The Yakima City Council holds regular business meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6:00pm in the Council Chambers of the City Hall, located at 129 N. 2nd Street. The public is welcome to attend these meetings. Any regular meeting may be adjourned to a different date and time to meet special purposes, to work around holidays, for study sessions, or to conduct unexpected urgent business. If a meeting does not adjourn to the next regularly scheduled time, the next meeting time will be indicated at the end of the agenda and announced just prior to adjournment.
Council Packets are created to provide detailed information about the issues before Council. The Clerk’s office produces Council Packets on a weekly basis, with contributions from many divisions of the City. Packets are usually available online by Thursday evening of the week prior to the meeting. These come in four “flavors.“
- Business Meeting Packets. These contain written information about the items to be discussed at each business meeting.
- Adjourned Meeting Packets. These contain information specific to the adjourned meeting.
- information Packets. These contain general council information for weeks when there are no council meetings.
- Special Meeting Packets. These contain information specific to the topic for each Special Meeting.
Meeting Packets begin with an agenda indicating item-by-item what will be covered at the meeting, and the order in which each item will be addressed. Supportive documentation for each item follows the agenda, in numerical order, with all the information for each individual item grouped together. Each grouping begins with a statement page, which summarizes the item, and is followed by associated reports or proposed contracts, ordinances, or resolutions as needed to clarify and provide specific details.
After each Council business meeting, a brief report is prepared called Action Minutes. This report lists the agenda items and the actions taken by Council for each item. Items may be approved or denied according to the vote of Council. The Action Minutes are posted soon after each meeting. (Look for the second PDF icon shown for each Business Meeting.)
The Action Minutes for previous years can be found using the City’s Document Center. The term “Action Minutes” was adopted beginning in 2011. In the years before that, this report was titled “Action Agenda.” They are stored with the Agenda Packets, arranged by Council meeting date.
Approved Meeting Minutes
Minutes are prepared to record what happened at each Council meeting. The Minutes give a fuller accounting of the meeting than the Action Minutes. After preparation, they are submitted to Council for approval. After approval, an archival copy is prepared, signed by the Mayor, and then posted for public viewing. This process takes a few weeks. Please contact the City Clerk’s office [575-6037] if you need information about Minutes that have not yet been posted.
Ordinances and the Municipal Code
Ordinances establish the laws of the City. The proposed Ordinances are presented to Council in the Council Packets. If approved by Council, they become enforceable by law and are signed by the Mayor. Each Ordinance is referenced by a number and a brief title in the Approved Meeting Minutes.
The Municipal Code is the codex, or organized collection of the official laws of the City. When new ordinances are passed by council, this changes the laws of the city by adding, altering, eliminating, or replacing the existing laws, thus changing the existing Code. There is a lag time from when an Ordinance is passed and when it is codified (incorporated into the Municipal Code). If you are wishing to stay current on the laws of the City, be sure to see Recent Ordinances in addition to the Yakima Municipal Code. The current version of the Municipal Code is kept in an electronic format which can be searched, viewed online, or printed.
The most current complete version of the full Municipal Code is also available for download. Supplements are available after each codification for those who are maintaining printed copies. Supplements contain pages reflecting changes since the last codification. The first page of the supplement and Full Code indicate which ordinances have been codified.
Unlike ordinances, resolutions do not create laws and are not incorporated into the Municipal Code. Resolutions are used for various purposes such as to formally recognize agreements and to set forth policy of the City. For example, by resolution, Council may approve a contract for park improvements, declare policy for cold weather shelters, or set public hearing dates. Proposed resolutions are presented to Council in the Agenda Packets, along with explanatory information. If approved by Council, they are signed by the Mayor and become part of the City’s permanent records. Each Resolution is referenced by a number and a brief title in the Approved Meeting Minutes.