Appearing Before the Council
City Council Workshops
The purpose of a City Council workshop is to provide a forum for City Council and City staff members to discuss and possibly take action on various subjects related to City operations, projects, and planning. Members of the City’s Commissions, Boards, and/or Committees may also be present to discuss various subjects with City Council and City staff. Citizens are welcome to attend the Workshops. Citizens are also welcome to communicate with Council Members and/or City staff outside of public meetings by contacting City Hall at 830-598-9940.
Regular City Council Meetings
The purpose of City Council meetings is to conduct city business and is not a public forum. The City of Horseshoe Bay believes citizens have every right to participate in City Council meetings, and we encourage citizens to do so. Regular City Council meeting agendas have time set aside for Public Comment near the beginning of the meeting, and there are additional public comment opportunities on the agenda if a particular item requires a public hearing by law.
Signing Up to Speak
Citizens wishing to speak during a City Council meeting must write their name and the agenda topic they wish to speak about on the Public Comment/Request to Speak sign-in sheet PRIOR to the start of the meeting. The sign-in form will be available in the Council Chambers on the podium by the entrance, next to the agendas, prior to the meeting. If you do not sign up to speak prior to the start of the meeting, you may not have an opportunity to speak. Citizens are not allowed to speak openly during the meeting unless first recognized by the presiding officer. When the presiding officer calls their name, citizens may speak for 5 minutes. If you would like to provide a presentation or speak longer than 5 minutes, please contact the City Manager’s office at least two (2) business days prior to the start of the meeting to make arrangements, by calling 830-598-9940.
Providing Written Comments/Documents to City Council
Citizens are also encouraged to provide written comments to the City Council regarding any agenda item prior to the start of the meeting. Providing your comments in writing prior to the meeting may allow you to be more thorough in your comments than time will allow at a City Council meeting, and will also allow the Council Members time to study the comments before the meeting. All written comments or other documents you would like to provide to the Council Members should be emailed to City Manager Stan Farmer at least two (2) business days prior to the day of the meeting. If you wish to bring hard-copies of documents to the meeting to be given to Council Members, you must bring 10 copies and provide them to the City Secretary (not the Mayor or Council Members) prior to the start of the meeting. In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, documents cannot be accepted by Council Members directly. The City Secretary will ensure the Mayor, City Manager, City Attorney and the Council Members each receive a copy. If fewer than 10 copies are provided to the City Secretary, the document may not be provided to Council Members until after the meeting when sufficient copies can be made for each member. Anonymous or unsigned comments will not be forwarded to, or considered by, City Council.
When to Speak
If you wish to speak on an item that is on the agenda under the Public Hearing section, please wait to speak until that item is addressed by City Council and you are recognized by the presiding officer. If you wish to speak about an item on the agenda that is not in the Public Hearing section or on an item that is not on the agenda, you will have an opportunity to do so during the Public Comment section when your name is called, if you sign up to speak prior to the start of the meeting.
Please remember that during public comment, in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Council Members are prohibited from answering questions (other than to make statements of fact or to recite existing policy), discussing issues raised by citizens, or taking any action on any item that is not on the agenda for that meeting. Issues raised may be referred to staff for research and possible future action.
Groups of citizens from the same organization or group are encouraged to consolidate their message and share time (up to 10 minutes) to address the Council on specific agenda items. The spokesperson for the organization or group should indicate the organization or group name on the Public Comment/Request to Speak sign-in sheet and request ten minutes. Citizens cannot "donate" their 5 minutes to another individual to allow that person to speak longer than 5 minutes.
Rules for Speaking during Public Comment/Hearings:
1. Members of the public may address the City Council at the following times during a meeting: a) During the Public Comment section of the agenda after your name is called by the presiding officer (usually the Mayor), if you have signed up to speak on the Public Comment/Request to Speak sign-in sheet prior to the start of the meeting; b) During the Public Hearing section of the agenda when the presiding officer opens the public hearing and calls your name, if you have signed up to speak prior to the start of the meeting; c) When the presiding officer invites you to speak.
2. Speakers must go to the podium and state their name and address for the record, prior to making their comments. Please do not speak from your chair in the audience. Please speak clearly into the microphone so everyone in the room can hear you. If you are physically incapable of standing at the podium, please speak to the City Secretary prior to the start of the meeting in order to use a portable microphone.
3. Speakers must address all comments to the presiding officer; not to the audience or staff members.
4. Speakers must limit their comments to five (5) minutes. You may be allowed to speak longer at the discretion of the presiding officer.
5. Speakers must not employ tactics of defamation, intimidation, personal affronts, profanity, yelling, or threats of violence. Anyone who demonstrates these behaviors will be removed from the Council Chambers.
6. Members of the audience are not allowed to speak out of turn or to interrupt the Mayor, Council Members, staff, or other speakers when they are speaking. If you would like to comment, please sign up to speak and wait until the presiding officer calls your name and you will have an equal opportunity to be heard. We welcome and encourage citizens to participate during the Public Comment/Hearing section of the meeting; however, out of respect for everyone in attendance, any disruptions will result in the offending party being removed from the Council Chambers.
Please remember to mute phones or other devices before entering the Council Chambers out of respect for everyone in attendance. If you need to have a conversation with someone, please step outside in order to avoid disrupting the meeting or preventing others from being able to hear the proceedings.