Participating in a Meeting

Overview
Council Chambers photo

Welcome to the Town of Ashland meeting site! The Town Council extends their greetings and looks forward to your participation in local affairs. Because meetings of the town's governing bodies are formal proceedings, this page is designed to help you know what to expect and how to share your views on the issues facing the Town. Please note that all comments made in a public meeting may be recorded and included in the official minutes of the meeting.

Opportunities for Citizen Participation

The agenda for each meeting is available three working days before the meeting on the town website or in the lobby before the meeting begins. If you wish to address the governing body, you may do so at the most appropriate of the following opportunities:

  1. Citizen Input. Any item that is not on the agenda may be addressed by any citizen during this portion of the meeting. Speakers are generally requested to make their remarks as brief as possible unless an announcement is made regarding time limitations.
  2. Public Hearings. Public hearings are scheduled periodically to hear from the public concerning a specific matter or issue in question. Prior to a public hearing, the scheduled date and subject is advertised in local newspapers. During the meeting, the presiding authority will call upon the public to address the council at the appropriate time.
  3. Any Other Items. Other items on the agenda are not advertised public hearings, but the presiding authority may allow individuals to address the council at his/her discretion. If you wish to speak on any of these items, please notify the clerk before the meeting begins.

Process

When you are called upon to speak, you are requested to:

  1. Come to the speaker's lectern.
  2. State your name and address for the record.
  3. State your position.
  4. Direct any questions to the presiding officer.
  5. Submit any written statements or supporting materials to the clerk for the record.

Town Council Actions

Boards, commissions and committees appointed by the town council are authorized to recommend or reject actions for consideration by the town council. There are two types of actions the town council may take:

  1. Ordinances are a formal and binding type of council legislation. Ordinances deal with such items as regulations, taxes, and penalties.
  2. Resolutions indicate council policy and direct a certain type of action to occur. Other than ordinances, all actions of council are performed by resolution.

The council may vote to approve, decline, defer, refer to a subordinate body for further study, or approve with specified changes. In Ashland, almost all voting is done by roll call. Approved ordinances are the laws of our town enforced by our police department; approved resolutions authorize the Town to enter contracts, regulate town staff, etc.