Council to Consider Amendment, Will Require ‘Rules of Conduct’ for Meetings

Press Release

Des Moines, Iowa — Thursday, June 24, 2021 — The Des Moines City Council on Monday, June 28 will consider an amendment to Rule 37 – Action on Consent Agenda. Mayor Frank Cownie said the amendment would allow written requests from the public to remove an item from the consent agenda. Oral requests will no longer be accepted and can no longer be made at the Council meeting.

For more information about the amendment and when written requests are due, view the proposed amendment on the meeting agenda.

In addition, Mayor Cownie said the existing Rules of Conduct for those attending City Council meetings will be posted in City Hall and enforced. Sec. 2-70 of Des Moines Municipal Code states:

  1. No person shall be permitted to stand in the council chamber during council sessions between the audience seats and the councilmembers except the persons addressing the council, who shall do so from the speaker’s stand, and except city officials and employees on city business.
  2. No person shall enter the raised area at the west end of the council chamber or the area used by the city clerk, except upon invitation of the council or a member thereof, and except city officials and employees on city business.
  3. No person shall enter the raised area at the east end of the council chamber except representatives or employees of the communications media.
  4. Any person desiring to address the council may do so when recognized by the presiding officer, but the council reserves the right to limit the speaker’s time and the order in which the speakers may address the council.
  5. No person shall be interrupted while addressing the council except by a member of the council.
  6. No member of the public shall be permitted to sit or lean upon the council table during sessions of the council.
  7. No person shall use unreasonably loud or abusive language or any other language in the council chamber which disrupts or is intended to disrupt the peace, quiet, and good order of a council meeting.
  8. Those having business before the council shall have the right to speak to items as they appear on the council agenda, subject to the constraints in subsections (c)(1) through (7) of this section.
  9. Any person who violates any of the rules of conduct set out in this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by fine as provided by section 1-15 of this Code or shall be guilty of a municipal infraction punishable by a civil penalty as provided by section 1-15 of this Code.
  10. The chief of police shall enforce this subsection and upon request shall provide sufficient officers therefor.
“It is imperative that we be able to conduct the important business of the City during Council meetings,” said Mayor Cownie. “For those who wish to disrupt and infringe upon the rights of others, there will be consequences.”

Media Contact
David Derong
Communications Specialist, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4795

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ 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, Facebook and Twitter for more information.