Carmel City Council passes 3-minute time limit for public speakers


What happened: The City Council unanimously passed a new three-minute time limit for all public speakers at council meetings.

What it means: This was defeated in 2015, but was quickly reintroduced. Councilors can allow for longer speeches if necessary. Speakers do have to give their address on a card but it won’t be revealed to the public. Rick Smith, a Carmel resident, spoke out against a time limit. He presented numbers showing that in 2014 there were 53 speakers for 20 meetings for 244 minutes total, or 12 minutes a meeting. He said most meetings were 107.5 minutes long, which means that public comment only took up 11 percent of each meeting. He says that’s not excessive in his opinion.

What’s next: Ordinance is enacted.


What happened: The City Council unanimously decided to change its rules so a member of the City Council can serve on the Carmel Redevelopment Commission.

What it means: The ordinance also says that a president of the Carmel City Council, or a council representative on the CRC or the Carmel Plan Commission can’t serve two terms in a row. After this was passed, it was signed at the meeting so City Councilor Jeff Worrell could be appointed to the CRC.

What’s next: Worrell will serve another term. Current CRC member Dave Bowers was also appointed for another term.



  1. Adam, I am certain that is just an oversight but the most important issue was NOT the time limit.

    It was a section of the ordinance that stated speakers who request to address the common Council are required to state their name and address from the podium prior to speaking.

    The Council was very decent and was flexible on the issue of publicly giving the Speakers name and address which was the most important issue in the ordinance.

    The ordinance will save approximately five minutes per meeting and probably less. It will take away the opportunity for an individual citizen to meaningfully discuss complex issues.

    While I’m very much for improving efficiency of the meetings eliminating a potential effective use that is not being abuse seems overkill.

    Flint was efficient, it however was not effective. For want of deliberation unintended consequences often echo for decades.

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