ROCKLAND — Newly elected Mayor Louise MacLellan-Ruf had proposed limiting the speaking time by City Councilors during meetings but dropped it before a vote was taken.

MacLellan-Ruf had sponsored an ordinance amendment that would limit Councilors to speaking twice and for no more than 10 minutes overall on any one question. Unanimous consent would have been needed to speak longer or more than twice on each issue.

Currently, the city ordinance does not limit the number of times a councilor can speak on each issue and those speaking times are limited to 20 minutes at one time. This more expansive speaking limit was adopted in 2020, replacing the limits that MacLellan-Ruf was proposing to re-instate.

Former Councilor Nate Davis proposed the 2020 amendment that is currently the law — the ordinance amendment was the first one he sponsored after being elected in November 2019.

“I proposed the 2020 amendment due to my years-long frustration as a member of the public at what I perceived to be a lack of substantive debate during City Council meetings, as well as frustration at an archaic and sclerotic meeting structure that inhibited the free flow of ideas,” Davis said in a Dec. 2 email to Councilors. “I think that City Council meetings are still archaic and sclerotic, but by removing the limitation on speaking only twice, we at least moved slightly towards more open discussion than I perceived the Council to have engaged in previously.”

Resident Amy Files also submitted a letter to Councilors voicing opposition to changing the current practice. She said the change would be draconian and would be against a more open, participatory process.

At the agenda-setting meeting of the Council on Dec. 5, the mayor announced the proposal had been removed from the agenda and will not be considered at the Dec. 12 regular meeting.