Chapter 3.16


3.16.010    Meetings.

3.16.020    Assembly voting.

3.16.030    Conduct of debate and discussion.

3.16.040    Rules for public testimony.

3.16.050    Interpretation, application, and suspension of assembly rules of procedure.

3.16.060    Teleconferencing.

3.16.010 Meetings.

A. The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly shall hold regular meetings beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month unless the presiding officer schedules otherwise. All regular and special meetings, committee meetings, and gatherings of more than three assemblymembers shall be public meetings. Notice of a public hearing shall be published at least five days before each regular meeting. The clerk shall cause notice of committee meetings or gatherings of more than three assemblymembers.

B. The presiding officer or three or more assemblymembers may cause a special meeting or special work session to be called if the presiding officer or clerk gives a majority of the assemblymembers at least 24 hours’ oral or written notice and makes reasonable efforts to notify all assemblymembers.

1. Notice of a special meeting or special work session shall include the time, location, and purpose of the special meeting and the identity of the persons calling the special meeting. A special meeting or special work session shall be noticed in the following manner:

a. Posted at the entryway of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Juanita Helms Administration Center; and

b. Posted on the borough web page; and

c. Released in public service announcements to news media.

2. The assembly shall not transact any business at a special meeting or special work session except business relating to the purpose stated in the notice of the meeting.

C. The assembly may conduct a special meeting with less than 24 hours’ notice if all assemblymembers are present or if absent assemblymembers have waived in writing the required notice. Waiver of notice can be made before or after the special meeting is held. A waiver of notice shall be made a part of the minutes for the meeting.

D. A majority of the total membership of the assembly authorized by law constitutes a quorum. The assembly shall not transact any business if a quorum is not present.

E. The order of business at all regular meetings of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly shall be as follows:

1. Call to order;

2. Nonsectarian invocation;

3. Pledge of Allegiance;

4. Roll call;

5. Requests for removal of items from the consent agenda and any other procedural motions;

6. Citizens’ Comments. Citizens’ comments shall recess at 6:50 p.m. for public hearing.

a. A citizen may speak on an agenda item that is not scheduled on the agenda for public hearing except that citizens’ comments on board of adjustment matters are not permitted;

b. Citizens’ comments on items that are not scheduled on the agenda;

7. Approval of agenda and consent agenda:

a. Approval of consent agenda passes all items indicated by an asterisk on that agenda;

b. Consent agenda items are not considered separately except as provided in FNSBC 3.20.010(A)(7);

8. Approval of minutes;

9. Communications to the assembly:

a. Bid awards,

b. Contract awards,

c. Memoranda requiring concurrence of assembly;

10. Messages from the borough mayor;

11. Reports of standing and special committees;

12. Special orders – public hearing;

13. Consideration of calendar – unfinished business;

14. Citizens’ comments on items that are not scheduled for public hearing – continuation;

15. Consideration of calendar – new business:

a. Resolutions,

b. Ordinances to be referred to committee or commission,

c. Ordinances to be advanced;

16. Citizens’ comments on items that are not scheduled on the agenda – continuation;

17. Assemblymember’s comments;

18. Adjournment.

F. Special Orders. The assembly shall hear all interested persons wishing to be heard prior to enactment of an ordinance. Resolutions may also be scheduled for public hearing at the request of the sponsor or the presiding officer. Public hearing shall commence at the time specified in the public notice for each meeting, which shall be 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise determined by the presiding officer. If the assembly has not completed agenda items 1 through 8 as provided in subsection (E) of this section prior to the time for commencement of special orders – public hearing, the presiding officer shall suspend action on the unfinished items and shall commence public hearing at the time specified. Unfinished agenda items shall be resumed upon completion of public hearing on all items scheduled therefor. If the assembly has completed agenda items 1 through 8 as provided in subsection (E) of this section prior to the said time for public hearings, the presiding officer may take up other agenda items or may recess the assembly. In all cases, special orders – public hearing items shall be considered beginning at the time specified in the public notice for each meeting. Public hearing shall be heard in the manner provided in FNSBC 3.16.040 and this section. For each individual public hearing item, the order shall be:

1. Staff report (no assemblymember questions permitted);

2. Public testimony;

3. Debate and questions of staff;

4. Vote or other action.

G. Ordinances to be Referred to Committee or Commission. Ordinances scheduled for first reading may be referred under consent to a committee or commission for review prior to introduction and advancement. The committee or commission to which the ordinance is assigned will have 90 days or a date specified by the assembly to review and recommend back to the assembly action or amendments. If the ordinance is not referred back to the assembly within the time limit specified, or by another date specified by the assembly, the sponsor may ask the ordinance to be placed on the consent agenda for advancement to a public hearing. After an ordinance has been reviewed by a committee or commission, it will be placed on the consent agenda under the heading new business – ordinances to be advanced, and advanced to a date certain for a public hearing.

H. The original sponsor of an ordinance may request that an ordinance not be advanced for public hearing by signing a withdrawal notice prior to agenda closing in the office of the borough clerk.

I. Except as provided in this subsection, the assembly shall not transact any business after 11:30 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m.:

1. By majority vote the assembly may extend a meeting and transact business after 11:30 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. if the business transacted is the adoption of the borough budget or of the resolution establishing the amount which will be made available from local sources for education. After completion of said action, the assembly shall recess or take up other business.

2. This rule does not apply to a special meeting called in accordance with subsection (C) of this section.

J. By majority vote the assembly may recess from a public meeting work session, or other gathering of the assembly to an executive session if the assembly considers no business during the executive session except those subjects mentioned in the motion calling for the executive session and if the executive session is to discuss:

1. Subjects, the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an adverse effect on the finances of the borough; or

2. Subjects that tend to prejudice the reputation and character of any person, provided the person may request a public discussion; or

3. Subjects which by law, borough charter, or ordinances are required to be confidential;

4. Subjects involving consideration of government records that by law are not subject to public disclosure.

The motion to convene in executive session must clearly and with specificity describe the subject of the proposed executive session without defeating the purpose of addressing the subject in private. The assembly shall not take official action in an executive session, except to give direction to an attorney or labor negotiator regarding the handling of a specific legal matter or pending labor negotiations. The executive session shall be attended only by the voting members of the assembly and by such other persons as the presiding officer shall deem necessary.

K. The agenda for regular meetings shall be public information and the clerk shall cause the agenda to be published not later than 48 hours before the meeting.

L. The clerk shall make the agenda for a regular meeting available for each assemblymember and the mayor not later than 72 hours before the meeting.

M. The agenda may be amended at any time, as provided in these rules, or otherwise in the discretion of the presiding officer or the assembly.

N. Public notice of a regular meeting, committee meeting, or gathering of more than three assemblymembers, except a special meeting or special work session, shall be published in the following manner:

1. Posted at the entryway of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Juanita Helms Administration Center;

2. Printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner “Borough News” or other display advertisement; and

3. Posted on the borough web page.

O. All assemblymembers shall be notified of all regular meetings, committee meetings and other gatherings of the more than three assemblymembers. Reasonable efforts shall be made to notify all assemblymembers of special meetings and special work sessions. (Ord. 2016-40 §§ 15, 16, 2016; Ord. 2013-36 § 2, 2013; Ord. 2012-06 § 2, 2012; Ord. 2004-58 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2004-55 § 2, 2004; Ord. 2001-01 § 2, 2001; Ord. 2000-01 § 2, 2000; amended during 1993 republication; amended during June 1991 supplement; Ord. 90-001 § 2, 1990; Ord. 89-095 § 2, 1989; Ord. 86-088 § 2, 1986; Ord. 86-035 § 2, 1986. 2004 Code § 2.09.030.)

3.16.020 Assembly voting.

A. The title to an ordinance shall be included on the agenda and read before a public hearing is held and before a vote is taken. The clerk shall make copies of each ordinance available to all persons present at each meeting at which it is considered. If said copies are not available the ordinance shall be read in full.

B. Each assemblymember present shall vote on every question, unless required to abstain from voting on a question by a code of ethics adopted by ordinance or by the laws of the state of Alaska.

C. The presiding officer shall not allow an assemblymember to explain his vote or discuss the question while the “yeses” and “noes” are being called.

D. On completion of the roll call, the presiding officer shall ask if any assemblymember desires to change his vote and if an assemblymember does change his vote then the changed vote will be the assemblymember’s final vote on the question and the vote used to determine the results of the roll call. An assemblymember may only change his vote once on any given question. The final vote of each assemblymember on votes to adopt an ordinance shall be recorded “yes” or “no.” The final vote of each assemblymember on votes to adopt resolutions or substantive motions shall be recorded as “yes” or “no,” except that if the vote is unanimous it may be recorded “unanimous.”

E. The presiding officer shall then announce the number of “yes” votes, the number of “no” votes and whether the question has carried or has failed. No vote may be changed after the presiding officer commences the announcement.

F. At least a majority vote shall be required to carry any question.

G. A majority vote shall be five votes. A two-thirds vote shall be six votes. (Ord. 2004-58 § 3, 2004; Ord. 86-035 § 2, 1986. 2004 Code § 2.09.050.)

3.16.030 Conduct of debate and discussion.

A. When desiring to speak at an assembly meeting, the borough mayor, an assemblymember or a city representative delegate, shall respectfully address the chair, and shall refrain from speaking until recognized.

B. The presiding officer shall determine who shall speak first when two or more persons request recognition at the same time.

1. Each assemblymember shall have at least one opportunity to speak on each item before the assembly for a vote.

2. The assemblymember who introduced the ordinance or resolution may speak first and last.

C. The presiding officer shall preserve order and decorum at all times and shall make such rulings as may be necessary to preserve order and decorum. The presiding officer shall instruct the members of the public that the time available for public testimony will be limited as provided in these rules.

D. The presiding officer’s ruling on any matter shall stand unless an assemblymember challenges the ruling and the challenge is approved by a majority vote.

E. An assemblymember shall limit himself to speaking on the subject under debate and shall not refer to any other assemblymember except in a respectful manner. An assemblymember shall not impugn the motive of another assemblymember’s vote or argument.

F. The assembly shall be at order and shall not carry on private conversations when an assemblymember is speaking.

G. If an assemblymember transgresses the rules of the assembly, the presiding officer shall call him to order or another assemblymember may rise to a point of order. The assemblymember called to order shall immediately cease the action for which he was called to order. The presiding officer or assemblymember rising to a point of order shall state the offense committed and the assemblymember called to order shall then explain or justify his actions. The presiding officer shall then rule on the point of order.

H. The assemblymember making a motion on a subject before the assembly shall be given the opportunity to begin debate on the motion, but if the assemblymember making the motion does not begin debate then any assemblymember may do so.

I. The assembly may amend, repeal, rescind or reconsider an ordinance by enacting another ordinance.

J. A motion to reconsider may be applied to any ordinance, resolution, or action of the assembly and has precedence over all motions except the motion to adjourn. An assemblymember may make a motion to reconsider only if:

1. The assemblymember voted with the prevailing side on the question to be reconsidered. If an ordinance, resolution, or other action which is the subject of a motion to reconsider was not adopted on initial consideration because it did not receive the required number of yes votes, then those assemblymembers voting no shall constitute the prevailing side, regardless of the relative number of yes and no votes cast on the question. An assemblymember who changes his vote in accordance with these rules shall be a member of the side on which his vote is finally recorded by the clerk; and if

2. The assemblymember makes the motion to reconsider on the same day and at the same meeting at which the vote to be reconsidered was taken. Such a motion for reconsideration requires a two-thirds vote to carry; or if

3. The assemblymember files with the clerk not later than 5:00 p.m. on the first borough business day following the day on which the vote was taken, a notice of intent to reconsider and then makes the motion to reconsider at the next regular assembly meeting. The assemblymember can file by telephone; provided, that the notice of intent to reconsider is signed before the motion is considered. Such a motion for reconsideration requires a majority vote to carry. An assembly meeting which is recessed and reconvened on a different day shall constitute one meeting. The reconvened session of such a meeting shall not constitute the next regular assembly meeting as that term is used in this section.

Only one motion to reconsider shall be entertained on any ordinance, resolution or other action even if the assembly overturns the original action. If a motion to reconsider a particular ordinance, resolution, or other action fails, a second motion to reconsider the same action shall not be in order.

K. A motion to rescind may be applied to any previously adopted ordinance, resolution, or action of the assembly except:

1. When the question could be reached by a motion to reconsider; or

2. When something has been done, as a result of the vote on the main motion, that is impossible to undo or persons have otherwise reasonably relied on the vote to their detriment. (The unexecuted part of an action, however, can be rescinded); or

3. When the matter is in the nature of a contract, and the other party has been informed of the vote; or

4. When a resignation has been acted upon, or a person has been elected to or expelled from membership or office, and the person was present or has been officially notified of the action.

A motion to rescind may be made at any subsequent assembly meeting and there is no time limit on when the motion can be made. A pending motion to rescind shall effect the validity of an ordinance, resolution, or other action. A motion to rescind shall not be renewed during the same meeting at which it was made, but it may be reconsidered in the same manner as any other main motion.

A motion to rescind yields to all privileged, subsidiary and incidental motions and it requires the same vote as that required to pass the previously adopted action. There shall be no more than one motion to rescind on a question. If the motion to rescind passes, the question on the main motion is automatically before the assembly for further action, including amendment. (Ord. 2000-01 § 3, 2000; amended during 1993 republication; amended during June 1991 supplement; Ord. 86-035 § 2, 1986. 2004 Code § 2.09.060.)

3.16.040 Rules for public testimony.

A. Rules Applicable to Citizens’ Comments. Citizens’ comments shall be heard in the manner provided in subsections (A) and (C) of this section. Each person’s comments shall be limited to three minutes unless a different time is designated by the presiding officer. A person who has previously spoken at a meeting during citizens’ comments may not speak again unless all other persons desiring to speak have been heard and time scheduled for citizens’ comments remains available. A person speaking a second time may only do so for one minute, unless the presiding officer designates a different time.

B. Rules Applicable to Public Hearing.

1. The presiding officer shall permit all persons desiring to speak on an item scheduled for public hearing to speak for not more than three minutes when the item is called. The person who has signed an application to rezone real property, or his representative, may speak during public hearing on the rezone request for not more than 10 minutes.

2. The presiding officer may alter the times specified in this subsection, so long as the alteration does not unreasonably deny any person an opportunity to speak at the public hearing.

3. The clerk shall make available sign-up sheets on which persons desiring to speak on items scheduled for public hearing may indicate their desire. The presiding officer shall request comments from persons in the order in which they have signed up on said sheets, and then shall take comments from all other persons desiring to make them.

4. No person who has previously spoken during the public hearing on a particular item may speak again unless all other persons desiring to give testimony at the public hearing have spoken. A person speaking for a second time shall give testimony for not more than one minute, unless the presiding officer designates a different time.

5. No person may speak on an item after public hearing on that item has terminated, unless the presiding officer determines otherwise.

C. Rules Applicable to Both Citizens’ Comments and Public Hearings.

1. No person shall speak during an assembly meeting until that person is recognized by the presiding officer. Upon recognition that person shall position himself or herself as directed by the presiding officer and shall state his or her full name, spelling the last name, and his or her neighborhood or place of residence.

2. All persons shall immediately cease speaking when notified by the presiding officer that the allotted time has expired.

3. Citizens giving testimony may ask questions of the assemblymembers or the mayor during their testimony on a public hearing item. The presiding officer may request an answer to a factual question from a citizen, asked during the three minutes of testimony, should the question and answer be useful to the item at issue, or desirable for public understanding of the issue, in the view of the presiding officer. Assemblymembers or the mayor may ask questions of citizens giving testimony. Assemblymembers shall refrain from using question formats to engage in discussion or statements to the person testifying. The time allotted to a citizen for public testimony shall be extended automatically to provide additional time which is reasonably sufficient to answer all questions posed by the assemblymembers and the mayor.

4. All writings, photographs, plats, maps or other items presented by a citizen during public testimony for consideration by the assembly shall be retained by the clerk and affixed to the record of the proceedings.

5. Citizens may present written testimony by filing said testimony with the clerk at or before the time scheduled for public hearing on the item or the time scheduled for citizens, comments if the item is not scheduled for public hearing.

D. A citizen, acting alone or with a group, shall not disrupt an assembly meeting. (Ord. 2018-10 § 2, 2018; Ord. 2000-01 § 4, 2000; amended during 1993 republication; Ord. 86-035 § 2, 1986. 2004 Code § 2.09.080.)

3.16.050 Interpretation, application, and suspension of assembly rules of procedure.

A. FNSBC 3.04.040, 3.12.020, and this chapter comprise the rules of procedure of the assembly, which is a legislative body vested by law with the legislative power of the borough. As such, the presiding officer’s decision on a question of interpretation or application of these rules of procedure shall be final, unless overturned by the assembly as provided in these rules, in which case the assembly’s decision shall be final, and no action or proceeding to challenge the validity of said final decision shall lie in any judicial or other forum.

B. Any procedural question concerning the functioning of the assembly which is not addressed in these rules shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. However, if any provision of these rules shall conflict with a provision of Robert’s Rules of Order, these rules shall control. The clerk shall maintain a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order which shall be the official edition utilized by the assembly.

The clerk shall change editions from time to time, as he or she deems necessary, in order to keep the assembly’s rules reasonably updated.

C. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the assembly may suspend the application of these rules to a particular item of business or until a time certain by vote of a two-thirds majority. If the duration of the suspension of the rules is not limited as provided above, the suspension shall remain in effect for the duration of the meeting at which the rules were suspended. If a meeting is recessed and reconvened on another day, the suspension shall remain in effect at the reconvened meeting. The assembly may reinstate the rules at any time by vote of a two-thirds majority. (Amended during 1993 republication; amended during June 1991 supplement; Ord. 86-035 § 2, 1986. 2004 Code § 2.09.090.)

3.16.060 Teleconferencing.

A. A member of the assembly may participate in and vote at a regular meeting, special meeting, finance committee, excluding annual budget meetings, or work session of the assembly by teleconference (e.g., telephone, videoconferencing, or similar technology) under the following circumstances:

1. The meeting or work session is held with a quorum of members physically present.

2. Reasonable technical capabilities are available at the meeting location to allow participation by teleconference, to include being able to hear and engage in discussion and being audible to all persons participating in the meeting.

3. Prior to the meeting, reasonable efforts are made to ensure the member participating by teleconference is provided with the meeting agenda and other pertinent documents to be discussed and/or acted upon. Access to the agenda and documents from the borough’s website or assembly email is considered sufficient access.

4. An assemblymember is participating by teleconference due to:

a. An illness or injury of the assemblymember or family member.

b. The death of a family member.

c. An employment-related commitment.

d. A commitment for borough business.

e. Other similar circumstances as determined by the presiding officer, deputy presiding officer, or finance committee chair, as applicable.

B. Assemblymembers shall provide the clerk’s office with at least 24 hours’ notice of their intent to participate by teleconference and provide contact information for purposes of setting up the teleconference.

C. No more than the first three members to contact the clerk’s office requesting participation by teleconference at a particular meeting may participate remotely. Notwithstanding other provisions herein, all members may participate by teleconference in a special meeting called to consider an emergency action.

D. Assemblymembers are responsible for any charges incurred due to their participation by teleconference in a meeting unless he or she is absent from the community on borough business.

E. Assemblymembers participating via teleconference shall make every effort to participate in the entire meeting. From time to time during the meeting, the presiding officer or clerk shall confirm the connection, and will disconnect the remote member if that member, the assembly, and the public are not clearly audible to one another. All votes taken at the meeting are by roll call.

F. Assemblymembers shall not participate in an executive session or board of adjustment proceeding by teleconference.

G. Assemblymembers may participate by teleconference in regular meetings two times per calendar year unless the assemblymember is participating by teleconference due to an illness or injury of the assemblymember or family member. Newly elected members may only attend by teleconference after attending at least three regular meetings in person.

H. An assemblymember may not preside over or chair a meeting in which he or she is participating by teleconference. (Ord. 2016-50 § 2, 2016.)