Now that opportunity to speak at the beginning of the meeting is being limited so that the city's business can be run more efficiently. I'm all for efficiency but not at the expense of a basic principle of human liberty: free speech.
If you don't arrive in time to submit your card, and your name is not in the top 10 cards chosen, you have to wait until the end of the meeting to address the council, according to the mayor's recommended changes. How sad.
The council serves the people. If Congress shall make no law "abridging the freedom of speech," then the City Council shouldn't either.
The people of Costa Mesa who speak during public comments are just as important as others who come to address issues on the agenda or support projects under consideration. If the issue involves Costa Mesa residents, and it is clear many are in the chambers to speak, then the mayor has the prerogative to move that item up on the agenda, so that those residents don't have to sit through a long meeting before commenting.
Others who sit in the chambers may not be residents. They may have a financial interest in what is before the council and may be getting paid to sit and wait until their item comes up. They can wait their turn.
Sometimes our meetings go past midnight, and it's unfair to make residents wait that long. This new process will discourage residents from coming to meetings and participating in local government. We should be encouraging engagement, not sending people home before they have a chance to speak because they didn't win the draw.