The “New 3” on the Shreveport city council---Levette Fuller, John Nickeson, and Grayson Boucher— are primarily responsible for a change in the council rules that has been a disaster. Speakers are now allowed to speak on any topic at the beginning of both the work session and the regular meeting.
As a result, Council meetings have become a virtual media circus. Citizens come to air complaints about everything, whether or not an issue within the council’s jurisdiction or not. Rarely does the council get down to regular business until after ninety minutes, sometimes a full two hours.
Prior to the rule change, speakers could only address the council at the Monday work sessions on agenda items. The reason for this was simple. The council is reviewing agenda items for the regular Tuesday meeting and citizen comments are helpful in that process.
Prior to the rule change, there were two opportunities for speaking at the Tuesday regular meeting. Agenda items could be addressed at the beginning of the meeting. Non agenda items could be addressed at the end of the meeting. Now speakers can talk about the weather or whatever is on there mind at the beginning of the Tuesday meeting.
Serious consideration should be given to going back to the prior rules on citizen comments. The council is a legislative body , not an open mike session.