The City of Redmond is a government run by the identified priorities of the Community. 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 Council during “Items from the Audience” at Regular Business Meetings, or provide testimony at a public hearing on a specific topic. “Items from the Audience” is open to any topic, as allowed by law, and testimony at public hearings is held to the topic of the specific hearing.
Items from the Audience
To speak during “Items from the Audience,” you do not need to sign up in advance. There is a sign-in sheet available shortly before the meeting begins. Speakers will be called in the order in which they have signed up. Members of the Audience are given four minutes each to address the Council. If you have handouts to distribute to the Council, please provide ten (10) copies. This will ensure that a copy of your materials is provided to appropriate staff and maintained in the City Clerk's official record of the meeting. Proxy commentary (a person speaking for another person without that person being in attendance) is generally not allowed.
“Items from the Audience” is not a “question/answer” forum between the public and the Council. It is a time for members of the public to be heard. As such, Council members will most likely not respond directly at the meeting, but they may ask staff to research and report back on the issue.
If you want to speak on the specific subject being heard during a public hearing, comments are accepted during the public hearing portion of the agenda. A sign-up sheet is made available shortly before the meeting begins and indicates it is for the public hearing. 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 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, noting it is for the public hearing, 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 either make a decision at that time, or decision-making may be deferred to a future meeting.
- Tips for Public Testimony
- Chambers Audio Visual
- Prohibited Activities
- Contacting Council
- Sign in on the appropriate meeting sign-in sheet at the start of any Regular Business Meeting to address the Mayor and Council.
- When your name is called, approach the testimonial podium and speak clearly into the microphone.
- State your name for the record. Please spell your last name to make sure it is correct in the meeting minutes.
- Members are addressed as “Mr. Mayor" or "Mrs. Mayor,” and “Members of the Council,” or “Council member _________.”
- Although not necessary, it may be helpful to create an outline of what you wish to say and bring notes with you to support your testimony.
- The “Items from the Audience” section of the Regular Business Meeting agenda is for testimony on any topic, as allowed by law
- The “Public Hearings” section of the Regular Business Meeting agenda is for testimony specific to the public hearing topic.
Members of the public receive four minutes each to address the Mayor and Members of the Council during Regular Business Meetings. Although not necessary when speaking, members of the public may want to present pictures, audio, maps, or other information to the Mayor and Council. Use of a Council laptop for presentations is permitted, provided that storage devices such as thumb drives are scanned by the City for viruses before the presentation. Other city equipment such as printers are not available for public use. Please contact the City’s Communications Division staff if you have any questions related to presentations at Council meetings.
- Assisted hearing devices are available in the Council Chambers. Arrangements for testing of this equipment for public use before Council meetings can be arranged by contacting the City Clerk’s Office or the Communications Division in advance of the meeting.
- The City Hall Building is wheelchair accessible, as is the Council Chambers.
- City Council meeting videos and audio recordings are available through the City Council’s Meeting Information Center.
Please contact the City Clerk’s Office with any other accessibility needs related to meeting participation.
The Council has the duty of addressing the business put forth to it on any meeting agenda. As such, certain activities which may cause distractions and interrupt a meeting are prohibited.
Members of the public are prohibited from approaching the Council dais or study session table unless specifically invited to approach. All public testimony must occur from the public testimony podium.
Shouting and/or the use of profanity in such a manner as to disrupt the Council’s ability to continue its meeting is prohibited.
Any activity conducted in such a manner as to disrupt the Council’s ability to continue its meeting is prohibited.
Contacting the Council Outside of an Open Public Meeting
Members of the Council may be individually contacted in their official city capacity through their City of Redmond-issued email addresses. The Council also has assigned a monthly Ombud to receive resident inquiries regarding legislative policy issues and community concerns. The Ombud responds as a voice of the full Council. Individual Council member opinions and discussion may be obtained by reaching out to members directly. By law, a majority number of Council members are not permitted to dialogue on a discussion thread to the point where a consensus opinion of that majority is reached. Reaching a majority consensus of action is only permitted in advertised open meetings unless otherwise stated by law.
Written correspondence may also be sent to the Council at the City of Redmond and will be distributed to the members upon receipt of the communication.
Additional Information regarding the Redmond City Council is found at https://www.redmond.gov/council
What is decorum?
Decorum is “behavior that is controlled, calm, and polite.”
Deliberative bodies like the Redmond City Council use rules of decorum to facilitate meetings. Rules of decorum encourage behavior that keeps the debate focused on the topic being debated rather than the people debating. When Council members refer to each other by their title rather than their name, or when they speak to each other “through the chair” they are observing the rules of decorum.
Roberts Rules of Order
Robert’s Rules of Order are the most commonly used manual of parliamentary procedure in the United States. Redmond City Council’s Rules of Procedure designates Robert’s Rules of Order as the parliamentary authority which provides a foundation of the Council’s meeting procedures.
There are many free resources for learning about Robert’s Rules of Order. One helpful resource is the Jurassic Parliament.