Several Amarillo citizens voiced their complaints Tuesday about time changes in Amarillo City Council meetings during a work session held for public comment.

More than once during the meeting, Councilmember Elaine Hays, Place 1, had to ask a speaker to refrain from personnel attacks on City Manager Jared Miller.

Mayor Ginger Nelson was not present at the meeting and no action was taken by the council.

The first speaker, Noah Dawson, asked Miller and the council to resign.

“I’m tired of being misled by public officials,” Dawson said.

Dawson said he has was denied the opportunity to speak at last week’s work session because he had arrived too late for meeting.

He said it was his understanding that public comment was to last from noon to 1 p.m. and he had arrived at 12:40 p.m., after the council closed the meeting.

The public comment begins at noon, followed by a business meeting at 1 p.m.

A third meeting is held by council at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays, which has raised the ire of many local citizens who claim the 7 a.m. time is too early for them to attend.

Dawson and others said the noon meetings were likewise inconvenient.

Speakers also accused the city of calling the public comment a “work session” to get around the state’s open meetings law.

They complained that the public comment meetings are not recorded in either audio or video and are not broadcast.

Also on Tuesday, the Amarillo League of Women Voters released a statement to the local press protesting the change in meeting times.

“We believe that 7 a.m. meetings, especially when a budget is being considered, make it almost impossible for taxpayers to participate in the meetings,” the League wrote in the letter. “We further believe that having varying council meeting times i.e. 7 a.m., 12 noon and 1 p.m., confuses and discourages taxpayers from attending and participating. These times do not allow the average worker or teacher to attend and participate. The former meeting time of 5 p.m. allows more taxpayers to attend and participate and should be reinstated.”

The League of Women Voters is a nationwide organization that was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The convention was held six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle.

Through its nearly 100 year history, the League has broadened its scope, advocating voting rights not only for women, but minorities and rural citizens as well.

The letter continued: “Our League Principles state the ‘LWV believes that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know…’ Our Principles further state that ‘responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people.’