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Study Issues Overview

What is a Study Issue?

A study issue is a topic of concern that may result in new or revised city policy. City Council and staff use a formal study issue process to identify, prioritize and manage the review of these topics during each calendar year.

How do I Propose a Study Issue?

The public can suggest study issue topics at any time for City Manager, City Council or a board or commission to sponsor and move forward in the formal process.

If your topic is sponsored, staff will prepare a study issue paper for City Manager approval, and the topic will move to the annual Council Study Issues Workshop, where City Council will review it and rank its priority.

Where to Find Study Issue Papers, Results and Status Reports

View proposed Study Issues, as well as those issues which are currently underway or completed.

Study Issue Annual Process

Timing Activity
Before Oct. 1 Although study issue ideas can be submitted at any time, for an issue to potentially receive consideration for the next calendar year, it should be submitted before Oct. 1 to allow time for staff to prepare materials ahead of the upcoming annual prioritizing process.
November Boards and commissions rank any proposed study issue that falls under their purview for next calendar year. Board and commission priority rankings are forwarded to Council.
December Staff publishes all proposed study issue papers, board and commission priority rankings, and the draft agenda for the public hearing to the City’s website.
Early January Council holds a public hearing on study issues proposed for current calendar year. Members of the public comment on study issues.
Late January to early February Council Study Issues Workshop held. Council assigns priority ranking to study issues.
Early February to mid-February Staff “Draws the Line”: The City Manager considers staff resources by department to determine how many issues can be studied during the calendar year (issues are always studied in priority order), noting start and complete dates for each issue. Staff presents Council a list of the study issues that will be undertaken during the current calendar year, given currently budgeted resources.

If a study issue has been ranked, but staff “draws the line” above it and finds that the issue will not be studied in the current calendar year, the issue can be deferred or dropped. A deferred issue will not be considered for study until the following calendar year. A dropped issue will not be considered again, unless four councilmembers vote to bring it back.

Last Updated: Aug 9, 2017