Public Hearings

Location

Council Public Hearings take place in:
City Council Chambers
Wadsworth City Hall
120 Maple Street
Wadsworth, Ohio 44281

Call the Council Clerk for more information:

Tammy Guenther, 330-335-2759

Overview

The principal difference between council meetings and public hearings is their purpose and the public participation requirement. The two types of proceedings may seem similar to an outsider, but council meetings are conducted primarily to make legislative decisions, while public hearings are held to gather the data and opinions from the citizenry that facilitate the decision makers at the council meeting.

What is the Difference Between a Public Meeting and a Public Hearing?

In Washington, all meetings of governmental bodies at which decisions are made are public meetings. Under the Open Public Meetings Act., anyone may attend the meeting and observe. While a governmental body may permit public participation, there is no right of the public neither to participate in the course of a public meeting, nor to comment on the subject matter being considered by the governmental body.

In contrast, during a public hearing, the public is invited to speak to the council and the council primarily listens and receives public input. No decisions are typically made during a public hearing. A public hearing may be held as part of a regularly scheduled public meeting, but the two phases are conducted separately.

When is a Public Hearing Required?

There are relatively few situations that actually require a public hearing, although there are many occasions when public hearings may be advisable. The most typical circumstances that might require public hearings are as follows:

  • Annexation proceedings: direct petition method of annexation
  • Budget process: following preliminary budget filing; emergency expenditures
  • Planning and zoning: adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan; adoption or amendment of a zoning code
  • Street vacations
  • Local improvement districts: creation of a local improvement district, development of the assessment role, assessment of an omitted property
  • Arterial street construction
  • Sale of public utility property
  • Creation of a parking and business improvement area
  • Approval of preliminary plats
  • Removal of city manager (if requested)

(Source: AWC and MRSC Council Members' Handbook)