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Can cities regulate public comment?

Click here for an important legal publication about public comment during public hearings.

The recently adopted Code of Conduct for Cotati council members states that during city council meetings, "Everyone has the right to be heard." As insane as this may seem, that's what it says. Whether you're intoxicated, high on meth, a toddler, you can't speak English, or sitting in a Cotati jail cell, some Cotati leaders have decided that "Everyone" has a right to speak for up to five minutes.  This ridiculous Code of Conduct for council members was thrown together without much thought and failed to address any limits to public participation.    Yet many other cities have addressed the issue of how to manage public comment with education and putting the public on notice as to their rights and duties as citizens during city meetings.