Rules & Decorum
Rules & Decorum
Meetings of the City Council shall be governed by the Rules of Procedure and Rules of Decorum found on this page. The executed copy of Ordinance 2022-01-01 which established and updated these rules may be viewed here. Please select the appropriate drop-down option below:
In General: General information about City Council Meetings, Actions, and Records of Meetings.
Chapter 23 CITY COUNCIL: ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL
Sec. 23-1. Authority.
Pursuant to Article III, Section 3.08 of the City Charter for the City of Alpine, Texas, the City Council shall determine by ordinance its own rules of procedure and order of business.
Sec. 23-2. Construction of Authority.
The construction of authority in all matters associated with City Council meetings and activities of the City Council, including the agenda, shall be: (1) the United States Constitution and statutes of the United States of America, (2) The Texas Constitution and statutes of the State of Texas, (3) the Alpine City Charter, and (4) the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alpine, Texas.
Sec. 23-3. Meetings shall be Public.
The City Council shall follow both the letter and the spirit of Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code (The Texas Open Meetings Act). Accordingly, meetings shall be open to the public.
Sec. 23-4. Types of Meetings.
(a) Regular Meetings. Regular City Council meetings shall be held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 P.M. in City Council Chambers at 803 W. Holland Avenue, or at such other location as circumstances may necessitate. The location of the meeting shall be clearly delineated on the Council Agenda. Posting proper notice may change the location or time, or part, or all of any meeting. All unfinished meetings shall recess no later than completion of the agenda item pending at 9:00 p.m., unless by motion and majority vote the council decides to continue the meeting; meetings shall be recessed under the following conditions:
(1) If any of the five councilmembers present cannot attend the next day to reconvene, the meeting must adjourn unless all of the Council Members who cannot attend the next day give permission to recess.
(2) If recessed, the meeting shall be reconvened in the same place, at the same time, and on the next day, unless by motion and majority vote the council decides to set a different time and/or place.
(b) Workshop Meetings. A workshop is a meeting to discuss or explore matters of interest to the City, review and discuss agenda items, meet with City boards, commissions or committee members, City Staff or officers of civic organizations, governing bodies or individuals specifically invited to the session by the Mayor, City Manager or the Council. These meetings are informational and no formal action shall be taken unless the posted agenda indicates otherwise. The Mayor may allow any citizen to participate in the discussion at a work session, but only as recognized by the Mayor. The Mayor may end citizen participation in a work session in order to allow the City Council to proceed with discussion.
(c) Special Meetings or Town Hall Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the City Secretary upon written request of the Mayor, or by any three (3) members of the City Council. The City Secretary shall cause the posting of notice of the meeting as governed by applicable law. Special meetings shall normally be held at 5:30 P.M. in City Council Chambers located at 803 W. Holland Avenue. The Mayor or three Council Members may designate a location for the special meeting other than City Council Chambers as long as the location is open to the public, proper notice is posted, and the meeting is in compliance with applicable law.
(d) Emergency Meetings. In case of emergency or urgent public necessity, pursuant to Sec. 551.045, Texas Government Code, an emergency meeting may be called by the Mayor, City Manager or his/her designee, or two members of the City Council. The emergency shall be clearly expressed in the notice of the meeting and the notice must be posted at least two hours before the meeting is convened. Notice shall be provided to the media in accordance with Section 551.047, Texas Government Code.
(e) Closed Meeting or Executive Session. The City Council may meet in a closed meeting but only under conditions enumerated in Section 551, Texas Government Code. An executive session item relating to personnel matters must be conducted in an open meeting upon the request for a public hearing by the officer or employee who is the subject of the deliberation. Details discussed in closed meetings shall be considered confidential and shall not be discussed or disclosed outside of the meeting. The City Council shall determine who may or may not attend Executive Session. No action may be taken by the City Council in executive session. Any final action resulting from an Executive Session must be taken during the open public session.
Sec. 23-4. Types of Council Action.
The Council adopts standing policy for the City primarily in two forms: (a) Ordinances; (b) Resolutions.
(a) Ordinances. An ordinance adopted by the Council is a law of the City that may be enforced through the court system. Copies of proposed ordinances are furnished to members of the Council in their agenda packets. Copies of proposed ordinances are made available at City Hall and will be furnished to residents upon request to the City Secretary.
(1) A proposed ordinance may be amended during a preliminary reading, but any ordinance amended in substance at a final reading (and public hearing), must be again reconsidered at the next regular meeting. The exception to this rule is ordinances authorizing the issue of bonds or other obligations. General ordinances are those ordinances of a permanent or continuing nature that affect the residents of the City at large. The Council may legislate by ordinance only. Ordinances are maintained by the City Secretary.
(b) Resolutions. Resolutions do not have the force of law. A resolution is adopted to state a policy or to define in writing the intent or action of the Council when a law is not necessary. The City hereby adopts a policy by which each council action is assigned a resolution number correlating with the action. Resolutions formally document approval of a Council action, may be used to define the Council's policy on an issue, or may otherwise be used as dictated by Ordinance or Texas Statute. In the absence of a formal, written or typed, and signed document, the Resolution and associated action shall be verifiable in the minutes of the meeting at which the action was approved by the Council. Resolutions are maintained by the City Secretary.
Sec. 23-5. Record of Meetings.
(a) The City Secretary shall keep written minutes and video recordings of all City Council Meetings. Minutes and video recordings of meetings shall be public documents available for inspection by citizens. Minutes are only official upon approval of the City Council. Unapproved minutes may be released at the discretion of the City Secretary, but shall be clearly marked as “Unapproved and Unofficial.” The official minutes of the City Council should not include discussion or everything that was said at the meeting, but at minimum shall include:
(1) Action taken by the Council.
(2) The text of all main motions, as amended.
(3) The text of all "points of order" and "appeals,” along with the reason given by the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem for the ruling.
(4) The results of the vote, as to whether the motion was “adopted,” “lost,” or “failed.”
(5) A record of the Council Member who made the motion, the Council Member who seconded the motion, any Council Member who moves to amend a main motion, and how each Council Member voted on the item.
(6) A Council Member may request, through the Presiding Officer, the privilege of having an abstract of his/her statement on any subject under consideration by the Council entered in the minutes. If the Council consents thereto by a majority vote, such statement shall be entered in the minutes.
(7) The Council may, by majority vote, request to add or amend minutes as the Council deems appropriate.
(b) Record of the City Council Agenda Packets will be assembled and maintained by the City Secretary, and delivered to the City Council on the Friday prior to the City Council Meeting (and a commensurate period for special meetings).
(1) A redacted version of the packets, redacting all personnel or legal materials, shall be available on the City website at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
Sec. 23-6. RESERVED.
Rules of Procedure: General Rules and Guidelines that govern meetings of the City Council including Quorum, Parliamentary Procedure, Agenda, Council Member Attendance, Voting, and Order of Business.
Sec. 23-7. Quorum.
In accordance with Section 3.07(b) of the City Charter, the Mayor shall, with three of the Councilmembers, constitute a quorum. In the absence of the Mayor, any four of the Council Members shall constitute a quorum. If, because of one or more vacancies, the Council comprises less than six (6) members, sixty (60) percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum. At any meeting at which both the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem are absent, the quorum may appoint any Councilmember to preside as acting Mayor.
Sec. 23-8. Parliamentary Procedure.
(a) General Procedure. General rules of parliamentary procedure as defined herein, consistent with the City Charter and any applicable City ordinance, statute or other legal requirement, shall govern the proceedings of the City Council. To the extent not inconsistent with these rules, the City Council shall utilize Robert’s Rules of Order as a general guideline for additional rules of parliamentary procedure without being a procedural requirement. Notwithstanding the above, failure to abide by, or adhere to, these rules shall not nullify or negate any action by the City Council. These rules of parliamentary procedure are intended solely as a guideline. The City Council may adopt or revoke any specific rules of procedure at any time by resolution or ordinance.
(b) Parliamentarian. The City Secretary is designated as the Parliamentarian of the City Council. He/She shall make recommendations to the Presiding Officer as appropriate to advise on parliamentary procedure. The Parliamentarian may offer advice and recommendations, but the Presiding Officer makes the final ruling on procedural issues, subject to appeal by a majority vote of the City Council.
(c) Duties of the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer of the Council shall be the Mayor. The Presiding Officer shall preserve strict order and decorum at all regular and special meetings of the Council. He/She shall state every question coming before the Council, announce the decision of the Council on all subjects and decide all questions of order, subject, however, to an appeal to the City Council, in which event a majority vote of the City Council shall govern and conclusively determine such question of order. He/She shall sign all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council during his/her presence. In the event of the absence of the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem shall sign ordinances or resolutions as then adopted. The City Secretary shall countersign all official documents and signatures of the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem.
(1) The Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem shall preside with fairness and impart maintaining absolute neutrality by posture, demeanor, action and language during all meetings. The Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, or any Council Member shall not:
(I) Restrict orderly speech, in any way, of any Council Member or City Manager presentation of any item.
(II) Restrict orderly speech, in any way, of any Council Member or City Manager discussion of any item.
(III) At the written request of any Council Member or the Mayor, the department heads of finance, public works, gas and utilities, along with the Chief of Police, shall attend meetings until dismissed by a majority vote of the council, or until the meeting is adjourned. The specific topic that the department head must address should be included in the written request.
(d) Council Deliberations. The Presiding Officer has the responsibility to control the discussion and the order of speakers. Council Members will generally be called upon in the order of the request to speak, although privilege to speak shall generally begin with the moving party or individual who sponsored the item on the agenda, respectively. A Council Member may not be recognized to speak subsequently until each Council Member has had an opportunity to obtain the floor. A Council Member holding the floor may address a question to another Council Member and that Council Member may, should they so choose, respond to the question while the floor is still held by the Council Member asking the question.
(e) Limits to Deliberations. After an agenda item is announced or read by the Presiding Officer, or the individual who sponsored the item on the agenda, a motion must be on the table and seconded before discussion may take place. The ensuing discussion must be limited to the subject matter or motion currently being considered.
(f) Obtaining the Floor. Any member of the Council wishing to speak shall first obtain the floor by making a request for the floor to the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall recognize any Council Member who seeks the floor when appropriately entitled to do so.
(g) Motions. Motions may be made and seconded by any member of the City Council, excluding the Presiding Officer.
(h) Procedures for Motions. The following is the general procedure for making motions:
(1) The item is announced or read aloud by the Presiding Officer or the individual who sponsored the item on the agenda.
(2) A Council Member may make an affirmative motion on the item before discussion may take place.
(3) A Council Member may second the motion on the item before discussion may take place.
(4) Once the motion has been properly made and seconded, the Presiding Officer shall open the matter for further discussion offering the first opportunity to the moving party, and thereafter, to any Council Member recognized by the Presiding Officer.
(i) Amendments to Motions. When a motion is on the floor and an amendment is offered, the amendment shall be acted upon prior to acting on the main motion. No motion of a subject other than the agenda item under consideration shall be admitted as an amendment. A motion to amend an amendment shall be in order, but one to amend an amendment to an amendment shall not be in order. Action shall be taken on the amendments in reverse order of how they were made. If an amendment is approved, the original motion must be approved as amended. Amendments must be seconded.
(j) Motion to Table. A motion to Table, or a motion to lay on the table, may be made to defer an item until the next meeting. Tabled items will automatically be added to the next City Council agenda.
(k) Motion to Postpone, Motion to Postpone Indefinitely. A motion to postpone until a specific date may be made if a Council Member wishes to postpone an item until a specific date. A motion to postpone indefinitely may be made if a Council Members wishes to postpone an item indefinitely.
(l) Points of Order. The City Manager, the City Secretary, or any Council member may call a point of order to facilitate the running of the meeting, but shall not utilize a point of order to limit constructive feedback or debate pertaining to the discussion.
(m) Call for the Question, Previous Question, Calling for a Vote. Any Council Member may Call for the Question to request that discussion be ended and that the item being considered be immediately put to a vote. A second is required, and the motion is not debatable. A Call for the Question shall not be used to limit constructive feedback or debate pertaining to the discussion.
(n) Continuance of Discussion or Hearings. Any item being discussed or any public hearing at a City Council meeting may, by order, notice, or motion, be continued or tabled to any subsequent meeting.
(o) Recess. The Presiding Officer may call for a recess of up to fifteen (15) minutes at regular intervals at appropriate points in the meeting agenda.
Sec. 23-9. Agenda.
(a) The Mayor, the City Manager, the City Secretary, or any member of the City Council by written request, may place an item on a City Council agenda. All resolutions or ordinances require sponsorship by a Council Member or the City Manager.
(b) The written request to add an agenda item shall include a clear description of the proposed action by the Council (in the form of a proposed motion) or shall clearly state the item is for discussion purposes only, shall be of sufficient detail to allow staff to contribute background information on the topic, and shall be easily understandable so that any citizen may be able to understand the substance of the item.
(c) Agenda requests and backup documentation shall be filed with the City Secretary by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, prior to the Tuesday night City Council meeting (and a commensurate period for special meetings). Deviations from the deadlines, or the submission of additional items either past the established deadlines or once the agenda has been posted, should be exceedingly rare and of a clearly significant nature. All communications, ordinances, resolutions, contract documents, or other matters to be submitted to the Council shall also be delivered to the City Secretary on the same schedule. The only agenda items excepted by the above-referenced deadline are: City Mayor Report, City Manager Report, and City Attorney Report.
(d) Any agenda item requiring financial expenditure by the City must identify the line item of the budget that the expenditure will come from, the financing strategy to be utilized by the City, or the future budget requirements necessary to fulfill the request. The City Manager shall be available to assist or advise any Council Member in gathering the information that they need to make a recommendation.
(e) The City Secretary will coordinate the placement and content of items on the agenda with the City Manager, who shall resolve any conflicts with Mayor and Council members. Agenda items may be removed only by the person(s) who initially placed that item on the agenda.
(f) Drafts of contracts, ordinances, resolutions, or other items requiring review should be submitted to the City Secretary or City Manager in a manner timely enough to allow for the City Attorney review prior to the submittal deadline above.
Sec 23-10. Rules for Attendance at Regular Meetings of the City Council.
(a) Section 3.02 (B) of the City Charter provides that a member of City Council shall forfeit his or her office if absent from three (3) consecutive regular Council meetings without being excused by the Council.
(b) A member of City Council who will not be able to attend a regular Council meeting shall make a reasonable effort to notify the Mayor, the City Manager’s Office, or the City Secretary’s Office prior to the meeting, and shall indicate the reason for his or her inability to attend.
(c) Section 3.05 (B) of the City Charter provides that if any member of the Council is absent from a regularly scheduled meeting of the Council without being excused by the Council, that member shall forfeit fifty (50) percent of his or her monthly compensation for each such absence, not to exceed one hundred (100) percent in any one month. If a member is excused from a regularly scheduled meeting, the reason for the absence shall be reported by the Mayor or acting Mayor at the meeting at which the absence occurs, or at the following regularly scheduled meeting, and recorded in the minutes.
(d) Absences shall be considered excused if for personal illness, family illness, emergencies, funerals, military service, family events including vacations, weddings, and graduations, business obligations, official city business such as attendance at a conference for municipal officers, or for other good cause as determined by the Council. At the next regular meeting following the meeting at which the member was absent, the City Council shall consider a vote to determine whether the member’s absence is deemed excused or unexcused.
(e) Absence from a regular meeting shall be considered unexcused if the member fails to convey the reason for his or her absence to the Mayor, City Manager or City Secretary or otherwise fails to give sufficient information to the City Council to enable it to determine the reason for the absence.
Sec. 23-11. Voting.
(a) Presiding Officer may not Vote. In accordance with Section 3.03 of the City Charter, The Mayor, or the Mayor Pro Tem while presiding over the Council in the absence of the Mayor, shall vote only in the case of a tie except to pass an ordinance when the voting membership of the Council is reduced below five (5) owing to one or more absences and/or vacancies and/or abstentions. Neither the Mayor nor the Mayor Pro Tem shall have the power of veto.
(b) Before a vote is taken on any item, the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem shall restate the motion to ensure that the matter being considered is clearly understood prior to being voted on by the City Council.
(c) When a vote is called, every member present shall vote either "Aye" or "Nay" or shall abstain. In order to ensure clarity about the position of each councilmember during a vote, the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem shall ask for a positive statement for those in favor of a motion by stating "Aye" or raising of their hand, those not in favor of a motion by stating "Nay" or raising of their hand, and those who abstain from voting by stating "Abstain" or raising of their hand.
(c) Silence Constitutes Affirmative Vote. Unless a Council Member states that he/she is not voting, or that he/she abstains, his/her silence shall be recorded as an affirmative vote.
(c) On the request of the City Manager, City Secretary, or City Council Member, a roll call vote shall be taken. After the result of a vote is announced, a member may not change a vote unless, before the adjournment of that meeting, permission is given to change the vote by a majority vote of the members present.
(d) In all matters before the council, including a vote to hire or to terminate a city manager, the Mayor may only vote as outlined in Sec 23-10(a) of this section.
(1) The term "full City Council" means the five City Council members who may vote.
(2) Any matter requiring "a majority vote of the full city council" means such matter requires a vote of three members of the council in favor of said matter.
(3) No supermajority of four votes out of five of the City Council permitted to vote, in favor of hiring or terminating a City Manager, is allowed by the Charter, nor is required.
Sec. 23-12. Order of Business.
(a) The order of business for City Council meetings is listed below, and all items shall be listed on all regular or special meeting agendas, even if not needed for a given meeting.
(b) Informational language on the agenda may be established or amended from time to time by resolution, but any changes of substance shall be amended in this section by ordinance.
- Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
- Determination of quorum and proof of notice of the meeting.
- Public Comments (limited to 3 minutes per person).
- Presentations, recognitions, and proclamations.
City Mayor Report.
City Attorney Report.
City Manager Report.
City Staff Updates.
- Public Hearings.
- Consent Agenda.
- Information or Discussion items.
- Action items to be accompanied by a brief statement of facts, including where funds are coming from, if applicable. (Limited to 10 per meeting).
- Council Member Comments.
- Executive session.
- Action—Executive session.
Rules of Decorum: General Rules and Guidelines of attendees including Decorum, Enforcement of Decorum, Audience Participation, and Rules for Addressing the City Council.
Chapter 23 CITY COUNCIL: ARTICLE III. RULES OF DECORUM
Sec. 23-15. Decorum.
(a) By Council Members. While the Council is in session, the members must preserve order and decorum, and a member shall neither, by conversation or otherwise, delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the Council nor disturb any member while speaking or refuse to obey the orders of the Council or its Presiding Officer, except as otherwise herein provided.
(b) By Attendees. Any person making personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks or who shall become boisterous while addressing the Council shall be forthwith, by the Presiding Officer, subject to loss of speaking privileges unless permission to continue be granted by a majority vote of the Council.
(1) Reactions from the audience following the recognition and rewarding of citizens and special guests is considered appropriate and encouraged. Disruptive verbal and/or non-verbal reactions from the audience during staff presentations to the Council and during debate between Councilpersons are inappropriate and are not permitted. The presiding officer will ensure that the decorum of the meeting is maintained and is appropriate.
(2) It is not the intention of the City Council to provide a public forum for the demeaning of any individual or group. Neither is it the intention of the City Council to allow a member (or members) of the public to insult the honesty and/or integrity of the City Council as a body, the proceedings of the City Council, or any member or members of the City Council, individually or collectively. The Mayor and council will endeavor to ensure that meetings are conducted in a courteous manner, and in an atmosphere free of defamation, intimidation, personal affronts, profanity, or threats of violence.
(3) Members of the public shall not engage in any of the following in the meeting room during a City Council Meeting:
(I) Shouting, unruly behavior, distracting side conversations, or speaking out when another person is talking.
(II) Defamation, intimidation, personal affronts, profanity, or threats of violence.
(III) Use of phones, pagers, radios, computers or other electronic equipment.
(IV) Booing, hissing, foot stomping, ripping of paper, parading, signing or other similar behavior that impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting.
(4) Members of the public shall not attempt to provide direction regarding rules of procedure, order of business, or otherwise direct the City Council on how to properly conduct a meeting. The Mayor and the City Council are the formal authority to determine what is, or is not: in order, out of order, or the correct way to conduct business of the City. The Mayor, any City Council Member, the City Manager, and the City Secretary are the only individuals permitted to call a point of order or make recommendations as to how a meeting will be conducted. Outbursts and shouts to direct the meeting are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
(5) No offensive, vulgar, or distracting placards, banners, signs, or apparel shall be permitted to be erected or displayed by persons in attendance in City Council Chambers or in any other room in which the City Council is holding a meeting. Exhibits, displays, and visual aids used in connection with presentations to the City Council are permitted.
Sec. 23-16. Enforcement of Decorum.
(a) Disturbances, transgressions of the rules or disorderly conduct in the Council chamber may cause the transgressor to be removed from the meeting. The Presiding Officer of the meeting, shall exercise control over persons who disrupt the meeting in the following ascending order of action:
(1) Call the person to order, advising that person of the infraction.
(2) Advise the person that the infraction must cease immediately or the person will be ordered to leave the meeting.
(3) Order the person to leave the meeting. If the offending person is a member of Council, the Presiding Officer shall call for a vote on the expulsion of that member from the meeting, and such vote requires a majority for adoption.
(4) A police officer may remove an individual or individuals for disrupting a meeting as authorized by Texas Penal Code Section 42.05.
(b) The Chief of Police, or such member or members of the Police Department as he may designate, shall be Sergeant-at-Arms of the Council meetings. He/she shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the Presiding Officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the Council meeting. Upon instructions of the Presiding Officer unless otherwise directed by a majority vote of the Council, it shall be the duty of the designated Sergeant(s)-at-Arms to remove any person who violates the order and decorum of the meeting.
Sec. 23-17. Audience Participation.
(a) At meetings of the City Council, the business of Alpine is conducted between the members of the Alpine City Council and by those members of the staff, elected officials, department heads, consultants, experts and/or members of the public requested to be present and participate. While the public is invited and encouraged to attend all meetings of the City Council, excluding Executive Sessions, and to ensure that meetings of the City Council are conducted in a way that allows the business of the City to be effectively conducted, the public’s participation therein is to be governed by the following:
(1) Audience participation is limited to the role of observers except for during the Public Comment portion or Public Hearing portion of the meeting.
(2) Members of the public in attendance at any Regular, Special, Emergency, and/or Workshop Meeting of the City Council shall conduct themselves with proper respect and decorum in speaking to and/or addressing the City Council, in participating in public discussions before the City Council, and in all actions in the presence of the City Council. Members of the public speaking during comment periods or invited to speak shall remain behind the podium while speaking. Attendees must be physically present at a meeting to address the City Council. Comments by proxy are not allowed.
(3) City Council Members shall not have discussions during the Public Comment and Public Hearing portions of the agenda, nor take any action thereon other than to refer the item to City staff for research and possible future action.
(4) It is the intention of the City Council to provide open access to the resident and affected persons of Alpine to address the City Council and express themselves on issues under consideration by the City Council. In accordance with such, members of the public in attendance at City Council meetings must be respectful of individuals making public comments before, during, and after such comments are made.
(5) Persons may present printed material to be included in the Council agenda packets one week prior to a meeting. Persons may present printed material to the City Secretary to distribute to the Council during a meeting, subject to the same deadline.
Sec. 23-18. Addressing the City Council.
(a) Public Comments. Before each meeting of City Council the City Secretary shall make Citizen Comment forms available, on which any city taxpayer or resident may sign his/her name Ward (District), and indicate the agenda item on which he/she wishes to speak. Members of the public that live outside of the City limits of Alpine may make comments at the discretion of the Presiding Officer if time permits. Only Public Comments regarding agenda items will be allowed. Individuals must be physically present to address the City Council. Comments by proxy are not allowed.
(1) Individuals may address the Council by oral communication by completing all requested information on the Citizen Comment form and placing it at the City Secretary’s desk on the dais, not later than five (5) minutes before commencement of the meeting.
(2) Each person addressing the Council shall step up to the podium, shall give his/her name and Ward (District) for the record, and, unless further time is granted by the Council, shall limit his/her address to three (3) minutes. Unused public comment time may not be “designated” or “yielded” to other attendees. All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a body and not to any member thereof. No person, other than the Council and the person having the floor shall be permitted to enter into any discussion, either directly or through a member of the Council, without the permission of the Presiding Officer. No question shall be asked to a Councilperson except through the Presiding Officer. Any such question shall be referred by City Council to the City Manager, for further handling.
(3) Persons wishing to address the Council on more than one agenda item or topic in a single meeting must speak on all such agenda items or topics during their 3-minute presentation. Additional time is not given for additional items (however, emailing, writing, calling, or visiting with Council Members outside of meetings is, of course, unlimited). This requirement does not restrict anyone from also speaking at any public hearing (see additional information below).
(b) Public Hearings. Public hearings provide municipal residents and affected parties an opportunity to be heard, typically on certain land use items, final ordinance readings, the annual adoption of the municipal budget, and the annual adoption of the tax rate.
(1) There is not a form or sign up requirement for public hearings at City Council meetings. Only comments regarding a Public Hearing agenda item may be made during the Public Hearing portion of the meeting. Each person that wishes to address the Council during the Public Hearing portion of the meeting must be in attendance physically and shall raise their hand to notify the Presiding Officer that they would like to speak. Once acknowledged by the Presiding Officer, the person shall step up to the podium and shall give his/her name and Ward (District) for the record. Unless further time is granted by the Presiding Officer, the person addressing the Council shall limit his/her address to three (3) minutes. Individuals must be physically present to address the City Council. Comments by proxy are not allowed. All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a body and not to any member thereof. No person, other than the Council and the person having the floor shall be permitted to enter into any discussion, either directly or through a member of the Council, without the explicit permission of the Presiding Officer. No question shall be asked to a Councilperson except through the Presiding Officer. Any such question shall be referred by City Council to the City Manager for further handling.
Secs. 23-19 – 23-22. RESERVED.