How to Give a Public Comment During a Cleveland Heights City Council Meeting

Do you have something you want to say to your Cleveland Heights City Council members and our Mayor? Is there a problem you need solved? An issue, action, or piece of pending legislation you want to advocate for—or against? Would you like to tell us about exciting community work and events you are doing in our city?

Then come tell us what’s on your mind!

What is a public comment?

A public comment is a statement made at a public meeting of our local government. Our City Council meetings are livestreamed and their recordings are posted on our City’s YouTube channel.

City Council also keeps minutes of its meetings, and residents’ public comments are summarized in those minutes and made a part of the official record.

When can I give a public comment?

Public comments are allowed at all regularly scheduled City Council meetings, which occur on the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30pm. When a holiday falls on one of those days, then the meeting will be held the following day.

If you are commenting on something that is related to an item on the City Council’s agenda for that meeting, then you will speak at the beginning of the meeting, before Council considers action on the topic you wish to speak about.

If you are commenting on something that is not about an agenda item, you will speak at the end of the meeting.

Do I need to sign up to speak?

Outside Council Chambers (on the second floor of City Hall) there is a podium, and on that podium you will find forms you need to fill out. The form will ask for your name, address, and the topic of your public comment.

After filling out the form, you will give it to the Clerk of Council (who has a desk in the corner of Council Chambers). She will then sort the forms into those speaking on agenda items and those speaking on other topics.

When it is time for public comments, the Clerk of Council will call your name when it is your turn to speak.

How long can I speak?

Public comments are limited to three minutes. There is a countdown clock on the wall behind the Mayor, and once three minutes are done, the clock will begin making a chirping sound. At this time, if you have more to say, you should finish your sentence as best you can and conclude your comment.

The Council President (or Vice President, if the Council President is not in attendance) will gavel people after they have exceeded three minutes.

How does Council and/or the Mayor respond?

Our job is to listen and take in what you’re saying. While Council members may follow up with you after the meeting is adjourned to ask questions or respond to what you said, we do not respond directly to residents’ public comments during the meeting.

There are many engaged and thoughtful people here in Cleveland Heights. And you have a democratic right—and even duty—to let your elected officials know where you stand, what you need, and how you are contributing to our community and city.