Fort Wayne residents could have more opportunities to address their City Council if a proposal from Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, advances.
Harper submitted a bill last week to allow council committee chairs to permit public comment during the consideration of any bill before a committee. It even lets residents ask any council members to speak on a bill.
“Such a request by a council member or a citizen shall not be unreasonably denied,” according to the bill.
Harper, a former state representative, has long pushed for the council to act more like the state legislature in allowing residents to speak on bills being discussed. One example he cited in his bill is when James Redmond spoke to the council about the lack of trails on the city’s south side.
The back and forth with Redmond was a change for the council, which typically has told residents public comment is a time for people to speak, but not for a two-way conversation. The bill refers to itself as the “Redmond Rule.”
It will be formally introduced on Tuesday and could be discussed next week.