How to comment on city projects

If you no longer want to sit on the sidelines, this is how you can shape the future of our city.

WStoday: City Hall on North Main Street in Winston-Salem

All City Council and council committee meetings are open to the public.

Photo by WStoday

If you have a vision for how our city or county should run, you have the power to voice your opinion to government officials. In honor of Civic Learning Week, we’re taking you back to Gov. 101 so you can learn ways to get involved.

Whether you have a concern, a suggestion, or a comment, public meetings are where you want to be. Here’s what you need to know before you show up.

What is the role of City Council?

City Council approves, denies, or puts on hold all ordinances, rules, and regulations adopted in the city. Think housing, development, transportation, and most decisions that affect the way our city operates. Council approves how money is distributed, and sets property taxes and user fees.

Who makes the decisions?

City Council is made up of eight elected council members, plus the mayor. Each member represents a designated ward within the city. There are various committees and commissions that operate beneath the guidance of City Council. You can join an advisory board or commission to help council members make important decisions.

How you can participate

City Council meetings take place in the Council Chamber at City Hall (101 N. Main St., Room 230), the first and third Mondays of the month at 6 p.m.

You can get a preview of what will be discussed the Friday prior to Monday meeting. If you’d like to speak during the meeting, you can talk to the City Clerk in the lobby outside of Council Chambers between 5:30 p.m. and 5:55 p.m. on the night of the meeting. You’re allowed to speak for up to three minutes. If you’re not able to attend in person, you can fill out the online form to submit your comment.

If you miss a meeting, you can revisit minutes that are posted online to learn what is discussed. You can also stream archived videos of past meetings on the city’s YouTube page.