Chapter 2.04
COUNCIL MEETINGS

Sections:

2.04.010    Regular meetings – Required.

2.04.020    Regular meetings – Time and place.

2.04.030    Special meetings.

2.04.040    Meetings to be public.

2.04.050    Agenda.

2.04.060    Order of business.

2.04.070    Minutes – Preparation.

2.04.080    Minutes – Reading.

2.04.090    Correspondence – Availability to the public.

2.04.100    Correspondence – Authority of city clerk.

2.04.110    Presiding officer – Designated.

2.04.120    Presiding officer – Powers and duties.

2.04.130    Rules of debate.

2.04.140    Entry of statement of councilman into record.

2.04.150    Rules of order – Designated.

2.04.160    Rules of order – Failure to observe.

2.04.170    Addressing the council.

2.04.180    Protest against council action.

2.04.190    Rules of decorum – Designated.

2.04.200    Rules of decorum – Enforcement.

2.04.210    Motions.

2.04.220    Voting – Procedure.

2.04.230    Voting – Disqualification for conflict of interest.

2.04.240    Voting – Failure to vote.

2.04.250    Voting – Tie vote.

2.04.260    Voting – Changing vote.

2.04.270    Voting – Reconsideration.

2.04.280    Ordinances, resolutions and contracts – Preparation.

2.04.290    Ordinances, resolutions and contracts – Prior review and comment by administrative staff.

2.04.300    Reading of ordinances and resolutions.

2.04.010 Regular meetings – Required.

The city council shall hold regular meetings. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.020 Regular meetings – Time and place.

A. The regular meetings of the city council shall be held on the first and third Mondays of each month.

B. All meetings of the city council shall be held at the hour of 7:30 p.m.

C. The meetings of the city council shall be held at 442 Main Street, in the council chambers of City Hall. (Ord. 87 §§ 1 – 3, 1982)

2.04.030 Special meetings.

Special meetings may be called at any time by the mayor, or by a majority of the members of the city council, by delivering personally or by mail written notice to each councilman and to each local newspaper of general circulation, radio or television station requesting notice in writing. Such notice must be delivered personally or by mail at least 24 hours before the time of such meeting as specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted. No other business shall be considered at such meetings. Such written notice may be dispensed with for any councilman who, at or prior to the time the meeting convenes, files with the city clerk a written waiver of notice. Such waiver may be given by telegram. Such written notice may also be dispensed with for any councilman who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.040 Meetings to be public.

A. All regular and special meetings of the city council shall be public; provided, however, the city council may hold executive sessions during a regular or special meeting, from which the public may be excluded, for the purpose of considering the matters referred to in Section 54957 of the Government Code of the state.

B. No member of the city council, employee of the city, or any other person present during an executive session of the council shall disclose to any person the content or substance of any discussions which took place during said executive sessions unless the city council authorizes the disclosure of such information by a majority vote. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.050 Agenda.

All reports, communications, ordinances, resolutions, contract documents or other matters to be submitted to the city council at a regular meeting shall be delivered to the city clerk not later than 12:00 noon on the Thursday preceding the meeting. The city clerk shall prepare the agenda of all such matters. The agenda shall be delivered to the councilmen on the Friday preceding the Monday council meeting to which it pertains and shall be made available to the public no later than 8:30 a.m. on the day of the meeting. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.060 Order of business.

A. The business of the city council shall be taken up for consideration and disposition in the following order:

1. Pledge of allegiance;

2. Call to order and roll call;

3. Approval of the minutes;

4. Special presentations;

5. Public hearings;

6. Ordinances for introduction;

7. Ordinances for adoption;

8. Resolutions for adoption;

9. Current business;

10. Additional business;

11. Communications and referrals;

12. Claims for damages;

13. Budget amendments;

14. Licenses and permits;

15. Communications and advisory matters;

16. Council statements and requests;

17. Oral communications from the audience;

18. Adjournment.

B. The order of business shall not be changed except by majority vote of the city council. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.070 Minutes – Preparation.

The city clerk shall have exclusive responsibility for preparation of the minutes, and any directions for changes in the minutes shall be made only by a majority action of the city council. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.080 Minutes – Reading.

Unless the reading of the minutes or a council meeting is ordered by a majority vote of the council, such minutes may be approved without reading if the city clerk has previously furnished each councilman with a copy. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.090 Correspondence – Availability to the public.

Correspondence addressed to the city council which is received by the city clerk or any other officer or employee of the city shall not become a public record until received and filed by the council at a regular, special or adjourned meeting of the council. Correspondence received in the city clerk’s office or other offices after 12:00 noon on the Tuesday preceding a regular council meeting shall not be placed on the agenda unless it concerns a matter to be considered by the council at the next regular meeting or is determined by the mayor or the city clerk to be an urgent matter which should be brought to the immediate attention of the council. Correspondence shall not be read aloud at a council meeting unless requested by a majority vote of the council. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.100 Correspondence – Authority of city clerk.

The city clerk is authorized to open and examine all mail or other written communications addressed to the city council, to give it immediate attention, to the end that all administrative business referred to in the communications and not necessarily requiring council action may be acted upon between council meetings. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.110 Presiding officer – Designated.

A. The mayor shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the city council. In the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tempore shall preside. In the absence of both the mayor and the mayor pro tempore, the city clerk shall call the council to order, whereupon a temporary presiding officer shall be elected by the councilmen present to serve until the arrival of the mayor or the mayor pro tempore or until adjournment.

B. Wherever in this chapter “mayor” is used, it shall apply equally to the presiding officer as defined in this section. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.120 Presiding officer – Powers and duties.

The presiding officer of the city council shall have the following powers and duties:

A. Participation. The presiding officer may move, second, debate and vote from the chair.

B. Seating Arrangement for City Council. The mayor, following each councilmanic election and at such other time as he may deem it necessary, shall establish the seating arrangement of the members of the council. The mayor pro tempore shall always be seated immediately next to the mayor.

C. Questions to Be Stated. The presiding officer, or such member of the city staff as he may designate, shall verbally restate each question immediately prior to calling for the vote. Following the vote, the city clerk shall announce whether the question carried or was defeated. The presiding officer, in his discretion, may publicly explain the effect of a vote for the audience, or he may direct a member of the city staff to do so, before proceeding to the next item of business.

D. Signing of Documents. The presiding officer shall sign all ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other documents necessitating his signature which were adopted in his presence, unless he is unavailable, in which case the signature of an alternate presiding officer may be used.

E. Sworn Testimony. The presiding officer may require any person addressing the city council to be sworn as a witness and to testify under oath, and the presiding officer shall so require if directed to do so by a majority vote of the council. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.130 Rules of debate.

A. Getting the Floor. Every councilman desiring to speak shall first address the chair and gain recognition by the presiding officer, and shall confine himself to the question under debate, avoiding personalities and indecorous language.

B. Questions to Staff. Every councilman desiring to question the city staff, after recognition by the presiding officer, shall address his questions to the city clerk, or the city attorney, who shall be entitled either to answer the inquiry himself or to designate a member of his staff for that purpose.

C. Interruptions. A councilman, once recognized, shall not be interrupted when speaking unless called to order by the presiding officer, unless a point of order or personal privilege is raised by another councilman, or unless the speaker chooses to yield to a question by another councilman. If a councilman, while speaking, is called to order, he shall cease speaking until the question of order is determined and, if determined to be in order, he may proceed. Members of the city staff, after recognition by the presiding officer, shall hold the floor until completion of their remarks or until recognition is withdrawn by the presiding officer.

D. Points of Order. The presiding officer shall determine all points of order subject to the right of any councilman to appeal to the council. If an appeal is taken, the question shall be, “Shall the decision of the presiding officer be sustained?” A majority vote shall conclusively determine such question of order.

E. Point of Personal Privilege. The right of a councilman to address the council on a question of personal privilege shall be limited to cases in which his integrity, character or motives are questioned or where the welfare of the council is concerned. A councilman raising a point of personal privilege may interrupt another councilman who has the floor only if the presiding officer recognizes the privilege.

F. Privilege of Closing Debate. The councilman moving the adoption of an ordinance, resolution or motion shall have the privilege of closing debate.

G. Limitation of Debate. No councilman shall be allowed to speak more than once upon any particular subject until every other councilman desiring to do so has spoken. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.140 Entry of statement of councilman into record.

A councilman may request through the presiding officer the privilege of having an abstract of his statement on any subject under consideration by the council entered in the minutes. If the council consents thereto, such statement shall be entered in the minutes. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.150 Rules of order – Designated.

Except as provided in this code, the city charter, other rules adopted by the city council, or applicable provisions of state law, the procedures of the council shall be governed by the latest revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.160 Rules of order – Failure to observe.

Rules adopted to expedite the transaction of the business of the council in an orderly fashion are deemed to be procedural only and the failure to strictly observe such rules shall not affect the jurisdiction of the council or invalidate any action taken at a meeting that is otherwise held in conformity with law. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.170 Addressing the council.

A. Each person desiring to address the council shall stand, state his name and address for the record, state the subject he wishes to discuss, state whom he is representing if he represents an organization or other persons, and, unless further time is granted by majority vote of the council, shall limit his remarks to five minutes. All remarks shall be addressed to the council as a whole and not to any member thereof. No questions shall be asked a councilman or a member of the city staff without the permission of the presiding officer.

B. In order to expedite matters and to avoid repetitious presentations, whenever a group of persons wishes to address the council on the same subject matter, it shall be proper for the presiding officer to request that a spokesman be chosen by the group to address the council and, in case additional matters are to be presented by any other member of the group, to limit the number of such persons addressing the council.

C. After a motion has been made or a public hearing has been closed, no member of the public shall address the council from the audience on the matter under consideration without first securing permission to do so by a majority vote of the city council. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.180 Protest against council action.

Any councilman shall have the right to have the reasons for his dissent from, or his protest against, any action of the council entered in the minutes. Such dissent or protest to be entered in the minutes shall be made in the following manner:

I would like the minutes to show that I am opposed to this action for the following reasons...

The councilman shall approve the form and contents of the abstract as he intends to record it before it is made a part of the record. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.190 Rules of decorum – Designated.

A. Council Members. While the city council is in session, the members must preserve order and decorum, and a member shall neither, by conversation or otherwise, delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the council nor disturb any member while speaking or refuse to obey the orders of the presiding officer. Members of the council shall not leave their seats during a meeting without first obtaining the permission of the presiding officer.

B. Employees. Members of the city staff and employees shall observe the same rules of order and decorum as are applicable to the city council, with the exception that members of the city staff may leave their seats during a meeting without first obtaining the permission of the presiding officer.

C. Persons Addressing the Council. Any person making impertinent, slanderous or profane remarks, or who becomes boisterous while addressing the council, shall be called to order by the presiding officer, and, if such conduct continues, may at the discretion of the presiding officer be ordered barred from further audience before the council during that meeting.

D. Members of the Audience. Any person in the audience who engages in disorderly conduct such as hand clapping, stamping of feet, whistling, using profane language, yelling and similar demonstrations, which conduct disturbs the peace and good order of the meeting, or who refuses to comply with the lawful orders of the presiding officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon instructions from the presiding officer, it shall be the duty of the sergeant at arms to remove any such person from the council chamber and to place him under arrest. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.200 Rules of decorum – Enforcement.

The chief of police, or such member or members of the police department as he may designate, shall be sergeant at arms of the city council and shall carry out all orders given by the presiding officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the council meetings. Any councilman may move to require the presiding officer to enforce the rules and the affirmative vote of a majority of the council shall require him to do so. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.210 Motions.

A motion by any member of the council, including the presiding officer, may be considered by the council without receiving a second. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.220 Voting – Procedure.

Any vote of the council, including a roll call vote, may be registered by the members by answering “yes” for an affirmative vote or “no” for a negative vote, upon his name being called by the city clerk. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.230 Voting – Disqualification for conflict of interest.

Any councilman who is disqualified from voting on a particular matter by reason of a conflict of interest shall publicly state or have the presiding officer state the nature of such disqualification in open meeting. Where no clearly disqualifying conflict of interest appears, the matter of disqualification may, at the request of the councilman affected, be decided by the other councilmen. A councilman who is disqualified by reason of a conflict of interest in any matter shall not remain in his seat during the debate and vote on such matter, but shall request and be given the permission of the presiding officer to step down from the council table and leave the council chamber. A councilman stating such disqualification shall not be counted as a part of a quorum and shall be considered absent for the purpose of determining the outcome of any vote on such matter. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.240 Voting – Failure to vote.

Every councilman shall vote unless disqualified by reason of a conflict of interest. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.250 Voting – Tie vote.

Tie votes shall be lost motions and may be reconsidered. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.260 Voting – Changing vote.

A member may change his vote only if he makes a timely request to do so immediately following the announcement of the vote by the city clerk and prior to the time that the next item in the order of business is taken up. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.270 Voting – Reconsideration.

A motion to reconsider any action taken by the council may be only on the day such action was taken. It may be either immediately during the same session, or at a recessed or adjourned session thereof. Such motion may be made only by one of the councilmen who voted with the prevailing side. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any councilman from making or remaking the same or any other motion at a subsequent meeting of the council. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.280 Ordinances, resolutions and contracts – Preparation.

All ordinances shall be prepared by the city attorney. No ordinances shall be prepared for presentation to the city council unless ordered by a majority vote of the council, or requested by the mayor, or city clerk, or prepared by the city attorney of his own initiative. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.290 Ordinances, resolutions and contracts – Prior review and comment by administrative staff.

All ordinances, resolutions and contract documents, before presentation to the city council, shall be approved as to form and legality by the city attorney. They shall be examined by the city clerk, and the clerk shall submit to the council the clerk’s comments with respect to their administration, either in person or by authorized representative. (Ord. 118, 1983)

2.04.300 Reading of ordinances and resolutions.

At the time of adoption of an ordinance or a resolution, it shall be read in full unless, after the reading of the title thereof, the further reading thereof is waived by regular motion adopted by the unanimous vote of the councilmen present. Urgency ordinances must be read in full and may not be passed otherwise than by a four-fifths vote of the city council in favor of the passage. (Ord. 118, 1983)