What to Expect
All public meetings in California are subject to The Brown Act. The Act is designed to let the public know when and where meetings will be held and what will be discussed and ensure those meetings are conducted openly and transparently.
Agendas for regularly-scheduled meetings must be published at least 72 hours before the meeting. Agendas for special meetings must be posted 24 hours in advance.
Belvedere’s regularly-scheduled public meetings (including City Council and Planning Commission meetings) are sequenced as follows:
- Reports and Presentations: These include City Official and Staff reports and occasional presentations from local groups or agencies on work that impacts the City.
- Consent Calendar: This list of routine business items requires one motion and vote to approve. City Officials may pull items off the Consent Calendar to discuss them in more detail before a vote.
- Public Hearings: These allow the public to weigh in on specific issues. Sometimes public hearings are required by law, and other times, City Officials may use them to gather information to help them make decisions.
- Regular Agenda Items: Many items fall into this category. These items may require the Board’s approval or be for discussion only.
- Open Time: This is when members of the public may speak on items outside the agenda. Speakers are asked to limit their remarks to 3 minutes.
Members of the public are given the opportunity to speak during each agenda item. The Chair will invite public comment at the appropriate time. Speakers should limit their remarks to 3 minutes and restrict their comments to that particular agenda item. Staff and Board Members typically refrain from answering questions posed during public comment.
Occasionally, the City Council has closed-session meetings to discuss employee issues or potential or pending litigation. These typically take place before regularly-scheduled council meetings.