Public notices are used to inform the public of city government matters and when certain actions will occur. Cities are required to publish or post public notices for a variety of items and must follow the provisions of the Code of Iowa that detail how such notices should be given.
Public notices are required on a large number of matters and one basic rule that city officials can use is that any public hearing must be preceded by a public notice announcing the date, time and place of the hearing. Some of the more common actions that necessitate a public notice include adopting a city budget or budget amendment (Sections 384.16 and 384.18 of the Code of Iowa), approving plans for public improvement projects (Section 26.12) and approving zoning ordinances (Section 414.4). Cities are also free to publish “any matter of public importance” as described in Section 618.14.