Think that IUDs for animals should replace the low-cost spay and neuter program? Want to personally serve the council members with your hand-written lawsuit? Come on down!
Have something you’ve been dying to say to Denver City Council? Now you can.
Starting in July, the first meeting of the month will start a half hour early – at 5 p.m. instead of 5:30 – to allow for a general public comment period that isn’t tied to any particular agenda item or scheduled public hearing.
“At this time when public regard for all levels of government is at a dangerous low, it’s incumbent on all of us in elected office to welcome citizens back to a participatory role in their government rather than place hurdles they need to clear to take part,” said Councilman Paul Kashmann, who brought forward the resolution adding public comment.
In the cities and counties I’ve had the honor of covering, public comment is that time when everyone has their say.
But it’s also a time when ordinary citizens can let council members know about problems that government can solve. Maybe they already tried calling a few city departments, and there was nothing staff members could do because the right laws weren’t on the books. Or maybe they got blown off because it was no one’s job to help them.
Telling a group of elected officials about a problem in front of a live audience creates a certain do-something pressure that letters and emails can’t replicate.
Councilwoman Robin Kniech said the success of public comment will depend on, well, the public.
Here’s what you need to know: