Chapter 2.10
ASSEMBLY PROCEDURES

Sections:

2.10.010    Procedures of the assembly.

2.10.020    Order of business.

2.10.030    Agenda.

2.10.040    Minutes.

2.10.050    Assembly rules – Amendment, suspension and violation.

2.10.060    Assembly rules – Speaking, rules of conduct.

2.10.070    Motions – Putting questions in order moved.

2.10.080    Point of order.

2.10.090    Motions – Second required.

2.10.100    Motions – Disposition, withdrawal.

2.10.110    Motions – Question under debate – Motions received.

2.10.120    Motions – Division of question.

2.10.130    Parliamentary inquiries of presiding officer.

2.10.140    Motions – Ordering of previous question.

2.10.150    Motions – Reduction to writing.

2.10.160    Motions – Amending amendments.

2.10.170    Motion to reconsider.

2.10.180    Motions – Rescinding vote.

2.10.190    Voting.

2.10.200    Quorum – Voting.

2.10.210    Mayor’s vote.

2.10.220    Veto.

2.10.230    Duties of the clerk at assembly meetings.

2.10.240    Vacancies.

2.10.250    Filling of vacancy.

2.10.260    Removal from office.

2.10.010 Procedures of the assembly.

A. The mayor shall preside at all meetings of the assembly. The mayor shall preserve order and decorum among the assembly members and is responsible for the conduct of all meetings in compliance with the rules of the assembly. The mayor may at any time make such rules as the mayor deems proper to preserve order among the spectators in the assembly chambers during sessions of the assembly.

B. The mayor may speak to points of order in preference to other members and shall decide on all points of order, subject to appeal to the assembly by a motion duly seconded as herein provided. The mayor may at any time call any member to the chair during any meeting, such substitution to discontinue when the mayor elects to resume the chair, and in no event beyond adjournment of the meeting at which such substitution is made.

C. The mayor shall designate one assembly member as deputy mayor. In the temporary absence or disability of the mayor, the deputy mayor shall exercise all the powers of the mayor and may also vote.

D. Regular and special assembly meetings shall adjourn no later than 10:00 p.m. unless waived by at least four affirmative votes. If a meeting has not yet adjourned, the assembly shall vote by 9:30 p.m. on whether to continue the meeting until the remaining agenda items are addressed or to reschedule the remaining agenda items to a future meeting agenda. (Ord. 13-07-336 § 4)

2.10.020 Order of business.

The assembly shall establish an agenda format to address the appropriate order of business. The format may vary according to the needs of the regular or special meeting and shall identify each agenda item that may be acted upon with sufficient descriptions that a reasonable person would understand the topic or subject. The following order of business shall be in general use:

A. Call to order;

B. Pledge to flag;

C. Roll call;

D. Approval of agenda/consent agenda;

E. Approval of minutes;

F. Public comments;

G. Assembly comments;

H. Mayor’s comments/report;

I. Public hearings;

J. Staff/facility reports;

K. Committee/commission/board reports and minutes;

L. Unfinished business;

M. New business:

1. Resolutions;

2. Ordinances for introduction;

3. Other new business;

N. Correspondence;

O. Set meeting dates;

P. Public comments;

Q. Announcements/assembly comments;

R. Adjournment. (Ord. 16-08-442 § 4; Ord. 09-09-217 § 4)

2.10.030 Agenda.

A. Regular and Special Assembly Meetings. All reports, communications, ordinances, resolutions, contract documents, or other matters to be submitted to the assembly shall be delivered to the clerk by the deadlines stipulated in the current assembly-approved agenda preparation schedule. The mayor, with assistance from the clerk, shall arrange a list of such matters according to the order of business and the clerk shall furnish each member of the assembly, the mayor, manager and chief fiscal officer with a copy of the same in packet form five calendar days in advance of the assembly meeting. Packets may also be prepared as necessary for other officers, department heads, and members of the press or other interested parties.

B. Work Sessions. Any matter to be considered by the assembly in work sessions shall be listed in agenda form by the clerk and be given to the assembly at least 48 hours prior to said work session. Any written material for the assembly’s use during the work session shall be furnished by the clerk to the assembly, mayor and manager and any other interested officer, department head or person as directed by the mayor. Reasonable public notice for work sessions of the assembly shall be given.

C. Consent Agenda. The following may be included under a consent agenda:

1. Ordinances for introduction;

2. Resolutions; and

3. Other items requiring assembly action which do not involve substantial public policy questions.

Included with the agenda shall be such supplemental information as may be necessary to explain each item on the consent agenda and shall include a specific recommendation for assembly action on each item. Prior to approval of the consent agenda, members of the assembly and other interested persons shall be provided an opportunity to request removal of an item from the consent agenda. If an item is removed, it shall be placed under the appropriate regular agenda item for assembly consideration. Upon adoption of a motion to approve the consent agenda, all consent agenda items are adopted, and minutes of the meeting shall reflect the action taken on each item. (Ord. 12-07-298 § 4; Ord. 11-11-277 § 4)

2.10.040 Minutes.

A. Minutes of all regular and special meetings shall be taken by the clerk or the clerk’s designee. Audio recording shall also be made of these meetings. Summary notes shall be taken by the manager or committee chair at each assembly work session or committee of the assembly and a report given on the work session or committee meeting at the next regular borough assembly meeting. All approved minutes of regular and special meetings shall be kept by the clerk in the journal of the proceedings of the assembly. All minutes of the assembly shall be distributed by the clerk to the public desiring the same after payment of standard posted copying charges, plus postage and handling costs if delivered by mail.

B. Unless a reading of the minutes of an assembly meeting is requested by a member of the assembly, such minutes may be approved without a reading if the clerk has previously provided each member a copy thereof.

C. An assembly member may request through the mayor the privilege of having a verbatim record of the member’s statement on any subject under consideration by the assembly entered in the minutes. Unless a majority of the assembly members object to any such request, such statement shall be entered in the minutes.

D. The clerk, unless directed otherwise by the mayor, and with the consent of the assembly, will always enter in the minutes any action, by motion, taken by the assembly. A vote by the assembly on any subject must be recorded in the minutes of the assembly meeting by the clerk.

E. Audio recordings shall be made of all executive sessions held by the borough assembly.

1. Recordings of those sessions will be sealed by the clerk and placed in a secure area to be retained according to the borough’s records retention schedule.

2. The record may be heard by the mayor or a member of the assembly who did not attend the executive session, provided it was an excused absence and the recording is discretely heard only within the borough administration office.

3. No portion of the record of an executive session of the borough assembly shall be open for public inspection or subject to discovery in any administrative or judicial proceeding, except upon a super-majority consent of the assembly or by court order. (Ord. 14-02-367 § 4; Ord. 07-10-170)

2.10.050 Assembly rules – Amendment, suspension and violation.

A. In all matters of parliamentary procedure not covered in the rules of the assembly, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be applicable and govern.

B. The borough assembly rules and order of business shall be observed in all cases, unless suspended temporarily for a special purpose by a vote of the majority of assembly members present. Any member may move at any time for the suspension of any rule, and such motion must be seconded to entitle it to consideration.

C. If any member, in speaking or otherwise, transgresses the rules of the assembly, the presiding officer shall, or any member can, call that member to order; in which case the member so called to order shall immediately cease discussion unless permitted by the presiding officer to explain; and the assembly, if appealed to, shall decide the question without debate. If the decision be in favor of the member so called to order, the member shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, the member shall not proceed without leave of the assembly to proceed in order. (Ord. 11-11-277 § 5)

2.10.060 Assembly rules – Speaking, rules of conduct.

A. A member about to speak shall respectfully address the presiding officer, and shall not commence to speak until recognized by the presiding officer. When two or more members request to speak at the same time, the presiding officer shall determine which one is recognized.

B. Every member while speaking shall speak only to the subject under debate, shall refrain from personalities, and shall not refer to any other member of the assembly except in a respectful manner.

C. Unless a member who has the floor yields for that purpose, no member shall interrupt another while speaking, except to propound a parliamentary inquiry or make a point of order.

D. A member or the borough manager may speak more than once to the same question at the same stage of proceedings; provided, that priority of access to the floor shall be given to members who have not spoken on the question. Members shall endeavor to provide the body with relevant facts and arguments and shall strive to avoid redundancy.

E. Asking Questions. After obtaining recognition from the chair, a member may ask direct questions of another member of the assembly or to a person appearing before the assembly. The questions may not be argumentative.

F. No appeal from any decision of the presiding officer shall be entertained unless it is seconded, and no other business shall be in order until the question on appeal has been decided. The question on the appeal is not debatable and shall be put as follows: “Shall the decision of the presiding officer stand as the judgment of the assembly?” It shall be deemed to be decided in the affirmative unless a majority of the votes given are to the contrary. (Ord. 11-11-277 § 6)

2.10.070 Motions – Putting questions in order moved.

The presiding officer shall put all questions in the order in which they are moved unless a subsequent motion shall be previous in its nature except, in naming sums and fixing times, the largest sum and the longest time shall be put first.

2.10.080 Point of order.

Any member may make a point of order without a second at any time. The presiding officer may speak to points of order in preference to other members, and shall decide all such questions, subject to appeal to the assembly by motion duly seconded; and no other business shall be in order until the question on the appeal has been decided.

2.10.090 Motions – Second required.

All motions shall require a second, unless otherwise provided by special rule.

2.10.100 Motions – Disposition, withdrawal.

After a motion is stated or read by the presiding officer, it shall be deemed to be in the possession of the assembly and shall be disposed of by vote, but the mover may withdraw it at any time before decision or amendment, by consent of the second.

2.10.110 Motions – Question under debate – Motions received.

A. When a question is under debate, the presiding officer shall receive any of the following motions but no other:

1. To adjourn;

2. To recess;

3. To raise a question of privilege;

4. To call for the order of the day, or the regular order;

5. To lay on the table;

6. For the previous question;

7. To limit or extend limits of debate;

8. To postpone to a certain time;

9. To refer;

10. To amend;

11. To postpone indefinitely.

B. When one of the above motions has been made, none of the others inferior to it in the order in which they stand above shall be made, and in proceeding to vote, motions pending shall be put in the order of their rank as above arranged. The first seven are not subject to debate.

A motion to postpone to a certain time, refer, amend, or to postpone indefinitely may be amended; the previous question may be demanded before an amendment, which motion shall be decided without debate. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order; provided, that business of a nature to be recorded in the journal has been transacted since any previous motion to adjourn has been defeated. No motion or proposition of a subject different to that under consideration shall be admitted under color of an amendment.

C. When a matter has been especially assigned to be taken up at a fixed time, or at a certain stage of proceedings, such matter shall, at the appointed time or at any time subsequent thereto, be in order upon the call of any member, and take precedence over all other business.

2.10.120 Motions – Division of question.

Any member may require the division of a question, when the sense of it will admit.

2.10.130 Parliamentary inquiries of presiding officer.

Any member may make a parliamentary inquiry of the presiding officer at any time during the meeting.

2.10.140 Motions – Ordering of previous question.

When the previous question is moved by any member, all debate on the main question shall be suspended immediately and the presiding officer shall put the question in the following form: The previous question is moved on (specifying the motion on which the previous question is demanded). As many as are in favor of ordering the previous question will so indicate. If the majority assent, the affirmative has it, the previous question is ordered, and the presiding officer will proceed immediately to put to a vote the question on which the previous question is ordered. If less than the majority so indicates, the negative has it, the motion is lost, and the question reverts to the immediately pending question which is again open to debate and amendment as if the previous question had not been demanded.

2.10.150 Motions – Reduction to writing.

Any motion must be reduced to writing if the presiding officer so requires or any member so demands, and no other motion shall be entertained until reasonable time (not over 10 minutes) is afforded for compliance with this rule.

2.10.160 Motions – Amending amendments.

A motion to amend an amendment shall be in order; but a motion to amend an amendment to an amendment shall not be entertained.

2.10.170 Motion to reconsider.

When a vote has been taken either passing or defeating any proposition or legislation, any assembly member who voted on the prevailing side may move for reconsideration at the same meeting or at the next succeeding meeting whenever motions are in order; provided, that the subject matter has not passed out of the control of the assembly. The term “prevailing side” includes the negative side which has prevailed because the affirmative side has failed to muster the requisite number of votes required for passage of the measure. A motion to reconsider requires a majority of affirmative votes and, if it prevails, the subject shall be open to debate and amendment in the same manner as the original question. Debates on motions to reconsider shall be limited to 25 minutes and no member shall speak for more than five minutes. No measure shall be reconsidered more than once.

2.10.180 Motions – Rescinding vote.

Any previous vote may be rescinded by vote of the majority of the assembly at any time, provided the subject has not passed out of the control of the assembly.

2.10.190 Voting.

A. The presiding officer shall declare all votes; but if any member doubts a vote, the presiding officer, without further debate upon the question, shall request the members voting in the affirmative and negative respectively to so indicate, and the presiding officer shall declare the result.

B. The vote upon all matters considered by the assembly shall be taken by “yes” or “no” votes which shall be entered upon the record, except that when the vote is unanimous, it shall be necessary only to so state.

C. Each member who shall be present when a question is put, where the member is not disqualified by personal interest, shall vote, unless the presiding officer for special reason excuses the member. Applications to be so excused must be made before the vote, and shall be decided without debate. The assembly may overrule the presiding officer’s decision by majority vote.

D. Anything in this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, in all cases where a super majority is not required, and when no motion is before the assembly, the presiding officer may, in lieu of calling for or awaiting a motion to be made, put the question in the following form: “Without objection, it will be so ordered.” If no objection is heard, the presiding officer shall announce: “It is so ordered,” which will have the same effect as if a motion to that effect had been made and voted upon favorably. If a single objection is reasonably expressed when the question is put, the presiding officer shall not proceed further under this subsection, but instead shall call for a motion, which motion shall be handled in the regular manner.

2.10.200 Quorum – Voting.

A. Four assembly members constitute a quorum. Four affirmative votes, by either four assembly members or three assembly members on a tie vote, plus the vote of the mayor, are required for the passage of an ordinance, resolution, or motion, excepting the provisions for filling of vacancy and emergency ordinances provided for in this title.

B. Except when adopted as part of a consent agenda, the final vote on each ordinance, resolution, or substantive motion is a recorded roll call vote. All assembly members present shall vote unless the presiding officer, for special reasons, permits a member to abstain. (See HBC 2.10.190(C).) A member of the assembly is considered present for the purposes of a quorum if the member is disqualified from voting or is allowed to abstain by law. Attendance at regular and special assembly meetings by long-distance teleconferencing may be utilized to establish a quorum for voting or to allow attendance by an absent assembly member at the member’s request, providing costs of long-distance teleconference are borne by the assembly member unless prior arrangements are made. (Ord. 13-03-317 § 4; Ord. 12-07-298 § 5; Ord. 12-04-287 § 4)

2.10.210 Mayor’s vote.

The mayor is not an assembly member and may vote only in the case of a tie.

2.10.220 Veto.

The mayor may veto any ordinance, resolution, motion, or other action of the assembly and may, by veto, strike or reduce items in appropriation ordinances. The veto does not extend to:

A. Adoption or repeal of a manager plan of government;

B. Actions of the board of equalization or the board of adjustment;

C. The appointment or dismissal of personnel;

D. An ordinance adopted under AS 04.11.498.

The veto must be exercised and submitted to the assembly with a written explanation prior to or at the next assembly meeting. A veto may be overridden by a super majority of affirmative votes of the assembly within 21 days following the exercise of the veto. The mayor’s failure to sign a legislative measure shall not constitute a veto.

2.10.230 Duties of the clerk at assembly meetings.

The clerk shall give notice of borough assembly meetings, shall attend all meetings of the assembly and keep the journal of its proceedings, and shall authenticate by the clerk’s signature and record in full in a book or file kept for that purpose all ordinances and resolutions duly indexed and open to public inspection. In case of the temporary absence of the clerk, the assembly may appoint a clerk pro tempore, with all the powers, duties and obligations of the clerk, who shall be duly qualified.

2.10.240 Vacancies.

The assembly shall declare an elective office, other than the office of mayor, vacant when the person elected:

A. Fails to qualify or take office within 30 days after election or appointment;

B. Is physically absent from the borough for 90 consecutive days unless excused by the assembly;

C. Resigns and the resignation is accepted;

D. Is physically absent or mentally unable to perform the duties as determined by two-thirds vote of the assembly;

E. Is convicted of either a felony or an offense that involves a violation of the oath of office;

F. Is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor described in AS 15.56 and two-thirds of the members of the assembly concur in expelling the person elected;

G. Is convicted of a violation of AS 15.13;

H. No longer physically resides in the borough and the assembly by two-thirds vote declares the seat vacant;

I. Misses three consecutive regular meetings and is not excused; or

J. Misses 10 regular or special meetings in a calendar year and is not excused by the assembly.

2.10.250 Filling of vacancy.

A. If a vacancy occurs in the assembly, the assembly by roll call vote of a majority of its remaining members shall, within 30 days, appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy. If less than 30 days remain in the term of the vacant seat, the vacancy may not be filled.

B. Notwithstanding subsection (A) of this section, if the membership is reduced to fewer than the number required to constitute a quorum, the remaining members shall, within seven days, appoint a number of qualified persons to constitute a quorum.

C. A person appointed under this section serves until the next regular election, when a successor shall be elected to serve the balance of the term. The appointed person shall serve until the successor is seated. (Ord. 12-04-287 § 5)

2.10.260 Removal from office.

The mayor or any assembly member may be removed from office for any cause specified by applicable state law for the removal of officers, and in the manner prescribed thereby, or recall as provided by statute.