Public participation at meetings is welcomed. Public comments can be provided either in person at the meeting or in writing prior to the meeting.
Regular meetings include an agenda item titled Public Comments and Suggestions. This item allows the public to comment on items not on that agenda. Public comments for items that are on the agenda are taken following the report and questions and prior to Council discussion of that agenda item. Each individual generally has three minutes to provide comment, however, the timing may be limited by the Mayor/Chair in order to allow all interested speakers to participate.
Public Comments Instructions for Teleconference Meetings
Due to the Governor’s Executive Orders N-25-20 and N-29-20, which suspend certain requirements of the Brown Act, and pursuant to the orders by the Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa regarding COVID-19, many meetings are still not physically open to the public. Public comments for meetings held by Zoom teleconference platforms are as follows:
During the Meeting: Members of the public may provide live verbal public comment during the meeting by joining the Zoom webinar link found on the agenda for that meeting. This process requires that the Zoom app be downloaded to your smartphone or computer. Each meeting is assigned its own separate webinar address and instructions for joining each meeting webinar can be found on the first page of the meeting Agenda:
- Go to moraga.ca.us/agendacenter;
- Click on the meeting Agenda date;
- Once the Agenda opens, click on the Zoom webinar link or dial in by telephone with the number listed on the first page of the agenda; and
- Follow the prompts and enter the Webinar ID listed on the agenda.
To make a public comment during the meeting, click the "raise hand" button at the bottom of the participant page to be placed in the queue to make a comment. When the Mayor/Chair opens the public comment period, each speaker will be called in order. Comments are generally limited to three minutes per speaker.
Before the Meeting: Written public comments are accepted in advance of the meeting. Members of the public may provide public comment by sending comments to the Town Clerk via email at email@example.com. Comments received before 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting will be provided in their entirety to the Council prior to the meeting and will be a part of the record but will not be read verbally at the meeting.
To maximize public safety while still maintaining transparency and public access, members of the public may observe the meetings by accessing through: livestream.com/moraga.
Public Comments Instructions for In-Person Meetings
Public comments for meetings held in-person are as follows:
During the Meeting: The public is asked to complete a speaker card with their name and the agenda item they wish to provide public comment on. The speaker cards are given to the Mayor/Chair. When the Mayor/Chair opens the public comment period, the speaker's name will be called and asked to approach the podium. Comments are generally limited to three minutes per speaker to provide their public comment on that agenda item.
Before the Meeting: Written public comments are accepted in advance of the meeting. Members of the public may provide public comment by sending comments to the Town Clerk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received before 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting will be provided in their entirety to the Council prior to the meeting and will be a part of the record but will not be read verbally at the meeting. Home addresses and phone numbers are redacted from correspondence. If you would like your comments to be anonymous, attach a document with your comments to your email.
The Mayor/Chair may close public comment or re-open it as necessary for consideration of any matter. The council, boards and commissions operate in accordance with established rules and procedures which include reserving discretion to the Mayor/Chair.
Ralph M. Brown Act
Public meetings in the Town of Moraga are conducted in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act which requires that all deliberations and actions by public legislative bodies including council, boards and commissions be made in public.
The introduction to the Brown Act describes its purpose and intent:
"In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created".