Citizen Participation Guidelines
- Sign up to speak by completing the sign up sheet in the back of the Council Chambers before the meeting begins.
- Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a City Council public meeting or event should contact the City Clerk’s Office at 319-286-5060 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the event.
- If you brought a petition which you wish City Council to view, please provide it to the City Clerk for distribution to Council Members when you approach the microphone to speak.
- Each speaker will be called upon at an appropriate time during the meeting.
- Approach the lectern in the well of the Council Chamber.
- Speak in a normal voice and relax. Council is interested in hearing what you have to say, and will carefully consider your input.
- Begin by stating your name, address, and name of the group on behalf of which you are speaking (if any).
- Address the Council as “Mayor and Members of Council.”
- You will be given five minutes to speak before the Council.
- Refrain from making personal verbal attacks on members of Council or other citizens, as well as using vulgar language during remarks.
- Speakers conducting themselves in disorderly manner may be barred from further participation in the meeting and removed from the Chambers by the peace officer.
Official Rules Excerpts
(Procedural rules were adopted on October 14, 2009 by Resolution No. 1018-10-09.)
Read Council rules
Rule 16. Citizen’s Right to Address Council Persons including Council members shall be permitted to address the Council on topics relevant to Council business during the Public Comment period of the meeting.
Rule 17. Manner of Addressing Council A member of the public desiring to address the Council shall sign up to speak before the start of the meeting, stating his or her name, address, group affiliation (if any) and the agenda topic on which he or she desires to speak. The presiding officer, or designee, may group related comments. When called upon by the presiding officer or designee, the person shall step to the lectern, state his or her name, address, and group affiliation (if any) and speak clearly into the microphone, unless authorized otherwise by the presiding officer.
Rule 18. Time Limit on a Citizen’s Remarks Members of the public shall be limited to five minutes speaking time at the Public Comment period unless additional time is granted by the presiding officer. Comments from the public on any one subject under Council consideration may be limited to a fixed period by the presiding officer, subject to a determination otherwise by approval of an appropriate motion by Council.
Rule 19. Remarks of Citizens to be Germane Public comments must be directed to the subject under consideration. The presiding officer shall rule on the germaneness of public comments. Abusive, personal, impertinent, irrelevant, slanderous or profane remarks, or loud, threatening, personal or abusive language shall not be allowed.
Persons other than an employee, employee’s representative, employee’s attorney, or member of an employee’s immediate family will not be allowed to discuss personnel matters involving city employees.
The Cedar Rapids City Council will not discuss personnel matters regarding an employee who is represented by an attorney outside the presence of that attorney. The council will not allow or entertain public comment or discussion of personal matters or other matters under consideration by the Civil Service Commission or subject to the Iowa Public Employees Relation Act.
Rule 30. Informal Requests A member of the Council, before or during the consideration of any matter, or in the course of a hearing, may request and receive information, explanations or the opinions of any city employee, or any other person.
Rule 31. Enforcement Any person who makes threatening, abusive, personal, impertinent, irrelevant, slanderous or profane remarks which disrupt, disturb or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the council meeting, or who otherwise engages in any other disorderly conduct which disrupts, disturbs, or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any council meeting, shall be upon the direction of the presiding officer or a majority of the council, barred from further attendance at that council meeting. In that event, it would be the duty of a peace officer, upon the request of the presiding officer, to issue such commands and take such actions as may be necessary to eliminate the disruptive conduct and restore peace and order to the proceedings.