A plan to bump the public agenda to the end of Columbus Council meetings is like being thrown to the back of the bus.
That's what some frequent visitors said Tuesday about a plan from City Manager Isaiah Hugley to move the public speaking to the end of the meeting after the clerk of council agenda. The ordinance change was proposed a month after a red light system was placed in the chambers to help speakers stay on track and respect the five-minute rule to talk.
The frequent visitors had questions about the change.
"What kind of relationship is it to put me at the back of the bus," frequent visitor Paul Olson asked the council.
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Bert Coker, a companion with Olson on the agenda, wanted to know if anyone offended the council.
The redlight timer has upset Bill Madison, president of the Columbus chapter of the NAACP. "That light is rude, crude and ought to be removed from this council," he said.
Madison, Olson and Coker want to keep the public speaking where it is on the agenda, right after the city attorney.
Ollie Tarver, a frequent visitor to council but rarely speaks, would like to see the speakers show more respect to the council. "This is our city," she said. "The Lord is not pleased with what's going on."
Councilor Julius Hunter wants the council to keep the public speaking where it is but enforce the five-minute rule. "I'm against anything that dampens speech," he said.
Council will vote on the proposal next week.