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Date of Issue: November 17, 2005

Anna Maria commission sets new public comment rule

Anna Maria’s new city commission at its Nov. 10 organizational meeting re-elected Commissioner John Quam as the commission chairperson and vice-mayor along with Commissioner Linda Cramer as deputy chairperson.

The commission adopted Roberts Rules of Order to govern commission meetings, but made one change.

When a member of the public rises to speak on an agenda item, but delivers a personal attack on an elected official or strays from the agenda issue, a "point of order" may be called by a commission member. Quam will then have the speaker sit down and that person will forfeit his or her speaking privileges for that agenda item.

The move was made following several publicized incidents where personal attacks were made against Mayor SueLynn, when the person was supposed to speak to the agenda issue.

Essentially, Quam said a commissioner or member of the public would be out of order if they failed to follow the adopted "Pledge of Conduct" at public meetings. That pledge states that while parties may disagree, "We will be respectful of one another. We will direct all comments to the issues. We will avoid personal attacks."

Quam also noted that under Roberts Rules of Order, a "point of order" could only be called by a member of the commission.

In other business, Commissioner Duke Miller was named commission liaison to the environmental education and enhancement committee and the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.

Tollette gained the liaison to the Anna Maria Island Community Center, while Woodland will have the capital improvements advisory committee. Cramer will remain as the commission’s liaison to the Anna Maria Island Historical Society.