Chapter 2.05


2.05.010    Authority.

2.05.020    The mayor and council.

2.05.030    Council meetings.

2.05.040    Agenda and order of business.

2.05.050    Procedure for council meetings.

2.05.060    Decorum and order.

2.05.070    Censure, suspension and dismissal.

2.05.080    Code of ethics.

2.05.090    Council relations with city staff.

2.05.100    Committees.

2.05.110    Confidentiality.

*    Prior legislation: Ord. 643.

2.05.010 Authority.

(1) These rules are adopted pursuant to Chapter 4 Section 4.1 of the Burns City Charter, and shall be in effect after their adoption by the common council until such time as they are amended, deleted or replaced in the manner provided by the Charter or ordinances of the city.

(2) These rules apply equally to the mayor and councilors.

(3) These rules are to be observed in addition to and may not be contradictory to the current City Charter.

(4) The mayor and council members shall respect each other and require that respect be given to them and to members of the city staff and the public during council proceedings. [Ord. 09-801 § 1, 2009]

2.05.020 The mayor and council.

(1) The city council (hereafter, council) is the policy-making body of the city. Council decisions, whether or not unanimous, define the position of the entire council. Councilors who do not agree with the council’s decisions, once made, should not publicly undermine council decisions.

(2) No member of the council or the mayor shall be authorized to speak or write on behalf of the council unless authorized by a majority vote of the council.

(3) Council decisions shall predominantly be policy decisions. The council is encouraged to have a collective philosophy, beliefs, values, commitments, and vision.

(4) Presiding Officer. The mayor shall be the presiding officer and conduct meetings when present, preserve order, enforce the rules and determine the order and length of discussion on any matter before the council, subject to these rules. The elected council president shall preside in the absence of the mayor. In case of the absence of the mayor and the council president, the city manager or clerk shall call the meeting to order and the council shall elect a chairperson for the meeting by majority vote.

(5) Councilors shall diligently prepare for meetings and shall be ready to vote on the consent agenda during meetings. Meetings flow more smoothly and take less time when all councilors are well informed on issues including law, policy and general information. Councilors will read all information prepared by city staff prior to meeting time.

(6) Council members have the right to endorse candidates for all council seats or other elected offices. No council members shall mention or display endorsements during council meetings or other official city meetings. [Ord. 09-801 § 2, 2009]

2.05.030 Council meetings.

(1) Regular meetings of the council will be held in the council chambers at the Burns City Hall on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month beginning at 6:00 p.m. and ending no later than 8:00 p.m. A majority of the council may vote to extend the length of a council meeting if needed.

(2) Times and dates of council meetings may be changed because of special circumstances, to facilitate work sessions or in order to have a quorum of councilors present. Regular meeting notice requirements must be followed.

(3) Special meetings of the council may be called at any time upon the request of three members of the council, by the mayor, or by the council president in the mayor’s absence, by giving notice of the meeting to the mayor and council members, news media which have requested notice, and the public at least 24 hours in advance in a manner and for such time as the exigencies of the circumstances may permit, but with a view to obtaining the largest possible attendance of council members.

(4) Emergency meetings of the council are special meetings which may be called when no more than 24 hours’ notice can be given. The minutes of the meeting shall state the nature of the emergency. Emergency meetings may be held by consent of a majority of councilors. An attempt must be made to notify the public or the press of the need for any emergency meeting. Only the topic of the emergency may be discussed at the meeting.

(5) Workshop or training meetings of the council may be held at the convenience of the council on a date and time when as many council members as possible can attend. These meetings may be held for council goal setting, new councilor training, or longer workshops for planning programs or projects. Any goals arrived at by any process shall be confirmed in public at a regular council meeting. The public is welcome at such meetings but they may be held without opportunity for public input.

(6) Executive sessions may be held by the council pursuant to ORS 192.640, 192.650, 192.660 and 192.670. Only staff members requested or required to attend will be present. Normally the city clerk is required to attend.

(7) Public meetings of the council will be held in accordance with ORS 192.610 through 192.710. All regular and special meetings will be open to the public and provide an opportunity for public input.

(8) Public Hearings. Public hearings shall be held: (a) to gather public or other input; or (b) in anticipation of formal council action (e.g., ordinance, resolution); or (c) sitting in a quasi-judicial purpose. Public hearings shall be preceded by the notice required by law and shall be conducted in compliance with all applicable law.

(9) Pre-Meeting Conferences. Except for quasi-judicial hearings, a pre-meeting conference with the chief proponents of findings or issues, city staff members and opponents may be held. When circumstances allow, questions of fact may be resolved at such conferences and time may be saved at the hearing. To preserve the impartiality required for quasi-judicial hearings and to avoid violation of the open meeting law, pre-meeting conferences shall be conducted by city staff members rather than councilors.

(10) Attendance. Councilors shall inform the mayor or city manager as soon as practical if unable to attend any council meeting. The mayor will inform the council president and/or the city clerk if unable to attend any council meeting.

(11) Seating. Seating in the council chambers of the Burns City Hall is limited by the benches and chairs available as well as the space in the chambers. When the council or staff anticipates a large number of citizens in attendance for a particular meeting, the meeting place may be moved to a larger venue. (Charter Section 4.2) [Ord. 09-801 § 3, 2009]

2.05.040 Agenda and order of business.

(1) An agenda for each regular council meeting shall be prepared by the city manager, city clerk and the mayor. The city council may direct that specific items be included on the agenda. The city staff shall be given sufficient time to do necessary research or prepare necessary reports or documents to address agenda items. Agendas and informational material shall be distributed to the council by close of business on the Friday prior to each regular meeting.

(2) Order of Business. The normal order of business for a regular council meeting shall be as follows:

(a) Call to order.

(b) Pledge of Allegiance.

(c) Consent agenda.

(d) Department head reports.

(e) Public comment.

(f) Public hearings.

(g) New business.

(h) Old business and follow-ups.

(i) Mayor/council comments and committee reports.

(j) Motion for adjournment.

(3) The mayor may consider agenda items out of order as he/she deems necessary to facilitate the efficient management of the agenda and the needs or convenience of those in attendance. [Ord. 09-801 § 4, 2009]

2.05.050 Procedure for council meetings.

(1) Rules of Order. Unless otherwise provided by the Charter, ordinance, other law or these rules, the procedure for council meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition). The mayor, or presiding officer, shall maintain order, allow full discussion of all items on the agenda and get through all agenda items in the allotted meeting time.

(2) The mayor shall maintain impartiality during all debates, but may express his/her views, and should have the respect of all meeting participants.

(3) Call to Order. Includes welcoming public members, a brief explanation of general conduct and courtesy, meeting procedure, and a reminder that, except for staff, we are all volunteers. If possible, a copy of the meeting agenda will be available for viewing by all in attendance at the meeting.

(4) Recognition. Every councilor desiring to speak shall first address the presiding officer, and await recognition to obtain the floor. No person, other than members of the council and the person having the floor, shall enter into any discussion, either directly or through a member of the council, without the permission of the presiding officer.

(5) Main Motion. The basis of discussion at a meeting is a motion. A motion is announced or put forward by a councilor for the purpose of focusing the discussion. Each motion requires a “second” before debate. No motion shall be debated until it has been announced clearly by the presiding officer and seconded.

(6) Discussion. When a motion is “put on the floor” for discussion by the council, that discussion must focus on the substance of the current motion. All other discussion is out of order and not allowed. Another motion, excepting only a motion to amend the current motion, or a motion to table, cannot be introduced while there is a motion on the floor.

(7) Order. Councilors shall be acknowledged by the presiding officer in the order they have made their desire to speak known. Once a motion has been introduced and seconded, it is the presiding officer’s responsibility to manage the discussion in an orderly manner. The councilor who seconds the motion shall be given an opportunity to speak after the councilor who made the motion. In order to make sure that all participants who wish to speak are heard, the presiding officer will allow speakers who have not yet spoken to speak before those who have already spoken.

(8) Amending a Motion. A councilor who has the floor can move to amend the main motion currently being debated. An amendment is another motion that is used to change, by adding, subtracting or changing the main motion under discussion. When the amendment has been moved and seconded, all subsequent discussion must be on the substance of the new motion to amend. An amended motion can be amended once. An amendment can be passed by a simple majority vote of the council. If an amendment is passed, the discussion may continue on the motion as amended. If the amending motion is defeated or withdrawn, the discussion goes back to the main motion on the floor.

(9) Calling the Question. If a councilor thinks that additional debate will be unproductive, he/she may “call for the question,” which can end the debate. If no other councilor objects, the chair shall proceed to the vote on the motion. If there is an objection, the councilors shall vote on whether to end the debate. A two-thirds majority vote is required to pass a motion to end debate and no debate of that motion is allowed. If the “call for the question” motion is passed, a vote on the main motion shall be taken with no additional debate.

(10) Voting. Prior to a vote, the presiding officer, the clerk, or the maker of the motion shall restate the motion to assure clarity of the issue. Except as otherwise provided by these rules or applicable law, when a quorum is present, a majority of the council present in person or by speaker phone and voting shall decide a motion. Each councilor’s vote shall be recorded individually. A councilor who is present but abstains from voting is nonetheless present for quorum purposes. A councilor must be present in person or by speaker phone to vote.

(11) Abstentions. Councilors may abstain from voting only when they have a conflict of interest or the reason for such abstention is first stated. Councilors who are not well informed on the issue that is being voted upon may move for continuance of the matter to a later meeting.

(12) Tie Votes. A motion fails in the event of a tie vote.

(13) Point of Order. If a councilor believes that the meeting is progressing outside the rules of order, he/she can raise a “point of order.” In such case, he/she states what rule or order has been violated or not enforced by the presiding officer. A point of order can be used to interrupt a speaker. The presiding officer has the responsibility of determining if the point is valid or not. A point of order cannot be used to comment on a motion out of turn.

(14) Challenge the Chair. If a councilor feels that his/her point of order was ruled on unfairly by the presiding officer, a challenge can be made to the chair. The presiding officer will then ask for a motion to uphold the chair’s decision and a vote is taken. The vote by the council shall decide whether the presiding officer’s action on the point was valid or not.

(15) Point of Information. A point of information is a question raised by a councilor while another has the floor. The presiding officer asks the speaker if he/she wants to entertain the question when asked. The speaker can refuse. A point of information is only a question and cannot be used to speak out of turn or harass a speaker or disrupt the flow of the meeting.

(16) Table. Normal discussion or debate at a meeting may end in one of several ways. If a councilor feels that the decision and vote on a motion needs to be delayed for any legitimate reason, that person can move to “table” the motion. A councilor must be recognized by the presiding officer in order to table a motion and cannot request this action at the end of a speech. Generally a specific time limit is mentioned when tabling the motion so as not to leave the motion dangling. A motion to table requires a simple majority vote of councilors present in person or by speaker phone. The discussion allowed after a motion to table is limited to the length of time the motion is to be tabled.

(17) Rescind. A councilor may make a motion to rescind a motion or resolution only if the matter to which it refers was passed at another meeting or on another day. The motion can only be made by a councilor who voted with the prevailing majority on the earlier vote on the motion. This motion requires a two-thirds majority of the councilors present in person or by speaker phone to pass.

(18) Reconsider. A councilor can make a motion to reconsider if the subject motion, resolution, or matter was passed at that same meeting. The motion can only be made by a councilor who voted with the prevailing majority on the earlier vote on the matter. A two-thirds majority of the councilors present in person or by speaker phone is required.

(19) Adjourn. A motion to adjourn takes precedence over all other motions, except a motion to fix the time to adjourn. This motion cannot be debated or amended, nor can a vote to adjourn be reconsidered. A motion to adjourn cannot be made when a speaker has the floor, or when a vote is being conducted. A meeting cannot be adjourned without a motion by a councilor, a second, and a majority vote of the councilors present in person or by speaker phone.

(20) Public Comment. Members of the public desiring to address the mayor and council shall first be recognized by the presiding officer and then state their name and address for the record. Unless otherwise designated by the presiding officer, each person shall have up to three minutes to present their comments. Groups with like comments should choose a spokesperson to present their joint remarks.

(21) City councilors normally should not directly respond to a public comment during the public comment period. Councilor comments should be held until the councilor comment period later in the meeting or referred to the city staff for a response at a subsequent time.

(22) The council addresses policy and goals and should allow the city staff to address customers of city services. Councilors should refer people with questions or complaints about city services to the city staff, explaining that if they are not satisfied with the staff’s response, they should ask to be put on the next council meeting agenda, or present their issue during the public comment period at the next council meeting, or address a letter to the city council.

(23) Anonymous Communications. Anonymous and unsigned communications shall not be introduced in council meetings.

(24) Public Comment During Public Hearings. Remarks shall be limited to the question then under discussion. All remarks and questions shall be addressed to the council as a whole and not to any individual councilor. Any remarks and questions regarding personnel or administration of the city shall be referred to the city manager by the presiding officer. The presiding officer may redirect other questions to a councilor as appropriate.

(25) Questions of City Staff by City Councilors. Councilors may address questions directly to the city manager or staff member presenting an agenda item, who may either answer the inquiry or designate another staff member to do so. Councilors are encouraged to present their questions to the city manager prior to the meeting when possible. [Ord. 09-801 § 5, 2009]

2.05.060 Decorum and order.

(1) Definition of Decorum According to Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary.

decorum, 2. propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance, synonyms: DECENCY, PROPRIETY, DIGNITY, ETIQUETTE: DECORUM suggests conduct according with good taste, often formally prescribed; DECENCY implies behavior according with normal self-respect or profession or condition in life; PROPRIETY suggests an artificial standard of what is correct in conduct or speech; DIGNITY implies reserve or restraint in conduct prompted less by obedience to a code than by a sense of personal integrity or of social importance; ETIQUETTE is the usual term for the detailed rules governing manners and conduct and for the observance of these rules.

(2) The presiding officer (chair) shall preserve order, maintain decorum and decide all points of order, subject to appeal to the council.

(3) The councilors shall help the presiding officer preserve order and maintain decorum during council meetings and shall not, by conversation or other action, delay or interrupt the proceedings or refuse to follow the authorized directions of the presiding officer or these council rules.

Councilors are encouraged to avoid the use of facial expressions conveying disrespect, disbelief, anger or boredom while others are speaking.

Councilors shall, when addressing city staff, the council, or members of the public, confine themselves to the questions or issues then under discussion, shall not engage in personal attack, shall not impugn the motives of any speaker, and shall at all times, while in session or otherwise, conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the dignity of their office.

Council members or staff shall not engage in hostile cross-examination, belligerently challenge or belittle a speaker, or make personal attacks or bigoted remarks of any kind, under any circumstance. Council members should be aware that their body language and tone of voice, as well as the words they use, can appear to be intimidating or aggressive.

Councilors shall dress with dignity and avoid clothing with written messages, especially those which suggest the councilor is not impartial on an issue which is or is likely to come before the council or which can reasonably be considered an effort to influence or intimidate the council or members of the public.

(4) Members of the city staff, employees of the city and all other persons attending council meetings shall observe the same rules of procedure, decorum and good conduct applicable to the members of the council.

(5) Any person who makes threatening, personal, or impertinent remarks, or who becomes unreasonably disruptive while addressing the council or attending a council meeting, or interferes with the conduct of the meeting in violation of these rules, may be removed from the room, after fair warning, if the presiding officer so directs. In case the presiding officer should fail to act, any member of the council may obtain the floor and move to require enforcement of this rule; upon affirmative vote of the majority of the council present, the person or persons shall be removed as if the presiding officer so directed.

Any person or persons engaging in such activity may be barred from further in-person audience before the council and, in aggravated cases, an appropriate complaint shall be issued by the presiding officer to prosecute this person or persons.

(6) If a meeting is disrupted by members of the audience, or the council, the presiding officer may order that the council chamber be cleared and a recess called until order is restored.

(7) Peace Officer. It shall be the policy of the city to have such an officer available at all regular and special meetings. The officer shall carry out all authorized orders and instructions given by the presiding officer for the purposes of maintaining order and decorum at the council meetings. If the officer determines that the actions of any person who violates the order and decorum of the meeting constitute a violation of any provision of any law, the officer may cite such person, or place such person under arrest and cause such person to be prosecuted under the provisions of the applicable law.

Before the officer is directed to remove any person from a council meeting for inappropriate behavior as described in these rules, that person shall be given a warning by the presiding officer to cease his or her conduct. [Ord. 09-801 § 6, 2009]

2.05.070 Censure, suspension and dismissal.

(1) The council has the inherent right to make and enforce its own rules and to ensure compliance with rules generally applicable to public bodies. Councilors who repeatedly violate these rules may be reprimanded or formally censured by the council. Serious infractions may also lead to other sanctions as deemed appropriate by the council and authorized by law.

(2) To enforce its inherent authority, the council has the right to investigate the actions of any councilor. Such investigation shall be referred to the council as a whole in executive session to discuss any evidence or finding including whether reasonable grounds exist that a substantial violation or repeated violation has occurred. Under O.R.S. 192.660(2)(b), an accused individual has the right to request an investigation.

(3) No individual councilor shall have the right to make public any information obtained through such investigation, unless the individual has requested it to be an open meeting.

(4) If the mayor is the individual whose actions are being challenged, then the matter should be referred to the council president.

(5) It is the responsibility of the council to initiate action if a councilor’s behavior may warrant sanction. If no action is taken by the council, the alleged violation(s) can be brought up with an open council meeting or executive session. [Ord. 09-801 § 7, 2009]

2.05.080 Code of ethics.

(1) Councilors are encouraged to conduct themselves so as to bring credit upon the city as a whole, and to set an example of good ethical conduct for all citizens of the community. Councilors shall review and be bound by the requirements of the State Ethics Law dealing with use of public office for private financial gain. Councilors should constantly bear in mind these responsibilities to the entire electorate, and refrain from actions benefiting any individual or special interest group at the expense of the city as a whole. Councilors should likewise ensure impartial application of the law to all citizens, and equal treatment of each citizen before the law, without regard to race, national origin, sex, age, social station or economic position.

(2) If the mayor or a councilor represents the city before another public body, governmental agency, community organization or with the media, the mayor or councilor should always present the majority position of the council. Personal opinions and comments may be expressed only if they include clarification that these statements do not represent the position of the city council.

(3) A councilor must have another councilor’s concurrence before representing that councilor’s view or position with the media, if it is different from the majority.

(4) Councilors are encouraged to visit with other council members outside of meetings, so long as they observe the Oregon Open Meeting Law. [Ord. 09-801 § 8, 2009]

2.05.090 Council relations with city staff.

(1) Staff and councilors shall treat each other with respect if and when expressing disagreement in a public meeting.

(2) No individual councilor or city council subcommittee has authority over the city staff.

(3) The council sets city policies and goals; the city staff implements and administers the policies and goals. City staff is controlled by such policies and goals, city ordinances, Oregon law, training and supervision from the staff.

(4) Councilors may seek information from staff or by making the request through the city manager but will not attempt to change or interfere with the operation or practice of any city department or personnel except by directing their concerns about policy to the council at large, which may direct changes to be made.

(5) During city council meetings, requests for information shall be directed to the city manager, who may then redirect the request to the appropriate staff member. At other times, if the request for information would entail an effort that would require time to be spent in researching and/or preparing a response, the response shall be made directly to the council at the next scheduled meeting.

(6) Councilors shall not attend meetings with city staff unless requested by staff or the council.

(7) Legal Advice. Requests to the designated city legal counsel for advice shall not be made by a councilor except with the concurrence of the majority of the council present in person, by speaker phone, in writing, or by other means. The city shall not accept financial responsibility for any legal requests to the designated city legal counsel made by private citizens. Before requesting research or other action by the designated city legal counsel, the council is encouraged to consider consulting with the city manager to ascertain whether the request can be accomplished more cost effectively by other means. Outside a council meeting, a councilor should make requests of the designated city legal counsel through the city manager.

(8) List of Items to Be Acted Upon or Tasks to Be Completed. The city manager shall keep a written running list of all tasks or actions to be done as determined by the council during council meetings. The list shall include what is to be done, by whom, timeline for completion, if any, what has been done and when, and be available at all times during and between meetings. [Ord. 09-801 § 9, 2009]

2.05.100 Committees.

(1) The mayor, with common council approval, shall appoint the committees as outlined in the city ordinances.

(2) Qualifications. All appointees to city boards, commissions or committees shall be registered electors, and shall have resided in the city of Burns for a period of at least one year, except the council by unanimous vote may waive the residency requirements for the airport and cemetery committees. Task force members may be appointed from inside and outside the city limits but should be involved in the city in some way, such as with a business located within the city.

(3) The common council may, for cause, remove a member from any city committee, commission or task force prior to the expiration of the term of office. Reasons for removal may include, but are not limited to: missing three consecutive regular meetings, disruptive or inappropriate behavior prior to, during, or after meetings which prohibits the advisory body from completing its business in a timely manner, or not acting in the best interest of the city.

(4) Members of the council will not attempt to lobby or influence any board, committee, task force or commission member on any item under their consideration. It is important for the advisory bodies to make objective recommendations to the council on items before them. Councilors that attempt to influence board, committee, task force or commission members on an item their role in reviewing the recommendation as councilors.

(5) The budget committee shall consist of seven resident lay members and the members of the city council for a total of 14. The committee shall annually elect a committee chair, vice chair, and secretary. The lay members’ terms shall be three years, overlapping.

(6) A task force may be appointed for the length of time necessary to accomplish their mission. The appropriate number of appointees may be determined at the time of appointment. [Ord. 12-817 § 2 (Exh. A), 2012; Ord. 09-801 § 10, 2009]

2.05.110 Confidentiality.

(1) Councilors must keep in complete confidence all written material and verbal information provided to them on matters that are privileged or confidential under law, to ensure that privileged or confidential information and the city’s position is not compromised. No mention of information read or heard which is privileged or confidential under law should be made to anyone other than other councilors, the senior city staff or designated city legal counsel and then only on a “need to know” basis.

(2) If the council, in executive session, provides opinions or information to staff on proposed terms and conditions for any type of negotiation whether it be related to property acquisition or disposal, a proposed, pending or likely claim or litigation, and/or employee negotiations, all contact with the other parties shall be made by the designated staff representative or person handling the negotiations or litigation.

(3) All public statements, information or press releases on confidential matters shall be handled by the designated staff or council spokesperson.

(4) Public Records. The disposition of public records created or received by councilors shall be in accordance with Oregon Public Records Law. Written information incidental to the official duties of a councilor, including electronic mail messages, notes, memos and calendars (e.g., “Daytimers”), are public records and, unless privileged or confidential, are subject to disclosure under the Public Records Law.

(5) Amendments, deletions or additions to these council rules shall be by ordinance. [Ord. 09-801 § 11, 2009]