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Norgaards say speech limits violate law

Norgaards object to village order, say they have a right to speak

Tempers flared at the Rib Lake Village Board meeting on January 9 over the issue of free speech.
Before the public comment portion of the meeting, village president Bill Schreiner reminded Ken and Renee Norgaard that they had received a letter from the village’s attorney regarding their recent behavior at the village board meetings. He said the letter states that if the behavior continues, legal action could be taken.
Schreiner went over the review of the rules for citizen’s comments and said if they are not followed, he would call a point of order to stop the behavior. He said if the behavior is not stopped, the board would have the Norgaards removed from the meeting room.
“After discussing the open meeting laws with our attorney, the following rules will be implemented with citizen’s rights to address council,” Schreiner began. “One, the law grants you the right to be present, not to speak. Two, however, since citizen’s concerns are a listed item on the agenda, there will be a two-minute limit. Three, citizen’s comments must be related to a matter on the agenda. Four, comments related to a future matter may be allowed. Five, any comments relating to issues already acted on in the past will be stopped immediately. Six, if decided that the comments are not relative or or abusive, the citizen may be ordered to modify his comments, refrained from speaking or leave the boardroom.”

Read the full story in this week's issue of The Star News.

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