The City of Fairhope will consider an ordinance Monday evening that would eliminate public participation on non-agenda items in each council meeting.

As it stands, the City Council allows for public participation at the end of each meeting. Citizens have three minutes to address the council on any city-related matter. However, the amendment would eliminate that section and only allow for comments from citizens on agenda items.

The ordinance amendment is written as, "An Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1692; the Rules of Procedure in all instances for the Meetings of the City Council: Section IX; Remove 12. Public Participation (Non-Agenda Items)."

Mayor Sherry Sullivan said she and city council members would still be available to the public outside of meetings.

"Citizens are always welcome to call or email any City Council member or myself," Sullivan told 1819 News. I try to respond to calls and emails within 24 hours if at all possible. Also, I keep standard business hours in my office, and the Council has an office at City Hall for meetings. All of us are accessible to anyone wishing to meet about a specific topic."

Sullivan said the topic will be discussed on Monday, but action may not be taken.

Councilman Jimmy Conyers told 1819 News he did not favor removing public comment.

"I like the fact that the public has an opportunity to address agenda items before being voted on and then another opportunity to address anything else they feel necessary at the end of the meeting," Conyers said.

Concerned citizens have asked residents to attend Fairhope's council meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. in the council chamber to express concerns about the ordinance.

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