How do I know when a public hearing is being held?
Public hearings are posted under “Public Hearings – Bills for Final Consideration” in the City Council agenda that is published each Friday.
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What is the difference between a required and a courtesy public hearing?
A required public hearing is required by law — all those who sign up to speak on the proposed ordinance will be heard.
A courtesy public hearing is requested by a Council Member and is typically limited to one hour — speakers will be heard in random order until the one-hour time limit has expired.
How do I sign up to speak?
Speakers may sign-up from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Office, Room 451. Speakers arriving after 5:30 will have to wait to sign up until the recess prior to the public hearing.
During the recess, council staff will distribute speaker cards at the speaker’s podium. Complete the card, including your address, and return it to council staff. The speaker card must be signed by the speaker. No sign-ups will be accepted after council is back in session.
NO sign-up by proxy; the person wishing to speak must be the one to sign up.
How will I know when it’s my turn to speak?
The council president will call the names of several speakers at a time to proceed to the front row of seats directly behind the podium. Your name will be called individually when it is your turn to speak.
How much time will I have?
You will have 3 minutes to speak. A traffic-light graphic keeps time on the presentation monitors. Yellow indicates you have 30 seconds remaining to conclude your remarks, and the red light indicates your time is up.
Can I give my 3 minutes to someone else?
If speaking at a required public hearing, you may yield your 3 minutes to another speaker, giving that person a total of 6 minutes. No speaker will be allowed more than 6 minutes. Indicate your request to yield time to someone else on your speaker card.
Speakers may not start speaking and then give remaining time to another speaker.
Time may not be yielded to another speaker during a courtesy public hearing.
Are speakers called in a certain order?
All speakers for a required public hearing will be called in an order determined by the council president, alternating between opposing points of view when possible.
Speakers for a courtesy public hearing will be selected by lottery. After all the speaker cards have been collected, they will be sorted by “support” and “oppose.” Cards will be randomly selected, alternating between the two positions, until the one-hour time limit is reached.
General Dos and Don’ts
- Please turn off cell phones when you enter council chambers.
- Begin by stating your name, city of residence, and if you feel comfortable doing so, your home address.
- Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks during your comments.
- Disruptive behavior by a speaker or audience member will result in removal from the chambers.
- Seating is limited in council chambers. You may be asked to watch the meeting from an over-flow room. You will be given time to get from the over-flow room to chambers to speak.