Podium

PADUCAH — Does a new rule infringe on your First Amendment rights? At the next Paducah City Commission meeting, members will vote on whether to limit public comments to what's on the agenda.

Randy Beeler with the Sons of Confederate Veterans isn't happy about the new proposal that was brought up at Tuesday's meeting. He says it comes down to one thing. "The city is trying to create a wall between the citizens and the leadership," Beeler says. "It's the First Amendment — simple as that. So, at any point in time, our city commission can stand up and tell you that you cannot speak your piece. All you're doing is advocating for people to start doing things the wrong way." 

City Commissioner Richard Abraham says he understands the public's concern, but he hasn't made up his mind on the proposed ordinance yet. 

"That's where I am right now, in that pondering stage looking at the pros and cons of it," Abraham says. 

He says members of the public will still be able to talk to city council members about concerns that are not on the agenda. They just can't do it at the meetings. 

"You can email your commissioner. You can call city hall for the number. We'll get back to you," Abraham says. 

Beeler thinks it could make problems worse. 

"People can't voice their opinion, then nobody else is going to know how the rest of the city feels," said Beeler. 

The second reading of the ordinance to determine whether it will pass is scheduled for Sept. 10.