10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

By JEFF HORSEMAN
The Press-Enterprise

Residents may soon have more time to speak their mind to Temecula’s City Council.

The council on Tuesday is expected to consider granting a third minute for speakers at council meetings who want to talk about topics that are not on the agenda or part of the consent calendar, a collection of agenda items passed by the council with one vote.

Currently, those addressing these items get two minutes each to speak. The council sets aside 30 minutes at the start of each meeting for those items, a practice that will continue if speakers are given three minutes each.

Speakers get five minutes each for items on the council agenda.

The proposed change comes after at least eight people urged the council at its March 8 meeting to add the third minute. Leading the push for more time is Paul Jacobs, a former member of Temecula’s Public and Traffic Safety Commission.

Jacobs said that two minutes is not enough time for people to share their thoughts with Temecula’s elected leaders.

“This council is being arbitrary and unreasonable in refusing to adopt the three-minute public comment policy as established by other reasonable bodies of government,” Jacobs said, addressing the council on March 8.. “Please be reasonable and change the policy to provide the public an extra minute to engage in civics in your $70 million civic center.”

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