Request to Comment at Council Meetings
|Please read all of the following information carefully prior to requesting the opportunity to comment. All speakers will be required to abide by the Rules of Council for the purposes of registering and while offering comments.
County residents and taxpayers may address the County Council at all Regular Meetings of Council. Pennsylvania law requires that this opportunity be afforded only to residents or taxpayers of the County. Council accordingly reserves the right to verify residence and/or taxpayer status prior to permitting any individual to speak.
Persons speaking on Agenda items will be heard at the beginning of the meeting. Persons speaking on general topics will be heard at the conclusion of the meeting. Presentations must be limited to three (3) minutes, subject to the provisions of the Rules of Council (see below). Speakers wishing to submit written supplements to their verbal remarks in order to convey information that could not be covered due to time constraints may do so, provided that such written remarks are submitted to the Clerk no later than 24 hours after the conclusion of the meeting. Any persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Completed Request to Comment forms, whether online or hard-copy, must be received by the Office of the County Council no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting date.
While the Council does accept requests to comment via telephone, it is strongly recommended that a request to comment form be filled out whenever possible in order to create a record of the registration. A request to comment form may be submitted in the following fashions:
- By using the Online Request Form, you can submit your request directly and immediately.
- The Request to Comment Form can be downloaded from the following link, printed from your computer, filled out and sent or faxed in.
- You can also pick up a Request to Comment Form at the Office of the County Council, Room 119, Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA. 15219.
Mail or fax completed hard-copy forms to:
County Council Clerk
Allegheny County Council
Room 119 Courthouse
436 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Please note that, pursuant to Article 2.I. of the Rules of Council (enacted by Council June 20, 2006), the following rules apply to public comment:
Public Participation and Comment
- To be eligible to speak before Council, each prospective speaker must either complete a “Request to Comment at Advertised Meeting of the Allegheny County Council” form and submit it to the Clerk or speak directly with the Clerk at least 24 hours before the scheduled start of the meeting at which he or she desires to speak. The form may be obtained at Council’s offices or in electronic form on Council’s page of the Allegheny County website. A properly completed Request Form must contain the speaker’s name, address, phone number, date of meeting at which they wish to speak, and the agenda item or subject matter they wish to address.
- When submitted, the form will be reviewed by the Clerk for completeness and appropriateness. The Clerk will inform the speakers of their place on the agenda and inform the President of the names of the speakers and the topics to be addressed. Persons submitting the properly completed form may confirm the scheduled time and place of their appearance before Council by contacting the Clerk.
- Speakers wishing to address agenda items will be provided opportunity to comment prior to Council’s consideration of scheduled business. Speakers wishing to address non-agenda items will be provided opportunity to comment following the business portion of the meeting, prior to adjournment. The President and Council reserve the right to alter the length of time for comment, the length of the comment period, and to schedule any overflow from such changes to another date.
- Speakers may not allocate or defer their scheduled time to another speaker. A speaker’s unavailability to proceed at the time his or her name is called will result in cancellation of the opportunity to speak at that meeting. The President may waive this rule in individual circumstances.
- All remarks must be related to the issue and are limited to three (3) minutes. The Clerk shall be responsible for clocking this time and alerting the President and speaker when the time has expired. The speaker is responsible for any type of audio-visual equipment or other visual or auditory aids, if needed for their presentation. All remarks should be made to the Council as a body and addressed through the President and not to a particular Council Member.
- If submitting written testimony that will be presented or to supplement their oral testimony, speakers are required to provide twenty (20) copies of said testimony to the Clerk. Testimony is not to be disseminated to Council by the speaker.
- The President shall maintain order in all matters during the public comment portions of the meeting. No speakers shall be allowed to use vulgar or offensive language, make slanderous remarks, or refuse to leave the podium after the allotted time. The President may rule any speaker doing so out of order and shall instruct the Allegheny County building guards to eject the speaker from the meeting. If ruled out of order, that speaker shall be barred from further speaking at that meeting unless a majority vote of the Council allows.
- At the discretion of the President, persons offering public comment may be invited to present their commentary to a Council committee that is charged with the responsibility for the issue being addressed.