Sebastian council discusses time limits on presentations

SEBASTIAN – Members of the Sebastian City Council are considering time limits on presentations from the public in an effort to save time.

Mayor Richard Gillmor brought up the issue, telling the council he had gone to a recent committee meeting during which there were two presentations that seemed to go on “interminably.”

The mayor said the presentations could have been shorter if the members had received advance copies of the slideshow presentations prior to the meeting, then the presenters would not have had to walk them through each slide in detail.

Gillmor asked his fellow council to consider placing a time limit on presentations given to the council during regular meetings. The time limit would not affect city staff, including City Manager Al Minner or City Attorney Robert Ginsburg.

Gillmor also asked that they get advance copies of materials that would be presented so he would have time to review and confirm the information, especially if the presenter is asking for funding or telling the council how it could save money.

“I’m not unhappy with the way it is,” Councilwoman Andrea Coy said, though she expressed support for the mayor’s suggestion.

Councilman Don Wright added to Mayor Gillmor’s request, saying maybe they should set 10 minutes as the general rule and if presenters feel they need more time, they could ask for it.

Councilman Eugene Wolff said that presenters could save time if they didn’t feel the need to read each slide word for word during their presentations.

“We would be doing Western Civilization a service if we banned verbatim reading” of slide shows, Wolff said, joking and drawing chuckles from his fellow council members.

The council did not vote on the matter.

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