City Council Procedures
The City Council meets on the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30 p m in the Council Chambers of City Hall. All meetings are open to the public and notices of meetings are posted on the Internet, published in the local papers and posted at City Hall and at the public library. An agenda showing the order of business and specific issues to be considered by the Council is available for visitors. Discussion items are placed on the agenda as a result of action by the Committee of the Whole, or by appointed committees or commissions. The City Council may meet in closed session when dealing with certain subjects in accordance with state law.
Committee of the Whole
The Council is currently trying a Committee of the Whole format on a trial basis.
All items are discussed initially by the Committee of the Whole before appearing on a Council agenda. Committee of the Whole consideration facilitates detailed discussion of the issues and provides greater opportunity for public input, which is not only welcome, but encouraged. Meetings are at 7 p m at City Hall on non-council meeting Mondays. There are several subject areas addressed during the Committee of the Whole meetings.
Finance and Budget is the subject of meetings on the fourth Mondays. This includes all financial proposals, revenues, expenditures and budget appropriations.
Procedure and Regulations issues are covered on the fourth Mondays. This includes all matters of policy related to the general health and welfare of the community.
Public Safety issues are addressed on the second Monday of the month. All matters relating to police and fire protection to maintain the safety of the citizenry are covered.
Public Works matters are discussed on the second Monday of the month. This includes all matters of policy relating to capital improvements, and the construction and maintenance of public ways, including streets, sidewalks, curbs, alleys, public parking lots, parkways, sewers, water usage, traffic control, parking and engineering.
In addition, the Council hears land use matters referred by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Building Board of Review. The Council also receives reports on a variety of other commissions, groups and other local governments.
Procedures for Addressing the Council
Citizens wishing to speak on an action item on the agenda will be recognized by the Mayor when that item is being considered by the Council. Comments from the audience will be taken after the report of the committee chairman and before debate by the City Council. Citizens wishing to be heard on items not included on the formal agenda will be recognized under the agenda heading "Citizens Wishing to Address the Council."
Each person addressing the Council is asked to take the podium, speak into the microphone, and state his/her name and address. All questions or comments shall be directed to the Mayor, not to individual Council members, and will be limited to a maximum of five minutes. Any handouts shall be handed directly to the City Clerk for distribution to the City Council and staff members.
Once the City Council debate begins on an item, no further comments from the audience will be entertained. If an amendment or other motion is made which substantially changes the main motion, the chair shall recognize persons in the audience wishing to speak to that amendment. Once the City Council debate begins on an amendment, no further comments from the audience will be entertained.