Speaking at a City Council Meeting
With the recent developments regarding COVID-19, the City of North Richland Hills is practicing social distancing by keeping at least six (6) feet of distance between people in the Council Chamber. To help contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the public is encouraged to view the meeting via live video stream at www.nrhtx.com/video rather than attending in person.
Attending the Meeting Via Telephone
The public may provide written comments on specific agenda items at least one hour prior to the meeting by completing a comment card and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will have the option to submit a comment or request to speak. You will be required to provide your name, address, telephone number and the nature of your request. Comments may only be submitted to the City Council during citizen presentation, public comments on posted agenda items or during a public hearing.
Your contact information is important. A member of staff, at the appropriate time, will call you from 817.427.6025 during the meeting. You will be placed on speaker phone and you will have three minutes to address the City Council.
Attending the Meeting in Person
Members of the public who attend the meeting should be aware that the city is limiting the number of people in the Council Chamber to comply with social distancing. The live stream of the meeting will be displayed on the screens in the City Hall lobby. If citizens are present at City Hall and would like to speak during citizen presentations, public comments, or public hearings please let a member of city staff know and you will be escorted to the Council Chamber.
The Mayor will ask those wishing to address the City Council to do so at the appropriate time. Please approach the speaker’s podium in the center of the Council Chamber, state your name and address for the record. Please direct your comments to the Mayor and Council.
Individuals addressing the Council are given a three (3) minute time limit.
Types of Appearances
Members of the public may address the Council at the following times during a meeting:
- Citizens Presentation is a specified time at the beginning of each Council meeting for citizens to speak on a subject pertaining to the city’s jurisdiction that is not formally scheduled on the agenda, scheduled as a public hearing or scheduled for consideration by the Council or another city board or commission at a later date. Comments will not be allowed on any matter on which staff has scheduled or will be scheduling stakeholder or similar meetings to solicit citizen input within 60 days, it being Council’s intent that such comments be made at such meetings. The Council is prohibited from deliberating or taking action on any subject not on the posted agenda. The Council may have the subject placed on an agenda for a future meeting or, if appropriate, have staff respond to your concerns. The time limit is three (3) minutes per speaker, not to exceed a total of thirty (30) minutes for all speakers.
- Public Hearings may be held throughout the regular agenda items and are usually required by Texas law. Speakers will not be permitted to speak about matters or present evidence which is not germane to the item being considered. Speakers are limited to three (3) minutes for individuals. The rule allowing one person to speak for 10 people is suspended during the declaration to adhere to social distancing regulations. There is a cumulative limit of thirty (30) minutes for all those speaking in favor of an item and a like limit for those speaking in opposition. If needed, time limits may be extended with concurrence of Council. No person may speak twice to the same item until all persons wishing to speak have been recognized. A person will only be allowed to speak a second time when there is new evidence to present.
- Public Comments provide an opportunity for citizens to address the Council on matters which are scheduled on this agenda for consideration by the Council, but not scheduled as a public hearing. In order to address the Council during public comments, a Public Meeting Appearance Card must be completed and presented to the City Secretary at least one hour prior to the start of the Council meeting. Speakers must observe the three (3) minute time limit.
No member of the public shall be permitted to conduct any verbal personal attack on the mayor, any individual member of the council, city staff, or member of any city board or commission. Any such personal attack, or attempted personal attack, may be challenged with a point of order or the mayor may interrupt an offending speaker to enforce this rule. The mayor may prevent any citizen from addressing the Council who makes comments or provides documents during public comments portion of the Council meeting that are defamatory, whether slander or libel, rise to the level of disorderly conduct, incite a riot, or are considered a breach of the peace.