Speaking at a Monthly County Board Meeting

In accordance with the Meeting Procedures adopted by the County Board:

Step 1: Determine Your Public Testimony Category

There are three sections to the agenda: Public Comment, Consent, and Regular Hearing. Depending on your of interest or agenda item number, you will speak in one of those three categories.

See below for more information on each section. 

A. Public Comment

Public Comment is held at Saturday Regular Meetings beginning at 8:30 AM, and is intended for new business only. Public Comment is NOT for items on that day's meeting agenda, items that have already been decided, or items that are scheduled for future hearings.

To speak, please submit your regular or recessed registration online or submit a Public Comment speaker slip to the Clerk on the day of the hearing.

  • Registrations must be received before 8:15 AM.
  • You will have up to 2 minutes to speak.
  • Only one speaker per topic (for or against) will be heard.

Members of the Public who are unable to participate on Saturday morning may submit their remarks in writing or may also bring their concerns directly to the Board at one of the pre-scheduled Open Door Monday sessions.

B. Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda is a quick way to approve several items at once without the need to discuss each item in detail. It helps save time so that the Board can focus on the regular agenda items. 

Consent Items are heard at Saturday Regular Meetings, no earlier than 9:00 AM. There is no public testimony unless an item is removed from Consent. 

In order to remove and testify on a Consent Agenda item:

Determine if your item is a Public Hearing item or a Non-Public Hearing item. On the Board Meeting Agenda, this information is directly noted under the Consent Items header. Members of the public may remove Public Hearing items - only a County Board Member may remove a Non-Public Hearing Item. 

  • For Public Hearing Items: request that the item be removed by emailing countyboard@arlingtonva.us, calling 703.228.3130, or submitting a speaker slip to the Clerk before 9:00 a.m. at the Saturday Regular Meeting. This will automatically remove the item from Consent.
  • For Non-Public Hearing Items: request that County Board Member remove the item by emailing countyboard@arlingtonva.us, or calling 703.228.3130. Note that removal of these items is at the Board's discretion.

Items removed from Consent are carried over for a public hearing beginning no earlier than 6:30 PM at the Tuesday Recessed Meeting. 

  • Once the item has been removed, register to speak by submitting your registration online after the conclusion of the Saturday meeting – pulled items will not be visible on the form until that time.
  • If you submitted a speaker slip to the Clerk on Saturday, it will be held over to the Tuesday meeting, there is no need to register online or resubmit your slip.
  • Additional speakers may sign-up to testify  at the Tuesday recessed meeting by registering online or submitting a speaker slip in-person by 6:30 pm
  • At the Tuesday meeting, individuals and organizations have up to 3 minutes to speak on all matters. (Example: if you sign-up to speak on two separate items, you will be called once and given a total of three minutes to speak on both items.)
  • For pulled Consent Agenda items, all speakers will testify before any items are called. 

C. Regular Agenda

Regular Hearing items may be scheduled at either the Saturday regular meeting or the pre-scheduled Tuesday recessed meeting.

Carefully check the meeting agenda. Regular Hearing Items are heard no earlier than 9 am on Saturday, and no earlier than 6:45 pm on Tuesday.

To speak, submit your Regular Meeting registration or Recessed Meeting registration online, or submit a speaker slip  in-person to the Clerk before the first speaker on your item is called; no registrations or speaker slips will be accepted after that time.

  • In each category, speakers will be called in the order in which slips are received.
  • Individuals may speak for a maximum of 2 or 3 minutes per agenda item. For each item on the agenda, 2-minute speakers are called first and 3-minute speakers are second.
  • Representatives of civic organizations may speak for 2, 3, or a maximum of 5 minutes. 

Step 2: Determine Your Agenda Item Number

If you wish to present testimony, you will need to know the agenda item number to complete your registration.

Find your item number on the  County Board Meeting agenda posted:

Check the agenda carefully to determine whether your item will be heard at:

  • the Saturday regular meeting, or
  • at the pre-scheduled Tuesday recessed meeting.

Step 3: Sign up to Speak

Registration is required for all public testimony categories.

Meeting attendees are kindly asked to register online in advance of the meeting. Registration forms will open approximately one week in advance of each meeting, and can be accessed below:

Register to speak at a Regular County Board Meeting

Register to speak at a Recessed County Board Meeting

Register to speak at a Special County Board Meeting

Once you have submitted your registration, you will be sent an email with further instructions, and if participating virtually, a link and phone number to join the meeting.

If you are unable to fill out the above online registration forms, you may download a speaker slip to submit in-person on the day of the meeting:

Speaker slips are also available at the Information Desk in the Board Room Foyer.