Ceremonial & Appearance Request

The City of Princeton Mayor and City Council welcome the opportunity to recognize our residents, special events and programs, businesses, corporate partners, and employees on those exceptional occasions which make Princeton a community we are all proud to call home. Ceremonial requests approved under this policy shall not constitute an expression of any statement, policy, or position by the City of Princeton with regard to endorsement, support, or opposition for any business, interest group, political platform, candidate for office, or philosophy unless the request was approved by a majority vote of the City Council; for such approved requests, the City’s position on the matter will be reflected in the language of the associated documents.

The approval of a ceremonial request should be considered to represent only the present-tense position of the Mayor or City Council as set forth in the associated documents. The City Council shall retain its rights to establish the City’s official position on any topic, or to change past positions, policies, or statements, without limitation based on any prior ceremonial request or the comments or activities of any member of its governing body in their personal capacities.

This policy does not apply to appearances or attendance by the Mayor or City Council to similar events in their personal/individual capacities, e.g., as private citizens and/or as candidates for public office. Any and all public appearances, commentary, position statements, expressions of support or opposition, or similar activities by the Mayor or City Council shall be considered for all purposes to be in their personal capacity only unless approved in accordance with this policy.

Guidelines for Ceremonial Requests

1. All ceremonial requests are subject to final approval by the Mayor and/or City Council. The City of Princeton reserves the right to:

   a. Edit all ceremonial requests to reflect the City’s vision, mission, and goals.

   b. Decline any ceremonial request without further details.

2. All ceremonial requests should have a specific local connection with the City of Princeton unless the request involves a special significance to the City, region, or state, as determined by the Mayor in consultation with City staff.

3. A ceremonial request which has not been approved by the City Council may be approved by the Mayor alone, but in such cases shall be strictly and expressly limited to a ceremonial act by the Office of the Mayor, and shall not be attributed as any statement or position by the City Council as a whole or the City of Princeton.

4. In order to accommodate preparation and scheduling, all requests should be made as far in advance as possible, with a minimum of 5 business days prior to the occasion. Submitted requests should not be assumed automatically approved.

5. All requests must be made through the City’s online Ceremonial Request Form to be authorized under this policy. Any request which is honored or fulfilled by the Mayor or any members of the City Council without prior approval under this policy shall be deemed unauthorized by the City and shall constitute only the opinion or position of the individuals.

6. Any ceremonial request which may involve the assembly of a quorum of the City Council must be approved with sufficient lead time for the City to post a notice of quorum when required by law. If such notice cannot be posted in accordance with applicable law, any approval shall be deemed void, and it is recommended that members of the Council do not attend unless it is first confirmed that a quorum will not be assembled.

7. No official business of the City shall be conducted during a ceremonial appearance or event unless the matter has also been properly noticed as a public meeting; ceremonial appearance activities are strictly limited to the matters set forth in the associated documents. This includes without limitation a prohibition on any debate or deliberations regarding City business.

Types of Ceremonial Requests

  • Proclamations - A proclamation is a formal declaration by the Mayor in honor of a person, group, or event. Proclamations will not be issued for business groundbreaking, ribbon-cutting, or grand-opening events. Whenever possible, a sample proclamation or wording should be provided. Proclamations should include no more than (5) five "whereas" statements, and each statement should be no more than 50 words in length. Longer requests may be shortened by city staff. One formal presentation copy will be provided at no charge. Proclamations should be picked up at the Municipal Center, 2000 E. Princeton Drive unless other arrangements have been made. If you would like the proclamation presented by the Mayor or Council at a Council Meeting or an event, please indicate this with your request.
  • Letters - A letter of welcome, greeting, or congratulations will be issued for programs, conferences, conventions, seminars, or other significant events when a proclamation is not appropriate. Whenever possible, a sample letter or wording should be provided. One formal copy will be issued per request. Letters are not eligible for formal presentation by the Mayor or Council.
  • Certificates - A certificate is a formal document that extends special recognition. A certificate may be issued for a person or organization for an accomplishment or contribution to show appreciation. Certificates may also be issued for a request when a proclamation or other recognition is not appropriate for the occasion. One formal copy will be issued for each individual or organization to be recognized per request. If you would like the certificate presented by the Mayor or Council at a Council Meeting or an event, please indicate this with your request.
  • Appearances/Addresses - Appearances and/or addresses by the Mayor or Council must be scheduled through the City Secretary’s Office and coordinated with the Director of Community Engagement. It is not possible for the City to fulfill all such requests.

Helpful Documents: