Anaheim Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Changes to Addressing City Counsil

Gabriela Gonzalez, Reporter

The City of Anaheim held a town hall meeting on January 15, 2018. Citizens and many public figures of the city began to fill the room as they waited for the meeting to begin. It soon became clear to Anaheim Exclusivo that this meeting was going to be a heated one because Anaheim residents were upset about several items on the agenda.  One of these being item 28.

As the room slowly started to settle down we interviewed Julia Berneta on her reason for attending the City Council meeting. “I have a general comment about public speaking being at the end it should be in the front.” Ms. Berneta was referring to the changes item 28 would bring about, citizens would now have to wait till the end of the meeting to get three minutes to speak to the council.  

This was a major item on the agenda that sparked the attention of citizens.   Mayor Sidhu’s suggestion of cutting down the amount of time citizens have to address the concerns they have for any general items on the agenda. Citizens would only have a minute to address the council or need to wait for the end of the meeting to address them for three minutes. His suggestion also included changing the procedure that citizens must follow to speak to the council. Citizens would now have to fill out the blue form with their name on it, no longer being able to remain anonymous, and the form would have to be turned in within the hour of the start of the meeting.

Many citizens had some strong opinions regarding Mayor Sidhu’s proposals. They made their disapproval clear on the proposed cut on speaking time.  Duane Robert was one of the opponents of this change, “I am here tonight to address item number twenty-eight, and what twenty-eight is basically a proposal to modify rules and procedures of city council meetings, alright. One thing that I am deeply concerned about is the proposal to change the way public comments are accepted. The mayor is using a model apparently borrowed from the board of supervisors, which if it goes into effect, what it will do is it will drastically reduce the amount of people who would be able to speak.” Many of those who addressed Mayor Sidhu’s proposal were concerned for the citizen’s abilities to use their freedom of speech to its full extent. Mr. Roberts also mentioned how this proposal would simply make being involved in a City Council meeting much more difficult.