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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 2 p.m. on the preceding Friday for Monday meetings and no later than 5 p.m. for the Tuesday meeting. Also available from the City Clerk's Office is a public summary sheet that captures items agendized for discussion and 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 2 p.m. and Tuesdays at 10 a.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. 

Additionally, the City of San Diego offers live webcasts of the City Council meeting and currently maintains an online archive of City Council meetings dating back to 2004.

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

Until further notice, City Council meetings will be conducted pursuant to the provisions of California Government Code section 54953(e), added by Assembly Bill 361, which allows the City to use teleconferencing and to provide the public an opportunity to address the City Council via a call-in option or an internet-based service option, during a proclaimed state of emergency. Additionally, the Council has approved  Temporary Rules as amended on April 5, 2022 to be used until further notice.

During the State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the interest of public health and safety, some, if not all, City Councilmembers may be participating in the City Council meetings via a virtual teleconference platform. Members of the public in attendance at the City Council meetings are encouraged to maintain social distancing in Chamber. Additionally, we are continuing to provide alternatives to in-person attendance for participating in City Council meetings.

In lieu of in-person attendance, members of the public may also participate and provide comment via telephone, ZOOM, using the City Clerk webform, or via U.S. Mail of written materials, as follows: 

How To Speak To A Particular Item or during Non-Agenda Public Comment:

In Person

Please fill out a speaker slip located at the entrance to Council Chambers. Indicate the item you wish to speak on as well as other requested information. Then submit it to the Clerk at the box indicated near the speaker’s lectern at the front of the room.

Via Virtual Platform

When the Clerk introduces the item you would like to comment on (or indicates it is time for Non-Agenda Public Comment), raise your hand by either tapping the “Raise Your Hand” button on your computer, tablet, or Smartphone, or by dialing *9 on your phone. You will be taken in the order in which you raised your hand. You may only speak once on a particular item.

When the Clerk indicates it is your turn to speak, unmute your phone by tapping the Unmute button on your computer, tablet or Smartphone, or dial *6 on your phone.

Please note: Members of the public who wish to provide virtual testimony must enter the virtual queue by raising their hand 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. 

Joining the Webinar and Offering Phone-in Testimony

The City Council meetings will continue to be held virtually using the Zoom Webinar platform. Members of the public can offer public comment on agendized items or during Non-Agenda Public Comment by accessing the meeting online using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or Smartphone, or by calling into the meeting using a Smartphone, cellular phone, or land line.


To join by using iPhone one-tap:

 US: +16692545252,,1614863189# 

To join by telephone: Dial 1-669-254 5252 +

When prompted, input Webinar ID: 161 486 3189 #

Comment on Agenda Items, Non-Agenda Public Comment, and Closed Session Public Comment may be submitted using the webform indicating the comment type and  item number (if relevant) for which you wish to submit your comment. Comments received two hours prior to 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 that time frame the day of the meeting but before the item is called will be submitted into the written record for the relevant item. 

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.

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 (link is external)

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 Tuesdays between 10 a.m. and 11 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 noon 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 City Clerk's office. Call the Public Information Section at 619-533-4000 or come to the City Clerk's office to obtain copies. Copies are 25 cents per page.

Are the Council meetings televised?

Monday afternoon Council meetings are televised "live" at 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 PDF icon 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. There are eight standing City Council Committees, with Councilmembers serving on each. 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.

What does the Clerk charge for documents?

For a list of charges, view the PDF icon User Fee Schedule. You may also view and print your own copies of the San Diego Municipal Code and Council Policies.