The City Council welcomes your attendance and participation at its meetings (agendas and minutes). The council holds hybrid meetings on the first four Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) of each month at City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE.
Comments from the public are welcome during the "Oral Communications" portion of the agenda and during public hearings. Speakers will be allowed up to three minutes to speak (more details below). To be added to the speaker list, you may sign up in person, using the QR code posted outside the council chamber. Those wishing to attend and speak via Zoom can sign up online.
During its regular sessions, the council can take action in several ways. The council may adopt an ordinance or city law. Ordinances usually take effect five days after their publication in the city's official newspaper, the Seattle Times. Most ordinances become part of the city's municipal code. The council may amend or repeal an ordinance by adopting another ordinance.
The council may also pass a resolution to express policy direction or make a public statement. The council passes a motion to approve or deny a proposed action, such as the award of a bid.
The agenda also contains a consent calendar, which includes routine business items for which no special study or discussion is expected. Councilmembers may remove items from the consent calendar for discussion if they choose.
At regular sessions, you may speak to the council during the oral communications opportunities at the beginning and end of the agenda. You may also address the council during public hearings, which are held during the regular sessions.
The council does occasionally meet in executive session, which is not open to the public. By law, the council can only discuss certain items of business during executive sessions. These topics include personnel matters, property acquisition and disposition, and legal advice on matters of litigation or potential litigation.
Public comments are not taken on quasi-judicial matters, where Councilmembers act in the role of judges. These are most often land-use matters. The Council is legally required to decide the issue based solely upon information contained in the public record and obtained at special public hearings before the Council.
The public record for quasi-judicial matters is developed from testimony at earlier public hearings held before a Hearing Examiner or a city board or commission, as well as from written correspondence submitted within certain legal time frames. There are special guidelines for these public hearings and written submittals.
When you feel strongly about a public issue or a local concern, the council encourages you to share your information and thoughts. You can submit comments in writing, speak directly to the councilmembers during oral communications or provide testimony at a public hearing.
The council values community input and looks forward to hearing from you during its meetings. To be added to the speaker list for oral communications, please register between 5 and 6 p.m. the night of the meeting. Details about oral communications, including registration, are at Council Oral Communications.
If you want to speak on the specific subject being heard during a public hearing, you must make your comment during the public hearing portion of the agenda. A sign-up sheet is made available shortly before the meeting begins. You will be called to speak in the order in which you sign in. If previous speakers have already made the comments you wish to make, feel free to simply identify yourself and indicate your agreement with what has already been said.
You are also encouraged to submit your written comments on the subject to the City Clerk before the meeting so they can be included in the record and distributed to the council.
A public hearing offers a formal opportunity to provide your views to the council on the subject of the hearing. The council may then discuss the issue and will sometimes make a decision at that time. In other cases, discussion and decision making may be deferred to a future meeting.
The audience may not comment during the council's deliberations unless a councilmember specifically requests more information.