The Council meets in regular session the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (with the exception of the fourth Tuesday of July and December) beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 715 Princess Anne Street. The Council Chambers are located in the lower level of City Hall, with access off Hanover Street. Public Hearings can be scheduled for either of the regular session evenings or for the third Tuesday of the month. Special sessions and informal work sessions are called as needed.
The Council’s regular sessions are televised live on Cox Channel 84 and Verizon Channel 42 and rebroadcast on Wednesday at noon and on Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Live and rebroadcasted meetings are available online as well at Regional WebTV.
Items for consideration by the Council are outlined on an agenda and available for review on the City’s website prior to the meeting time. The sections of a typical agenda include: Citizen Comment, Council, Adoption of Minutes, City Manager Consent, City Manager Regular, and Closed.
Special Public Hearing/Public Comment procedures have been adopted by City Council Ordinance 20-05 for electronic meetings held during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Citizen Comment: Citizens who wish to participate in a meeting’s public hearing or public comment period will be able to send their comments in writing by (1) dropping them in the Deposit Box at City Hall, (2) U.S. Mail, (3) submitting the Council Comments form, or (4) email to the Clerk of Council. Comments must be received at least four hours in advance of the meeting - so for example by 1:30 p.m. for evenings with a 5:30 p.m. work session. The plan is to read these comments out loud during the public hearing or public comment portion of the City Council meeting. The standard rules apply to public hearing and public comments: the person must identify himself or herself by name and address, including zip code, limit his or her remarks to 3 minutes or less (read aloud), and address a topic of City business. Public comments are limited to a total of 40 minutes, with priority for comments from 22401 (residence or business). Public comments submitted during the meeting, through Facebook, will not be considered part of the official public comments of the meeting.
- Council: This section is for use by the Council Members to place an item on the agenda accompanied by a recommended course of action.
- Adoption of Minutes: This section is for use by the Clerk of Council to submit for review, adoption, and transmittal of all the Council’s regular session, special session, and public hearing minutes.
- City Manager Consent: This section generally consists of items or reports generated by the City Manager, his staff, or the Clerk of Council, such as Council work session minutes, correspondence, monthly financial, building or transit reports, board and commission minutes, and, in general, items requiring little or no deliberation.
- City Manager Regular: This section typically generates the bulk of the discussion and includes the City Manager’s recommendations on resolutions, funding appropriations, lease agreements, contracts, ordinances, and policy revisions. Board and commission appointments, as well as activity updates and schedules of upcoming meetings and events, are included under this section.
- Closed Session: This section is reserved for closed meetings conducted for the discussion of sensitive material, as provided under the State Code for specific reasons, such as the discussion of personnel, acquisition or disposition of real property, and actual or potential litigation.