Regardless of your views on Monday's Durham City Council vote on accepting matricula consulars as identification for police, Bull City leaders took an interesting approach to public comment.
As noted in Tuesday's article by Jim Wise, Durham Mayor Bill Bell restricted public comment on the matricula consular issue to Durham residents. This caused some people in the audience to walk out as they complained that their free-speech rights were violated and that the issue was larger than Durham.
The issue had generated national controversy among conservative groups with non-Durham residents wanting to voice their opposition to the proposal.
Contrast Durham's action with what's happened at Wake County school board meetings, where no such restriction on public comment has been placed based on residency.
Wake County residents have made up most of the speakers at board meetings. But at some meetings, such as the ones in March and July, the state NAACP has brought in speakers from outside the county.
Imagine what the reaction would be if school board chairman Ron Margiotta told the Rev. William Barber or the Rev. Curtis Gatewood that they couldn't speak on student assignment because they don't live in Wake? (I know it can't happen now for Barber because he's been trespassed.)
Some of Margiotta's supporters have floated that idea of limiting, or at least giving speaking priority, to Wake County residents.