow up to three minutes of speaking time for those addressing the council during the public comment period. It allowed five minutes for public hearings and council business items. The new policy makes the speaking time three minutes for all three types of council business.
The council also had allowed a speaker to use time “donated” from two other speakers — increasing their speaking time to a total of nine minutes. The new policy allows for one three-minute donation of time, allowing a maximum of six minutes.
The previous policy created confusion about how much time speakers had and how much they could allocate, Thompson said. Jurupa Valley surveyed other cities and found that most allow three minutes and one donation of time, he said.
Mayor Verne Lauritzen said the new rules should be clearer to the public.
“It’s not about restricting anyone from speaking,” he said. “It’s about being consistent and streamlining without being prohibitive.”