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City Council tables public input
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One of Mayor Harold Fowler’s campaign platforms was to add a public comment section to Richmond Hill City Council meetings. The concept was discussed during Tuesday’s meeting and was met with some resistance by each member of council.

Although it was not completely dismissed, council members said they have some concern over the concept and tabled a vote on it until the next meeting, Feb. 2.

"If we have a public comment section, we’re going to be hit with all kinds of issues that we know nothing about and we’ll end up being here for hours," council member Marilyn Hodges said.

Fowler said there would be a three to five minute time limit on each speaker, a maximum of 15 minutes total, and the council does not have to respond to comments. He said it is simply a way for residents to be heard without having to go through any red tape.

Councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Jimmy Hires brought up the fact that procedure is already in place where an individual can walk into City Hall and be added to the council agenda, so a public comment section would be redundant.

"At least you know what’s coming at you the way its set up now," Hires said.

County resident Sheila Galbreath said a public comment section is a great idea. She said county commissioners usually allow public comment, even when someone is not on the agenda. The Bryan County Board of Education currently has a public comment section, which takes place at the beginning of each BoE meeting.

Galbreath said a public comment section "gives people the opportunity to bring issues straight to council that usually are handled just by department heads."

-Read more in the Bryan County News.

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