The Paramount City Council is, and has always been, committed to open communication with the public.
Recent findings of high hexavalent chromium levels in the community have resulted in increased public feedback, particularly during City Council meetings.
Concerned residents have attended these meetings, many to make public comments during the portion of the meeting set aside for this, and the City has worked to make the process as efficient as possible.
The City Attorney provided some guidelines to attendees at the most recent City Council meeting to clarify the public comment process. He noted that this period is not intended to be a back-and-forth, question-and-answer activity. In particular, the City Attorney explained the Brown Act-related legal risks should public comments evolve into a debate or deliberation on an item that has not been properly agendized and made known to the public.
There have been some expressions of concern expressed that this clarification offered by the City Attorney was intended to curtail public comment. That is not the case.
Each member of the audience at a City Council meeting is offered five minutes of public comment time on any matter, whether it is on the agenda or not.
The City provides an unlimited amount of time for public comments at Council meetings. The City continues to be open and flexible to members of the public on whether people offer their thoughts to the City Council on a specific agenda item or on a general topic.
The City of Paramount offers some of the most open and extensive public comment opportunities by not restricting the total public comment period and by allowing up to five minutes of comments per speaker.
The City of Paramount values the feedback and energy of its residents and strives to be both a good listener and source of trustworthy information.
These procedures have not changed, nor will they ever change.
So as to ensure that City Council business is properly conducted during meetings, and to avoid Brown Act violations, councilmembers always make themselves available to discuss public concerns following a Council meeting or at other times when approached by members of the public. Contact information for all councilmembers can be found here: http://www.paramountcity.com/citycouncil.cfm.