Public Comment at Council Meetings During COVID-19 Pandemic
City Council meetings are being held via remote virtual meeting during the pandemic. In order to protect residents, staff, and elected officials due to the novel COVID-19 virus, Longmont residents are urged to provide public comment from the comfort and safety of their homes by watching the meeting via livestream (links below) and by calling in to provide public comment when prompted to do so during the meeting.
Call in instructions and phone number will be displayed at the beginning of the meeting and prior to public comment agenda items. Residents should watch the livestream of the meeting and wait for the Mayor to direct the public to call in. The call in information changes each week so it is important to watch the livestream to obtain the call in information for each particular week. For security reasons, residents are only allowed to phone in to the meetings.
Each caller will be identified by the last three digits of their phone number and asked to speak when it is their turn. When called upon, callers should mute the livestream to minimize feedback and then state their name and address or street name for the record. Comments are limited to three minutes per person.
Previously, comments were accepted in writing or via recorded voicemail and read or played by City staff during the meeting. Because public participation is an integral part of any government and deeply valued by Longmont's elected officials, the City has changed to a new software for remote meetings in order to allow for public comment to be made during the meeting.
City staff continue to work with City Council to ensure that agendas are balanced during the COVID-19 crisis. Topics that are controversial or those requiring additional community involvement have been tabled to a future meeting date.
View City Council Meetings:
The Longmont City Council meets every Tuesday at 7 pm in the Council Chambers located in the Civic Center at 350 Kimbark St., Longmont, CO 80501. Meeting agendas and cancellations are posted on the City Council Agendas & Minutes page.
There are a couple of different ways to view City Council Meetings:
- Watch the meeting live through the City of Longmont's Youtube Livestream Channel or via The Longmont Public Media Channel's livestream available on their website. These livestreams are cross-platform compatible and can be viewed on a PC, Mac, tablets, iPads or a mobile device.
- After the meeting, view the recorded meeting video on Youtube
Below is information about the Longmont City Council legislative process. For any questions, please contact the City Clerk's Office at (303) 651-8649.
How does the legislative process begin?
The laws of the City of Longmont are enacted when an ordinance is passed by City Council.
Essentially, ordinances happen in one of two ways:
- City staff deems it necessary for the Council to change the law, or
- City Council asks staff to draft an ordinance for their consideration that would change the law
There are other types of actions (resolutions, appropriations, official legislative positions), but if you are interested in changing the law, it is best to first talk to the staff member who is an expert in that area, or talk to your City Council member. Oftentimes, Council Members direct staff to prepare an ordinance based on things they heard at their meetings from residents at the Public Invited to be Heard segment of the meeting.
What are the different types of City Council meetings?
The City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month in a Regular Session. Council can only take formal action at Regular Sessions. Four members of Council constitute a quorum and may conduct City business. Council conducts business at a Regular Session in one of the following manners:
An ordinance is the mechanism used to implement new local laws and requires two readings before it is enacted. At the first reading, the ordinance is introduced and, if Council desires, questions for information may be addressed to the staff. Council then votes whether or not to order the ordinance published in full, along with a notice of the public hearing, which is held at second reading of the ordinance.
On second reading, the Council may again address questions to the staff and may vote to amend the ordinance. A public hearing is then held and Council votes whether or not to adopt the ordinance. Ordinances require an affirmative vote of the majority of the Council for passage. All ordinances adopted on final reading take effect ten days after final publication, except for those containing an "emergency" clause.
A resolution is the mechanism used to express policy of the Council or direct certain types of administrative action. A resolution is adopted by a vote of the majority of those Council members seated. No public hearing is required for passage of a resolution.
A motion is ordinarily used to indicate Council approval of contracts, agreements, and procedural action and may also be used to authorize administrative officials to take certain actions.
When Council is not prepared to take definite action or when further study is needed, the matter may be referred to a City administrative officer or board for research, study and subsequent action by such officer or the City Council.
On the first and third Tuesday of every month, the City Council holds a study session which generally covers only one or two topics and are designed to allow the Council to talk on a more in-depth level about issues. No formal action may be taken by the Council at a study session other than to direct staff to proceed in a certain manner and to bring items back to a regular session for action.
Executive Sessions are special meetings called in advance that are not open to the public. The topics discussed are limited per Colorado Open Meetings Law. No formal action may be taken during an Executive Session.
Council also meets on the Friday morning before a Regular Session for an informal meeting where they exchange information about the various boards that advise Council on which Council Members serve or to discuss other items. Council may not make motions or take any type of formal action at a working session.
How can a resident participate in the legislative process?
In order to speak at a City Council Meeting, you are asked to sign up in advance. You may sign up outside the doors of the Council Chambers from 6:45 pm until 7:00 pm. The City Clerk collects the list of speakers just prior to the meeting being called to order at 7 pm. Public comment is limited to three minutes per speaker.
- Public Invited to Be Heard: You are welcome to speak to Council on any issue, including items not on the agenda during "First Call - Public Invited to Be Heard." The Mayor will call your name during "First Call - Public Invited to Be Heard". Only those on the list will be invited to speak at the first “Public Invited to Be Heard." Speakers who do not place their names on the list will have the opportunity to speak during “Final Call – Public Invited To Be Heard” at the end of the meeting.
- Public Hearings: Public Hearings are held at Regular Sessions only. In order to speak on the record regarding a Public Hearing item, you must sign up to speak about the particular item of interest to you prior to the meeting between 6:45 and 7 pm outside Council Chambers. Public Comment is limited to three minutes per speaker. Speakers who do not place their names on the list will have the opportunity to speak during “Final Call – Public Invited To Be Heard” at the end of the meeting.
If you need special assistance in order to participate in a City Council meeting, please contact Dawn Quintana, City Clerk, at (303) 651-8649, in advance of the meeting to make arrangements.
Brochures and Additional Information:
- Citizen Information about Quasi-Judicial City Council Proceedings [PDF]
- City Council Meeting Welcome Brochure [PDF]
- City Council Rules of Procedure [PDF]