Posted on March 21st, 2024

In 2020, City Council adopted rules for citizen participation at Council and other board and commission meetings. Since then, the rules have been amended from time-to-time. These rules are intended to ensure meetings are productive and effective while allowing residents to address Council on issues that matter to them. In general, the rules can be summed up as follows:

  1. During the citizen comments section and on discussion items, an individual can speak once and for up to three minutes.
  2. Individuals must approach the front of the room and state their name and full address before speaking.
  3. Comments must be directed at Council and not the public at large. Public comment is not an opportunity to engage in a debate with Council or other members of the public. It is also not a platform to address the public, or to participate in Council’s deliberations. Rather, public comment is an opportunity for the public to offer input to Council before Council makes a decision.
  4. Individuals shall not interrupt or question someone who is recognized to speak by the Mayor or a Councilmember, and they should not engage in dialogue with others while someone else is speaking.
  5. Remote participation platforms such as Zoom are usually available as an option to participate, but it is not required or guaranteed. When available, individuals on Zoom have the same opportunities to speak as individuals attending in person.
  6. A violation of these rules could lead to the Mayor declaring an individual out of order and relinquishing his or her right to speak. Repeated violations could lead to removal from a meeting.

These rules were enacted to ensure Council can run orderly and effective meetings and so all individuals are afforded an opportunity to offer Council an opinion without interruption or disturbance. Occasionally, Council may amend these rules at meetings depending on need and circumstances, but residents will always have an opportunity to attend and speak at meetings. 

You can access the complete public comment rules and Council’s rules of order on the City Council page.