Engage in Public Commission Meeting

The Unified Government’s Board of Commission meetings are currently conducted using a hybrid format; both on-site and by Zoom. This will continue throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Whether you would like to engage by:  

  • Attending in person or virtually,
  • Providing a written comment about an item already scheduled, 
  • Attending the meeting to speak on a topic or, 
  • Requesting an item be placed on a meeting agenda

We encourage all citizens to participate in our government. You can start the process right here. 

In Person

Step 1.Decide what kind of meeting you are interested in.

Here are the types of meetings you might want to consider attending.

  • Committee or Standing Meeting - These meetings are specialized agendas focused on a particular area. It is a common place for information to be shared or action to be moved from a committee to the Full Commission for vote. Public comment may be permissible.
  • Full Commission - These meetings are a place where the full governing body comes together to make vital decisions about items like budget and appointments. It is also a place where you can find more information about what is going on in the Unified Government. Public comment may be permissible.
  • Special Session - These sessions are called for a special agenda item. This is a common place for information to be shared and not typically where decisions are made. Public comment is not permissible.
  • Executive Sessions - These are not open to the public by the Kansas Open Meetings Act.
  • Other types of meetings around the UG - Governing decisions happen in other places like the Parks Board and the Planning & Zoning Board. You can find out about all the Unified Government Boards here.

You can review all the scheduled meetings, plus other happenings around town by using our Calendar of Events

Step 2.Pick a meeting to attend.

Visit our Meetings & Events Calendar to select the meeting you wish to attend.

Step 3.Know what's on the agenda.

You can check out the published agenda once you pick your meeting on the calendar. If the agenda is not published yet, don't worry. Check back a few days before the meeting for the new agenda or any updates.

Step 4.Know what to do if you want to provide public comment.

If you think you want to provide public comment, it is important that you select the information tab to COMMENT or SPEAK. This is where you can find specific instructions for publicly providing comment.

Step 5.Know where to go.

Current COVID -19 Health Orders prevent gathering in the close quarters we normally meet in.

We are currently providing in-person attendance to Commission meetings in the Municipal Office Building lobby. The full meeting will be broadcast live in this area.

Other options include UGTV, YouTube, or watch the meeting live on Zoom.

Step 6.Know what to expect.

  • You will need to comply with the current COVID-19 guidelines when entering any UG building.
  • Proper meeting decorum is expected of all in attendance and anyone who fails to act properly may be removed. The Unified Government reserves the right to discontinue a meeting if any improper behavior occurs which prevents the uninterrupted conduct of business.

Virtually

Step 1.What kind of meeting are you interested in?

Here are the types of meetings you might want to consider attending.

  • Committee or Standing Meeting - These meetings are specialized agendas focused on a particular area. It is a common place for information to be shared or action to be moved from a committee to the Full Commission for vote. Public comment may be permissible.
  • Full Commission - These meetings are a place where the full governing body comes together to make vital decisions about items like budget and appointments. It is also a place where you can find more information about what is going on in the Unified Government. Public comment maybe permissible.
  • Special Session - These sessions are called for a special agenda item. This is a common place for information to be shared and not typically where decisions are made. Public comment is not permissible.
  • Executive Sessions - These are not open to the public by the Kansas Open Meetings Act.
  • Other types of meetings around the UG - Governing decisions happen in other places like the Parks Board and the Planning & Zoning Board. You can find out about all the Unified Government Boards here.

You can review all the schedule meetings, plus other happenings around town by using our Calendar of Events

Step 2.Pick a meeting to attend

Visit our Meetings & Events Calendar to select the meeting you wish to attend.

Step 3.Know what to do if you want to provide public comment.

If you think you want to provide public comment, it is important that you select the information tab to COMMENT or SPEAK above. This is where you can find specific instructions for publicly providing comment.

Step 4.Know where to go.

Once you have picked your meeting in step 2, make sure to review the entire event for all the information you will need to log into the meeting by device or phone.

Step 5.Know what to expect in a virtual meeting.

Once you have logged on to the meeting, you might want to look at the agenda attached to the Calendar of Events. This will help you tell what order items will be addressed.

Then you can listen to as much of the meeting as you wish. Joining or exiting in a virtual setting will not disrupt the meeting.

Comment

Step 1.Know what date the the item you wish to comment on is scheduled to be discussed.

Verify the date, time and agenda by looking at the Calendar of Events.

Step 2.Know the Deadline.

Each meeting has a deadline for submitting comment.

  • For a Standing Committee - Comments can be submitted up to 5:00 PM on the Thursday before the meeting.

  • Board of Commission Meetings - Comments can be submitted up to 5:00 PM on the Wednesday before the meeting.

  • These deadlines apply to Commission Meetings. For information about other types of meetings you could participate in, make sure to review that meeting at Calendar of Events

Step 3.Submit a comment.

Once you have decided that you wish to provide comment for an item on the meeting agenda, you must give notice to the Clerk.

We only have 3 minutes or less to read the entire comment. Make sure you read it through a couple of times at a normal pace.

Fill out this form to submit a comment

Step 4.Know what to expect.

We are excited that you want to let your voice be heard!

You comment will be submitted to the Clerk. The Clerk will review your submission to make sure you have the right date and topic.

If your comments are longer than 3 minutes, the Clerk might contact you to revise your comments to the timeframe allowed.

The Clerk will notify you and confirm that your comment will be read.

Step 5.Are there reasons my comment would not be read?

There are some cases when your comment may not be read. You may have asked to comment on a topic that fits better with another board or you may have asked to comment on a meeting where public comment is not permitted.

If your comment is not scheduled to be read, we will contact you and let you know. We will do our best to get your comment to the right place.

Speak

Step 1.Tips when getting ready to speak

  1. Before the meeting, prepare what you want to say. Your time will be limited to 3 minutes or less.
  2. You will only get one - 3 minute segment to speak - so get to the issue right away.

Step 2.Know if the issue on the agenda

If you have a specific issue you want to address, verify the date, time and agenda by looking at the Calendar of Events

If you want to voice a concern about something not on the agenda, we can help guide you to the right meeting.

Step 3.Know the deadline

Each meeting has a deadline for submitting comment.

  • For a Standing Committee - Comments can be submitted up to 5:00 PM on the Thursday before the meeting.

  • Board of Commission Meetings - Comments can be submitted up to 5:00 PM on the Wednesday before the meeting.

  • These deadlines apply to Commission Meetings. For information about other types of meetings you could participate in, make sure to review that meeting on Calendar of Events

Step 4.Give notice

Once you have decided you wish to speak at a meeting, you must give notice to the Clerk. You can do that here.

Complete This Form

Step 5.Where to go to speak at the meeting

You can join us in the lobby of the Municipal Office Building. Seating could be limited based on current COVID-19 Health Orders.

Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting.

Once you arrive, check in with the Clerk.

If you are speaking virtually, follow the the log on instructions to attend.

Step 6.What to do before the meeting

  • You will need to comply with the current COVID-19 guidelines when entering the building. Be prepared and look over the current orders.
  • If you are speaking virtually check your connection and equipment. You will need a microphone and speaker if you are joining with a computer. A camera is not required. You can also call in from a phone to speak. 
  • You time will be limited to 3 minutes or less. Make those minutes count.
  • If you are not comfortable with public speaking, write out your comments and practice. You will be able to get your point across more effectively. You will only get one chance to speak.
  • Proper meeting decorum is expected of all in attendance at the meeting, and anyone who fails to act properly may be removed from the meeting. The Unified Government reserves the right to discontinue a meeting if any improper behavior occurs which prevents the uninterrupted conduct of business.

Step 7.Are there reasons I would not get to publicly speak on the record?

You might ask to speak at a meeting where public comment is not taken. In that case, we will get you scheduled for another meeting date and time where your comments can be heard.

You will not be called on to speak if you have not notified the Clerk in advance.

Step 8.Exactly what will happen when I get there?

Current COVID-19 Health Orders prevent gathering in the close quarters we normally meet in.

If you want to attend the meeting in the Municipal Office Building Lobby, you will get to speak from the Lobby directly to the Commission.

You might want to speak virtually. We can do that too. Follow the log on instructions and make sure you list your name in the identification box. You will be unmuted to speak as you are called upon.

When you are called on:

  • Be prepared to give your first name, last name and address for the public record.
  • Proper meeting decorum is expected of all in attendance at the meeting, and anyone who fails to act properly may be removed from the meeting. The Unified Government reserves the right to discontinue a meeting if any improper behavior occurs which prevents the uninterrupted conduct of business.
  • When it is time for public comment, the meeting host will allow you to comment virtually or call you to the podium.
  • Public comment during the meetings will be limited to 3 minutes.

Agenda Item

How do I get an item on an agenda:

If you want to address the Commission about an item, and the item is not scheduled for an upcoming meeting, you will need to submit your request. You can do that right here.

Give notice

The Clerk’s office will notify you when your item is scheduled. If your item is better directed to a different board, you will be advised on how to contact the appropriate board.