Citizen Participation Guidelines
VIRTUAL MEETINGS DURING COVID-19 EMERGENCY
The Cedar Rapids City Council is holding electronic regular City Council meetings because meeting in person is impossible or impractical due to concerns for the health and safety of Council members, staff and the public presented by COVID-19. Electronic meetings are allowed by Iowa Code Section 21.8 and Governor Reynolds’ Proclamations of Disaster Emergency.
The meetings may be watched on the City’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CityofCRiowa/. Members of the public will not be able to attend these meetings in person. Any persons interested in commenting on the agenda items or any other matter of City business may do so in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be received by two hours before the start of each meeting in order to be provided to the members of the City Council prior to the meeting.
Citizens of the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area may also comment on matters appearing on the agenda, or any other matter of City Council business, by registering on Zoom. The link for each meeting is included on the Regular Session agenda, posted at 4 p.m. the Friday before the meeting. Parties interested in being heard during any of the scheduled public hearings may also register using the same Zoom link. All registrations must be complete no later than two hours before the start of each meeting – 10:00 a.m. for noon meetings, and 2:00 p.m. for 4:00 p.m. meetings. Registrants will receive an email with instructions on how to participate in the meeting and be heard. Registrants must provide their name, home address, email address and telephone number and indicate the matter upon which they wish to be heard, including the agenda item number of the public hearing if applicable.
Citizens only interested in watching the meeting who will not be providing public comment do not need to register for the Zoom conference and should use Facebook instead.
Per Chapter 21 of the Iowa Code, meetings of governmental bodies are open to the public to ensure "that the basis and rationale of governmental decisions, as well as those decisions themselves, are easily accessible to the people." The City Council's full Procedural Rules, including those governing participation by members of the public, were adopted by Resolution No. 0132-02-10.
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 email@example.com 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.