Today's North Shore News notes that the City of North Vancouver has revamped their rules for public hearings. Although they will still allow pro-high-rise speakers to participate in public hearings, they did level the field in terms of registration and speaker order:
Under the new rules, anyone wishing to be on the speakers list for a public hearing must sign up in person. There will now be two signup sheets; one for people planning to speak in favour of a project and one for those opposed. Council will alternately call people from each list to prevent one side of the debate from dominating the meeting. The sign-up sheets will be available an hour and a half before the start time of every public hearing. Council also boosted the city clerk's overtime budget so staff can monitor the sign-up process on nights when large turnouts are expected.The NSN did not note what happens to people who feel they are neither pro nor con on any subject.
The fact remains that open public hearings almost never add anything useful to municipal discussions. The real, serious analysis is always done behind closed doors.