Town Board rolls back meeting time

Bethlehem leaders say lengthy sessions exclude public

— “I don’t think anyone is really functioning at their best after 10 p.m. or certainly after 11 p.m.,” he said. “The other issue, and primary issue, is the public’s ability to participate in these meetings.”

Kuhn said the meeting length is a “powerful deterrent” for people to stay to comment on non-agenda items, which is always the last item on the agenda.

Councilwoman Joann Dawson said the Town Board gave the new start time a six-month trial and it didn’t help its goal of encouraging more public participation. She said because of that, the start time should be changed back to 6 p.m.

Councilman Kyle Kotary suggested changing the format of public comment periods so residents would not have to wait until the end of the meetings to be heard. Clarkson said he would be happy to make that change.

Town Board meetings will start at 6 p.m. beginning with the July 11 regular meeting.

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