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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Residents have multiple options to view, participate in Ocala City Council meetings

The City of Ocala is providing residents with a variety of options to view and participate in its city council meetings.

The Ocala City Council meetings occur at 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue). To participate in these meetings, residents and interested parties may use one or more of the following options to engage:

  • View a livestream of the meeting.
  • Submit public comments in advance of the meeting.
  • Attend the meeting in-person, if seating/space is available.

For anyone who wishes to attend meetings in person, capacity limits are as follows: 117 guests in council chambers, 36 guests in the second-floor lobby, and 32 guests in the first-floor lobby.

Each City Council meeting is accessible for virtual viewing in real time. For individuals who are unable to attend meetings in person, a livestream can be accessed by using the following steps:

  • Go to the City of Ocala’s website: ocalafl.org.
  • On the main page, under the word ‘Government’, a drop-down menu will appear.
  • Click on ‘Agendas and Minutes’ in the left column, and this will direct participants to the meeting page.
  • Find the column marked City Council.
  • In the video column, select the hyperlink labeled ‘In Progress’ to see the current livestream.

For anyone who is unable to attend these meetings in person, written comments can be submitted by emailing the City Clerk (at: [email protected]) by no later than 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Written comments can also be physically mailed to 110 SE Watula Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471.  All written comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the mayor, city council members, and appropriate staff prior to the start of the meeting. Florida’s Sunshine Laws require that all submitted comments be entered into the public record.

The City will accommodate everyone who wishes to make public comments, subject to seating/space limitations. Public comments are limited to three minutes, and additional time may be granted by the City Council President.

Seating and standing room may be limited based on fire code regulations. City Hall capacity limits are as follows: 117 guests in council chambers, 36 guests in the second-floor lobby, and 32 guests in the first-floor lobby. Seating and standing room are available on a first-come, first-served basis until safe capacity is reached.

For anyone who wishes to make public comments but are unable to enter the building once capacity is reached, they will be allowed inside and in council chambers to speak once other guests have exited the building.

City staff are assigned to the first and second floors to continually monitor the number of guests present and to communicate when space frees up for additional guests to enter. Each guest will enter City Hall though a security check point.

Any person requiring special accommodations should contact the City Manager’s Office at: 352-629-8401 at least 48 hours in advance so that proper arrangements can be made.

Those who wish to make a public comment may obtain a speaker request form from the City Clerk’s office by phone (352-629-8266) or email ([email protected]). Anyone wishing to make a public comment may also utilize their right to speak during the regular public comment portion of the meeting.

Residents are also encouraged to sign up for the City of Ocala e-notification system to receive information about public meetings, posting of agendas, announcements, events, and newsletters.

For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 352-629-8401.