What Should I Expect At A Council Meeting?

When You Arrive

Unless otherwise advertised, meetings are held in the Council Chambers at 218 Meridian St N. Enter from the parking lot under the awning which says "Council Chambers". There are copies of meeting agendas and a sign in sheet available on the table just inside the vestibule. You are welcome to take an agenda and follow along. You are also encouraged to sign in. There will also a single copy of the packet of meeting materials the City Council received to prepare for the meeting. You are welcome to look through it, however, we do ask that you not remove the packet. If you would like a copy of the packet of materials, you may download it for free or you may request a copy from the City using a data request form.

If you arrive after the meeting has already started, you are welcome to open the door and quietly find a seat in the audience.

Pledge of Allegiance

The Mayor will lead the City Council in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. As a member of the audience, you will be asked to stand and participate.

Call to Order & Roll Call

The Mayor presides over the meeting. When it is time for the meeting to start, the Mayor will take attendance and call the meeting to order. State law requires that a quorum, or majority, of the City Council be present in order to conduct city business. If there is not a quorum, by law the meeting may not proceed.

Approval of the Agenda & Minutes

The meeting agenda becomes official after it is approved by the City Council. City Council members reserve the right to ask that an item be added to or removed from the agenda. If such a request is made, the City Council will vote on this proposal using parliamentary procedures. Proposed changes could be approved or denied.

Minutes, once approved, are the official record of the city meetings. The City Council has an opportunity to make corrections and clarification their meeting minutes before approving them.

Special Order of Business

During this portion of the meeting, the Mayor may make proclamations, present acknowledgements, or speakers from outside agencies may present reports or other information to the City Council. Law enforcement officers or newly elected officials may take their oaths of office during this portion of the meeting as well.

Consent Agenda

The City Council will vote on a variety of routine business items with one motion.

Public Hearings

Minnesota state law requires cities to hold public hearings when it is considering certain kinds of city business. Often, these public hearings are held during Planning Commission meetings and again by the City Council. During a public hearing, there will generally be a report delivered by a city staff member followed by a brief discussion of the City Council. The Mayor will then invite members of the public to comment on the business item at hand. When the Mayor asks if anyone wishes to speak, raise your hand and approach the podium as invited by the Mayor. You will be asked to limit your comments to three minutes. When all comments have been heard, the City Council will resume their discussion and may bring the item to a vote.

Council Business

Generally, staff will deliver a presentation providing background information to the City Council. The City Council will discuss the item and either direct the City Administrator or staff return with more information or they will put the item to a vote.

Sometimes, the City Council will consider ordinances - either as a business item or as part of the consent agenda. Ordinances don't just provide a direction to staff or establish a policy. Ordinances are legal documents that establish fees, change the official city map or are incorporated into City Code and change Belle Plaine's municipal laws.

Administrative Items

The Mayor will share public meetings of interest.


The City Council formally ends the meeting.

If you wish to leave before the meeting has formally ended, you may quietly do so at any time.

Show All Answers

1. What Should I Expect At A Council Meeting?
2. When Does The City Council Meet?
3. How May I Watch Or Read What The Council Is Working On?
4. How Can I Voice My Opinions Or Get Involved?