Pauly Tarricone’s Suppressed Public Comment

Last week, Pauly Tarricone was not allowed to speak during the Bloomington City Council meeting on a new ordinance the Council is considering to give itself control over the Bloomington Traffic Calming and Greenways Program. Below are the comments Tarricone would have given.

“Good evening, council. My name is Pauly Tarricone. I’m a student, I’ve lived in Bloomington for almost 10 years, and I’m a commissioner on the Bike and Pedestrian Safety Commission. As we consider the effects of 23-08, which would require the action of Council on each traffic calming/greenway project, no matter how small, it is worth observing how this legislation has acted thus far. The predecessor of 23-08 was 22-35 [this is about where Council President Sue Sgambulleri cut me off]. which did not make it out of 2022 due to, get this, an overload of pending work by Council.

This legislation, which is to decide on Council’s own workload for the foreseeable future, was tabled last year due to a saturated work load, and thankfully was tabled once more to allow for the consideration of the Bike/Pedestrian Safety Commission on how to advise council of this matter, which should have already occurred!

If Council itself can’t efficiently and appropriately reach a point of action on its own workload, how are we to expect that students, working parents, and other citizens will know when to show up to meetings? Let alone, 5-hour meetings? How are they to know when publicly listed agenda items concerning their neighborhoods will actually reach a vote? How are they to know when the time they carve for these long meetings is for naught?

The public hearings of greenways and traffic calming already take place in the neighborhoods that are affected. Let’s leave the hearings there, instead of creating additional barriers for citizens to advocate for safer streets in their neighborhoods.

I have some more extensive points on this matter, and I will save those for the point at which 23-08 is actually considered for a vote, which I hope for the sake of current and future Bloomingtonians, never occurs. Thank you.”


Why was public comment suppressed?

Last week, public comment was stifled on important pending decision. According to Bloomington City Council rules, “Members of the public may speak on matters of community concern not listed on the agenda at one of the two public comment opportunities.”

The issue was on the agenda, so it was not eligible for one of these general comment periods. Because the Council punted the decision, they also punted the agenda-related comment period — giving no opportunity at all for comment.

Find out more about Ordinance 23-08. It’s on the agenda for Wednesday, May 10 City Council Meeting.

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Commission meets May 8, 5:30 p.m.