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The original item was published from 9/27/2023 8:17:00 PM to 9/27/2023 11:10:36 PM.

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Posted on: September 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Statement from the Mayor Regarding Public Participation Changes

On Sept. 26, 2023, several commenters made comments that were off-topic on various agenda items. The comments appear to be part of an ongoing campaign to disrupt public meetings throughout the State, particularly in Sonoma County.  At the meeting, the City Attorney and Mayor warned each off-topic commenter to relate the comment to the agenda item and, if they failed to do so, directed the Clerk to mute the microphone of the commenter. 

As the City Attorney noted at the meeting, City Council meetings are a limited public forum, meaning that public comments on an agenda item must be related to that item or, if during public comment on non-agendized items, pertain to a matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the City. 

“Some of the comments made at the City Council meeting last night were not ok. The City of Santa Rosa strives to continue to be a place of love, inclusivity, embracing belonging and diversity,” said City of Santa Rosa’s Mayor Natalie Rogers. “We want to continue to support and promote community engagement but want to make sure we do it in a safe environment for staff and the community.” 

The City of Santa Rosa prides itself on its efforts to be open and transparent. The City will continue to allow for public participation and encourage the community to engage with the City’s effort to be and remain transparent; however, moving forward the City will not allow for public comments through Zoom platform or digitally recorded messages. Effective immediately, all public comments will be provided in person or via email, as outlined on future public meeting agendas. 

Here's how the community can participate in the City of Santa Rosa’s public meetings: 

  1. Visit https://santa-rosa.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx for a complete list of the City’s public meetings. 
  2. Join the City in person at the meeting location outlined on the agenda. 
  3. Review each meeting agenda for additional participation operations, which can include sending an email comment, watching on YouTube, Zoom or on the City's government access channel aired on Comcast Channel 28 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. 

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