City Council 101

Addressing the Council

Citizens wishing to address the Council on non-public hearing agenda items and items not on the agenda may do so during Citizen Comments. Once the business portion of the meeting begins, only comments related to public hearings will be heard. All comments are limited to 5 minutes. Please refrain from "personal criticisms." In order to be recognized during the "Citizen Comments" or during a Public Hearing (applicants included), please complete a blue or yellow "Appearance Card" located at the entry to the City Council Chamber and present it to the Assistant City Secretary. Do not expect a response from Council, as the Council cannot respond due to regulations of the Open Meetings Act.

PUBLIC HEARING PROCEDURE (Yellow Appearance Card)

If you have material you would like to share with the City Council, you are encouraged to provide it to the City Secretary prior to the meeting. The City Secretary will make sure the council members receive the material.

CITIZEN COMMENTS PROCEDURE (Blue Appearance Card)

If you have material you would like to share with the City Council, you are encouraged to provide it to the City Secretary prior to the meeting. The City Secretary will make sure the council members receive the material.


Tips for making successful presentations

Any individual wishing to make a presentation before the City Council or one of its official boards must present a copy of that presentation on CD, DVD or through email a minimum of four days in advance of such meeting to the City Secretary.

  • When speaking, state your name and address for the record.
  • Presentations should be clear and concise.
  • Groups and organizations are asked to designate one spokesperson whenever possible.
  • Repetition of ideas expressed by other speakers should be avoided.
  • Address your remarks to the whole Council, rather than a specific member.

Every effort will be made to ensure that citizens have ample opportunity to address the Council.


Council Actions

Motions: A Motion is an informal action of the City Council which authorizes or disapproves various proposed or suggested action on the part of the City Administration.

Resolutions: A Resolution is a formal written action of the City Council relating to ministerial, administrative or executive matters. The City Council proceeds by resolution on matters having reference to the ordinary and current affairs of the City. Resolutions require a single reading and become effective upon the passage and execution by the Mayor.

Ordinance: An Ordinance is a legislative enactment by the City Council. It must be in written form when introduced and by Charter requirement it is necessary that it be voted on at three separate meetings. Ordinances take effect 10 days after the date of publication, penal ordinances take effect immediately on its publication. For your convenience, you may now view the City Code of Ordinances online.

Minute Orders: Form letters documenting Council actions distributed after meetings to originating departments and/or outside parties.


Types of Council Meetings

Regular Meetings: Held on the second and fourth Monday of each month in the Council Chambers located in the City Hall.

Special Meetings: Held as needed to provide the Council with an opportunity to review in depth a special issue or project. Formal action may be taken at these special meetings, which are open to the public.

Work Sessions: Held as needed by the Council in Council Chambers 20 minutes prior to the Council meetings. No formal action may be taken at this time. These sessions are open to the public.

Closed Sessions: (Executive Sessions) Held for the specific purpose of addressing a personnel or litigation matter. For reasons of confidentiality, these sessions are closed to the general public.