All Phoenix City Council formal, policy and zoning meetings are conducted in the City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St. Citizens are invited to attend and participate. Additional council meetings, as well as city board, commission, committee, and subcommittee meetings, are listed under the public meeting notification listing. Live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the city council policy meetings are cablecast on Phoenix Channel 11.
A hearing impaired system is installed in the city council chambers to assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Headset units for this system are available at the front table in the council chambers. In addition, with 72 hours advance notification, the City Clerk's office will provide sign language interpreting services. For assistance, call 602-262-6557.
Individuals paid to lobby on behalf of persons or organizations other than themselves must register with the City Clerk prior to lobbying or within five business days thereafter and must re-register annually. If you have any questions about registration or whether or not you must register, contact the City Clerk Department at 602-262-6557.
OVERVIEW OF CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
Information on each of the following meetings is provided as a public courtesy and is updated on the website on a weekly basis. Most backup reports for the council meetings are available on-line. However, there may also be items available only in hard copy. Detailed reports are filed in the City Clerk Department which can be contacted at 602-262-6557.
City Council Policy Sessions
The city council holds policy meetings on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 200 West Jefferson. At these policy sessions, the council discusses general issues. These meetings provide the council with an opportunity to hear presentations by staff on topics that may come before the council at the formal meeting. Although no ordinances or resolutions are adopted and no formal action is taken, the policy session allows the council to give general direction to staff for future city policies.
During the policy session, the council will also publicly request information from staff or follow-up on issues of interest to the public, ask questions about the formal agenda, and hear reports from the City Manager.
Mayor's Consent Agenda
The consent agenda is made up of items recommended by city staff or council subcommittees which require approval. This agenda is placed weekly as a separate item on the policy agenda. The items on the consent agenda usually have unanimous council support and are voted on as a "package" in the interest of saving time on non-controversial issues. However, any council member may remove an item from the consent agenda to be voted on separately.
Formal City Council Meetings
The city council takes official action at "formal" council meetings, held Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 200 West Jefferson. Ordinances and resolutions, the laws of Phoenix, and formal actions are officially enacted or rejected at these meetings.
The formal meeting may appear to proceed quickly with important decisions reached after very little discussion. However, since council members receive the agenda the previous Friday, they have usually studied every item on the agenda prior to the meeting. Many of the items may have also been previously discussed during a council policy session or subcommittee meeting. If no additional facts are presented at the formal meeting, they often act on matters without further discussion.
Although the city council formal agenda is subject to change, all changes to the printed agenda are available 24 hours prior to the meeting. In an emergency, additional items also may be "added-on" to the printed agenda up to 24 hours prior to the formal meeting. It is preferred that items be planned in advance for placement on the printed agenda, which allows the public and the council sufficient time to review and agenda item.
Citizen Request Session
At the conclusion of the council formal session (no earlier than 3:00 p.m.), citizens may speak out on issues or problems that are not being addressed as part of the regular agenda. Call the City Clerk Department at (602) 262-6557 the day before the meeting to be sure a citizens' request session has been scheduled.
Although a quorum of the city council is not required, several council members usually remain in the chambers to hear citizen issues. Council members may not discuss the issues brought forward, but may ask clarifying questions and direct staff to follow up on a topic or place an issue on a future agenda. Speakers are asked to limit their comments to no more than two minutes.
The council meets to hear zoning matters on scheduled Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. according to a zoning calendar adopted the fall of each year at a city council policy session. The city council will recess from the formal council meeting and reconvene at 6:00 p.m. to hear matters on the printed recessed agenda. This agenda is also available to the public, city council, and city staff the Friday prior to the scheduled meeting. As with the formal meetings, the recessed city council meetings are subject to cancellation, and meeting dates should be verified.
Special city council meetings may be called by the mayor or by any three council members. A meeting notice is officially posted in compliance with the Arizona Open Meeting Law.
The city council normally takes a break in July and August. By City Charter, the city council must meet in formal session at least once per month. It has been council's unofficial policy to meet during the first week of July and then the last week of August, taking their summer break between these two meetings.
Citizens may appear before the city council or a council subcommittee to express their views on any published agenda item. In addition, a citizen comment session is held on Wednesdays immediately following the formal city council meetings which begin at 3:00 p.m. The city council does not meet every Wednesday, so please call the City Clerk Department at 602-262-6557 to confirm the date and time of the next formal meeting.
If you have an individual problem involving the city, you are encouraged to contact your district council member at 602-262-7029 or the City Manager's Office at 602-262-4449. To reach the Mayor's Office, call 602-262-7111. We will do everything possible to be responsive to your individual requests.
Guidelines for being heard
Citizens can speak on any item by completing a citizen comment card and submitting it to city staff prior to the meeting. A sample of the speaker card is shown below:
Citizens may only speak when recognized by the mayor or the presiding officer of the meeting if the mayor is absent. However, it is the policy and practice of the mayor and council to allow citizens to appear before the city council on any published agenda item to express their views. A Speaker Comment Card must be completed for each item the speaker may wish to address. In compliance with the Open Meeting Law, speakers should confine their statements to the issue on the posted agenda which is before the council. Speakers are also requested to limit their comments to approximately two minutes or as designated by the mayor. Additionally, speakers are required to follow proper decorum. Speakers must use appropriate language; foul and/or abusive language will not be tolerated. Any speaker failing to follow proper decorum or any other guidelines may be asked leave.
Opposing viewpoints may be expressed by the citizens present. As a courtesy, citizens are reminded to address their comments to the mayor and council and not to the audience present. Please show respect for all speakers and avoid personal comments. Remember, council must hear both sides of an issue to make an informed decision.
Specific guidelines have been recommended by the Planning Department for addressing zoning issues before council. The Planning Department will provide a brief summary and comments followed by comments from the public subject to strict time limits.
- Applicant's presentation (not to exceed 10 minutes)
- Opposition statements (not to exceed 10 minutes)
- Applicant's rebuttal (not to exceed five minutes)
Citizens appearing on a case should coordinate comments to respect council's time limits. Groups should select a spokesperson to present the major points of their argument. If time permits, additional speakers will be called from the cards submitted. Speakers are urged to be brief and non-repetitive. (Remember, council has read the Planning Commission minutes and does not require a review of prior testimony.) council may ask questions of the applicant, interested parties, or staff during these proceedings.