City of South Lyon officials have approved a resolution establishing new rules for public comment at City Council meetings.

City Council members from South Lyon took steps to expand the number of opportunities residents would have to speak, at Tuesday night’s regular meeting. Under the old rules, each person wishing to address agenda or non-agenda items had one public comment period and 3 minutes to do so, at the beginning of the meeting.

Under new rules, there will be a second public comment period added at the end of the meeting. Mayor Dan Pelchat said City Council also set waiver procedures to potentially give residents with valuable information extra chances to share it during the meeting. Pelchat said if they are on an agenda item, and there is someone there that can speak on it, if Council feels it is of adequate importance they will recognize that member of the crowd and give them a chance to speak. If Council doesn’t allow them to, they will still have the opportunity during the second public comment period.

Waiver opportunities will come by a council vote, with measures set in to assure that people with differing viewpoints will be recognized and allowed to speak, if appropriate. The time allotted for speaking will be decreased from 3 minutes to 2, with hope that the reduction will cut back on people repeating themselves and help them hone in on their point. Each public comment period will be treated individually, with no saving or borrowing time from one or the other.

Councilman Greg Kivell spoke up, happy and appreciative of the new rules. Mayor Pro-tem Maggie Kurtzweil said she’s been trying to get new rules like these passed for years, and that it is a “very good thing.” (MK)