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      Mayor thinks citizens should have more time to speak at city council meetings

      On Monday, the Ottumwa City Council will discuss changing the amount of time citizens are allowed to speak.

      This comes from the request of Mayor Frank Flanders who took notice of the issue, as several residents speaking against a controversial rezoning ordinance felt they did not have enough time to let the council hear their concerns. People in the community currently have three minutes per item on the agenda they wish to speak about.

      While some council members say they think three minutes is a substantial amount of time to get a point across, the mayor says he thinks people in the community should be allowed five minutes to speak.

      â??Iâ??d like to see the change voted in as an ordinance as soon as possible,â?? Mayor Flanders said. â??We'll see what the council has to say about it Monday. I know that there will be some resistance, and I'm interested to see what their reason is going to be.â??