E-Mail Forum
  Campaign Activities at Council Meetings
September 21, 2012

Several people have asked me what limitations there are on political activities at City Council meetings. Here are some guidelines provided by City Attorney Bruce Goodmiller as informal opinions:

  • Council meetings have been held by state and federal appellate courts to be a limited public forum allowing citizens to comment on subjects relating to the business of the City.


  • City council may limit public comment to matters that are “within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.”  
  • The public may not campaign in chambers for/against candidates because such candidate campaigns are not within the subject matter jurisdiction of the council.


  • In fact, it is reasonable under the First Amendment for the City to establish a campaign-free zone for the purpose of conducting orderly and efficient meetings.
    • However, the city council may hear from the public about ballot measures because the city council decides what should be placed on the ballot.