Guidelines for public comment to the City Council
In order to hear as many different viewpoints as possible in the limited time available, the city council asks speakers to:
Sign-in on the green speaker sheet located on the table at the entrance to the council chamber.
• Wait to be recognized by the mayor.
• State their name.
• Stick to the point. Presentations that are less than three minutes long are more effective than long and repetitive presentations.
• If previous speakers have made the same point, tell the mayor that you do not need to speak because your point has been made.
• If you plan to present a handout, give it to the city clerk to distribute to council.
• Address remarks to all council members. City council members pledge to be respectful and open to citizens that appear before them, and expect speakers to do the same.
Council and staff believe that the more involved citizens are in the early stages of policy and legislation development, the better local government can meet the needs and expectations of the community. Agendas for Littleton City Council meetings are posted at littletongov.org/webcast.
Regular meetings of the city council are held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at the Littleton Center, 2255 West Berry Avenue. These scheduled meetings are the forum for the public to comment. It is the expectation of council that members keep an open mind without prejudgment, work collaboratively to identify options, openly discuss and evaluate alternatives, and listen to the concerns of others prior to making a decision. It is understood that individual opinions and ideas, especially those that differ from one's own, are what allow the best discussion and decision for the community.
Ordinances are legislative acts or local laws. They are the most permanent and binding form of council action. Ordinances deal with public safety, health, and general welfare. All ordinances have a first and second reading.
On first reading, the ordinance is read by title and is located on the consent agenda. The mayor asks for a motion and a second to set the public hearing and puts the question to a vote. If the motion passes, it is scheduled for second reading and public hearing.
On second reading, staff gives a short presentation and then city council may ask questions of the staff. The mayor opens the public hearing and citizens who have signed in are called to speak. Each public hearing item has its own sign-up sheet at the front of the city council chamber. Each speaker may address council for up to three minutes. The number of speakers and time allowed to speak may be limited by the mayor in order to keep the meeting moving forward. Council members may direct questions to the speaker. When all speakers have addressed council, the mayor closes the public hearing. A motion and a second are required. If there is no second, the motion dies. If there is a second, the mayor then asks for discussion by the council, city manager and city attorney, and speaks with staff in response to questions raised by the council. If it is passed, it becomes a law. The law becomes effective ten days later.
The public comment portion of city council's agenda is one of the most important parts of the meeting. Everyone who attends the meeting and wishes to speak deserves to be heard.
There will be two times for public comment: at the beginning of the meeting regarding agenda items on Consent or General Business that do not have a public hearing, and at the end of General Business for additional comments.
Sign-up to speak on the green speaker sheet, located at the front of the council chamber. The mayor will call speakers to the podium where they can address the council for up to three minutes.
Speakers should not expect an immediate response. Issues are typically referred to city staff for follow-up and reported back to the council and the individual who initiated the comment or inquiry.
Resolutions are adopted to express the policy of the council, or to direct certain types of administrative action. Resolutions can be used for internal administrative purposes such as contracts, intergovernmental agreements and memoranda of understanding with other entities. Resolutions are presented to city council through the consent agenda and require a motion for approval, a second, and a vote from city council.
Study sessions are usually held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The city council may also hold study sessions that coincide with regular or special meetings. A study session is for staff and council to discuss and study items. No formal action or public comment are taken, although study sessions are televised and video minutes are recorded.
Other Public Meetings
City council may hold public meetings other than regular or special meetings or study sessions. These include council breakfasts, appointee interviews, and workshops. No formal action or public comment are taken, these meetings are not televised or video recorded, and no minutes are taken.