Rules for Public Comment

(As adopted in Resolution 30-2015, June 9, 2015)

Lancaster City Council members want to hear from the members of public, whom they were elected to serve. City Council provides multiple opportunities for members of the public to exercise their freedom of speech.

At regular meetings:

There are two public comment periods on the agenda of each regular City Council meeting. The first is reserved for people who contact the City Clerk in advance of the meeting. You may contact the clerk by calling 291-4785 during regular business hours, or by submitting a request on the City Council page of the City website.

The second public comment period is open to any member of the public who wishes to address Council members.

Public comment periods are intended to allow members of the public to address issues which are not on the meeting agenda. People wishing to speak on pending ordinances or resolutions on the agenda will be given an opportunity to do so when those items are discussed.

Speakers addressing City Council during the public comment periods will be asked to state their name and address for the meeting record. If representing an organization, they will be asked to name the organization. Each speaker will be limited to three minutes. The council president has the discretion to allow speakers to continue beyond that time and may ask speakers to summarize or conclude their remarks.

Speakers should make an effort to be concise and focused in their remarks. The council president may ask a speaker to conclude their remarks at any time if they become repetitive or disorderly. Groups may wish to designate a speaker to address council.

Public comment is opportunity for members of the public to share information and bring issues and concerns to the attention of City Council members. It is not an opportunity for members of the public to question council members or city staff. It is not a debate and public comment speakers should not expect a back-and-forth exchange.

The Council President, or Council members, with president's permission, may ask clarifying questions of the speaker, city staff or fellow council members.

The council president may also chose to direct the speaker to the appropriate city staff member for assistance or direct an issue to a City Council committee for discussion or investigation.

Persons attending City Council meetings are expected to conduct themselves with decorum and civility. They should show the same respect to others that they wish to have shown to them. Speakers during public comment and people in the audience must refrain from abusive or profane remarks and slanderous, personal attacks. Loud, disruptive behavior or other actions which interfere with the orderly conduct of the meeting will not be tolerated.

Anyone wishing to provide documents, petitions, photographs or other materials to City Council members should give copies of those items to the City Clerk for distribution to Council members.

At Committee work sessions:

There is no general public comment period during City Council's committee work sessions. Members of the public are given the opportunity to comment on items under consideration during those discussions. Work sessions are held on the first Monday of each month, at 6 p.m. Council's meeting schedule can be found here.

Other:

Individuals may also contact City Council members outside meetings via email or by telephone. Email addresses for council members can be found on the council directory page. General messages to City Council can be conveyed by contacting the City Clerk. The clerk can also convey messages from telephone calls placed to the clerk's office, 291-4785.