The City of Novi takes pride in providing open and inclusive government services and your presence/participation here and at other civic functions is encouraged and welcome. The information below is designed to provide an understanding of the format and proceedings of City Council meetings and to offer tips to assist you in effectively communicating and working with your City Council and administration. It is also important to note that all regularly scheduled City Council meetings are broadcast live on Novi Television and streamed live on cityofnovi.org.
City Council consists of seven members, including the Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem. Your Novi City Council includes Mayor Bob Gatt, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Staudt, and Council Members Andrew Mutch, Laura Marie Casey, Kelly Breen, Ramesh Verma and Doreen Poupard.
Council Meeting Format
Council agendas and agenda items can be found and printed off the City’s website. The meeting format follows:
- Approval of the Agenda: It is at this point that additions or deletions may be made to the items originally listed on the agenda.
- Public Hearings: If you are here for a Public Hearing, you will be solicited for your input at this time. Generally, this is one of the first orders of business at the meeting. The same guidelines for Audience Comments apply to a Public Hearing. (See Audience Comments Rules below)
- Audience Comments: (See Audience Comments Rules below): You may participate during the periods of Audience Comments noted on the Agenda. There are two opportunities per meeting – one near the beginning and the second is before the meeting is concluded. If you wish to speak, raise your hand when the Mayor asks if there are any comments or concerns from those in attendance. When you are recognized by the Mayor, please come to the podium and state your name and address before you address your remarks to Council.
For the record, you are requested fill out a card provided at the Council Chambers’ entrance with your name and address and present it to the City Clerk. This also helps City administration when following up on your comments. Please note this is a time for you to voice/share your thoughts with City Council and they will not respond to comments heard.
- Consent Agenda (Approvals/Removals): At this point in the meeting, Council decides which items, if any, will be taken off the Consent Agenda and discussed following the Matters for Council Action Part II. The Consent Agenda items are listed on the agenda before the final Audience Comment. Once these items are taken off the agenda, they are then discussed under the section “Consent Agenda Removals for Council Action.”
- Matters For Council Action, Parts I and II: These are items listed on the agenda that will be discussed and acted upon during the meeting.
General Courtesies For All
- Please direct your comments to the Mayor.
- Please be polite and refrain from using offensive or abusive language.
- Please ensure all mobile devices are silenced while in the Council Chambers.
Audience Comments Rules
A. All members of the Audience addressing the meeting (hereinafter speaker) shall direct their remarks to the person in charge of the meeting (hereinafter Chair).
B. No speaker shall address the meeting unless recognized by the Chair for that purpose.
C. Remarks shall be limited to those pertaining to matters before the Council, to City business or policy, or to issues of community concern or interest. While comment upon the action, inaction, or performance of the Council and the City of Novi commissions, boards, employees and consultants is allowed, inappropriate, profane, vulgar or abusive language and personal attacks will not be tolerated.
D. No speaker shall continue to address the meeting after being advised by the Chair that the speaker's time for addressing the meeting has expired.
E. There shall be no audience comment by voice, clapping, or otherwise, showing approval or disapproval of any remarks of the speaker or member(s) of the public body.
F. Each speaker may address the meeting for 3 minutes. The Chair has the authority to grant additional time, if requested by a speaker, for good cause.
G. Speakers wishing to display visual materials through the City's audiovisual system must provide the materials to City staff for screening no later than 5:00 P.M. five days before the meeting. For example, for a Monday meeting, the materials must be provided to City staff by 5:00 P.M. on the preceding Wednesday. The materials submitted will be reviewed by the City Clerk (or designee) to ensure that (1) the materials are in a format capable of broadcast or presentation over the City's audiovisual system; (2) the materials relate to a permitted purpose under Paragraph C above; and (3) the material is legally appropriate for broadcast over the audiovisual system and/or cable system. Visual materials include any visual or textual items that are to be displayed through the audiovisual system irrespective of their specific format or media. This includes, without limitation, photographs, audio and video presentations, charts, computer presentations, computer screen images, posters and fliers, whether in physical or electronic format. Once the materials have been submitted for review, they cannot be changed before the meeting. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Chair may allow a speaker to utilize the City's audiovisual system to display a limited number (no more than three) of non-electronic, physical documents (e.g., photographs of potholes), provided that the documents are presented to the Clerk for review under Paragraph G above, before the documents are displayed.
H. Speakers using visual materials are subject to the same time limitation set forth in Paragraph F above.
I. Taped or recorded audio presentations not presented through the City's audiovisual system (i.e., with sound only, not displaying visual materials) shall also be submitted for review as described in Paragraph G above.
J. Council Members or the Mayor shall not respond to general Audience Comment. The Mayor or Council members can bring up a point of order in regard to false information and direct it to the parliamentarian for a response. The Mayor may direct the administration to respond to the speaker, if appropriate, during or outside of the meeting. The Mayor may also respond with an indication of the appropriate action to be taken.
K. Committee Reports will not be accepted during Audience Comment. An Applicant or Representative may present proposals for a period of time at the discretion of the Chair.
Communication with the City
In addition to attending City Council meetings, you can communicate specific interests in a variety of ways. You may want to consider these actions prior to attending a meeting:
- Contact the City department directly to speak with staff. City staff are there to assist you with your questions and comments. If you are not sure which department to speak with, contact the City Manager’s office at 248.347.0445 or City Clerk’s office at 248.347.0456 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff team member.
- City department directors oversee the daily operations of the City and may have the specific information you seek. Prior to an item being placed on the meeting agenda, there has usually been a record of action on the subject within the City department, so it may be best to start your inquiries there. Departmental phone numbers are available on the City’s website cityofnovi.org, in the City calendar, or you may call the general City number at 248.347.0460 for an automated listing of departments.
- You may also consider writing a letter or sending an e-mail to Council Members. If you write a letter it should be mailed to the City of Novi, Attention: Novi City Council, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, MI 48375. In person, deliver the correspondence to the City Clerk’s office. Your correspondence is then distributed to Council prior to a meeting. In order for your correspondence to be distributed, it must be received by 10 a.m. the Thursday before a meeting.
- An e-mail message can directly be sent to the City Council Members or to the City Clerk. All Council Members and City Administration e-mail addresses can be found on the City’s website at cityofnovi.org.
Council meetings are generally held the first and third Mondays of the month, but occasionally there are exceptions and additional special meetings.
Agendas are available on the table at the entrance to the Council Chambers. Agendas are posted in the City atrium no later than the Friday before a Monday meeting and 24-hours prior to any special meeting and on the City’s website.