The biggest discussion at Monday’s Fairmont City Council meeting was about open discussion. The public will no longer be required to fill out a form requesting to speak at a Fairmont City Council meeting. The council rescinded the requirement Monday after changing the wording of the original motion.

In March 2017, the council voted to require members of the public who wished to speak at the council meetings fill out a form which included their name, address, phone number and topic to be addressed and submit the form by the Wednesday prior to the council meeting.

Councilman Tom Hawkins made a motion that open discussion at the beginning of council meetings be restored “without any restrictions such as prior notice,” and it was seconded by Councilman Randy Lubenow.

Councilman Bruce Peters took issue with the wording that eliminated any restrictions.

Mayor Deb Foster said she took offense that filling out a simple form to be included in the council’s agenda could be construed as censorship. Peters repeated that he could not vote for the motion if “free of any restrictions” was included.

Hawkins withdrew his original motion and offered a revised motion that simply stated open discussion would be held at the beginning of each council meeting. Lubenow seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Mike Humpal, city administrator, requested that council members direct constituents with issues to him first for resolution.

New Fairmont 3rd Ward councilor Randy Lubenow was sworn in along with First Ward Councilor Bruce Peters and Mayor Deb Foster prior to the start of last night’s meeting. All were elected or re-elected in November .

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