City considering change to rules that require speakers to give address

Over the last few months, attendees at City Commission meetings have expressed concern with having to give their address for the record when addressing the commission.

Members of the public have said they have privacy concerns with publicly sharing their addresses while providing comment at the city’s public meetings.

The requirement has been part of the rules adopted by the commission, based on the Montana Municipal Officer’s Handbook. The commission adopted its meeting rules in November 2019.

City Commissioners asked staff to review the requirement and staff is recommending that Rule 10.1 of the City of Great Falls Rules of Conduct and Procedure of Commission Meetings be amended to provide speakers the option to either provide their address or state whether they are a city resident for the record, when addressing the city commission at public meetings.

During their July 7 meeting, City Commissioners will consider whether to adopt that change.

The Montana Constitution and state laws require that local government decision making processes be conducted openly with reasonable opportunities for citizens to participate. State law authorizes the commission to determine its own rules and order of business.