Speak to the Council at Meetings

Speaking at Meetings

The Whatcom County Council needs and values input from Whatcom County citizens on all issues in which county government impacts their lives. The council encourages citizens to contact the councilmembers via phone, mail, or email to provide direct input to councilmembers. To speak directly to the entire council, citizens may attend and speak during one of the council’s regularly scheduled evening council meetings.

Public Hearings

The County Council will hold formal public hearings on specific issues when required by law or the council wants to hear directly from citizens on an issue. The council usually schedules these hearings during a regular evening council meeting. During the hearing, each citizen is given one opportunity to speak to the council for up to three minutes. Before or during the hearing, citizens may also submit written testimony to the council.

Open Session

In addition to public hearings on specific issues, the council usually schedules an open session at its regularly scheduled evening council meetings for public input on any topic not scheduled for public hearing. 

Public Comments During Council Committee Meetings

During the day of the regular evening council meetings, council committees meet to review and discuss various topics. During committee meetings, councilmembers will receive information from County staff, discuss items, and may vote on recommendations to the full council for decision at the evening meeting.

Committee meetings are open to the public, however the agendas for these meetings do not include time for public comment. The committee chair may allow public comment after staff reports and committee discussion if time allows. If there isn’t time during committee for public comment, citizens may still comment at the evening meeting and contact councilmembers via phone, mail, or email as described on the council contact page.

Special Meetings & Work Sessions

The council schedules several standing and special meetings and work sessions throughout the year. If citizens attend one of these meetings or work sessions hoping to talk to the council, but the agenda doesn’t include time for public comment, the council encourages citizens to contact the council via phone, mail, or email, or to attend the next regular evening council meeting and speak during the open session portion of the meeting.