Council to Consider Changes to Public Speaking Rules

DES MOINES, IOWA – Friday, May 7, 2021 – One of the first orders of business at the Des Moines City Council meeting on Monday, May 10 will be the consideration of amendments regarding public comment.

Mayor Frank Cownie said the proposed changes will improve the flow of the meetings and expand individuals’ time to speak before the council.

The amendments under consideration include:

  • Move the public speaking section to the end of the agenda
  • Lengthen individual comments to two minutes
  • Allow 20 speakers total
  • Expand collective speaking time from 30 minutes to 40 minutes  
  • Those who didn’t get to speak at a requested meeting will advance to the next agenda in the order their requests were received
  • New requests to speak will not be considered if that person has a request pending
  • Period to file a speaking request is not more than 10 days nor less than five 

“Moving the public remarks section of our Council meetings to the end of the agenda makes good sense and will improve the continuity of the meeting,” Cownie said. “I’m also pleased that we can expand the individual speaking time to two minutes. We will limit those comments to 20 speakers per meeting, however, those who didn’t get a chance to comment will have their request advance to subsequent meetings.”

Mayor Cownie announced recently that the City Council will return to in-person public meetings in City Hall on Monday, June 14. All on-site public meetings were suspended on March 15, 2020 in response to the community spread of COVID-19 and have since been conducted remotely via the Zoom network.

City boards and commission will resume their on-site public meetings in July.

Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Manager’s Office 
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 52 neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.