PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Panama City commissioners are testing a new system for audience participation.

In recent years, residents could speak to the commission throughout the meeting as they go through each agenda item.

In an August 22nd meeting, they voted to change that.

Now, in an attempt to save time, residents can only address agenda items at the beginning of the meeting.

Residents expressed concern over the move, saying it robs them of the chance to speak on an issue before the commission votes.

“We acknowledge there were some rough spots, but I think we can work those out and I think we’re going to be all right if we go, you know, three or four more meetings and we don’t get it worked out. Yeah, we’ll have to switch back. I mean, we’ll have to do something. Absolutely. But I’m confident that we’re going to be able to do it,” said Mayor Rohan.

The City’s charter allows for each resident to speak to the commission for a maximum of three minutes. Residents are also given time to speak at the end of each meeting about non-agenda items.