- Your Government
- City Council
- Legislative Process
- Study and Regular Meetings
- Public Hearings
- Committee of the Whole
- Special Meetings
- Open to the Public
A Study Meeting is the meeting at which the Council initially hears a petition, or a citizen's request, or an item from the administration. No vote is taken: it is an information-gathering meeting only. A Study Meeting is held prior to each Regular Meeting. The Council will gather the facts and information from the petitioner, other citizens, department heads, and other interested or affected agencies. The matter is then scheduled for a Regular Meeting where the action is taken by resolution and vote of the Council.
A Regular Meeting is the formal session held twice a month as required by Charter at which voting action is taken by the Council in the form of a resolution or ordinance adoption. The agenda items have been discussed at a prior meeting, i.e., a study session, a public hearing or at a sub-committee level. The agenda for the Regular Meeting contains a section entitled Consent Agenda. All items listed under this heading have been discussed previously by Council and have been determined not to be controversial in nature and one vote is taken from each member of the Council on the Consent Agenda.
Any item may be removed from the Consent Agenda by a member of Council and a separate vote on that item can be taken. The remainder of the agenda is Information to Council, Unfinished Business, New Business, Reports from Committees or extra (X-Items) items. Each resolution is offered and seconded and each member of Council will be called by the City Clerk to vote. The usual types of resolutions are:
No Further Action
Referral to Committee or an Administrative Department
The Council also sets the dates for Public Hearings, which are required by law for all ordinance changes. Upon the approval of the minutes at the next Regular Meeting, the voting action of the Council takes effect.
The Public Hearing is a meeting of record and official minutes are kept. This is the meeting when citizens are made aware of all ordinance changes and are asked to state their positions. Everyone wishing to be heard is given the opportunity. After all parties are heard, the Council will request the City Attorney to prepare one or more of the following: a resolution of approval, denial, no further action, or referral. The matter will then be referred to a study meeting for further information gathering or to a Regular Meeting for a vote.
The Council frequently will meet as the Committee of the Whole. This is a full Council meeting called by and presided over by the Council President with the special purpose of studying a limited number of items only; no vote is taken. All recommendations reached these meetings are referred back to a Regular Meeting for final action.
Special meetings of the City Council may be called by the Mayor or any three members of the City Council upon due notice.
If the meeting is a Sub-Committee, it is generally held in the Council Chambers on the Second Floor of City Hall. Each member of the Council is a chairperson of one committee and sits as a committee member on two others, except the President of the Council who chairs the Committee of the Whole and is an ex officio member of each sub-committee. Petitions or other Council matters are frequently referred from a Regular Meeting to a sub-committee for in-depth study. When the subcommittee completes its study, it will recommend to the Council a course of action. At the following Regular Meeting, the full Council will act.
All meetings of the Council, except for very few situations such as negotiations for land purchases, are open to the public. Notices of meetings are posted and in the case of Public Hearings, a notice is published in the local newspaper. The minutes of Regular Meetings and all ordinances are also published in the local paper. All Study and Regular Meetings of the Council are televised live over cable television. Citizens and petitioners addressing the Council are requested to utilize the microphone provided as official minutes are being recorded of your comments. Speak clearly and begin with your name and address when called upon.