GREENVILLE Some protest rules for meeting
One resident wants the amount of the parking fine to be raised and speed traps set.
By LAURI GALENTINE
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- A proposed ordinance to set rules governing public speaking at borough council meetings isn't sitting well with residents.
Council members came up with the rules after an outburst at the February meeting that led to one man's being escorted out by a police officer. Others left that meeting in protest.
Resident Joan Price called the ordinance an attempt to "muzzle" residents.
"The ordinance was to give people reasonable opportunity to make comments, not shut them up," council president Richard S. Houpt said.
Planning presentations: The ordinance would allow anyone who calls ahead to be put on the agenda to take as much time as they need to make their presentation. It asks that the borough secretary be told how much time a presentation will take so council can plan accordingly.
It also allows for a comment period of three minutes each at the end of meetings.
Resident Lori Smith said she thinks the ordinance may be against state law.
Council agreed to table it until the May meeting while members review the state laws.
Councilwoman Pamela S. Auchter said she has spoken to members of other councils and found that Greenville is one of only a few in the area that do not have such rules in place.
"It's not unusual what we're asking; it's the norm," she said.
Traffic issues: Price, who had called ahead to be put on the agenda, asked council to consider raising parking fines and setting speed traps.
"Five dollars is not enough to deter young people who don't care about following regulations," Price said.
She said she would like to see parking violators pay $25 per ticket and have the vehicle towed away if the owner has three or more unpaid tickets.
Acting Police Chief Thomas Strahler said he thinks $15 might be a reasonable amount.
Council agreed to refer the matter to the parking authority for recommendations.