PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council today changed its own rules and the result will be a limit on the number of public speeches during its regular meetings.

City Council late last year was ordered by the state Supreme Court to allow public speeches at its regular Thursday meetings (see related story). Council President Anna Verna since then has only allowed speeches about the bills listed on its legislative calendar. Now Council has altered its rules so that fewer bills are on the calendar, meaning fewer speeches can be made.

KYW Newsradio asked Verna what the harm is of letting the public speak on these matters.

Verna said,  “There is no harm.  But there’s no good either.”

(Mike Dunn)  “Having speeches is not good?”

(Verna)  “I didn’t say that. Now don’t put words in my mouth. Don’t put words in my mouth.  This is the way its going to be.”

But Bill Greenlee, co-sponsor of a controversial bill to mandate paid sick leave, said the removal of that bill from the regular calendar was — at least in part — to reign in weeks of speeches on the issue by supporters and opponents.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060