Understanding City Council Meetings
The following information will help you understand and participate in your City’s government. Included are descriptions of the types of City Council meetings, Agenda Items, City Council Actions, and the opportunities available for the public to address the City Council. City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. The City Council agenda is available prior to each meeting in the City Clerk’s Office. As a courtesy, they are also available on the City’s web page here.
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For further information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 925.973.2539.
THE SAN RAMON CITY COUNCIL
The City of San Ramon is a Charter City and operates a Council-City Manager style of government and derives its power from the City Charter, the California Constitution, and laws enacted by the State legislature. All legislative power is held by the publicly elected, five member City Council which consists of the Mayor and four Councilmembers. While all Councilmembers enjoy the same powers and privileges, the Mayor has the additional responsibility of presiding over City Council meetings, signing official documents, and officiating at ceremonies and events.
San Ramon’s Municipal Election is held in November of odd numbered years. Councilmembers serve a four year term. The Mayor serves a two year term.
The City of San Ramon welcomes your participation at Council meetings. Opportunities for the public to address the City Council are provided under the Public Comment, Consent Calendar, and Public Hearing sections of the agenda. If you wish to address the City Council, please complete a speaker card prior to the agenda item and give it to the City Clerk. The Mayor will call upon you to address the Council. State law prohibits the Council from taking action on any item not listed on the agenda. Depending upon the number of speakers for an item, the Mayor may institute speaker time limits.
If you are unable to attend the Council meeting, written communications may be sent to the City Clerk by e-mail (email@example.com) or by regular mail. Communications received after distribution of the agenda packet will be made available to the Council at the meeting.
The Council meeting begins with a CALL TO ORDER by the Mayor. The City Clerk performs the ROLL CALL. The PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE is recited by those in attendance.
ANNOUNCEMENTS provide information on changes or additions to the agenda and to the Boards, Commission or Committee meetings which are scheduled for the next two weeks.
Under SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS, the City Council recognizes people who have contributed to the betterment of San Ramon or events that are important to the community. This section provides the public or other agencies with an opportunity to present information or items of concern to the City Council.
PROCLAMATIONS are documents that recognize an individual or proclaim or acknowledge an event or specific activity of interest to the community.
The PUBLIC COMMENT section of the agenda provides the public with an opportunity to address the Council on any item that is within the jurisdiction of the City Council and which does not appear on the agenda. The Council may not take action on an item presented during Public Comment. The public may address the Council on items appearing on the agenda during the public hearing or public input phase when action is being taken by the Council on the item.
The APPROVAL OF MINUTES is the official vote by the Council to accept or amend the minutes of previous meetings.
CONSENT CALENDAR items are typically routine in nature and are considered for approval by the City Council with one single action. The City Council or members of the audience who would like an item removed from the Consent Calendar for purposes of discussion may request removal at the time the Mayor asks if there is anyone interested in removing items.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS items are those items continued from a prior Council meeting for additional discussion or consideration.
NEW BUSINESS covers those items which require Council discussion and/or decision but do not legally require a Public Hearing. Councilmembers are permitted to ask questions of staff and the principals before the Mayor invites citizens to provide input.
PUBLIC HEARINGS are held on matters required by law or items of significance for which public input is desired. The Mayor begins a Public Hearing by asking for presentations from staff and from the proponent or applicant involved in the matter under discussion. Following questions from the City Council, the Mayor will open the hearing to the public for input from citizens. Following the close of the Hearing, the City Council takes action on the subject of the Hearing.
CITY MANAGER COMMENTS allow the City manager to brief the Council on items of interest. No Council action is required.
CITY COUNCIL COMMENTS provide an opportunity for the Councilmembers to make a brief announcement or report on their activities, including reports on City Council liaison assignments.
CITY COUNCIL ACTIONS
The City Council takes action in four different ways:
ORDINANCES are laws adopted by the City Council which usually amend the Municipal Code. Most ordinances appear on two consecutive City Council Agendas. An ordinance is usually introduced at the first meeting and adopted at the second meeting. Most ordinances become effective 30 days after adoption.
RESOLUTIONS express decisions, opinions, or actions by the City Council but do not amend the Municipal Code or other City laws.
MINUTE ORDERS are the least formal City Council action used to approve policy, establish procedures, or provide direction to staff.
APPOINTMENTS are designations of selected applicants to various Boards, Commissions, and Committees by the City Council.
CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
SUBMITTING MATERIAL OR DOCUMENTS:
You may submit material to the City Clerk’s office by the Thursday before a Council meeting for distribution to the Council in advance of the meeting. This gives Councilmembers time to review the information provided. If you have any questions regarding copies or procedures, call the City Clerk’s office at 925.973.2539.
Any supporting materials which you wish to present at the Council meeting should be given to the City Clerk before addressing the Council. Any material submitted during a Public Hearing becomes part of the public record and will not be returned.
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS are held at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in the City Council Chambers, 2222 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583. Agenda packets are available at City Hall, San Ramon Library, San Ramon Community Center, San Ramon Senior Center, Dougherty Station Library and on the City Council Agenda web page.
REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY, PUBLIC FINANCING AUTHORITY AND GEOLOGICAL HAZARD ABATEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1990-01 (GHAD) are separate legal bodies which oversee certain aspects of City business. Their membership is comprised of all the City Councilmembers.
CLOSED SESSIONS are held for specific purposes such as litigation or personnel matters as allowed under State law. Closed Sessions are not open to the public.
SPECIAL MEETINGS are held in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act. Agendas are available prior to the meeting in the City Clerk’s Office.
WORKSHOPS/STUDY SESSIONS provide an opportunity for the City staff to report to the City Council on a variety of items and issues. Study Sessions are open to the public. Check with the City Clerk’s office or City web pages for times and locations