Council Meeting Guidelines for Speakers and Attendees
City Council conducts two types of meetings: informal work sessions and formal meetings.
Discussions with staff and other invited persons or agencies. Public portions of work sessions are broadcast and streamed live, and available on YouTube. Public comment is not accepted.
Public hearings, votes on items in the agenda, ceremonial matters and new business brought by the public. (More on meeting format) (PDF). Formal meetings are broadcast live and available on YouTube. Public comments will be accepted on specific agenda items and on new business.
Guidelines for Persons Attending or Wishing to Speak at Formal Council Meetings
The following ensures the public's business is conducted without disruption in a dignified, orderly and efficient fashion:
- Register to speak at least 10 minutes before the meeting at the City Clerk's desk
- Wait until you are called to come to the podium and speak
- Give your name, address and viewpoint
- Limit your comments to 3 minutes
- If representing a group, ask members to briefly stand
- Give written material to the City Clerk
- The use of profane, vulgar, obscene or threatening speech is not permitted and can result in removal from the meeting
- The aggregate amount of time devoted to a particular agenda item may be limited
Other rules of decorum include:
- Signs, placards, posters or like material are not permitted in the City Council Chamber, adjoining areas or city offices
- Remain seated during the meeting unless called upon to stand for recognition as a speaker, official duties, physical necessity, or to enter or leave the meeting
- Turn off or deactivate the sound from all cell phones, pagers or other electronic communication devices
View the Council's Rules and Regulations (PDF). You may also obtain a copy of Council Ordinance 46,774 from the City Clerk's Office located at:
810 Union Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
Persons needing special assistance, such as a handheld microphone or ASL interpreter, or any other accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act are asked to call the City Clerk's Office at 664-4253 at least three days before the meeting.
However, every reasonable effort will be made to respond to accommodation requests made immediately before a council meeting.