I read with great interest the article by Brittany Levine in the Aug. 16 edition of the News-Press about the outburst of Councilman David Weaver at Margaret Hammond during the oral communications portion of last Tuesday's City Council meeting.
As a past speaker at City Council meetings, I can attest that Weaver's actions occur frequently. I have often observed the “stare at the ceiling” when Weaver shows his apparent disgust over the comments by the public speakers during oral communications on agenda items, or those at the end of the meeting on non-agenda topics.
He keeps touting that he has served on the council for 15 years. He should certainly understand that the decorum during a council meeting is the responsibility of our elected officials. The public speakers certainly have the right to speak their piece and should not be interrupted, as Hammond was.
If a council member is upset at the comments made by the public, he or she can respond during closing council comments. Believe me, this happens frequently. The only part about the latter I disagree with is that the public speaker has no right to defend comments made by the council members. My feeling on oral communications is that a change is required on how they are conducted. I plan to forward my suggestions on a better format to the council members and staff.