When speaking or commenting publicly to an agency, town, or city council remember that you may speak to the board or council about any item that is on the agenda, but only when that board has reached the point in the meeting to consider that item.
You may also speak during Open Forum on items that are not on the agenda and are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the board. By law the board cannot act on your comments. The board can only act on items that are on the agenda.
You will be asked to fill out a speaker’s card and submit it to the clerk or secratary usually seated at the front table. Do this before the meeting or before the item is heard. This will ensure that your name is called for the item(s) that you wish to address, and it will help ensure the meeting runs smoothly for all participants.
When council or board reaches your item on the agenda, you name will be called. If there are a large number of speakers that may call several names at once to give you time to come to the podium. Please be ready when your name is called.
Each speaker generally has two minutes to speak per item. The amount of time allotted to speakers may vary at the chair’s discretion, depending on the number of speakers or the length of the agenda.
To assist you in tracking your speaking time, there usually is some display on the podium. The green light turns on when you begin speaking; the yellow light turns on when you have 30 seconds left; and the red light turns on when your speaking time is up.
Please be advised that, by law, the City Council is unable to discuss or take action on issues presented during Open Forum. According to State Law (the Brown Act) items must first be noticed on the agenda before any discussion can take place.
Your comment will be placed in the public record but you can also bring written corressondence with you and have it be recorded public for your particlar agenda item.
To make sure the council or board fully understands your comments please consider the following:
First, identify yourself and any group you may be involved with. If the issue complex or is involved, you may want to thank the board for their time or hard work.
Second provide a brief background or your involvement with the issue if necessary.
Third, since you only have two minutes try to make no more than three key points. Give clear reasons for your recommendations.
Lastly, thank the board for their time.
Source: City of San Jose - Office of the City Clerk