City Council Meetings and Documents
How to Attend or Testify at a City Council Meeting
Council meetings usually begin at 7:30 PM. Always check the agenda to confirm meeting details.
Order of a typical agenda:
- Advertised Public Hearings
- Scheduled Presentations and Reports
- Public Comments on Voting Items
- Council Votes on Resolutions and Ordinances
- Public Comments
- Council Comments
- City Manager Comments
- Work Session
Public comments are limited to three minutes during any public hearing or comment session. Ceding of time is not permitted. To request additional time or to project an image on the screens during testimony, contact the Mayor at least 24 hours in advance of a meeting. She may extend courtesy by increasing the time to five minutes or allow the showing of a slide.
Requests to show visual or audiovisual materials during public comments or hearings must be submitted to the Mayor at least 24 hours in advance. If the request is approved, the digital file or link to the file must be emailed to the City Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than noon the day of the meeting or hearing. Flash drives (thumb drives) are not permitted for use at the meeting.
Speaking at the Podium
When speaking at a City Council meeting, state your name and street for the record. Stand at the podium and speak into the microphone to ensure that your comments are heard and recorded. (If you cannot come to the podium, staff will provide a microphone for you.)
To help speakers stay within the three-minute limit, the timer light on the podium will be green when the speaker begins. It turns yellow and gives a reminder “beep” when 30 seconds remain. When time is up, the light turns red and the timer alarm will sound repeatedly. The Council wants to hear from everyone who wishes to speak. The purpose of the time limit is to allow everyone who wants to speak to have an opportunity to do so in a timely manner.
The City Council may hold scheduled formal public hearings on an issue. Public hearings are a more structured way for the Council to accept testimony. For hearings, speakers are asked to sign up to speak. The Mayor will call speakers to the podium in the order they signed up. Once all speakers who signed up are heard, the Mayor will provide the opportunity for others in the audience to testify. Time limits still apply.
Submitting Comments in Writing
Speakers are welcome to submit their testimony in writing before, during, or after a meeting. The information may be sent to email@example.com or, preferably, submitted on the comment form.
When hard copies of handouts or exhibits are submitted at a meeting, 10 copies should be provided.
For any testimony or comments submitted electronically by noon the day of a meeting or hearing, the City Clerk will share the material with the Council and City Manager, and include it in the official record of the meeting or hearing. Later comments will be shared, but may not be shared until the next day.
Although email comments sent to firstname.lastname@example.org are accepted and shared with the City Council and City Manager, residents are encouraged to use the public comment form which helps staff to track comments received.
ADA Compliance Notice
The City of Takoma Park is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to fully participate in public meetings. Anyone with a disability who 1) wishes to receive auxiliary aids, services, or accommodations at a City of Takoma Park public meeting or public hearing; or 2) cannot attend a public meeting but would like to record an audio comment to be played during the public comment period of the meeting, is invited to contact Jason Damweber, Deputy City Manager, at email@example.com or 301-891-7202 at least 48 hours in advance.
City Council agendas and agenda items for current calendar year meetings are published on the current and past meeting agenda page. Agenda packets are typically posted eight days before a meeting.
Meeting Calendar and Future Agendas
The City Clerk publishes a four-week projection of City Council meeting agendas and a City Council Meeting Calendar.
Beginning September 5, 2018, City Council meetings and special events can be viewed on the City Council Video page.
Archived City Council meetings (through July 25, 2018) and special events related to the City Council can be viewed on the City Council Video Archive page.
Takoma Park City TV can be viewed on cable television; Takoma Park is carried regionally on RCN, Verizon and Comcast. Check with your cable provider for the correct channel listing.