Q: Does the city commission time-limit public comment during workshops? The clerk usually starts the three-minute timer during the commission meetings but during the public comment portion of a recent workshop, the city did not run a timer when the public spoke. (This question references the July 26 workshop.)
A: “My way of thinking is, during the commission meeting audience comments can be on any subject other than what’s on the agenda, but during a workshop,” Mayor Steve McFarlin says, he hopes to solicit more feedback about the subject. “That’s what a workshop is.”
Mike Bonfield, St. Pete Beach’s city manager, said the commission should limit public comment during the workshops the same way it does during the commission meetings. However, the mayor said he allowed it because of the nature of the meeting.
“There was plenty of time, it was casual, and there was plenty of time,” he said. “The difference in a workshop, to me, is, at a commission meeting we have a lot on the agenda, and audience comments are on [things not on the agenda.]”