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How to Participate in Council Meetings

Disability Access

The City of Monterey is committed to including the disabled in all of its services, programs and activities.  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in a meeting, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (831) 646-3935.  Notification 30 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting [28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title II].  Later requests will be accommodated to the extent feasible.  

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For communication-related assistance, dial 711 to use the California Relay Service (CRS) to speak to City offices.  CRS offers free text-to-speech, speech-to-speech, and Spanish-language services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you require a hearing amplification device to attend a meeting, dial 711 to use CRS to talk to the City Clerk's Office at (831) 646-3935 to coordinate use of a device. 

The City Council encourages expression of opinions by its citizens on any matter of community interest that is within the Council's scope of authority. Oral presentations during Public Hearings and the Public Comments portion of the agenda, written communications, and oral requests are all appropriate methods for expressing these views.

  • Citizens may speak on any item under public discussion by the City Council after receiving recognition by the Mayor.

  • Citizens also have an opportunity to speak during the Public Comments portions of the agenda for three minutes on any topic not on the agenda.

  • In all cases, the speaker must step to the microphone directly in front of the Council and, after receiving recognition from the Mayor, state name and affiliation for the record.

  • All remarks should be directed to the Council as a body rather than to any particular councilmember or any member of the staff or audience.

  • Whenever a group wishes to address the Council on the same subject, the Mayor will request that a spokesperson be chosen by the group.

  • Applauding and other displays of approval or disapproval are inappropriate during City Council meetings.

  • City Council Chamber seating chart (PDF)
  • CONSENT AGENDA consists of those items which are routine and for which a staff recommendation has been prepared. A member of the public or a Councilmember may request that an item be placed on the regular agenda for further discussion.
  • AWARD OF BIDS are the awarding of contracts to perform services or supply materials to the City.
  • ORDINANCES are "legislative acts" by the Council; are the most permanent and binding type of Council action; and may be repealed only by a subsequent ordinance. An ordinance requires two readings at separate Council meetings, is "passed to print" (for legal advertisement) when introduced, and is "passed and adopted" when given final approval.
  • RESOLUTIONS are passed to express the policy of the Council on certain items or programs; or are passed to direct certain types of administrative action. A resolution may be changed by adoption of a subsequent resolution. Resolutions only require one reading and are approved when "passed and adopted."
  • PUBLIC APPEARANCE ITEMS are correspondence or report items from other agencies; City boards, commissions and committees; or from citizens and community organizations which involve public presentations and appearances. The Council may limit the time each speaker is allocated. Any person or group desiring to bring an item to the attention of the City Council may do so by addressing a letter of explanation to: City Clerk, City Hall, Room 6, Monterey, CA 93940. The appropriate staff person will contact the sender concerning the details.
  • PUBLIC COMMENTS allow you, the public, to speak for a maximum of three minutes on any subject which is not on the agenda.
  • STAFF INFORMATIONAL REPORTS supply information to the Council, and may not require Council action. Like the Consent Agenda, the Council may wish to ask questions or otherwise briefly discuss a staff report placed in this section. If the Council decides that it wishes to discuss a matter in detail or to take action, the matter may be considered under the regular Council agenda.

As provided by the Open Meeting Laws of California - The Brown Act - community members are permitted to record any open and public meeting of the City of Monterey as long as the recording does not cause a persistent disruption to the proceedings. The appropriate sections of the Brown Act are included at the end of these guidelines.

In order to provide for the recording of City meetings by members of the public, the City of Monterey has developed the following guidelines.

A "persistent disruption" can include but is not limited to the following:

  1. Obstructing the view of audience/staff members
  2. Creating noise that keeps audience/staff members from hearing the proceedings
  3. Treating potential interviewees and/or conducting interviews in a belligerent manner

Video recording equipment/crew location:

  1. Video cameras/tripods/crew should be in the seating pews, but they should remain at the end of the pews to minimize view obstructions. All public seating in the City Council Chamber is first come, first served. Staff will not reserve seating areas for public access producers.
  2. No tripods are permitted in any exit pathways (aisles), including entrances/exits.
  3. Videographers can gather footage using hand-held equipment from the main meeting room floor (front of the room among staff tables or by dais) for a limited period – generally 5 minutes each – and, in general, cannot disrupt the presentation or the proceedings while doing so.
  4. Videographers may operate tripods in the area directly to the left (when facing the dais) of staff tables between doorways, but must not run cords across exit pathways.
  5. No video recording is permitted behind the dais without the expressed consent of the meeting chair. A standing condition of said consent is that the taping of notes or materials on the desk is prohibited.
  6. If deemed necessary, City staff can limit the number of cameras in the meeting room and/or require a camera pool.
  7. Upon advance request, an audio feed of the proceeding can generally be made available (24-hour notice may be required).
  8. All audio/electrical cords must be securely taped or covered with a mat, subject to the approval of City staff. Cords must run perpendicular to the aisle and not cross a doorway.

Interviews or background footage taken as an adjunct to the public meeting:

  1. Potential interviewees, be they Councilmembers, Commissioners, staff or public, are not obligated to participate in an interview. Common courtesies should be extended, and interviews should not be conducted in a belligerent manner.

City staff at the meeting site will be in charge of enforcing the above guidelines. This policy will be reviewed periodically for appropriateness and applicability, and may be modified within the sole discretion of the City.

Time & Location
Location
Regular meetings of the Monterey City Council are held the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the Council Chamber at Few Memorial Hall of Records on the corner of Pacific and Madison streets, Monterey, CA.

Time Schedules
Meetings are scheduled in two sessions, with a 1 1/2 hour recess between sessions. The first session is scheduled from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The City Council then reconvenes at 7 p.m., with scheduled adjournment at 11 p.m.

Copies of Council Meeting packets may be viewed by the public online at 
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or in the City Clerk's Office or the Monterey Public Library.
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