Austin expands options to take citizen comments during council meetings

Austin City Hall (KXAN Photo)
Austin City Hall (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Getting to an Austin City Council meeting to voice your opinion on a topic can be difficult due to the time of day and when an item is actually for discussion.

To get input from concerned citizens from all over the city, starting May 4, residents can participate via video conferencing at nine city libraries during General Citizen’s Communications. The city began the pilot program last month at three Austin public libraries after District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen’s office started working with City Hall IT staff to explore the options.

“Remote citizen communication makes government more accessible to Austinites,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “This allows the City Council to hear from people we might not normally hear from.”

Time is set aside at noon at each council meeting for a maximum of 10 individuals to address the city council on topics of their choice.

What to do if you want your voice heard (via a satellite site)

  • You must register in advance with the Office of the City Clerk
  • Registration must include the meeting date, name, contact information, and location (either in Council Chambers at the meeting or off-site at a participating library)
  • Contact the Office of the City Clerk by phone (512-974-2210) or by email (citizens.communication@austintexas.gov) to sign up.
  • The registration period for a given meeting begins at 9 a.m. 14 days prior to the meeting and ends at 4:30 pm. the following Thursday.

Remote Citizen Communication will be available at the following library branches:

  • Carver Branch (District 1)
  • Southeast Community Branch (District 2)
  • Ruiz Branch (District 3)
  • Little Walnut Creek Branch (District 4)
  • Manchaca Road Branch (District 5)
  • Spicewood Springs Branch (District 6)
  • Yarborough Branch (District 7)
  • Hampton Branch at Oak Hill (District 8)
  • City Hall will remain the District 9 Citizen Communications venue
  • Old Quarry Branch (District 10)

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