No Comment: City Council pauses public comments for the summer

By Doug Breehl-Pitorak, Cleveland Documenters

Public comments at Cleveland City Council are taking a summer break—a 14-week break. Here’s what you need to know in a visual from Cleveland Documenters’ Paul Rochford, followed by some more background information.

City Council’s annual summer recess starts after its June 6 meeting. The next “regular” meeting will be Sept. 12. The full council is set to meet twice during the recess, but public comments will not be allowed. Council set its summer schedule with this resolution:


Why the pause on public comments? Joan Mazzolini, council’s communications chief, gave Cleveland Documenters two reasons:

1. The two summer sessions aren’t “regular” meetings

2. Council doesn’t set specific start times for these sessions

Council’s rules say that any person may be heard during the portion of a “regular” meeting set aside for public comment. The rules define “regular meetings” as those held in the Council Chamber on Mondays at 7 p.m.

The rules also say the mayor, council president or any five members of council can call a special meeting with at least 12 hours of written notice to all council members. Public comment isn’t included at special meetings. Find the council’s rules here.

There are 14 weeks between regular council meetings and the opportunity to address full council with a public comment. But you still can speak at a committee meeting. Keep track of what committees are meeting and when on the council’s Legistar calendar page.

See an interesting committee meeting? Find the committee chair’s contact info here and ask to make a public comment at the meeting.

In the meantime, find video of recent public comments—and transcripts edited by Documenter Lauren Hakim— right here.

You can go here to leave comments online and—starting Sept. 7 at noon—register to speak at the Sept. 12 meeting.