Having served 10 years on the Janesville City Council, I know the frustration that can come with the public comment period during council meetings. At times, the topics have little to do with council business or what the council can affect.
However, I feel it essential to allow citizen input on topics that are important to them. To say that this is a poor use of council time is in direct opposition to why the council was elected. Good governing allows citizens to be heard in an open forum regardless of the topic. At times, it is more important to allow citizens to speak their piece than it is to reduce the length of a meeting. I feel that eliminating the public comment period will only distance the council from citizens and build animosity.
If this is truly a problem, the council has the ability to limit the amount of time an individual can speak and/or limit how many times a person can speak, such once a month or once every other month
I urge the council to leave the public comment period on the agenda and likewise urge citizens to contact the council on this matter.