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Council/Commission Meetings

This page provides a basic overview of public meetings held by councils or commissions. The resources provided on this page can be used to plan and conduct more efficient and productive public meetings.​


A city council or county council/commission meeting is the place to get the critical job of policy-making done. A smoothly managed and productive council or commission meeting in the right setting does not necessarily guarantee good results, but it certainly helps. 

MRSC maintains a separate page on Public Hearings, which provides an overview of the legal requirements for conducting public hearings in Washington State and describes the basic procedures that should be followed for a proper public hearing.

Legal References


Meeting Agendas

MRSC maintains a separate page on City Council Meeting Agendas. This webpage offers an overview of the agenda preparation process, including sample council rules of procedure relating to agenda preparation and links to sample agendas.

Meeting Minutes

Minutes are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. Many governing bodies post both meeting agendas and minutes online in an effort to be more transparent to the public. 

Sample City Rules of Procedure Relating to Meeting Minutes

Sample County Rules of Procedure Relating to Meeting Minutes

Sample City Meeting Minutes

Sample County Meeting Minutes

Public Meetings - Recommended Resources

The following resources may help a local government in planning for and conducting more efficient and productive public meetings.

Public Hearings - Recommended Resources

Local governments are sometimes required by state law to hold public hearings. The resources below may help in understanding and following proper hearing procedure.

  • MRSCPublic Hearings — Discusses what is legally required for public hearings, including quasi-judicial hearings, and summarizes the basic procedures that should be followed.
  • Institute for Local Government: Getting the Most out of Public Hearings (2005) — Offers practical ideas to maximize the effectiveness of public hearings.

Parliamentary Procedure - Recommended Resources

Parliamentary procedure provides the process for proposing, amending, approving, and defeating legislative motions.

  • MRSC: Parliamentary Procedure — Offers a brief overview of Robert's Rules of Order as applied to parliamentary procedure
  • Jurassic Parliament —Offers resources on using Robert's Rules of Order, meeting management, leadership, and more.

Recommended Resources

  • Ask MRSC - Governance — Contains archived questions MRSC staff have received with regard to governance, the legislative body, council/commission roles and responsibilities, and related issues
  • Institute for Local Government: Public Meetings Resource Center — Offers a variety of tools addressing how to chair a meeting, parliamentary procedure, public participation, and how to incorporate technology into public meetings.

Last Modified: April 02, 2021