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Article published May 7, 2013

County reduces public comment time

The Butler County commissioners this morning eliminated the second session of public comment allotted during their meetings.
Commissioner Bill McCarrier, board chairman, said condensing public comment into one session would save time, making meetings more efficient.
He pointed out that some people have been speaking at both sessions.
Under the change, a public comment session preceding discussion or votes on agenda items will remain while the session at the end of the meetings is cut.
People may speak about any county issue, not just agenda items during the single session.
Commissioner Dale Pinkerton sided with McCarrier while Commissioner Jim Eckstein opposed the move, saying he believed in free speech.
Several residents criticized the change, which takes effect at the May 20 meeting.