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Rules & Procedures for Speaking Before the Council

 All citizens have a right to speak before Council. There are two types of items that a citizen may want to speak to:
  1.  Items that are on the agenda; and
  2.  Items that are not on the agenda.

For items that are on the agenda, a citizen must sign-in to speak before a Council meeting begins. The sign-in sheet is at the entrance to the Council Chambers. Citizens who sign-up to speak to an item on the agenda will be given three (3) minutes time to speak on the item.

For all other items that are not on the agenda citizens must file a citizen's communication by registering to do so on a form provided by the City Clerk and will be allowed five (5) minutes to speak; said request must be received by the City Clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. the Thursday prior to the Council agenda’s posting. NOTE: A citizen’s communication will not be schedule to speak before the Council, until such time as the applicant has made all attempts to resolve their issue or concerns through City staff and their respective Council Members. Also, Citizen Communications are for information gathering and no action may be taken on by the Council.

Rules of Comportment when speaking before the Council:

  • A speaker must be recognized by the presiding officer in order to speak before the Council. When recognized, the speaker must step to the podium stating his/her name, address and organization (if relevant) for purposes of the record.
  • All statements and responses must be made at the podium and spoken into the microphone; comments from the audience are not acceptable.
  • All comments and questions must be directed to the Council as a whole and not to any specific member.
  • No questions will be asked of City staff without the permission of the presiding officer.
  • Speakers may designate his/her three minutes to another speaker; portions of the time are not allowed. If there is a group of speakers that wish to speak on the same item, a spokesperson can be designated to speak on the group’s behalf.
  • Charges against employees are not acceptable as a citizen communication and will be ruled out of order immediately and will be referred to take their complaints to the City Manager.
  • No electronic media is allowed for presentations during a Citizen Communication. Information being presented to Council should be in paper format and twelve (12) copies should be provided to the City Clerk for distribution to Council and staff. Speakers may also use the overhead camera to display copies on the Council screens. For assistance with this item, please see the City Clerk’s staff.
  • Once a speaker has completed his/her comments and takes a seat, any remaining time on the clock is forfeited, and he/she may not return to the podium.
  • Any person delaying, disrupting, interrupting or refusing to follow the orders of the presiding officer shall be removed from the meeting per the direction of the presiding officer.

Time limits:

  • The City Clerk will operate the time clock at the direction of the presiding officer.
  • Time limits will be strictly enforced. Speakers shall not go over their designated time unless said time frame is extended by a vote of the Council.
  • The time clock will start when the speaker steps up to the podium.
  • The time clock will give a warning in the form of a flashing light and one ring, when the speaker has 30 seconds remaining on his/her time. It is at this time that the speaker should begin wrapping up his/her comments.
  • The time clock will give notice of the expiration of time with three consecutive rings; at this time the speaker should end all comments and return to his/her seat.


Request to Appear Before City Council