I saw the Council President order a member of the public to leave a public Council meeting. Was that legal?

The City Council has observed certain rules of conduct designed to keep meetings orderly and respectful for all. At times, we understand passions can get the best of our visitors, so we attempt to follow some basic rules of conduct and behavior. At all times, guests attending Carmel City Council meetings are expected to act in a respectful and orderly manner.

When that does not happen, the Council president does have the authority to restore order during the meeting by removing individuals disrupting the meeting. City Council meetings, while open to the public, are business meetings conducted to deal with the business of the City.

At all times, guests attending Carmel City Council meetings are expected to act in a respectful and orderly manner.

Here’s what you can and cannot do …

  • Signs of any kind are prohibited in Council Chambers.
  • Shouting, yelling, clapping, etc. are prohibited at all times in Council Chambers.
  • Questions may not be asked of Council members. There are other communication avenues to get questions addressed.
  • Talking among visitors should be kept to a minimum and shall be done quietly so as not to disturb the proceedings.
  • Visitors are prohibited at all times from using violent or contemptuous language, behaving in a disorderly manner or refusing to obey directives from the presiding Council officer.  
  • The presiding Council officer may order the removal from Council Chambers of anyone who disobeys these rules or otherwise disrupts proceedings.

How can you address the Council?

  • Visitors who wish to address the City Council must complete a “blue card” when arriving at Council Chambers.  They will be given three minutes to speak on their topic during the public comment portion of the meeting.  These cards must be given to the City Clerk or their designee before the start of the meeting.
  • Visitors who wish to speak regarding a specific item set for public hearing will be given three minutes to speak when that public hearing comes up on the agenda.
  • Each speaker must speak from the podium located on the left side of Council Chambers, and must use the provided microphone.
  • Each speaker is allowed to talk about a specific topic one time per meeting – either during the public comment section or during the appropriate public hearing.
  • No speaker shall be permitted to cede his/her three-minute allotment to another speaker.

 

Authored by Laura Campbell, Kevin Rider, Jeff Worrell, Tim Hannon, Bruce Kimball, Miles Nelson, Anthony Green and Adam Aasen.