We need your help! | City Council To Limit Citizen Input at 1/23 Meetings


Tomorrow, Tuesday 1/23, the City Council is PLANNING TO LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO SPEAK UP at the 7PM meeting.  Here is the information provided by a concerned Speak Up Portage community member to help you in crafting your thoughts for emails and participation in the meeting.

Sent By A Concerned Citizen –

The proposed “rules of order and procedure” change that the Portage City Council will be considering at this Tuesday’s regular council meeting which, if adopted, will limit the involvement and participation that citizens of the city will have to be involved in the decision-making process of their local government:

  • Change the start time for regular meetings, which previously was 7:30 PM, from the current 7 PM to 6 PM.
  • Limit “open mic” time for citizens to speak from the current two opportunities to one early in the meeting, eliminating the second opportunity near the end of the meeting, and the opportunity for follow-up comments about what took place during the meeting while they are fresh in attendees’ minds.
  • Eliminate citizen ability to ask for items in the consent agenda to be removed for individual questions, discussions, petitions, and debate. Only council members will be allowed to request that items be removed from the consent agenda for further consideration, further placing hurdles in the paths of citizens wishing to participate.
  • Eliminate the statement by the mayor at the beginning of the meeting advising citizens how they may access the agenda, thus a blow to the spirit of transparency.

Query how many of the current members of the Portage City Council campaigned on a platform of transparency and citizen involvement. Mayor Randall’s own website (https://patriciamrandall.com/) touts the tagline: “Citizens First. Always.” Even in the current edition of the Portager (https://www.portagemi.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/749), the city government’s newsletter to its residents, Randall closes her front page opening letter with the following:

“Your City Council is excited about all the opportunities as we enter the New Year! We renew our commitment to serve you, your family and the community we share. We hope that you will consider getting involved in some way. As we step forward together, I wish you the best in the coming year!”

Those words somehow seem inconsistent with what is being proposed.

Please consider giving Portage residents who follow your outlet advance notice that this is being proposed, and presumably will be voted on this Tuesday. After all, democracy dies in the darkness, right?

It’s urgent that citizens show up in mass to voice their opinions regarding this change.  If you cannot come, please email the council members as soon as possible with your thoughts before 5PM.

  • patricia.randall@portagemi.gov
  • councilmemberjp@portagemi.gov
  • chris.burns@portagemi.gov
  • vic.ledbetter@portagemi.gov
  • nicole.miller@portagemi.gov
  • terry.urban@portagemi.gov
  • jihan.young@portagemi.gov


If you have time, please review the agenda carefully for any other items of concern or that warrant further discussion.  Thank you for your continued support as we engage in a positive way with City Council and hold our elected members accountable to hear our voice.

Agenda Packet Link : https://portagemi.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1989/files/4979