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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 4:50 AM

COMMENTARY

Dear editor,

I have spoken at city council meetings for many years and appreciated the opportunity to voice my concern and opinion on agenda items.

In the Taylor Press, Mayor Ariola states that 'The open citizens communication topic is not required by law, but we want to hear from citizens.'

I want to remind the mayor and the Taylor City Council that the opportunity for public comment is required by state law. The Texas Government Code section 551.007 was enacted in 2019. Entitled “Public Testimony,” it authorizes a member of the public to address the governmental body at its meetings. The 86th Legislature added section 551.007, entitled “Public Testimony,” effective Sept. 1, 2019.

Tex. Gov’t Code §551.007: (a) Specifies to whom the statute applies (b) Establishes the public’s right to speak (c) Allows reasonable rules, including time limits (d) Time allowed when public testimony is translated (e) Governmental body must not prohibit criticism.

May I suggest that the City Council add language in their sign up sheet similar to the one used by the Williamson County Commissioners Court that states, 'I understand the court is not a proper forum to publicly demean any group or individual and that the use of any profane, insulting, demeaning or threatening language directed toward the court and/or any group or individual and/or the use of any slurs or epithets relating to race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or any other protected class of individuals will not be tolerated.'

The sign up form can be seen here: https:// www.wilcotx.gov/ DocumentCenter/ View/5109/ Public-Participation- Form-PDF?bidId=

Jose Orta Taylor, TX


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