Citizen Participation at Council Meetings

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Guidelines and Procedures for Citizens Speaking before the City Council

        Citizens who wish to speak before the City Council, either during "Presentations by the Public on any item not calling for a public hearing," at the beginning of the meeting, or, during a public hearing are encouraged to register in advance with the city clerk's office at 703.385.7935.  Sign-up sheets will also be on-hand in the lobby of the Council Chambers Room 100, prior to the City Council meeting.

        For accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 703.385.7935 

        When speaking before the City Council citizens are asked to state their name and home address for the record.  When bringing materials to distribute to the City Council, citizens are asked to provide at least 14 copies.

Below are additional guidelines as adopted by the City Council for the 2014-2016 term. 


WHEREAS, the Fairfax City Council is desirous of encouraging all citizens to present their views on issues of concern; and

WHEREAS, the agenda for City Council regular meetings includes an opportunity for comment on items not scheduled for public hearing as well as opportunities to speak on items subject to public hearing; and

WHEREAS, the City Council is desirous of conducting effective and efficient meetings while ensuring that everyone who wishes to speak may do so;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Fairfax hereby adopts the following guidelines for citizen participation in City Council meetings:

1. Speakers are permitted a total of 10 minutes during any meeting and no more than five minutes for any one agenda item.

2. Signs, placards, posters or like materials are not permitted in the City Council Chambers, adjoining areas or City offices except in designated areas in conjunction with an application under consideration by City Council.

3. All materials in conjunction with presentations to the City Council shall be displayed at the front area of Council Chambers near the podium.

4. The use of profane, vulgar, obscene, or threatening speech is not permitted and can result in removal from the meeting.

5. Speakers may not use language of a personal nature which insults or demeans any person or which, when directed at a public official, is not related to his or her official duties.

6. Repetitive testimony from meeting to meeting may be ruled out of order by the Chair.

7. Citizens should be respectful of others and limited time restraints and should avoid repetitive comments. A statement of agreement with previous speakers will be appreciated and appropriate.

8. The Mayor, or City Council by a majority vote, reserves the right to change these presentation rules.