Mayor Ward's questionable decision to limit direct democracy!

Knowing that the City Council's next meeting about the Sand Dune could have a record turn-out, Mayor Mitch Ward should be commended for scheduling a special Manhattan Beach City Council meeting devoted just to the Sand Dune.  Moreover, Mayor Ward should also be recognized for moving the meeting to a special venue to accommodate a potentially record breaking crowd.
This is why such an unorthodox, unilateral decision to limit public comments seem to reverse his good intentions for the democratic process and leave a  majority of residents that were in attendance disappointed. Knowing that a full-house was to be expected, why did Mayor Ward then restrict public input to just one hour?  Furthermore - if you were lucky enough to be called in the "speaking lottery", your comments were restricted to only one minute - barely enough time to even make one thoughtful point. So what if public comments lasted for two hours - this would still be well within the norm for previous Sand Dune City Council Meetings and certainly expected by all those in attendance. On the one hand you have public officials recommending and encouraging residents to attend these meetings so that their voice can be heard and then  the carpet is pulled right from underneath them by eliminating many from speaking and those who do, to only 60-seconds soundbites.  Perhaps most disappointing, are those who came to participate in the process for the very first time.  It is true that only 70 cards were submitted, but anybody who has been to these type of meetings knows full well that amount of residents that feel like expressing their views, gradually increases throughout the discussion as these very same first-timers have time to listen to others before deciding to speak.
And then the City wonders why many become disengaged by the political process...............