City of Independence, Missouri

Public Meeting Overview

What you need to know when attending a board, commission, or council meeting

Residents and taxpayers are strongly encouraged to take an active role in their local government. One way this can be accomplished is by speaking before or attending a board, commission or council meeting. Before you attend or sign up to speak, here are a few things you might want to know.

When does the City Council meet?

The Independence City Council meets the first and third Monday of each month at 6 PM for Regular Council Meetings, where they discuss and approve Action Items. These meetings occur in the Council Chamber found on the lower level of City Hall, which is located at 111 E. Maple Avenue. If the regular Monday meeting falls on a holiday, the Council meeting is moved to Tuesday. The Council also has regular Study Sessions on the second and fourth Monday of each month, where they meet informally to review programs and reports. If the Monday the regular study session is scheduled for is a holiday, there will be no meeting that week. There are no meetings on the fifth Monday of a month.

You can find the schedule of these meetings on the City’s website in the calendar section.  All agendas are posted at least 24 hours in advance in accordance to the Missouri Sunshine Law. You can also watch these meetings live on the City’s YouTube channel, online at indep.us/city7 or on City7, channel 7 for Xfinity/Comcast customers.

COVID-19 Update – Under Phase 1 of the City facilities and services reopening plan, Council meetings are being conducted in a hybrid format. This gives the Council and citizens wishing to participate in the Council meeting the opportunity to do so in-person or online. Due to social distancing requirements, Council Chamber seating is limited to 31 participants in the audience. Those unable to attend in-person but wishing to speak before the Council can sign-up with the City Clerk by noon on the day of the Council Meeting in-order to obtain the meeting log-in information. If you plan to attend in-person, you can sign up in the Council Chamber until 6 PM.

When do boards and commissions meet?

Boards and commissions meet on a varied basis depending on their bylaws, annual reports prepared for Council and other ongoing projects. Please visit the City's Calendar page to see upcoming meetings and you can learn more about the boards and commissions and register to receive agendas for meetings here.  All agendas are posted at least 24 hours in advance in accordance to the Missouri Sunshine Law.  If a board or commission is conducting a public hearing in which there are opportunities for the public to speak, this is generally noted on the published agendas.

COVID-19 Update – As part of Phase 1 of the City’s facilities and services reopening plan, all board and commission meetings are being conducted virtually. The public is able to view these meetings live via the City’s YouTube channel, online at indep.us/city7 or on City7, channel 7 for Xfinity/Comcast customers.

How do I speak before Council?

If you are a taxpayer or resident of the City of Independence and you would like to speak before Council, you can sign-up through the City Clerk’s office before any regular or special called meeting by calling (816) 325-7010 or you can sign-up in-person in the Council Chamber until the 6 PM start time. This request to speak will include your name, address, phone number, email and the topic you wish to address. Speakers may not deviate from the stated topic.

COVID-19 Update – As part of Phase 1 of the City’s facilities and services reopening plan in-person seating for Council meetings are limited. Those that wish to participate but cannot do so in-person can sign-up with the City Clerk’s office, (816) 325-7010, until noon on the day of the meeting. 

How long can I speak before Council?

Speakers are asked to limit their remarks to five(5) minutes. If you address the Council during future meetings about the same topic you will be given three minutes, and then two more opportunities at two minutes each during a six-month period.

If you are part of a group that wishes to address Council, you are encouraged to nominate a spokesperson who may speak for up to 10 minutes.

Are there rules on what can be included in these remarks?

Yes, all speakers are asked to stay at the podium to present their remarks. Speakers are encouraged to write down what they would like to say to ensure they cover their thoughts in the time allowed. Also, remarks should address the Council in its entirety and not focus on any individual councilmember. If a speaker is found to be making personal remarks, they will be asked to revise their comments. If those comments continue, they may be asked to leave the Chamber.

All speakers will receive a one-minute warning for their allotted time.

While taxpayers and residents of Independence may speak before the Council, there are times when the Council may waive this rule through a vote to allow others that wish to address the Council to speak.

You can find a complete overview of the Council Rules and Procedures here.

What is the difference between public comment and a public hearing?

Public comment is a period toward the beginning of a City Council agenda during which taxpayers or residents may sign-up to speak on a topic of their choice. There are time limits for public comments. Public hearings are to address a particular agenda item being voted on by the Council. Individuals do not have to sign-up prior to a meeting to participate in a public hearing and will be asked to speak in-favor or against the agenda item.

COVID-19 update – If you wish to speak during a public hearing but do not wish to attend in person, please contact the City Clerk, (816)-325-7010, by noon on the day of the Council Meeting in order to obtain the virtual meeting log-in information.

Terms to know:

Executive session: The Mayor or four members of the Council may call an executive session when items are authorized to be discussed in a closed meeting per 610.021. These meetings are closed to the public.  You can find a complete listing for closure here.

Special called meeting: The Mayor or four members of the Council may call a special called meeting when there is an item of importance that needs to be voted on outside of a regularly scheduled Council meeting.

Adjourned meeting: The Council may vote to adjourn a meeting or part of a meeting to discuss an agenda item or items at a later meeting.  These generally take place before a study session.

Public meeting etiquette:

Please keep the following things in mind as you prepare to address the Council, board or commission:

  • Refrain from making degrading or slanderous comments about a person, business or organization.
  • Write your remarks down and time yourself before the meeting to prepare for the time limit.
  • Speak into the microphone and adjust it to ensure everyone can hear you.

What if I don’t want to speak before the Council publicly but still wish to share my concern?

Taxpayers and residents are encouraged to share their concerns with their Councilmembers. You can call the Council office at (816) 325-7022 or the Mayor’s office at (816) 325-7027.

You can also email your Councilmembers. Please see emails below:

Mayor Eileen Weir - EWeir@indepmo.org

At-Large Councilmember Karen DeLuccie - KDeLuccie@indepmo.org

At-Large Councilmember Mike Huff - MJHuff@indepmo.org

1st District Councilmember John Perkins - JPerkins@indepmo.org

2nd District Councilmember Brice Stewart - BStewart@indepmo.org

3rd District Councilmember Mike Steinmeyer - MSteinmeyer@indepmo.org

4th District Councilmember Dan Hobart - DHobart@indepmo.org