Council redlight turned on

A frequent visitor to Columbus Council didn't like what greeted him at the speakers' podium Tuesday at the Government Center - a redlight. "All you want to do is intimidate us," said Bert Coker, a frequent visitor to the council. He pointed to the light and said, "That contraption there is intimidation."

The redlight, with bright red, yellow and green lights similar to a traffic light, was positioned on a table near a monitor in the council chambers. It returns a week after, council members said they favored some type of visual reminder for people coming before the 10 member board.

A five minute rule is in effect but many speakers ignore the limit or constantly exceed their time on a topic. The traffic light works with a timer, moving from green at the start of a speech, then yellow and flashes red when five minutes are up.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley is working on other recommendations to help move the meetings along.

"It's permanent," Clerk of Council Tiny Washington said of the new redlight gadget unless council decides to change it.