Addressing The City Council

Citizens may address the City Council at Public Hearings and Open Forum.

Public Hearings

The following procedures apply to Public Hearings:

  • Mayor asks for staff report on item and opens item for discussion.
  • Citizens wishing to speak should raise their hands and approach the podium when recognized by the Mayor, then clearly state full name and address for the record. Spokespersons are given more time for presentations, and groups are encouraged to use them.
  • Everyone who wishes will have a chance to address the Council. Citizens must address all questions and comments to the Mayor, who will then determine who will answer them. Questions will be answered when all persons have had a chance to speak. Only one person may speak at a time. Citizens are urged to be polite and quiet as comments are made to the Council. Applauding or other displays of approval or disapproval are inappropriate during City Council proceedings.
  • No one will be given an opportunity to speak a second time until everyone has had an opportunity to speak initially. Please limit second presentation to new information and not rebuttals.
  • There will be no straw votes of people present. These are not helpful to the Council because they do not reflect accurate total community sentiment.
  • When public comments are completed, the Council closes the public hearing and starts its own discussion. The audience is welcome to listen quietly to the discussion but is requested not to make further comments.

Open Forum

In an effort to provide for full and open communication with the public, the City Council uses Open Forum to gather information via public input. The following procedures apply to Open Forum:

  • Open Forum will be the first agenda item, beginning promptly at 6:20 pm and lasting for a maximum of 10 minutes.
  • Citizens who wish to speak at Open Forum must sign in at the door before 6:15 pm. For the public record, speakers are required to provide their names, addresses, and the topic they wish to address.
  • The Mayor will call speakers to the podium according to their order on the sign-up sheet.
  • Each person will be allowed three minutes to speak.
  • A record of comments will be kept.
  • Speakers must direct their comments to the City Council as a whole and not to one particular member.
  • Speakers may not address topics that are in litigation or topics already on the current meeting's agenda.
  • Speakers are encouraged to comment on any aspect of City business, but direct or inferred comments on personality conflicts with City Council, Commission, or staff members will not be allowed. Speakers who make personal attacks or campaign endorsements or statements will lose the opportunity of addressing the Council in Open Forum.
  • City Council will not take official action on items discussed during Open Forum, except to refer items to staff or Commission for future report. Council members may ask questions for clarification purposes, but they may wish to investigate or research issues before responding. City Council or staff members will respond at a later date by letter or in person.