Common Council


Regular Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Common Council Chambers, 3rd floor, City Hall, Ithaca, NY.  

Common Council meetings may be held using videoconferencing technology. More information, including the written procedures governing the use of videoconferencing technology, is available on our Boards and Committees page. The live stream of the meeting and video recordings of prior meetings are available on the City’s YouTube channel and our video archive site.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available on Friday afternoon prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

How to Participate in Public Comment in Person

Attend the meeting in person, at 6pm on the first Wednesday of each month, and simply fill out a comment card found on the podium at the entrance. Submit your card to the City Clerk, and you will be called upon during Public Comment. 

How to Participate in Public Comment Virtually

The City of Ithaca wants to hear from you! If you are not able to attend a meeting in person, you are encouraged to share your thoughts with Common Council using one of the options below:

Email Common Council

You may submit a comment for an upcoming Common Council meeting by completing this public comment form.
Comments that are received after 5:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting, will be held for consideration until the next meeting.

Register to Speak Remotely

At 9:00 am on the day of a Council meeting, a live link will appear here for you to register to speak at the beginning of the meeting via Zoom. The first hour of the meeting will be used for Public Comment. Up to 40 people can register to speak. Registration will close at 3:00 pm so that the Zoom meeting link can be emailed to you with instructions for participation.  You will be selected to speak in the order in which you were registered. You must be present in the waiting room when your turn is called to speak, or you will forfeit your time. You can use video or telephone to participate.

Overview and Duties of Common Council:

The legislative power of the city is vested in the Common Council, and it has power to enact and enforce any ordinance or resolution not in conflict with the Constitution or laws of this state for any local purpose pertaining to the government of the city and the management of its business, the protection of the business and property interests of its citizens, the preservation of order, peace and health and the safety and welfare of the city and the inhabitants thereof.  It has the management and control of the finances and of all the property, real and personal, belonging to the city, except as otherwise provided by the City Charter or by any other provision of law.

Common Council consists of two elected representatives for each of the City’s five wards.  Common Council members (also known as "Alderpersons"), serve four year terms, and are paid $13,141. annually. You can find information about who your Common Council representatives are and where you vote by using our resident services tool.  A map of the City's election wards and districts can be found here.
On July 6, 2022, Common Council adopted a Resolution that established standard workdays for Common Council members who are enrolled in the New York State retirement system. The standard workdays are established based on the Common Council members records of activities. This information is required to be made public for a minimum of 30 days and is reported to the New York State Comptroller and the New York State and Local Retirement System.

The Mayor presides over Common Council meetings, but may only vote when Common Council is setting the annual property tax rate, or when a Common Council vote results in a tie.

More information on Common Council