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Participation at Public Meetings
Information and Procedures Concerning Conduct of City Council Meetings
The Ukiah City Council encourages citizens to participate in the development of city policies and the implementation of city programs.
The Council and staff shall work to preserve appropriate order and decorum during all city meetings.
All members of the public may address Council on any item listed on the agenda.
- Please step up to the podium microphone when addressing Council
- Each speaker will be asked to state his/her name before speaking and voluntarily write his/her name on the voluntary sign in sheet.
- Persons demonstrating rude, boisterous, or profane behavior will be called to order by the Mayor. If such conduct continues, the Mayor may call a recess requesting the removal of such person(s) from the council chambers, adjourn the meeting, or take some other action.
- Three minutes for each speaker and ten minutes per subject is allowed unless Council asks questions. Speakers may address Council only one time on each agenda item unless Council reopens the public comment period
- A speaker may not defer his/her time to other speakers.
- Groups or organizations are encouraged to select a spokesperson to speak on their behalf. Each subsequent speaker is encouraged to submit new information rather than repeating comments made by prior speakers or simply indicate their agreement with a prior speaker’s comments.
- It is very difficult for the Council to read written materials presented at the meeting. If any person intends to appear before the Council and provide written material regarding an Agenda item, it should be delivered to the City Clerk’s office 9 days in advance of the meeting (sooner if there are holidays prior to the meeting) to be included with the Agenda. This allows Council an opportunity to review the material in advance.
- If written materials are not available prior to the meeting, please present 10 copies to the City Clerk (5 for City Council members, 1 for City Attorney, 1 for City Manager, 1 for City Clerk, 1 for the Public View Binder, and 1 for the Staff/Dept) for distribution.
- Special presentations which include slides, films, etc. during the course of a meeting will only be allowed with prior approval. Please contact the City Clerk or City Manager at least 7 days before the meeting.
Comments on Non-agenda Items
- A member of the public may address the Council on any matter not appearing on the agenda and is within the jurisdiction of the Council.
- No action can be taken by the Council on any item not on the agenda. Council may request the item to be brought back at a subsequent meeting.
- A description of the items, if any, to be discussed in closed session are always listed on the agenda. Any action taken during this time will be announced when the Council reconvenes to open session.
- Available at the meeting.
- May be mailed to an individual at an annual cost.
- May be picked up in advance in the City Clerk’s office without charge.
- Available on the Internet at www.cityofukiah.com
Copies of Agenda Items
- Available for public inspection in the City Clerk’s office prior to a meeting.
- May be obtained after payment of applicable copy fees.
- A binder containing a copy of each item is available in the foyer during the City Council meeting.
- Available on the Internet at www.cityofukiah.com
Use Of Cell Phones During Meetings
- The Council appreciates your cooperation in placing all cell phones in silent mode during the meeting.
Making Your Point Count
Government decision-making takes time—time for public input, time for analysis, and time for weighing both sides of the issue before making an informed decision.
Often the community has an opinion regarding the process. The foundation for democracy in America is our constitutional right to tell our elected leaders what we think about the issues affecting us and our community. City of Ukiah leaders welcome you to public meetings and encourage your participation.
Whether you are an experienced public speaker or speaking at the podium for the first time, it may be helpful to remember these public meeting tips:
- Fill out a speaker form and place in the box at the podium when you speak.
- Identify your main points. Writing them down will help you organize your thoughts and remember them.
- Check your facts. Accuracy improves your credibility and helps you make a positive impression.
- Try to relax. Public Officials see many citizens who are nervous when speaking in front of an audience. It may help to take a deep breath and exhale slowly just before you approach the podium.
- As you begin to speak, state your name clearly for the record. If you represent a group or organization, please state that information as well.
- Make your position known at the beginning, then present supporting information. You will sound organized, which helps people to understand your position.
- Keep your presentation short and simple. Attention spans are brief and people will remember a short presentation better than they will one that rambles and includes too much information.
- Don’t repeat yourself. It uses valuable time and people tune out when they hear the same thing over and over. If a previous speaker has already made the point you planned to make, simply refer to that speaker and emphasize your support for that position.
- Close your comments with a request for action using statements such as, “Adopt this resolution” or “I urge you to vote ‘no’ on this ordinance.”
- Handouts (one or two pages) are useful in summarizing your position. Please give 10 copies of your handouts to the City Clerk for distribution.
City of Ukiah leaders appreciate your interest in issues that affect the community. We hope these tips will help you prepare and present your remarks so they will be clear, concise, accurate, and credible.
Your participation is appreciated!