Watch or Comment at City Council Meetings & Work Sessions
City Council welcomes and encourages civic participation and debate. There are many ways for community members to stay informed and offer input in the decision-making process including City Council meetings and work sessions.
City Council Meeting & Work Session Notice
- City Council has returned to in-person regular meetings and work sessions in Council Chambers at 101 City Hall Plaza. Residents are encouraged to continue to participate virtually.
- City policy prohibits unauthorized hardware and drives (e.g., flash drive) from being used or connected to City-owned equipment. If you plan to make a presentation, submit your file in advance when you sign up to speak.
WAYS TO WATCH
City Council meetings and work sessions are broadcast live and available to view in the following ways:
ways to COMMENT OR PARTICIPATE
City Council Regular Business Meetings
Regular business meetings are open to public comment on agenda items and public hearings.
- When: Held the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month at 7 p.m.
- Where: Regular business meetings take place in person in Council Chambers at 101 City Hall Plaza and virtually via Zoom.
- What: City Council hears priority items from the Council Members, City Manager, Attorney, and Clerk, presents ceremonial items, votes on the Consent Agenda, reviews the General Business Agenda, and conducts public hearings.
I want to participate virtually at a City Council Meeting
I want to provide written comments
I want to participate in person at a City Council Meeting
Please Note: Sign up prior to the start of the meeting is not required for public hearings, for matters added to the agenda at the council meeting, or for matters removed from the consent agenda at the council meeting by a council member.
Sometimes special meetings are scheduled to address specific topics or issues. These meetings will be advertised with at least 48 hours notice and placed on the Council’s agenda. In some emergency situations it may not be possible to provide advance notice.
CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSIONS
Work sessions are open to public comment on agenda items and Citizens Matters. City Council does not receive comments on public hearing items at work sessions.
- When: Held on Thursdays at 1 p.m., two weeks prior to each regular business meeting.
- Where:Work Sessions take place in person in Council Chambers at 101 City Hall Plaza and virtually via Zoom.
- What: Informal working sessions where City Council hears "Citizens Matters," discusses departmental agenda items, and receives presentations.
I want to participate virtually at a Work Session
City of Durham - City Manager's Office
I want to provide written comments
I want to participate in person at a Work Session
Please Note: Should a Council member wish to allow a citizen who has not submitted a written request to present an issue at the work session, a 2/3 majority vote of the entire Council is required to suspend the rules of procedure.
Rules of Decorum for Citizen Participation
Rules of Decorum exist that are used to govern time, place and manner of expression to ensure responsiveness to your concern.
In support of and respect for an open, fair and informed decision-making process, the City Council and the Administration recognize that:
- Civil, respectful and courteous discourse and behavior are conducive to the democratic and harmonious airing of concerns and decision making; and
- Uncivil discourse and/or discourteous and inappropriate behavior have a negative impact on the character and productivity of the decision-making process.
- In an effort to preserve the intent of open government and maintain a positive environment for citizen input and Council decision-making, the following Rules of Decorum have been established.
Compliance with these rules is expected and appreciated. The Rules of Decorum will be included in the agenda and will be referenced at the beginning of each council meeting and council work session by the presiding officer. A written list of the Rules of Decorum will also be printed and mounted upon the walls of the Council Chambers and the Committee Room.
- All citizens may participate in the public process.
- The Mayor serves as the presiding officer of the Council, the Mayor Pro Tem serves in the Mayor’s absence.
- Citizens must sign up to address council using procedures outlined for council meetings and Council Work Sessions.
- Citizens may speak only to the matter for which they signed up and, in the case of public hearings, those matters which have been advertised and placed on the council meeting agenda.
- Citizens are encouraged to prepare remarks in advance for submission to the public record. Prepared remarks should be submitted to the clerk prior to the start of the meeting or at the end of their comments. Additional material may be submitted to supplement remarks.
- In an effort to accommodate all who wish to address council at a council meeting while preserving a reasonable and efficient meeting schedule, each speaker will have a specified amount of time to deliver comments. Comments will be timed by the City Clerk or designee; signals will be provided at the 1-minute and 30-second measures. Speakers are expected to cease comments immediately upon end-time. Citizens who sign up in advance will be allowed to speak for up to 5 minutes.
- Speakers will conduct themselves in a civil and respectful manner at all times.
- Speakers will address the presiding officer.
- Questions to council members or city staff will be facilitated by the presiding officer.
- Speakers will state their name and address.
- Speakers will make an effort to speak clearly into the microphone provided.
- Speakers will make an effort to speak succinctly.
- Speakers will refrain from the use of individual city staff names. It is appropriate to refer to staff by title and/or department.
- Speakers will refrain from the use of obscene language, “fighting words” likely to incite violence from the individual(s) to whom the words are addressed, or other language which is disruptive to the orderly and fair progress of discussion at the meeting.
- Speakers will refrain from making comments of a personal nature regarding others.
- Name-calling and/or obscenity is forbidden.
- Shouting, yelling or screaming is forbidden.
- Council Work Session or public hearing attendees (audience) will refrain from commenting, shouting, booing, clapping, stomping feet or other inappropriate and/or disruptive behavior. Brief clapping is permissible at the end of a speaker’s comments.
- Council Work Session or public hearing attendees (audience) should refrain from private conversation during meetings.
- Council Work Session or public hearing attendees (audience) should come and go as necessary from meeting space in the least disruptive manner as possible.
- No campaign placards, banners, or signs will be permitted in the City Council Chambers or Committee Room. Other signage is permitted except signs which violate the Rules of Decorum or that block the view of other attendees.
- Exhibits, displays, and visual aids used in connection with presentations to the City Council are permitted. Video presentations requested by citizens as visual aids may not be broadcast over cable television due to technological challenges.
It is the intent of council to maintain order and enforce Rules of Decorum for its meetings. Disregard of these rules will be met with the following consequences:
- The presiding officer will identify out loud the out-of-compliance behavior and request for the behavior to stop.
- The presiding officer, City Clerk or designee will read out loud the relevant “rule of decorum.”
- If the behavior continues, the microphone provided for the speaker will be switched off.
- If the behavior continues, the offending individual or party will be escorted out of City Hall by the police officer on duty for the meeting.
All other municipal or state laws and enforcements will apply.
Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communications, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a City program, service, or activity, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.
If you would like the assistance of an interpreter when you attend a City Council Meeting or Work Session, please email the request and meeting date to [email protected]. This notification must be sent at least ten calendar days in advance.