Council Meetings Rules

Rules of Decorum


City Code Section 2.045 establishes Rules of Decorum for City Council Meetings. Copies of this section are also available in the City Clerk’s Office.

Purposes


The purposes of the Rules of Decorum are as follows:
  • To ensure that meetings of the City Council are conducted in a way that allows the business of the City to be effectively conducted.
  • To ensure that members of the public who attend meetings of the City Council can be heard in a fair, impartial and respectful manner.
  • To ensure that meetings of the City Council are conducted in a way that is open to all viewpoints, yet free from abusive, distracting or intimidating behavior.
  • To ensure that the rules governing decorum at meetings of the City Council are understood by persons attending the meetings.

Rules for Speakers


  • Members of the public may address the City Council at the following times during a meeting:
    • During Citizen Comment Period, if such a period is on the agenda for the meeting.
    • During a public hearing on an agenda item.
    • At other times with the permission of the presiding officer.
  • Speakers must address all comments and questions to the presiding officer.
  • Speakers must limit their comments to 3 minutes.
  • Inquiries from speakers about matters not listed on the agenda will either be directed to the staff or placed on a future agenda for Council consideration.

Rules for Members of the Public


Members of the public shall not engage in any of the following in the meeting room during a City Council meeting:
  • Shouting, unruly behavior, distracting side conversations, or speaking out when another person is talking.
  • Defamation, intimidation, personal affronts, profanity, or threats of violence.
  • Audible use of phones, pagers, radios, computers or other electronic equipment.
  • Booing, hissing, foot stomping, parading, singing or other similar behavior that impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting.

Enforcement of Rules


  • The Rules of Decorum will be enforced in the following manner:
    • The presiding officer will request that a person who is violating a rule cease the violation.
    • If the violation continues, the presiding officer will warn the person that he or she will be required to leave the meeting room if the violation continues.
    • If the violation continues, the presiding officer will order the person to leave the meeting room.
    • If the person does not leave the meeting room, the presiding officer may order any peace officer at the meeting to remove the person from the meeting room.
  • It is unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly resist removal from a meeting room by a peace officer in the course of enforcing the rules.
  • Any person violating any provision of the Rules of Decorum commits a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of up to $500 as provided in Section 1.015 of the San Marcos City Code upon conviction.