City of Sacramento Council Rules of Procedure
Resolution No. 2023-0066 Adopted on March 7, 2023 Chapter 5 – Conduct of the Public
A. General Conduct
a. Members of the public attending council meetings shall observe the same rules and decorum applicable to the members and staff as noted in chapters 3 and 4 of these Rules.
b. No person shall engage in conduct that is intended to or is likely to provoke violent or riotous behavior, nor shall any person engage in conduct that disturbs the orderly conduct of the council meeting. Examples of disorderly conduct include:
(ii) Whistling or other abrupt noises.
(iii) Yelling or shouting or interrupting a speaker who is addressing the council.
(iv) Organized silent demonstrations and other demonstrations intended to disturb the progress of the meeting.
(v) Physically threatening conduct.
(vi) Verbal threats.
(vii) Banging, slamming, or throwing objects.
(viii) Interfering with other attendees’ ability to participate or address the council.
(ix) Entering areas of the chamber not intended for the public.
(x) Incitement to commit unlawful or disturbing acts or disrupt proceedings.
(xi) Refusing to abide speaker time limits and leave the podium when directed.
(xii) Placing physical objects in a manner that creates a disturbance or disrupts proceedings.
(xiii) Interjection when not at the podium.
(xiv) Refusing to heed the presiding officer’s call for order.
xv) Approaching the podium or dais without permission of the presiding officer.
(xvi) Signs may not be mounted to any solid item that would facilitate holding or waving and may not impede the view of other attendees.
c. Enforcement. In addition to the presiding officer, the decorum officer and the sergeant-at-arms shall have primary responsibility for enforcing council meeting decorum. Additionally, any member may at any time call for a point of order, to request the timely enforcement of these rules of decorum.
(i) The presiding officer shall request that a person who is breaching the rules of decorum cease the conduct. If the person does not cease the conduct immediately, the presiding officer may order the person to leave the council meeting or order the sergeant-at-arms to remove the person.
(ii) In addition to the sergeant-at-arms, the decorum officer, who shall be a council-selected person who sits on the dais, may also exercise the duties of the presiding officer in Rule 5.A.1.c.(i) above.
(iii) The sergeant-at-arms shall assist in enforcing the rules of decorum, including removing disorderly persons upon order of the presiding officer or decorum officer.
B. Addressing the City Council
- Purpose of public comment. During regular meetings, the city provides opportunities for the public to address the council as a whole in order to listen to the public’s opinions regarding agendized items and unagendized matters within the subject matter jurisdiction of the city. At all other (special) meetings, public comment is limited to agendized items.
a. Public comments should not be addressed to individual members nor to city officials, but rather to the council as a whole regarding city business.
b. While members of the public may speak their opinions on city business, personal attacks on members and city officials, use of swear words, and signs or displays of disrespect for individuals are discouraged as they impede good communication with the council.
c. Consistent with the Brown Act, the public comment periods on the agenda are not intended to be “question and answer” periods or conversations with the council and city officials. The limited circumstances under which members may respond to public comments are set out in Rule 8.D.2.
d. Members of the public with questions concerning consent calendar items may contact the staff person or the member whose district is identified on the report prior to the meeting to reduce the need for discussion of consent calendar items and to better respond to the public’s questions.
e. The presiding officer may stop a member of the public whose comments are not confined to the agendized item being heard. During the public comment portion of the agenda, the
The Presiding Officer is the person who presides over a meeting and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing members to speak, and interpreting the rules, practices, and precedents. In the city council the presiding officer is the Mayor. In advisory bodies established by the city council the presiding officer is the Chair. In the absence of Mayor or Chair, the Vice Mayor or Vice Chair shall preside.
may stop a member of the public whose comments are not within the subject matter jurisdiction of the
________________________________________________ City Council – 5PM Meeting Agenda May 16, 2023
- Designation of City Council Decorum Officer
File ID: 2023-00661
Recommendation: Pass a Motion designating the City Clerk as the city council’s decorum officer.
Issue Detail: Chapter 5 of the Council Rules of Procedure identifies a “decorum officer” who is, along with the presiding officer and the sergeant-at-arms, responsible for enforcing city council meeting decorum. Pursuant to Rule 5.A.1.c.ii, the decorum officer shall be a council-selected person who sits on the dais.