By Mike Kruzman /

Brighton City Council is considering revisions to their rules on public comment periods, meeting procedures, and ethics.

A task force consisting of City Council members and City staff has been investigating and working on developing a more robust set of rules for procedures. With the help of their new legal counsel, a draft version was brought to last week’s City Council study session for discussion. One area of focus was a proposed change to public comment periods. The time allowed per speaker would be lowered from 5 minutes to 3. Mayor Pro-Tem Susan Gardner felt the change would be a good thing, as it helps keep people on point. City Council member Renee Pettengill also noted that people tend to start repeating themselves after 3 minutes.
Council member Jim Bohn said that it was his preference to leave it at 5 minutes because sometimes matters are complex and may need it, but later added that as long as everyone was being treated the same, he could go with it.

City Council also spent time discussing the ethics ordinance. The ordinance would not create a quasi-judicial ethics committee like in some bodies, but would make violations a misdemeanor, which most already are under state law. Legal counsel said this communicates very clearly to those serving and residents what the expectations are and what behavior is expected. Council members also wanted to have tight rules on gifts, with considerations for how much value could be given to or accepted by an official and over what length of time. Mayor Shawn Pipoly said he thinks, ethically, they are all on the same page, and will bring this back.