After some wild meetings, West Chester adopts new rules meant to calm them

An overflow crowd of union workers converged on the West Chester township trustee meeting Tuesday evening, to protest a plan to make the township a “Right to Work” place. West Chester Twp. trustees now plan to hold a special meeting on the topic of “Right to Work”. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
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An overflow crowd of union workers converged on the West Chester township trustee meeting Tuesday evening, to protest a plan to make the township a “Right to Work” place. West Chester Twp. trustees now plan to hold a special meeting on the topic of “Right to Work”. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

West Chester Twp. trustees say they don’t want to trample free speech but that they needed to revise rules to keep order at their meetings.

After a brief delay, the trustees passed a slightly revised resolution this week that specifically outlines proper meeting decorum, who is allowed to speak and provisions for trustees to change the rules when circumstances dictate deviation.

Dr. Mohammed Aziz’s drug rehab center brought people to meetings to protest when the “Right to Work” issue had people packing the township hall for months. The Station Road schoolhouse is the latest issue that angered people and brought them out to protest. Former Trustee Board President Mark Welch had to repeatedly had to call for calm and civility during some of the meetings.

RELATED: “Right to Work” brings raucous behavior at meetings

Newly seated Trustee Ann Becker asked for more time to consider the rule revisions at the last meeting but now agrees with the changes.

“I’m always leery when it comes to limitations on the First Amendment,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure we did this right and the only change from this week to last week was putting in a section regarding that the board can vote to waive any rules as they see needed. We don’t know what will come up in the future.”

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During some of the more heated meetings attendees were irate that only five people are allowed to speak at the beginning of the meetings — for two minutes each — and everybody else had to wait until after trustees have had first readings of resolutions and emergency resolutions.

Trustee Mark Welch said the rule change will allow them to change the order of things if people want input.