Policy for Public Comments at Meetings

Adopted by City Council on August 5, 2021

CITY OF BRIGHTON
POLICY FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS AT MEETINGS

I. Purpose

The City of Brighton welcomes and encourages comments from members of the public who attend City meetings. Pursuant to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act, a person is permitted to make a public comment during a meeting under rules established and recorded by the City. This policy applies to meetings of the City Council, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and all public bodies created by the City Charter or City Council.

II. Public Comment Period; Meeting Agendas

  1. If an agenda is available, the City will have copies of the agenda available for the public who attend the meeting. The agenda will indicate the designated time(s) for the public to provide comments. Generally, the City Council will include two public comment periods during each meeting. These rules apply to the public comment period in any regular or special meeting or the any portion of a public hearing where public comment is required or designated (“Public Comment”).
  2. Members of the public have no right to address the Council or make comments outside of the Public Comment. At any time, the Council, in its discretion, may accept comments from the public. However, outside of the Public Comment time, the Council is under no obligation to hear comments from the public during a meeting.
  3. Members of the public may request that an item be placed on the City Council agenda by contacting the City Clerk’s office or any City Council member or by raising the item during Public Comment. The City Council has sole discretion to determine the content of each meeting agenda and is not obligated to add any item to the agenda.
III. Rules of Public Comment

The City adopts the following procedures to receive Public Comments at City meetings:

  1. When the City meeting reaches a designated time for Public Comments, the Mayor (or other person who is chair of the meeting) will invite attendees to make Public Comments.
  2. The Mayor (or meeting chairperson) will ask persons wishing to speak to raise their hands to be recognized by the Mayor. The Mayor will recognize one person to speak at a time, and each speaker must provide his or her name and address. No person in attendance may make a comment without being recognized.
  3. Public Comments must be addressed to the Council, not to other members of the audience.
  4. Public Comments shall be limited to five (5) minutes. Each speaker is only entitled to one (1) five-minute time during each Public Comment period and may not split the time or “give” the time to another speaker. However, if a public hearing is held during a meeting, then a person may speak during at the designated time during the public hearing and also at each of the Public Comment periods of the meeting.
  5. In lieu of speaking, a person may submit any written comments to the City Clerk. Written materials submitted to the City are considered public documents.
  6. The City encourages free and complete public dialogue on City issues within the bounds of civil discourse. Speakers may not breach the peace of the meeting.
  7. If a speaker includes specific questions to the Council in his or her Public Comments, the Council has no obligation to respond.
  8. Groups are encouraged to designate one or more individuals to speak on their behalf to avoid cumulative comments. However, there is no requirement to make this designation.
  9. The Council may determine, in its sole discretion, how Public Comments will be summarized in the meeting minutes. Members of the public should not expect the minutes to include verbatim transcripts or details of any individual comment.
  10. Members of the public are also encouraged to contact the City Manager’s office or any City Department during regular business hours to ask questions, raise concerns, and request information about City matters.
IV. Recording of Rules

These rules will be recorded in the minutes and kept on file with the City Clerk.