Participating in public meetings
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:
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 under events. 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 on our City7 page or on channel 7 for Xfinity/Comcast customers.
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.
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.
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 six months.
If you are part of a group that wishes to address the Council, you are encouraged to nominate a spokesperson who may speak for up to 10 minutes.
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 who wish to address the Council to speak.
You can find a complete overview of the Council Rules and Procedures here.
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 before a meeting to participate in a public hearing and will be asked to speak in favor or against the agenda item.
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 concerns?
Taxpayers and residents are encouraged to share their concerns with their council members. 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 the emails below:
Mayor Rory Rowland - email@example.com
At-Large Councilmember Jared Fears - firstname.lastname@example.org
At-Large Councilmember Bridget McCandlessemail@example.com
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