Rifle City Council changes its public comment policy
The Rifle City Council will no longer require members of the public to state their address aloud to comment during meetings.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the virtual council meetings, individuals were required to be present in council chambers and state their name and address before making their comment. Because of the outbreak and residents not being allowed in the council chambers, people were allowed to make comments through Zoom and also through email. That still left concern for some about stating their address in the Zoom meeting.
“We had an issue, which I totally understand, which there is some concern given the political climate over the last several years that depending on the nature of comment, stating your address on the video for everyone to hear may cause concern,” Mayor Barbara Clifton said. “There are unfortunately some disturbed people out there, and if your comment is somewhat controversial, there was a concern there.”
At last week’s meeting, Clifton proposed a change to the requirement to allow people to state their full name and whether or not they lived in the city limits of Rifle. Councilors unanimously agreed to the proposal, and as the county restrictions continue people who wish to comment can do so under the new requirements.
“With the whole coronavirus crisis we do need to make some accommodations,” Clifton said. “After COVID is over and we no longer have Zoom meetings, I think people should be required to come in.”
Clifton said if residents are concerned and they do not want to state their full name or that they live in Rifle they can reach out to the council members through email or phone, which are available on the City Council’s website.
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