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Opinion: San Diego County’s new public comment rules make sense — with two possible exceptions



After hearing months of angry, threatening remarks from speakers — including a vile racist outburst last week — county supervisors on Wednesday voted 3 to 1 to tighten rules for public comment.

Using “loud or threatening language” and engaging in actions like whistling, clapping or interrupting the person called by the board to speak will not be allowed if they interfere with “the orderly conduct” of a board meeting. These changes are straightforward. Two others are slightly less so.

One allows the board chair to reduce from two minutes to one minute the amount of time individual speakers can talk if there are more than 10 people waiting to comment on the same item. This change doesn’t seem to be about reducing offensive conduct. In an interview with an editorial writer, board Chair Nathan Fletcher acknowledged this point and said the change was meant to ensure more people got a chance to address the board.

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