Speaking at a City Council Meeting
Those wishing to address the City Council must complete a Public Meeting Appearance Form and present it to the City Secretary before the start of the Council meeting. The forms are located on a table at the entrance to the Council Chamber. Groups wishing to address the same issue are encouraged to select a spokesperson.
The Mayor will ask those wishing to address the City Council to do so at the appropriate time. No person may speak without first being recognized by the Mayor. Please approach the speaker’s podium in the center of the Council Chamber, state your name and address for the record. Please direct your comments to the Mayor and Council.
Individuals addressing the Council are given a three (3) minute time limit. Group representatives speaking for ten (10) or more individuals present in the Council Chamber may speak for ten (10) minutes. Members of the group will not be allowed to comment and will be asked to stand to confirm ten individuals are present. The Mayor or City Secretary must be advised that a group presentation will be made before reaching the item.
Types of Appearances
Members of the public may address the City Council at the following times during a meeting:
(as amended by Ordinance No. 3835)
- Citizens Presentation is a specified time at the beginning of each Council meeting for citizens to speak on a subject pertaining to the city’s jurisdiction and is not formally scheduled on the agenda or scheduled as a public hearing. The City Council is prohibited from deliberating or taking action on any subject not on the posted agenda. Any requests or proposals for future agenda items resulting from presentations by the public shall be made by the mayor or city council member in accordance with Section 2-64, Rules of Procedure, for placing items on meeting agendas. Alternatively, the City Council may provide a statement of factual information or reference an existing policy in response to the inquiry. The time limit is three (3) minutes per speaker, not to exceed a total of thirty (30) minutes for all speakers.
- Public Hearings may be held throughout the regular agenda items and are usually required by Texas law. Speakers will not be permitted to speak about matters or present evidence which is not germane to the item being considered. Speakers are limited to three (3) minutes for individuals. There is a cumulative limit of thirty (30) minutes for all those speaking in favor of an item and a like limit for those speaking in opposition. If needed, time limits may be extended with the concurrence of the City Council. No person may speak twice to the same item until all persons wishing to speak have been recognized. A person will only be allowed to speak a second time when there is new evidence to present and the Mayor, with the concurrence of the City Council, rules that there is good cause to do so.
- Public Comments provide an opportunity for citizens to address the City Council on matters which are scheduled on this agenda for consideration by the City Council, but not scheduled as a public hearing. To address the Council during public comments, a Public Meeting Appearance Form must be completed and presented to the City Secretary before the start of the Council meeting. Speakers must observe the three (3) minute time limit.
No member of the public shall be permitted to conduct any verbal personal attack on the mayor, any individual member of the council, city staff, or member of any city board or commission. Any such personal attack, or attempted personal attack, may be challenged with a point of order or the mayor may interrupt an offending speaker to enforce this rule. The mayor may prevent any citizen from addressing the City Council who makes comments or provides documents during the public comments portion of the City Council meeting that are defamatory, whether slander or libel, rise to the level of disorderly conduct, incite a riot, or are considered a breach of the peace.