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Redistricting Commission Votes to Limit Public Comment

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The group behind re-drawing all of Michigan’s congressional and state house and senate maps voted Friday morning to limit public comment.

The Michigan Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission held another public hearing in Troy on Friday. But at the beginning of that meeting, commissioner Steve Lett of Interlochen made the motion to cut public comment in half – limiting speakers to just one minute instead of the two minutes that had been allowed for each speaker in the past.

Lett says his reason for the motion is the increasing number of remote public comments, including four hours of comment on Thursday. “Pursuant to our rules of procedure we can set our time limit at whatever we determine to be in the best interest. With the increased number of, basically remote public comments today, the last I checked would be 38. Which would be well over an hour of time. Yesterday it was over – all together – probably close to four hours. So that’s the purpose for cutting down the time.”

Commissioner Doug Clark responded to Lett’s motion. “I unfortunately disagree with you Steve. We’ve advertised or publicized two minutes and we should stick to that today. People have prepared for two minutes and I think we should follow that example. And we should treat the people, ongoing, the same way we’ve treated people in the past. Give them two minutes.”

Dustin Witjes added, “I agree because it is taking quite some time away from where we could be mapping. However, is there a way we can do it so it starts potentially next week?  Leaving it two minutes this week? Because Doug makes an excellent point. People have prepared for a potential of two minutes of public comment today.”

Ultimately, the commissioners voted 7-2 in favor of limiting the time for public comment. Commissioners Clark and MC Rothhorn were the two who voted against limiting the time to one minute.


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