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MADISON – The City of Madison Common Council recently passed ORD-22-00012, which changes the order of business and procedures for registered speakers during Common Council meetings.

These changes stemmed from policy recommendations made by the Task Force on the Structure of City Government (TFOGS). Alder Yannette Figueroa Cole, Alder Grant Foster, and Alder Keith Furman, members of the Ad Hoc TFOGS Final Report Implementation Work Group and sponsors of this change, issued this joint statement:

“The TFOGS report included many recommendations to improve city government and the Work Group has been working hard to turn these recommendations into implementable policy. We’re excited about this improved meeting format which the Council adopted at our last meeting. It will both make meetings run smoother and allow earlier comments at our meeting, no longer requiring participants to have to wait until late into the night to testify. There is always still more work to be done, but this is a step in the right direction to improving our City government.”

The improved process is as follows:

  • All public comment for items being considered at the meeting will now be moved to the beginning of meeting. Public comments from meeting registrants will be received on items in the same order as listed on the agenda.
  • Any item of business that has no registrants may be included on a consent agenda. No public comment will be taken on consent agenda items after the Council has acted on the consent agenda.

Other existing rules pertaining to public speakers at the Council meetings:

  • Registrants have three (3) minutes to address the Council. Registrants who require interpreters have six (6) minutes. Following the completion of public comments for each item, Alders may ask questions of registrants.
  • No individual shall be permitted to address the Council on any matter when it is first introduced before the Common Council  and matter is simply scheduled to be referred and reported back at a later meeting.

The new order of business is as follows:

  • Opening remarks.
  • Honoring resolutions.
  • Presentation of consent agenda.
  • Public Comment and Public Hearings on any items on the agenda as a special order at 6:45 p.m.
  • Petitions.
  • Communications.
  • Modification of prior Common Council proceedings (upon request of a Common Council member).
  • Informational hearings.
  • Business presented by the Mayor, including appointments and confirmations.
  • Business presented by the President of the Common Council.
  • Reports of officers, departments and divisions, committees, boards and commissions presented in continuous rotation, alphabetically, including re-referrals according to the provisions of Sec. 2.05(1).
  • Ordinances and resolutions referred to this meeting and not included in sub. (1)(j).
  • Introduction of new ordinances and resolutions for referral without debate.
  • Presentation of accounts and other claims against the City of Madison.
  • Late items and addenda.
  • Announcements and introduction of items from the floor.
  • Any items for closed session.
  • Adjournment.

The new Common Council meeting format will go into effect at the next scheduled meeting on February 22, 2022.


Common Council