Tupelo Council allows more speaking time for citizens

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Updated: 7/07/2013 11:43 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Did you know that residents in Tupelo will now be able to complain more often at city council meetings?

Tupelo citizens and business owners no longer have to wait a year for their voices to be heard by the city council.

The newly inaugurated council amended a 2010 policy that gave citizens only one chance each year to address the council with any topic or issue.

For new council president Nettie Davis, giving citizens the option to voice their opinion only once a year isn't right in her book.

"I'm a councilman that believes in listening to the citizens and my constituents," Davis said. "I'm very supportive of anyone who feels they need to come before the council."

Davis, who was a councilman at the time when the rule was instated, said she hasn't liked the policy since it was initially brought up.

"I always have felt that they should come whenever they desire," she said. "They are a citizen and a taxpayer. I just felt like it was a freedom of speech thing.")

She said only allowing citizens a chance to speak once every 365 days is a major disservice to Tupelo and its citizens.

"The information they brings us may be very beneficial and helpful for other councilman as well as citizens," Davis explained.

Tupelo resident Serenity Crump said the policy was wrong to enact in the first place and agrees with the new council.

"I think it's a great thing," Crump said. "I think if you do feel strong about an opinion that you should be able to voice your opinion as many times as you want to."

Resident Alan Pritchard said the new council did the right thing to amend to one-year rule, but said having no stipulations may make things repetitive.

He thinks it should be once every three months that citizens can address the council.

"I don't think they want someone coming every month with issues that have not yet had the chance to be address," Pritchard said. "It slows the council down and everybody else."

The council also changed the deadline to request an appearance before the council from the Tuesday to the Thursday before the next council meeting.

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