Matters by the Public Request to Speak

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City Council holds Matters by the Public for up to 15 speakers at the beginning of each meeting. Speakers may sign up in advance of the meeting for 10 of the 15 slots.  You may request a speaking slot starting at 9:00 a.m. the day after the previous Council meeting. 

If you wish to sign up to speak in advance, please fill out the Matters by the Public Request to Speak form here.  

You may also contact the Clerk of Council's office by email: clerk@charlottesville.org, by phone: (434) 970-3113, or in person at the Clerk’s office on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Please provide your name, address, and the topic about which you wish to speak.  The deadline for signing up for an advanced spot is 9:00 a.m. the day of the meeting.

Each request that comes in over email, phone, or in person is given a number.  All numbers are submitted to an online random number sequencer that generates random numbers in the range of total sign-ups. (Example: 30 people sign up, and 30 random numbers are generated between 1 and 30.)  The first 10 randomly generated numbers are given speaking slots.  The remaining speakers are placed on the wait list in the randomly generated order.  Both the list of ten speakers and the wait list are published on the City's website by 12:00 noon on the day of Council meetings; the Clerk will notify speakers of their status. For the remaining slots, a sign-up sheet will be provided by the Clerk at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers the day of the meeting.

Speakers may speak for a maximum of three minutes and shall begin by identifying their name and address. Speakers may only speak once during each public comment session. Speakers participating in Matters by the Public may not speak on a topic scheduled for a public hearing. 

If a speaker is not present when his or her name is called, the slot will be forfeited. Speakers may not concede their allotted time; the person whose name is written on the speaker sheet must be the person who begins speaking, although they may be accompanied by others to the podium and may share their time with them.

Matters by the Public is also held at the end of each meeting; there is no limit on the number of speakers, and there is the same three minute time limit for each speaker. Sign-ups are not required.

For public hearings, a sign-up sheet will be provided by the Clerk at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers the day of the meeting.