WILKES-BARRE, PA — Against limited but vocal opposition, City Council on Thursday night imposed new limits on how people can address the body of elected officials during public meetings.
By a 4-0 vote, council amended ordinances on its rules and procedures, moving public speakers farther away and behind the rail separating council from the audience and requiring them to sign in before the start of the meeting.
Before the vote, several speakers who regularly attend the meetings urged council to reconsider. They suggested pushing back the start time so more people could attend and warned council about the consequences of approving the changes.
The new rules go into effect in 10 days. But had they been in place Betsy Sumers said she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak. She arrived after the 6 p.m. start and beyond the new signup deadline because her sales job required that she be in the Allentown/Bethlehem area.