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The City Council welcomes participation in all public meetings. When you feel strongly about a public issue or a local concern, the Council encourages you to share your information and thoughts with them. If you are unable to attend a meeting or would rather not give testimony at the meeting, you are encouraged to submit comments by letter or email which becomes a part of the official record.
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The City of Lynden functions as a Code City and has a Mayor-Council form of government. Most Washington cities are classified as code cities under the Optional Municipal Code established in 1967, as an alternative to the basic statutory classification system of municipal government. It was designed to provide broad statutory home rule authority in matters of local concern.
Voters elect the nonpartisan, part-time, Council of seven person to serve 4-year terms. Elections are conducted every two years which allows for staggered terms of office. Council members are eligible to hold office if they are e a citizen of the United States and the State of Washington as well as an “elector” of the local jurisdiction for at least one year preceding the election.
The principal job of a Council member is to make policy for the governance of the City and its populace. A policy is a course of action for a community. Policy making often takes the form of passing ordinances or resolutions at City Council meetings. The Council does not administer or become involved in the day-to-day administration of city affairs.
Regularly scheduled council meetings are held at 7 pm on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month excluding Monday holidays. When there is a holiday, the meeting is held on the following Tuesday evening at the City Hall Annex, 205 4th Street, Lynden. Notice of council meetings are posted to the website's council calendar and the website's main calendar.
The 2022 Council meetings dates.The 2023 Council meeting dates.
City Council meetings, special meetings, work sessions and committee meetings are open to the public. The Lynden City Council regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. on the first and third Monday of the month with the exception of holidays. If there is a holiday the Council meeting is held on the next scheduled business day. Council meetings are held at the City Hall Annex located at 205 4th Street at 7:00 PM. During a regular council meeting, you may:
You may find that the Council moves swiftly in taking action on some agenda items since it has previously reviewed most of the topics on the agenda at scheduled committee meetings.
During regular sessions, the Lynden City Council may take action in several ways.Business is brought before the Council by motions, which constitute a formal procedure for taking actions. To make a motion, a member must first be recognized by the presiding officer. After the member has made a motion (and after the motion is seconded) the chair will call for discussion and then a vote.
Another type of Council action is the adoption of ordinances and resolutions. Ordinances (a local law of a municipal corporation, prescribing general rules of conduct). may be used for a variety of purposes, including administrative actions such as establishing offices and setting salaries, or they may be used for actions that control the conduct of the public. An ordinance is a legislative enactment, within its-sphere, as much as an act of the state legislature. Ordinances usually become valid 5 days after publication in the City's official newspaper, the Lynden Tribune.Not all ordinances are codified as a part of the Lynden Municipal Code (LMC). Codification does not include an ordinance unless it is of a general or permanent nature. The Council may amend or repeal an ordinance by adopting another ordinance. Council may also pass resolutions which is typically an act that is more of an expression of an opinion of the official body. Resolutions are not codified into the LMC.
The agenda lists the business items that will be considered at the Council meeting and the order in which they will be discussed. The agenda also includes possible actions the Council may wish to take on each item, however, the Council is not restricted to the actions listed on the agenda. The agenda also often contains a consent agenda which is a tool used to streamline council meeting procedure by collecting routine, non-controversial items into a group whereby all are passed with a single motion and vote. Commonly, no debate is allowed on the consent agenda or on any item included in it; however, Council members may remove items from the consent agenda for separate consideration.
To speak during the Public Comment Period, please sign up in advance. You may talk on any item and/or concern not scheduled for a public hearing. Your time to comment is limited to 4 minutes. When you talk with the Council, step up to the podium and speak into the microphone and identify yourself by stating your name and the city where you reside. You are not required to give this information, but it is helpful for the Council to know who you are. During the "Citizen Comment" period, your comments are limited to four minutes. If previous speakers have already made the comments you wish to make, feel free simply to identify yourself and indicate your agreement with what has already been said.
If you want to speak on the topic at a public hearing scheduled for that evening, you must comment during the public hearing portion of the meeting.
A public hearing offers you a formal opportunity to give your views to the Council on the subject of the hearing.
To give testimony, step up to the microphone and identify yourself by stating your name and the city where you reside for the record. You are not required to give this information, but it is helpful for the Council to know who you are. When you talk to the Council during a public hearing, Council members, staff and the audience will remain silent. After the last person has spoken, the hearing will be closed. The City Council will then discuss and make a decision on the issue. The audience may not comment during Council’s deliberations unless a Council member requests more information from a citizen.
Council welcomes participation in all public meetings and encourages you to share information and thoughts at public hearings. If you are unable to attend a public hearing or would rather not give testimony at the meeting, you are encouraged to submit your comments by letter or email which then becomes a part of the official record.
When necessary, the City Council may recess to an Executive Session. Executive sessions are portions of regular or special meetings that may be closed to the public, designed for consideration of specific issues, where public disclosure would harm individual interests or legitimate interests of the governing body. During these closed sessions, the Council by law, may only discuss certain items of business such as personnel matters, property acquisition and disposition, and advice from legal counsel on litigation concerns.
Council generally may not take final action at an executive session. It may convene an executive session to discuss/consider/evaluate certain specified issues, however it should not be making any final decisions on behalf of the city in the executive session.