The City Council has approved changes in the way it conducts its sessions to make it easier for the public to participate.
Instead of waiting through half of the meeting, residents now may address the council right after the roll call.
Officials said the changes unanimously approved Monday were prompted by modifications to the state public meetings law, known as the Brown Act. The changes will take effect Friday.
The city will publish a brochure that will explain the changes, City Manager Robert C. Dunek said.
“This will provide the public the opportunity to participate more,” Dunek said. “We’ll make (the brochure) user-friendly.”
In future meetings, council members will be prohibited from taking action or even discussing items that are not on the agenda. City Atty. Thomas W. Allen said they may, however, briefly respond to questions or seek information on non-agenda items.
Outside of the council meetings, Allen said, the Brown Act now prohibits even casual discussions of city matters by three or more members of the council.
“The less business you do outside of the meeting room, the less you get yourself in trouble,” Allen told the council members.