There is a growing community interest and participation in Fishers local government meetings!
I am grateful that Fishers citizens are learning more about the elected and appointed bodies that are making the decisions for everyone. Here is the basic information about what you need to know about Fishers City Council monthly meetings.
Fishers City Council Webpage
Council members contact information and district maps.
City Council agendas and past meeting minutes.
Agendas are usually posted by EOD Thursday before the Monday evening meeting. The agenda is created by the Mayor’s administration and posted to the public website by the City Clerk. In my experience as a City Councilor, I was always first made aware of the agenda items and first received access to the supporting documents when they were posted to the public website on Thursday before the Monday meeting. At best, this allows the public and I about 2 business days to review the agenda and documents before the city council meeting.
Meeting minutes are also available in the agenda center. The minutes were a useful detailed information source until the October 2021 meeting. Since October 2021, the minutes are presented in a more bare-bones style – “Jane made a comment” and “Joe made a presentation” – instead of a brief summary of the content a citizen would like to know. See surprising video at the end of this blog.
City Council Meeting Livestream
Meetings are held at 7pm on the third Monday of the month and are livestreamed. The 2024 city council meeting schedule has not yet been released.
City Council Meeting Videos
City of Fishers YouTube channel, Public Meetings playlist.
According to a new Indiana law, ALL public meetings must be livestreamed or video recorded starting in July 2025. Currently, only some Fishers City Government public meetings are available to view.
Fishers City Council Rules of Procedure
The Rules of Procedure govern how the City Council meetings are run.
This document is not found on the City of Fishers public website. Overall, these rules are followed at each meeting.
But when the rules were violated in December 2022 meeting, I called it out. The majority of the city council did not want to correct it.
Opportunities for In-Person Public Comment
Most City Council meeting items do not require Public Comment. The few meeting items that do require Public Comment offer a three-minute opportunity for citizens to speak on that specific item.
In addition, Community Comment is the community engagement listening session at the end of each city council meeting. This is an “open mic” opportunity for Fishers residents to address the City Council for up to three minutes each. The council members are not required to resolve or respond to comments at that moment. The topic a citizen chooses to comment on does not have to be on the agenda, it can be anything the citizen has on their mind.
Public Comment Form
Must be submitted by noon the day of the meeting to be entered into the City Council meeting record.
City Council members receive these electronically submitted public comments before each city council meeting but these comments are never read, addressed or responded to at the meeting.
Open Door Law/Access to Public Records
Fishers City Council is required to fulfill our government’s responsibility to foster transparency, trust and accountability for its official actions. This is the Indiana handbook on Public Access Laws. Open Door Law governs meetings of governing bodies. Access to Public Records Act sets forth the foundation for access to public records.
Permissible closed door meetings of the City Council members that can be held for only very specific reasons.
They were held regularly, almost every month, through Dec 2019. Democrats joined City Council in January 2020.
No Executive Sessions have been held for almost two years now, since January 2022. These city matters are now discussed in the Republican Caucus Meetings of the Mayor and his GOP council members. The City Clerk and the Democratic City Councilor are prohibited.
Fishers City Council was found in violation of Open Door Law in 2019 for kicking the City Clerk out of Executive Sessions.
Robert’s Rules of Order
Unlike most governmental and non-governmental meetings, Robert’s Rules is not used as the parliamentary procedure for City Council meetings. The Fishers City Council also does not have a parliamentarian.
In Feb 2020 I successfully added a discussion opportunity before every vote in City Council meetings. Opening the floor up for discussion is not codified. It is a decision of the Council President to allow it. Without this opportunity to speak, city councilors remain silent and meeting items move too quickly for the public to be able to follow along. Creating a meeting environment that discourages city councilors to speak and minimizes conversation is harmful. I hope the city council continues to welcome all councilors’ voices in 2024.
Code Of Conduct
Unlike other city councils and local government bodies in Indiana, Fishers City Council does not have a Code of Conduct. A Code of Conduct articulates the expectations of council members’ behavior and a procedure for complaints and reviews.
I have experienced multiple incidents of verbally aggressive behavior from city council members and I have been advocating for the creation of a Code of Conduct for years, but the majority of city council does not agree to make this a priority. Disrespectful interactions like this are unacceptable.
As the council prepares for new members in 2024, I strongly recommend formalizing a Code of Conduct to ensure the respectful environment and open discussions that Fishers citizens deserve from their elected officials. I hope that all Fishers citizens are able to participate fully in their local government and have their voices welcomed, questions answered and concerns addressed.