Chapter 2.18


2.18.010    Applicability.

2.18.020    Meeting defined.

2.18.030    Effect of nonobservance of chapter.

2.18.040    Time and place of regular meetings.

2.18.050    Adjournment.

2.18.060    Agenda – Order of business.

2.18.070    Procedure for public hearing.

2.18.080    Minutes of meeting.

2.18.090    Voting.

2.18.100    Presiding officer – Designated.

2.18.110    Presiding officer – Duties and powers.

2.18.120    Speaking rights of members.

2.18.130    Motions.

2.18.140    Record of debate and remarks of Councilmembers.

2.18.150    Rules of order.

2.18.160    Addressing the Council.

2.18.170    Rules of decorum – Enforcement.

2.18.180    Attendance compelled by subpoena.


*    Prior legislation: Ord. 115 as amended by Ord. 167.

2.18.010 Applicability.

This chapter shall establish the Council procedure regulations of the City. It shall apply to all regular and special meetings of the City Council, and in addition, PMC 2.18.020, 2.18.030, 2.18.050, 2.18.060(C), 2.18.080, 2.18.090(A), (B) and (D), and 2.18.100 through 2.18.170 inclusive, shall apply to all meetings of all City committees. When applied to committees, “Council” shall mean “Committee,” “Councilmember” shall mean “Committee Member,” “Mayor” shall mean “Chair,” “Deputy Mayor” shall mean “Vice Chair,” and “Clerk” shall mean “Secretary.” Reference to ordinances and public hearings apply only to the City Council. (Ord. 355 § 1, 1992)

2.18.020 Meeting defined.

A. “Meeting” means the gathering together of a majority of the members of the City Council, each member within normal hearing distance of the other, at the time and place established by ordinance, resolution, or motion, for regular or adjourned meetings or at such other time and place as authorized by law for special meetings, for the purpose of acting in their official capacity as the legislative body of the City; to make decisions, commitments or promises by a majority of the Council or by actual vote by a majority of the vote of the Council when sitting as a body or entity upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance.

B. Unless otherwise authorized by law to be held in private, all such meetings shall be open to the public; provided, however, the City Council may hold closed sessions as authorized by State law.

C. No other gathering of the persons who constitute the City Council or any portion thereof, shall be considered a meeting. Any action or decision required by law to be taken or made at a meeting shall be invalid and of no force and effect if the same is not taken or made at a meeting as defined in this section.

D. The foregoing shall not prevent less than a quorum, otherwise gathered at the time and place and for the purpose of conducting a meeting, from adjourning from time to time in accord with law until a quorum is present.

E. If at any time the legislature of the State or the final decision of an appellate court of the State should define a meeting of the City Council other than as set forth in this section, such legislative or final judicial definition shall thereafter supersede the definition set forth in this section.

F. A majority of the full authorized membership of the Council shall constitute a quorum.

G. A Councilmember present but abstaining shall be counted for purposes of constituting a quorum.

H. A Councilmember disqualified from voting by law shall not be counted for purposes of constituting a quorum. (Ord. 355 § 1, 1992)

2.18.030 Effect of nonobservance of chapter.

Failure to observe the rules set forth in this chapter shall not invalidate any action taken which is otherwise lawful but defective only for failure to follow the procedure outlined in this chapter. (Ord. 355 § 1, 1992).

2.18.040 Time and place of regular meetings.

Unless canceled, the City Council shall hold regular meetings in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 13325 Civic Center Drive, in the City or at such other place as may be determined by the Council, on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. When the day of each regular meeting of the Council falls on a holiday as defined in California Government Code Section 6700, no meeting shall be held on such holiday, but a regular meeting shall be held at 7:00 p.m. on the next succeeding business day thereafter, or at such time and place as may be previously established by the Council. (Ord. 687 § 1, 2009; Ord. 651 § 1, 2007; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992)

2.18.050 Adjournment.

A. Any meeting may either be terminated or continued to another time, place or date by adjournment, regardless of whether or not all matters on the agenda or under discussion have been completed, acted on or concluded. Notwithstanding the above, no meeting shall be terminated before closing all public hearings notified for that meeting or without first continuing such public hearings to another time, place and date. Subject to the above, a motion to adjourn shall always be in order and decided without debate.

B. If less than a majority of the Council appears at a regular meeting, any member or, if all members are absent, the City Clerk, shall adjourn the meeting to a stated day and hour. The Clerk shall cause notice of the adjournment to be delivered to each Councilmember at least three hours before the adjourned meeting and posted within 24 hours after the time of the adjournment. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.060)

2.18.060 Agenda – Order of business.

A. All reports, communications, ordinances, contract documents or other matters, including basic fact and matters pertinent thereto, which have been submitted for the agenda, should be distributed to the City Council no later than 72 hours prior to any regular Council meeting and 24 hours prior to any special Council meeting. Upon distribution to the Council, the agenda materials shall become public records available to the public. The agenda shall be posted in accordance with Government Code Section 54954.2(a).

B. The business of the Council shall be taken up for consideration and disposition in the following order:

1. Call to order;

2. Roll call;

3. Pledge of Allegiance;

4. Moment of silence;

5. Presentations;

6. Public comment;

7. Consent calendar/waiver of ordinance text reading/ordinances for adoption;

8. Ordinances for introduction;

9. Public hearings;

10. Staff reports;

11. Council initiated items;

12. Council committee reports (AB 1234) and announcements;

13. City Manager items;

14. City Attorney items, including any public report of any action taken in closed session;

15. Adjournment.

The regular order of business may be changed or suspended for any purpose at any particular meeting by the Mayor with the consent of the majority of the Councilmembers present.

C. No matters other than those listed on the agenda shall be acted upon by the Council; provided, however, that matters not on the agenda may be submitted for Council consideration and action pursuant to Government Code Section 54954.2 as follows:

1. Upon a determination by a majority vote of Council that an emergency situation exists, as defined in Government Code Section 54956.5;

2. Upon a determination by a two-thirds vote of Council, or if less than two-thirds of the members are present, a unanimous vote of those members present, that the need to take action arose subsequent to the agenda being posted; and

3. The item was posted for a prior meeting of the Council occurring not more than five calendar days prior to the date action is taken on the item, and at the prior meeting the item was continued to the meeting at which action is being taken. (Ord. 858 § 3, 2022; Ord. 833 §§ 4, 12, 2019; Ord. 651 § 2, 2007; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.070)

2.18.070 Procedure for public hearing.

Whenever a public hearing must be held pursuant to any provision of law, the City Council shall observe the following procedural requirements:

A. A public hearing shall be opened by the Mayor.

B. Once opened, the City staff shall present their reports, comments and responses to Council inquiries on the subject of the public hearing.

C. Public testimony on the matter shall be invited and heard; the Council and staff may comment on the public testimony.

D. The public hearing shall be closed by the Mayor or presiding officer.

E. After the public hearing is closed, the City Council and staff may discuss the matter, but no new information may be introduced unless the public hearing is reopened. A public hearing may only be reopened by the Mayor or presiding officer, if all persons who spoke during the hearing are still present.

F. The City Council shall take action on the subject matter of the public hearing. (Ord. 833 §§ 5, 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.080)

2.18.080 Minutes of meeting.

A. Tape recordings, word processors, electronic aids, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols, or combination thereof, and notes, papers, magnetic or paper tapes, magnetic or punched cards, discs or drums may be used by the City Clerk for the sole purpose of facilitating the preparation of the minutes of the City Council meeting and not for preserving its information content for public reference.

B. The documents and aids are not public records and may be destroyed immediately after the minutes of the City Council meeting are approved.

C. Unless the reading of the minutes of a Council meeting is requested by a member of the Council, such minutes may be approved as a consent item.

D. No minutes or written record of closed sessions of the City Council shall be kept except as required by State law or as directed by majority vote of the City Council. The Council shall report at a public meeting any action taken in closed session, as required by Government Code Section 54957.1. (Ord. 833 §§ 6, 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.090)

2.18.090 Voting.

A. Voting may be conducted by the use of the voting light systems installed in the Council Chambers. A red light designates a “no” or “negative” vote. A green light designates a “yes” or “affirmative” vote. A white light designates an “abstain” or “abstention.” When a member of the Council votes to “abstain,” such member shall audibly state the reason for abstaining.

B. When the Council is voting by voice vote, an affirmative vote shall be registered by the oral statement of “yes” or “aye” by the Councilmember voting. A negative vote shall be registered by the oral statement “no” or “nay” by the Councilmember voting.

C. Ordinances shall be voted upon by roll call vote as announced by the City Clerk. All ordinances, resolutions and other matters submitted to the Council shall be passed or defeated by a majority vote of the Council unless a greater number of votes may be required by law. The word “majority” means three votes. (Ord. 833 §§ 7, 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.100)

2.18.100 Presiding officer – Designated.

A. The presiding officer of the Council shall be the Mayor, or, when absent, the Deputy Mayor.

B. Said officer shall take the chair at the hour appointed for the meeting, and shall immediately call the Council to order.

C. In the absence of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, the City Clerk shall call the Council to order, whereupon a temporary presiding officer shall be elected by the members of the Council present.

D. Upon the arrival of the Mayor or Deputy Mayor, the temporary presiding officer shall immediately relinquish the chair upon the conclusion of the particular business immediately before the Council at that time. Wherever in this chapter the term “Mayor” is used, it shall apply equally to the presiding officer as defined in this section. The Mayor shall have a vote but no veto power, and may move, second and debate from the chair. In the event of the taking of a roll call for the purpose of voting or otherwise, the Mayor’s name shall be called last. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.110)

2.18.110 Presiding officer – Duties and powers.

A. The Mayor shall sign all ordinances, resolutions and other documents necessitating said officer’s signature; shall preserve strict order and decorum at all regular and special meetings of the Council; shall state, or call upon the Clerk to state, the question before the Council to be voted upon; shall call for the vote and announce the decision of the Council on all subjects; shall decide all questions of order, subject, however, to an appeal by the Council or any Councilmember, in which event a majority vote of the Council shall govern and conclusively determine such question of order; shall have and exercise such other powers and duties as are authorized by law.

B. The Mayor shall have power, authority and discretion, without a vote of the Council to:

1. Set time limits on Council discussion on any matter;

2. Set time limits on any communications from members of the public to the Council; in no event shall any individual public communication exceed three minutes without the consent of a majority of the Council present;

3. Declare the opening of a public hearing;

4. Rule any motion on a subject not on the agenda as being out of order, in which case the motion shall thereafter be void;

5. Table any motion on any matter until the next regular or special Council meeting whenever the City Attorney advises that there is a question as to the validity or constitutionality of the particular proposed course of action which is the subject matter of such motion;

6. May require any witness testifying to facts at any public hearing to be sworn before proceeding further with any such testimony;

7. Rule any speaker out of order, terminate any communication with the Council from a member of the public and/or declare a recess in order to establish order to any meeting. The Mayor, or such other member of the Council as may be presiding, may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are by these rules imposed upon all members. The Mayor shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of a Councilmember by reason of being Mayor or acting as the presiding officer;

8. Declare the closing of a public hearing. (Ord. 833 §§ 8, 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.120)

2.18.120 Speaking rights of members.

A. Every Councilmember desiring to speak shall address the chair. Upon recognition by the Mayor, a Councilmember shall speak only to the question under debate.

B. A member, once recognized, shall not be interrupted when speaking except to be called to order, or as otherwise provided in this chapter. If a member is called to order while speaking, said member shall cease speaking until the question of order is determined; if in order, said member shall be permitted to proceed.

C. The Councilmember moving the adoption of an ordinance, resolution or Council action shall have the privilege of being the final speaker. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.130)

2.18.130 Motions.

A. Only one motion may be before the Council at any time.

B. A motion to reconsider any action taken by the Council may be made only at the meeting at which such action was taken. Such motion must be made by a member of the prevailing side. The motion may be made at any time no other motion is pending, and shall be subject to debate. No member of the Council may make or remake the same or any other motion at a subsequent meeting of the Council, if the subject matter of such motion, or such motion, has previously been tabled.

C. A motion to table takes precedence over all other motions and shall be subject to debate. When a motion to table is passed, the matter so tabled shall not again be considered by the Council unless such matter is taken from the table by a majority vote of the Council.

D. A matter once tabled shall not be placed on the agenda nor discussed unless a member who had voted to table such matter requests the Council to have such matter taken from the table, or requests the Clerk to place such matter on the agenda for the purpose of determining whether or not such matter shall be taken from the table. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.140)

2.18.140 Record of debate and remarks of Councilmembers.

A. A Councilmember may request through the Mayor the privilege of having an abstract of any 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. The Clerk may be directed by the Mayor, with consent of the Council, to enter in the minutes a synopsis of the discussion on any question coming regularly before the Council.

B. Any member shall have the right to have the reasons for his dissent from, or his protest against, any action of the Council entered on the minutes. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.150)

2.18.150 Rules of order.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, proceedings of the Council shall be governed by common sense and good taste. In the event of a dispute concerning procedural matters not specifically covered in this chapter, the majority vote of the Council shall prevail.

B. Rules adopted to expedite the transaction of 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 the law. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.160)

2.18.160 Addressing the Council.

A. Any person desiring to address the Council shall first obtain permission of the Mayor. Unless the Mayor rules otherwise, any person shall have the right to address the Council upon obtaining recognition from the Mayor to speak subject to the following:

1. Public Hearings. Interested persons or their authorized representatives may address the Council orally or in writing relating to matters which are then subject to a public hearing. The order of presentation and the time thereof shall be under the direction and control of the Mayor.

2. Written Communications. Interested parties or their authorized representatives may address the Council by written communication with regard to matters with which they are concerned and are then the subject of Council discussion. When copies of such communications are furnished to each Councilmember present, such written communications shall not be read aloud at the meeting unless so ordered by a majority vote of the Council. Written communications from the administrative staff shall not be read aloud unless requested by the writer or any Councilmember.

3. Public Comment.

a. Any person may address the Council by public comment with regard to any City related matter which such person is concerned and is then the subject of Council discussion. All speakers shall give written notice to the City Clerk in a form of a speaker slip approved by the City Council in order that the same may appear on the minutes of the Council meeting. All speaker slips shall be turned in before the item is heard.

b. Each person addressing the Council shall speak into the microphone at the speaker’s podium when the same is in use and, unless further time is granted by the Mayor, shall limit the address to three minutes, unless this three-minute time limit is reduced by the Mayor due to a large number of speakers. All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a body, and not to any member thereof. No person other than the Council and the person having the floor shall be permitted to enter into any discussion, either directly or through a member of the Council, without the permission of the Mayor. No person shall address or question a Councilmember, the City Attorney, the City Manager or other official without the prior consent of the Mayor.

4. The Mayor shall not permit any communication, written or oral, to be made or submitted unless such communication addresses the agenda item then under discussion.

B. After a motion is made by a Councilmember, no person shall address the Council without first securing the permission of the Mayor and Council to do so.

C. Anonymous communications shall not be considered, nor placed on the agenda.

D. When any identifiable group of persons, as opposed to the general public at large, wishes to address the Council on the same agenda item, the Mayor shall have the discretion to request that a spokesperson be chosen by said group to address the Council. If additional issues are to be presented at the hearing by any other member of such group, the Mayor may limit the number of persons and the time periods to address the Council, so as to avoid unnecessary repetition of issues before the Council. (Ord. 833 §§ 9, 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.170)

2.18.170 Rules of decorum – Enforcement.

A. While the Council is in session, all persons shall preserve the order and decorum of the session. Meetings of the City Council shall be conducted in an orderly manner to ensure that the public has a full opportunity to be heard and that the deliberative process of the Council is retained at all times. The presiding officer of the Council, who shall be the Mayor, Deputy Mayor or, in their absence, other member so designated by the Council, shall be responsible for maintaining the order and decorum of meetings.

B. All persons must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with good taste and generally accepted standards of appropriate behavior. Each person who addresses the Council shall not make personal, impertinent, slanderous or profane remarks to any member of the Council, staff or general public. Any person who makes such remarks, or who utters loud, threatening, personal or abusive language, or engages in any other disorderly conduct which disrupts, disturbs or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any Council meeting shall, at the discretion of the presiding officer or a majority of the Council, be barred from further audience before the Council during that meeting.

C. No person in the audience at a Council meeting shall engage in disorderly or boisterous conduct, including the utterance of loud, threatening or abusive language, whistling, stamping of feet, repeatedly clapping, or other acts which disturb, disrupt or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of any Council meeting. Any person who conducts himself in the aforementioned manner shall, at the discretion of the presiding officer or a majority of the Council, be barred from further audience before the Council during that meeting.

D. The rules of decorum set forth above shall be enforced in the following manner:

1. Warning. The presiding officer shall request that a person who is breaching the rules of decorum be orderly and silent. If, after receiving a warning from the presiding officer, a person persists in disturbing the meeting, the presiding officer shall order him to leave the Council meeting. If such person does not remove himself, the presiding officer may order any law enforcement officer who is on duty at the meeting as sergeant-at-arms of the Council to remove that person from the Council Chambers.

2. Removal. Any law enforcement officer who is serving as sergeant-at-arms of the Council shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the presiding officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the Council meeting. Upon instruction of the presiding officer, it shall be the duty of the sergeant-at-arms to remove from the Council meeting any person who is disturbing the proceedings of the Council.

3. Resisting Removal. Any person who resists removal by the sergeant-at-arms shall be charged with a violation of this section.

4. Penalty. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

5. Motion to Enforce. If the presiding officer of the Council fails to enforce the rules set forth above, any member of the Council may move to require him or her to do so, and an affirmative vote of a majority of the Council shall require him or her to do so. If the presiding officer of the Council fails to carry out the will of a majority of the Council, the majority may designate another member of the Council to act as presiding officer for the limited purpose of enforcing any rule of this section which it wishes to enforce.

6. Adjournment. If a meeting of the Council is disturbed or disrupted in such a manner as to make infeasible or improbable the restoration of order, the meeting may be adjourned or continued by the presiding officer or a majority of the Council, and any remaining Council business may be considered at the next meeting. (Ord. 833 §§ 10, 12, 2019; Ord. 542 § 1, 2001; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.180)

2.18.180 Attendance compelled by subpoena.

Attendance of absent members of the City Council may be compelled by the issuance of a subpoena signed by the members of Council presiding over the Councilmembers attending a regular or special meeting which may be attended by less than a majority of the Council. A subpoena shall issue only upon a majority vote of the members present. Any member so subpoenaed shall obey such subpoena and shall participate in good faith in the meeting to which such member is subpoenaed in order that the essential business of the Council may be conducted. Any member who fails to obey such subpoena or fails to participate in such meeting shall be subject to the criminal penalties provided for breach of any provision of this chapter. (Ord. 833 § 12, 2019; Ord. 355 § 1, 1992. Formerly 2.18.190)