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Riverhead Town Board Votes To Lift Anti-Boo Ban

The Riverhead Town Board (file / credit: Town of Riverhead)

The Riverhead Town Board (file/credit: Town of Riverhead)

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RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Riverhead residents are once again free to voice their displeasure at town board meetings, as long as it’s done politely.

The Riverhead board voted to repeal the anti-boo rule that was approved earlier this month.

In Tuesday’s 4-1 vote to strike the anti-boo rule from the books, the board voted to retain another part of its code. That part prohibits disruptive behavior and disruptive demonstrations.

No explanation was given on how to boo without being disruptive.

Councilman James Wooten said the town supervisor should be able to keep order at a meeting without written rules. He was the lone vote against the boo ban in the first place.

In early March, the board voted to approve the rule at meetings saying that the public cannot make distracting sounds like booing or hissing. There is no penalty for those who violate the rule.

Supervisor Sean Walter defended the intent of the anti-booing rule. He said there are similar regulations in towns across New York state.

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