How Legislation is Adopted

Council Committees

The Council President, chosen by the nine members for a two-year term, assigns legislation to one of the Council's five standing Committees: Arts and Culture; Finance; Neighborhood & Business Development; Parks & Public Works; and Public Safety, Youth & Recreation.

The primary function of these Committees is to review all proposed legislation and to recommend adoption, consideration or rejection by the entire Council, either as written or with amendments. Committees generally meet on the Thursday before each regular Council Meeting. Call (585) 428-7538 for specific times and dates of individual Committee meetings, or check the City's website at www.cityofrochester.gov for information. The five Committees as of April 30, 2019 are as follows:

Art and Culture  

  • Elaine M. Spaull (Chair)
  • Michael A. Patterson   
  • Molly Clifford 

Finance

  •  Malik D. Evans  (Chair)
  •  Molly Clifford 
  •  Michael A. Patterson

Neighborhood & Business Development

  • Michael A. Patterson (Chair) 
  • Jacklyn Ortiz
  • LaShay D. Harris

Parks & Public Works   

  • Mitch Gruber (Chair) 
  • Elaine M. Spaull
  • Malik D. Evans

  Public Safety, Youth & Recreation

  • Willie J. Lightfoot (Chair)
  • Jacklyn Ortiz 
  • Mitch Gruber
  • LaShay D. Harris

Regular Council Meetings - Your Voice Counts   

City Council, following a calendar created each year, meets on certain Tuesday evenings. The "Speak to Council" session, at which citizens can address Council on any issue, starts at 6:30 p.m. In order to "Speak to Council" about an issue on a particular Council Meeting agenda, or to suggest an issue for a future Meeting, you must call 428-7421 before 5:30 p.m., or you may also email your request to council@cityofrochester.gov prior to 2:00 p.m. of the Meeting day. You will need to provide your name, address, telephone number, the organization you are representing (if any), and the topic you plan to speak about.   

The Council Meeting itself begins at 7:30 p.m. After the formal public hearings are concluded, each Committee presents to the entire Council the legislation it has considered along with its recommendations. Council then votes on each individual piece of proposed legislation, including any amendments. 

 After Council votes to adopt legislation, it is sent to the Mayor for signature. Enacted legislation is then filed with the City Clerk and printed in the annual "Proceedings of the Council of the City of Rochester". 

 All meetings of the Rochester City Council and its Committees are open to the public. They are held in Council Chambers, Room 302A, in City Hall, 30 Church Street, at the corner of North Fitzhugh Street. Assistive devices for the hearing impaired are available.