Giving Input at a Public Hearing

Types of Public Hearings: Required and Courtesy

Required Hearings — Some proposed laws the council is considering are required by law to have a public hearing where residents can give their views and opinions on the proposed law. These are called “required public hearings” and everyone who signs up to speak will be heard. Usually, the order goes back and forth between those in favor of the proposed law and those against it.

At other times, a council member may ask for a hearing about something the council is considering. This is called a “courtesy public hearing” and they usually last for a fixed amount of time. In these cases, as many people as possible will speak in a random order within the given time.

Things to know about speaking at a hearing:

  • You can sign up to speak starting at 3:00 p.m. on the day of the hearing. The sign-up period ends at 5:30 p.m.
  • You may speak in person or via Zoom. You’ll be sent information about the location and the link you need after you sign up.
  • Hearings are held at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays during the regular City Council meeting. Keep in mind that the council may have some other business to do before the hearing begins. You should plan on being present in the chamber or on Zoom shortly before 5:30 p.m.
  • Each speaker will have 3 minutes to speak. There is a countdown clock, so you’ll know how much time you have left. You cannot give your unused time to other speakers.
  • Please turn off cell phones or other devices that might make noise during your comments.
  • 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.


Can I give written testimony?

Yes. Instead of speaking during the hearing, you can submit written testimony. You should send it to no later than 3:00 p.m. on the date of the hearing so that they are available to council members before the meeting.  


Sign up to speak