What is a first reading vs. a second reading?

Most bills must go through a first reading and a second reading before being voted on. A first reading is only a reading; no public comment is made, no discussion is had and no votes are taken. During a first reading, the council will refer the item to various subcommittees and City boards (Finance, Ordinance, and others) for a recommendation which is taken into consideration at the second reading. At the second reading, the bill is set for discussion and open for public comment at the meeting. Once the comment period is closed and discussion is complete, the bill will be voted on.

Appointments, resolutions, proclamations, licenses and executive orders do not have second readings / public hearings.

Ordinances, appropriations, loan authorizations, and anything financial related gets a second reading / public hearing.

Order of Every Meeting

At every regular meeting of the City Council, the order of business remains the same.

  1. Call to Order
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll Call
  4. Act on Minutes
  5. Mayoral Appointments
  6. Licenses and Permits
  7. Correspondence
    1. President/Vice President Communications
    2. Communication from Mayor, other Elected Officials, Boards and Commissions
    3. Council Communications, Announcements and Committee Reports
    4. Department Presentations
    5. Review of Old/Outstanding Business
  8. Public Comment
  9. Council Response to Public Comment
  10. Second Readings
    1. Public Hearings
  11. First Readings (new business)
  12. Adjournment

Show All Answers

1. How does Council legislation come about?
2. How do I know what will be on an agenda?
3. How does the Office of the City Clerk prepare for a City Council meeting?
4. What types of bills might be discussed at a City Council meeting?
5. What is a first reading vs. a second reading?
6. Are residents allowed to speak at Council meetings?