The agenda for a municipal council meeting is the main tool that provides a solid structure for a productive meeting. Municipal governments have much to cover and discuss within a short timeframe. The agenda helps to prioritize issues, set time limits, record votes, and manage items that need to be handled. The agenda provides an efficient structure that streamlines these discussions by keeping the meeting moving along.
When developing an agenda for a municipal meeting, it’s important to remember that the agenda guides the participants of the meeting, but also serves as an official record, which should be available to the public once it’s been approved.
Most local governments use a standard template for their meetings. Software solutions for creating agendas make the task even easier.
Parts of a Municipal Meeting Agenda
In many respects, a municipal meeting agenda is quite similar to other types of meeting agendas. Local governments begin their agenda with a heading that lists the date, time, location, and type of meeting on their official letterhead.
Municipal governments form their own order of agenda items according to the needs of the community, so the order of items usually vary from one community to another. Following is a sampling of how a municipal government can structure an efficient meeting agenda.
The next section is the Order of Business which is the Call to Order and other routine items by the Mayor or other government leader. It’s common for municipal governments to open their meetings with some type of formality such as an invocation and roll call. This part of the meeting includes approving the previous meeting agenda, public participation, and any other special orders or announcements.
It’s also common for municipal governments to use a consent agenda, which allows the council members to vote on several items at once. If an item on the consent agenda requires discussion, a council member can move to remove that item from the consent agenda and ask for the chair to place it elsewhere on the agenda.
The next part of the agenda takes up issues for special consideration which is followed by new business and public announcements before the final motion to adjourn.
Following is a sample of what a municipal government meeting agenda might look like.
Municipal Meeting Agenda Sample
Note that the following items should be listed on official municipal government letterhead. An approved agenda should also list the date and time that the agenda was approved somewhere on the document.
Municipal meetings are legally required to be open meetings, and in the U.S. they are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). U.S. municipal governments may opt to place ADA language at the bottom of the agenda to assure citizens that they’re complying with the law. Canadian municipal governments must also comply with local accessibility regulations and may choose to include relevant language in their agendas as well.
A municipal meeting agenda sample follows:
Windy City Village Board of Trustees
Regular Board Meeting
Windy City Village Hall, 123 Main St.
January 21, 2019 6:00pm
Final Agenda Issued 1/14/2019 at 1:30pm
Order of Business
- Call to Order—Mayor Jackson
- Approval of Agenda
- Oath of Office for new Patrolman Steven Strong
- Public Participation
Citizens who wish to address the council about any item of business or items not listed on the agenda must complete a public participation form. Submit it to the village office prior to the meeting. Please limit your comments to 3 minutes.
Section A—Consent Agenda
- Approval of Consent Agenda
All items included in the Consent Agenda are routine in nature and the council will approve them under one motion and a roll call vote. Council members may request discussion of any of the items and if so, the item will be taken from the Consent Agenda and considered elsewhere in the agenda as indicated by the board chair.
(A) Approve Minutes of: Regular Committee Meeting of December 5, 2018
(B) Regular Board Meeting of December 12, 2018
(C) Approve Bills and Monthly Financial Reports
- Approval of Any Items Removed from Consent Agenda
Section B—Bids, Contracts, & Other Expenditures
- Call for authorization and approval for a plumbing service agreement with Jones Plumbing for plans and specification for repairs at the Village Hall. Pages 6-76.
- Call for authorization and approval for Change Order #3 to fully fund the excavation and repair of the old bank building at 125 Main St. pages 75-93.
Section C—Ordinances & Resolutions
- Motion to pass Resolution No. 2-18, A RESOLUTION REGARDING TEMPORARY CLOSING OF ELM STREET FOR A CHRISTMAS PARADE. Pages 90-100.
Section D—New Business
Section E—Public Announcements
- Motion to Adjourn
Our Village Complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Village of Windy City desires to ensure that its programs, services, and activities are accessible to individuals with disabilities. All council meetings are wheelchair accessible.
Contact our ADA coordinator for assistance with an auxiliary aid or service for special accommodations at 800-222-0000.
Software Solution for Agenda Packets
iCompass, a Diligent brand, has made the job of preparing agenda packets faster and easier than ever before with their agenda software products which are specifically formatted for municipal governments. Each section is already laid out, so clerks merely have to enter the details for each line item. Last minute updates are no longer a problem because clerks can make the change or addition with a single click and notify the meeting participants of the change. The software automatically pulls in the list of attendees.
At the close of the meeting, clerks can use the same software to convert the agenda to official meeting minutes after making any necessary updates.
Note that some of the items in the sample agenda above are underlined. iCompass’ software allows government staff to link items in the agenda to other online documents rather than printing hundreds of pages.
iCompass agenda software is mobile friendly and the public can easily access documents for the agenda and meeting minutes right from your local government’s website.
With iCompass software, your government staff saves many hours of time in preparing agenda packets. In addition, you get the benefit of saving on material and equipment costs.
Municipal government officials address many important issues in a relatively short time during meetings. Having an efficient process for managing the agenda and minutes offers them the proper time to focus on the issues that matter most within your community.