City of Largo, Florida
Citizens' Guide to Participation in City Commission Meetings
Citizens' Guide to Participation in City Commission Meetings
Largo City CommissionThe City Commission is the legislative and policy making body of the City. The non-partisan commission consists of the mayor and six commissioners who are elected at-large for staggered three-year terms. The mayor is the presiding officer of the commission and possesses the same voting powers as a commissioner. On an annual basis, one commissioner is appointed to serve as the vice-mayor, and assumes the presiding officer duties in the mayor's absence.
The commission is empowered to establish City policy, to provide for the exercise of all duties and obligations imposed upon the City by the City Charter and applicable law, and to secure the general health, safety, and welfare of the City and its citizens. The commission discusses and adopts ordinances and resolutions to establish policies and programs and to provide public services and facilities for City residents and businesses.
City Commission MeetingsRegular meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. All meetings take place in City Commission Chambers at Largo City Hall, 201 Highland Avenue, in Largo.
Work Sessions are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. Work Sessions take place in the Community Room, adjacent to the Commission Chambers. Special meetings and additional Work Sessions are scheduled on an as-needed basis.
Television BroadcastsAll Largo City Commission meetings and work sessions are shown live on LTV Channel 15. Rebroadcasts are shown several times throughout the week, until the next live meeting occurs. For the latest television schedule, visit www.largo.com.
Meetings and work sessions can also be seen via streaming video on largo.com. The website contains both current and archived meetings.
AgendasMeeting agendas are available to the public on the Friday afternoon prior to any Tuesday meeting. Copies of the complete agenda packet are available in the City Hall lobby and at the Largo Public Library. The agenda packet is posted to the City's web site, www.largo.com. The agenda is shown on LTV Channel 15 prior to the live meeting.
The City Commission sets aside a portion of each Regular Meeting for citizen comment. This is an opportunity for the public to speak on items not on the agenda that are relevant to the City and the City Commission, or on Consent Docket items. All comments are to be directed to the Mayor; questions cannot be directed to any individual Commissioner or staff member. Any member of the public who would like to address the City Commission during Citizen Comment must complete a speaker card and submit the card to the City Clerk prior to the beginning of Citizen Comment. The City Clerk will call speakers by name when it is their turn to speak. All speakers must address the City Commission from the podium, identify themselves by name, and give their complete address for the record. Speakers are limited to three minutes, however, a representative of a group may speak for three minutes plus an additional minute given for each group member in the audience who has waived their right to speak, up to a maximum of ten minutes. The City Clerk will provide a form to document the request for additional time. Only one representative per group will be allowed.
Speakers shall not:
- Engage in loud and disruptive speech
- Use profanity or obscenity
- Use "fighting words" (e.g. words likely to cause a fight, that are threatening, annoying, or tending to cause a breach of the peace) or speech that threatens harm
- Engage in commercial speech (advertising)
- Engage in personal attacks
If an individual is declared out of order, he/she will be requested to leave the podium and will be subject to physical removal from the Commission Chamber. No signs, placards, or banners will be allowed in the Commission Chamber. Clapping, heckling, and verbal outbursts in support of or opposition to a speaker's comments are discouraged.
These policies also apply to those members of the public who wish to speak on Legislative Matters or Public Hearings. A speaker card must be completed and submitted to the City Clerk prior to the item on the agenda. Speakers' comments must be specific to the agenda item.
The Consent Docket consists of routine items, such as previously budgeted purchases or administrative matters that require final approval by the Commission. Items may be removed from the Consent Docket for discussion upon the request of members of the City Commission. Items removed from the Consent Docket will be considered immediately following approval of the Consent Docket; public input will not be accepted. The Consent Docket is approved or disapproved in a single vote and public comment on any Consent item must be made during Citizen Comment.
Confirmation of Work Session Direction
Confirmation items are those for which there has been discussion at a Work Session and specific direction given to staff. The City Commission votes to confirm or amend the direction given. Public Input is not accepted.
This portion of the agenda includes all public hearings required by City codes or state statutes. The procedure for public hearings is for staff to provide their report, followed by the reading of the ordinance title, opening and closing of the public hearing, City Commission discussion, and voting. Completion of a speaker card is requested in order to speak at a public hearing. There is no limit for total public input at a public hearing. Regulations for Citizen Comment are applicable and comments must pertain to the specific agenda item.
Any person who appeals any decision of the City Commission with respect to any matter considered at a Regular Meeting will need a record of the proceedings, and for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made. Such record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.
Legislative Matters include items for which City Commission discussion is anticipated or for which a staff presentation is necessary. Items in this part of the agenda include ordinance first readings and non-routine purchases and administrative matters. The procedure for items in this portion of the agenda is for staff to provide their report, followed by public input, City Commission discussion, and voting. Total public input on a single issue or agenda item is limited to thirty (30) minutes.
These reports are typically for informational purposes only, however some presentations may require City Commission direction. Public input is not accepted on staff report items.
Work SessionsAt Work Sessions, the City Commission receives reports from and asks questions of staff and consultants regarding new or ongoing projects, issues being considered, or other topics that require considerable City Commission review and discussion prior to taking formal action at a Regular Meeting. The agenda typically consists of three to five items. No votes are taken at Work Sessions and no public input is accepted.
Terms to Know...Amendment: A change to any previously approved document, resolution, or ordinance
Ordinance: A local law approved by the City commission; requires a public hearing
Resolution: An official decision made by the commission; may require a public hearing
Proclamation: A document approved by the commission officially recognizing an event or accomplishment