City Clerk Frequently Asked Questions
What are the duties of the City Clerk?
The duties of the Clerk include the administration of City elections; technical support of the City Council, including the preparation and distribution of agendas of Council meetings and agenda items as required by applicable statutes; the administration and maintenance of all official records of the City, the custody of which is not provided for in the Charter or by ordinances of the City, including records of all proceedings of the Council (minutes) and its ordinances and resolutions; the administration of a City-wide Records Management Program to include retention schedules, inactive records storage, vital records, imaging, archives, and other components as provided for by ordinance or resolution or the Council; and any other duties as may be established by ordinance or a resolution of the Council.
The City Charter of 1931 established the Council-Manager form of government in San Diego. On January 1, 2006, the City of San Diego's system of government changed from a City Manager form to a Strong Mayor form for a five-year trial basis, approved by city voters in November 2004. In June 2010, the voters elected to make the change permanent.
Under "Strong Mayor," the Mayor is the City's chief executive officer, similar to the governor or the president. The Council is the legislative body, providing checks and balances to the Mayor's authority. The City Clerk, appointed by Council, also serves as Clerk to the Council.
How can I find out what the City Council will be discussing?
You may access the Council Agenda online for upcoming City Council meetings. The Council Agenda posts on Wednesday before the Monday and Tuesday meetings. Additional “supplemental” items for the Monday and Tuesday meeting are added as received but are available online no later than 72 hours prior to the meeting. Also available from the Office of the City Clerk is a public summary sheet that captures items agendized for discussion as well as Public Facilities Financing and Housing Authority items at the upcoming Council meeting.
In addition to the available online agenda, public members may also have the agenda emailed to them. To be added to the email list, sign-up here.
When and where are the City Council meetings?
The City Council meets on Mondays at 10 a.m. for purposes of listening to public comment for Closed Session and 2 p.m. for discussion items and Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., as approved by the City Council within the Legislative Calendar. The meetings are held on the 12th floor of the City Administration Building, 202 "C" St. in downtown San Diego.
How can I speak in front of the City Council? Do I need to fill out a form?
Effective April 11, 2022, Council Chambers is open for in-person testimony
HOW TO SPEAK TO A PARTICULAR ITEM OR DURING NON-AGENDA PUBLIC COMMENT:
Members of the public shall be given the opportunity to address the Council. The Council President may determine the number of speakers on an agenda item or reduce the amount of time available to each speaker to appropriately manage the meeting and ensure the Council has time to consider all the agenda items. A member of the public may only provide one comment per agenda item.
In-Person Comment on Agenda Items
Each speaker must file a written request (speaker slip) with the City Clerk at the meeting at which the speaker wishes to speak indicating which item they wish to speak on. Speaker slips may not be turned in prior to the day of the meeting or after completion of in-person testimony. In person testimony will conclude before virtual testimony begins.
Each person who wishes to address the Council shall approach the podium and state who they are representing if they represent an organization or another person.
Each speaker may speak up to three minutes, subject to the Council President’s determination of the time available for meeting management purposes, in addition to any time ceded by other members of the public who are present at the meeting and have submitted a speaker slip ceding them time. These speaker slips should be submitted together at one time to the City Clerk. The Council President may also limit organized group presentations of five or more persons to 15 minutes or less.
Virtual Public Comment on Agenda Items
Members of the public may participate virtually (by telephone or internet streaming) as indicated below. Speakers who wish to provide virtual public comment must enter the virtual queue by raising their virtual hands before the queue closes. The queue will close when the last virtual speaker finishes speaking or five minutes after in-person testimony ends, whichever happens first.
Each speaker may speak up to three minutes, subject to the Council President’s determination of the time available for meeting management purposes. Speakers participating virtually may not allocate their time to other speakers and may not share video or visual aids (i.e. pdf, ppt, docs) during their comment period.
Quasi-Judicial Items. Organized group presentations for quasi-judicial items will be allowed up to 15 minutes per side to speak either for or against an item for a total of 30 minutes. If more than one group on the same side requests an organized presentation, the 15 minutes will be divided between each group for that side. Please contact the Project Manager as listed as the primary contact on the staff report for that item to indicate your desire to present.
Non-Agenda Public Comment
Every agenda for a regular Council meeting shall provide a period on the agenda for members of the public to address the Council on items of interest to the public that are not on the agenda but are within the jurisdiction of the Council. Non-Agenda Public Comment shall be subject to the exercise of the Council President’s discretion for a given agenda.
In order to ensure that the Council has time to consider all agenda items, Non-Agenda Public Comment on particular issues and for each individual speaker will be as follows:
Each speaker will be limited to two minutes. Speakers may not allocate their time to other speakers. If there are eight or more speakers on a single issue, the maximum time for the issue will be 16 minutes. The order of speaking generally will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis, however, priority may be given to speakers who have not addressed the legislative body during Non-Agenda Public Comment at the last regularly scheduled Council meeting. A member of the public may only provide one non-agenda comment per agenda.
If providing comment in person, please submit your speaker slip and any visual aids to the City Clerk. In-person testimony shall conclude before virtual testimony begins.
Speakers who wish to provide virtual Non-Agenda Public Comment must enter the virtual queue by raising their virtual hands before the queue closes. The queue will close when the last virtual speaker finishes speaking or five minutes after in-person testimony ends, whichever happens first. Those participating virtually may not share video or visual aids (i.e. pdf, ppt, docs) during their non-agenda comment period.
Please note: On Mondays, Non-Agenda Public Comment is taken during the 2pm session after all discussion items are complete. On Tuesday’s non-agenda public comment is taken during the 10am session.
Comment on Agenda Items, Non-Agenda Public Comment, and Closed Session Public Comment may also be submitted using the webform indicating the comment type and item number (if relevant) for which you wish to submit your comment. Comments received by 8:00 AM the day of the meeting will be distributed to the City Council and posted online with the meeting materials. All webform comments are limited to 500 words but may include attachments. Comments received after 8:00 AM the day of the meeting but before the item is called will be submitted into the written record for the relevant item.
Written Materials. Instead of submitting written materials as an attachment to the webform you may submit via U.S. Mail to the City Clerk’s attention at 202 C Street, MS2A San Diego, CA 92101. Materials submitted via U.S. Mail must be received one business day prior to the meeting to be distributed to the City Council. Comments received via U.S. Mail on the day of the meeting will be submitted into the written record for the relevant item.
The public may view the meetings on public television (within the City of San Diego only) on City TV Channel 24 for Cox Communications and Spectrum or Channel 99 for AT&T U-Verse, or view the meetings online
How can I get a copy of the Closed Session agenda?
The Closed Session agenda is available on the agenda website.
Can I speak at the City Council’s Closed Session meeting?
By State law, Closed Session meetings are not open to the public. However, public members can testify to a Closed Session item in the open-session City Council meeting before the Closed Session meeting. Closed Session public comment is taken during the morning session before adjourning on Monday's at 10 a.m. You can provide live testimony in person or via ZOOM per the instructions above.
Closed Session Public Comment may also be submitted using the webform indicating the comment type and item number (if relevant) for which you wish to submit your comment. Comments received by 8 a.m. for Monday Meetings and 8:00 AM for Tuesday meetings will be distributed to the City Council and posted online with the meeting materials. All webform comments are limited to 500 words but may include attachments. Comments received after the deadlines described above but before the item is called will be submitted into the written record for the relevant item.
Where can I obtain a Resolution or Ordinance?
Many City Council and City Agency Resolutions and Ordinances are available online. Other Official City Documents can also be found on our search page. Copies of resolutions and ordinances approved by the City Council are available at the Office of the City Clerk. Call the Public Information Section at 619-533-4000 or come to the Office of the City Clerk to obtain copies. Copies are 25 cents per page.
Are the Council meetings televised?
Monday afternoon Council meetings are televised "live" at 10 :00 a.m. and 2 p.m. (Cox Cable 24, Spectrum Cable 24, and AT&T-Uverse 99). The Tuesday Council meetings are televised "live" at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (Cox Cable 24, Spectrum Cable 24, and AT&T-Uverse 99). For more information, view the CityTV Program Schedule.
Can I watch Council meetings and Council Committee meetings on the Web?
Yes, you may watch live and archived videos of Council meetings dating back to 2004. You may also watch Council Committee meetings (date-availability varies by committee) can be viewed online from the City’s Webcasting web page.
What are the standing City Council Committees?
A standing Council Committee often discusses legislative matters before placement on the City Council Agenda. Each committee focuses on a different subject area.
To view all City Council Committee agendas, actions, and relevant information about each City Council Committee, please visit the City Council Committees page. All City Council Committee meetings can be viewed live on CityTV or viewed by archived videos. Please view the legislative calendar for the schedule of upcoming City Council Committee meetings.
Where can I get the agenda for one of the standing Council Committee Meetings?
The Council Committee agendas and actions are available online. Subscriptions to the agendas are also available from the Committee Consultants' Liaison by signing up on their Council Committee Agenda page.
How can I find out what happened at the City Council meeting?
The results of the City Council meetings are posted online within 48 hours of the completion of the Monday and Tuesday sessions. They are also available by calling the Information Services section of the Office of the City Clerk at 619-533-4000. The minutes of the City Council meetings are generally available online within four to six weeks after the meeting. Video archives of Council Meetings dating back to 2004 are also available for viewing.