Chapter 1.07
RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE CITY COUNCIL1

Sections:

1.07.010    General provisions.

1.07.020    Organization.

1.07.030    Mayor.

1.07.040    Mayor pro tem.

1.07.050    Executive services director and city clerk.

1.07.060    Council committees.

1.07.070    Department heads.

1.07.080    Regular council meetings.

1.07.090    Conduct of regular council meetings.

1.07.100    Executive sessions.

1.07.110    Other council meetings.

1.07.010 General provisions.

(1) Purpose. The primary purpose of meetings of the city council is to conduct the business of council, which consists of the consideration of ordinances, resolutions and motions and making decisions thereon. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide the orderly and efficient conduct of the business of council.

(2) Policies. In interpretation of this chapter, the following policies are to be considered:

(a) Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern all council discussion and business.

(b) Council should not make any decision, except in any emergency, without adequate prior study and deliberation of issues and documentary materials.

(c) While opportunity for citizen input at meetings of council should be permitted, such citizen input should not be allowed to distract from or impede the conduct of the business of council.

(d) At meetings of council the attention of council should be directed to issues of policy for possible council actions, rather than to the daily operations of city departments.

(e) The policy to be implemented by any proposed ordinance or resolution should be fully considered in concept prior to council directing its preparation by city staff.

(3) Definitions.

(a) The phrase “meeting of council” shall include regular and special meetings of council, but shall not include those portions of any meeting from which the general public may lawfully be excluded.

(b) The term “department head” shall include department directors, or professional positions.

(c) The term “council action” shall mean decision-making by consideration of motions, resolutions and ordinances.

(d) The term “documentary materials” shall mean the text of proposed ordinances, resolutions, interlocal agreements, contracts of any nature and other written matter relevant to any proposed council action.

(4) Duties Supplementary. The duties imposed by this chapter are supplementary to those imposed upon any elected or appointed official by state law or other ordinance of the city of Wenatchee.

(5) Effect/Waiver of Chapter. This chapter is adopted for the sole benefit of the members of the city council to assist in the orderly conduct of council business. This chapter does not grant rights or privileges to members of the public or third parties. Failure of the city council to adhere to this chapter shall not result in any liability to the city, its officers, agents and employees, nor shall failure to adhere to this chapter result in invalidation of any council action. The city council may, by majority vote, determine to temporarily waive any of the provisions herein unless such waiver would be contrary to state law. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.020 Organization.

(1) Swearing in of New Mayor and Councilmembers. New mayor and councilmembers shall be sworn in by a district court or superior court judge of Chelan County.

(2) Quorum. At all council meetings, a majority of the council shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business.

(3) Voting. The votes during all council meetings shall be conducted as follows:

(a) Unless otherwise provided for by statute, ordinance or resolution, all votes shall be taken by voice, except that at the request of the mayor or any councilmember, a random roll call vote shall be taken by the city clerk (Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, Tenth Edition).

(b) In case of a tie in the votes of the councilmembers, with respect to matters other than the passage of any ordinance, grant, or revocation of franchise or license, or any resolution for the payment of money, the mayor shall cast the deciding vote.

(c) Each councilmember shall vote on all questions put to the council, unless a conflict of interest or an appearance of fairness question under state law is present. Unless a member of the council states that he/she is abstaining for the above reasons, his or her silence shall be recorded as an affirmative vote.

(4) Attendance, Excused Absences. Members of the council may be excused from attending a city council meeting by contacting the mayor prior to the meeting and stating the reason for his or her inability to attend. If the member is unable to contact the mayor, the member shall contact the city clerk, who shall convey the message to the mayor. Following roll call, the mayor shall inform the council of the member’s absence, state the reason for such absence, and inquire if there is a motion to excuse the member. The motion shall be nondebatable. Upon passage of such motion by a majority of members present, the absent member shall be considered excused and the city clerk will make an appropriation notation in the minutes. Councilmembers who do not follow the above process will be considered unexcused and it shall be so noted in the minutes.

(5) General Decorum.

(a) While the 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, or disrupt any member while speaking nor refuse to obey the orders of the council or the mayor.

(b) Any person making disruptive, impertinent, or slanderous remarks or who becomes boisterous while addressing the council shall be asked to leave by the mayor or presiding officer and barred from further audience before the council for that meeting.

(6) Confidentiality. Councilmembers must keep confidential all written materials and verbal information provided to them during executive session, to ensure that the city’s position is not compromised. Confidentiality also includes information provided to councilmembers outside executive session when the information is considered to be confidential and exempt from disclosure under state law. If the council, in executive session, has given direction or consensus to city staff on proposed terms and conditions for any type of issue, all contact with the other party shall be done by the designated city staff representative handling the issue. Prior to discussing the information with anyone other than fellow councilmembers, the city attorney, or city staff designated by the mayor, councilmembers should review such potential discussion with the mayor, executive services director, or city attorney. Any councilmember having such contact or discussion shall make full disclosure to the mayor, executive services director, or city attorney in a timely manner.

(7) Adjournment. Council meetings shall adjourn no later than 8:30 p.m. The adjournment time established thereunder may be extended to a later time upon approval of a motion by a majority of the council. Any councilmember may call for a “point of order” at 8:00 p.m. to review agenda priorities.

(8) Attendance of City Clerk. The city clerk shall attend all council meetings. If the clerk is absent from any council meeting then the mayor shall ask the executive services director to appoint a clerk for that meeting.

(9) Attendance of Employees. Any city employee shall attend a city council meeting when requested by the mayor for clarification or explanation of agenda items.

(10) Ethics. Chapter 42.23 RCW, Code of Ethics for Municipal Officers – Contract Interests, is adopted and incorporated herein by this reference as though fully set forth. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.030 Mayor.

(1) Interpretation and Application of This Chapter. The mayor, or other person acting as chairperson of any meeting of council, shall have the authority to interpret and determine the application of this chapter to any particular situation occurring during the course of that meeting subject to an appeal and seconded by a councilmember, which places the matter before the full council.

(2) Agenda Preparation. The mayor may, in his or her sole discretion, meet with the executive services director and/or city clerk on a regularly scheduled basis or as needed to settle the agenda. It is the responsibility of the mayor to be fully familiar with all matters on the agenda, their complexity and possible outcomes.

(3) Authority to Settle Agenda. The mayor shall have final authority over which matters shall be included upon the agenda of council. The agenda shall be settled by the Friday preceding the Thursday for which a meeting of council is scheduled. No agenda bill will be placed on the agenda without the mayor’s authorization.

(4) Authority During Meeting. The mayor, or presiding official, shall have the authority during any meeting of the council to rule any motion not within the scope of the agenda, except a motion to add an item to the agenda, in or out of order, subject to an appeal and second by a councilmember, which places the matter before full council.

(5) Duties. It shall be the duty of the mayor to:

(a) Call the meeting to order.

(b) Keep the meeting to its order of business.

(c) Control discussions in an orderly manner.

(i) Give every councilmember who wishes an opportunity to speak when recognized.

(ii) Permit audience participation at the appropriate times.

(iii) Require all speakers to speak to the question and to observe the rules of order.

(iv) The mayor has the authority to preserve order at all meetings of the council, to cause removal of any person from any meeting for disorderly conduct and to enforce the rules of the council. The mayor may command assistance of any peace officer to enforce all lawful orders of the mayor to restore order at any meeting.

(d) State each motion before it is voted upon.

(e) Put motions to a vote and announce the outcome.

(f) Decide all questions of order, subject to the right of appeal to the council by any member.

(g) Attend all council meetings. In the event that the mayor is unable to attend a council meeting, the mayor pro tem shall preside. In the event that both mayor and mayor pro tem are unable to attend, council may pick a member to preside for that meeting.

(6) Seating Arrangement. Councilmembers shall be seated in a manner acceptable to council. If there is a dispute, the council will decide by vote. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.040 Mayor pro tem.

(1) Appointment. Pursuant to WCC 1.06.020, the city council, at the first regularly scheduled meeting in January of each year, by majority vote, shall select among their members a councilmember to act as mayor pro tem for the ensuing year. The mayor pro tem shall have such powers and authority, in the absence or temporary disability of the mayor, as specified in this chapter.

(2) Authority. The mayor pro tem shall have authority to preside over meetings of council, sign warrants and written contracts, and perform other administrative duties of the mayor, but only for such period of time as the mayor is absent or temporarily disabled, as defined herein, and only to the extent necessary for the efficient conduct of the business of the city. The mayor pro tem shall have the authority to act as the mayor in the mayor’s absence only when the mayor is away and cannot perform the duties that cannot await his or her return or that cannot be performed by telephone or other type of communications link. The authority of the mayor pro tem to act under authority of this this chapter shall end upon the mayor’s return or the removal of any temporary disability. The mayor pro tem shall not delegate the authority granted herein to another city official.

(3) Absence of Temporary Disability of the Mayor Defined. For purposes of this chapter, the “absence or temporary disability of the mayor” shall mean that due to absence or illness, the mayor is unable to perform the regular duties of his office. In application of the foregoing definition, the following shall apply:

(a) The mayor shall not be deemed temporarily disabled if due to illness he or she is unable to perform some of the duties, such as attending a council meeting, if he or she is able to perform other duties of the office on an ongoing basis.

(b) During such times as city offices are closed, the mayor pro tem shall have authority to act in the mayor’s absence only with respect to such emergencies as may require the mayor’s presence.

(4) Mayor’s Salary for the Mayor Pro Tem During Extended Absence or Disability of Mayor. The mayor pro tem shall not receive the mayor’s salary during the extended absence or disability of the mayor, provided, the council may by ordinance provide for such compensation for the mayor pro tem. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.050 Executive services director and city clerk.

(1) Preparation of Agenda. It shall be the responsibility of the city clerk, under the direction of the executive services director and subject to the direction of the mayor, to prepare an agenda for all official meetings of council.

(2) Referral to Council Committees. The mayor or executive services director shall make an initial review of all matters submitted for inclusion on the agenda which may require council action, and refer each matter, including those submitted by department heads, to the appropriate council committee with notification and copies of documentary material to all affected departments. This action may postpone departmental agenda items to future meetings.

(3) Deadline for Inclusion on Agenda. The city clerk shall not place any matter on the agenda for any meeting unless the responsible department head has provided an agenda bill completed on the city’s standard form, complete with all supporting documents or materials. All agenda bills must be submitted to the city clerk no later than noon on the Friday preceding the Thursday for which the meeting of the council is scheduled, provided, the mayor may direct the inclusion of any item on the agenda at any time prior to distribution, and further provided, the city council may, by majority vote, declare an emergency to permit the immediate consideration of any matter.

(4) Agenda Packets. The city clerk shall prepare an agenda packet for the mayor, members of city council and department heads, containing a copy of the agenda, all documentary materials upon which council action is to be taken and copies of all minutes to be approved. The agenda packet shall be distributed on or before 5:00 p.m. on the Monday preceding the Thursday for which a meeting of the city council is scheduled. Agenda packets will be in an electronic format.

(5) Proclamations. Requests for proclamations to honor individuals or groups will be submitted to the city clerk for review. Proclamations will be approved and signed by the mayor. Proclamations may be placed on the council agenda for official presentation or mailed to the honored individual or organization as appropriate.

(6) Minutes. The city clerk shall prepare minutes after each meeting of council containing the actions taken at the council meeting and circulate to department heads. Department heads shall be responsible for follow-through with appropriate assignments of their department as a result of council action. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.060 Council committees.

(1) Purpose. Council committees are to be policy review and discussion arms of the city council, providing an opportunity to explore the implications of policy alternatives and the policy development process; and to serve in an advisory capacity to the council as a whole in reviewing policy matters referred to them; informing and educating the council on existing city programs and issues, and other such matters as the committee deems appropriate. The city council committee shall not become involved in the administration of city government.

(2) Appointment. The mayor, subject to approval of a majority of the council, shall appoint a chair and members for each council committee.

(3) Council Committees Denominated. The council committees shall be as follows:

(a) Finance committee;

(b) Public safety committee; and

(c) Public works/economic development committee.

Additional permanent committees can be created by amendment to this code.

(4) Responsibility of Council Committees.

(a) It shall be the responsibility of each council committee to evaluate and report to city council on each matter referred to it regardless of whether the council committee favors or opposes the proposed action.

(b) Responsibility of Committee Chairperson. The chairperson of the respective council committees shall have the following responsibilities:

(i) Schedule and attend regular meetings of the committee.

(ii) Solicit the views of the department heads of each department affected by each matter referred to the committee.

(iii) Prepare committee members to report on their views as a regular part of the whole council debate/consideration of the matter.

(iv) Committees may not take binding action on behalf of the council.

(c) Removal. Members may be removed from the council committee by a majority vote of the council for neglect of duty, conflict of interest, malfeasance in office or other just cause including unexcused absence for more than three consecutive committee meetings. (Ord. 2016-11 § 1; Ord. 2013-06 § 1; Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.070 Department heads.

(1) Input to Committees. It shall be the right and responsibility of each department head to make his/her position known to the council committee on each matter for council action affecting the department referred to the committee.

(2) Attendance at Council Meetings. Department heads shall attend all regular, special and emergency council meetings, where their department items are to be considered, unless excused by the mayor. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.080 Regular council meetings.

(1) Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of council shall be held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, beginning at 5:15 p.m., at Wenatchee City Hall, unless another time or place is specified for a special meeting. Should any meeting occur on a legal holiday, the meeting shall be cancelled and may be rescheduled as a special meeting.

(2) Order of Business. The order of business at all regular meetings of council shall be as follows:

(a) Call to order, pledge of allegiance and roll call.

(b) Consent agenda.

(i) Minutes.

(ii) Warrants.

(iii) Other business.

(c) Citizen requests/comments.

(d) Presentations.

(e) Action items.

(f) Public hearings.

(g) Reports.

(i) Mayor’s report.

(ii) Reports/new business of council committees.

(h) Announcements.

(i) Adjournment. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.090 Conduct of regular council meetings.

(1) Roundtable. A council roundtable discussion may be held as a special meeting directed by the council, preceding any regular meeting of the month from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. This will provide the council with an opportunity to discuss items not listed on the agenda for action.

(a) No action will take place during a council roundtable.

(b) There shall be no opportunity for public comment during a roundtable discussion.

(2) Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.

(a) Meetings shall commence promptly at the appointed hour, and be called to order by the mayor or person serving as chairperson of the meeting.

(b) At the request of the mayor or person serving as chairperson of the meeting, the city clerk shall call the roll of members of city council, and enter the names of those present into the minutes. The mayor shall then determine whether a quorum is present.

(3) Citizen Requests. Time shall be allotted during each meeting for citizen requests and comments on any matter, subject to the following:

(a) The council may establish a procedure to require sign-up prior to commencement of the meeting, and the mayor should recognize speakers in the order of sign-up.

(b) Citizens with complaints, concerns or questions will be encouraged to refer the matter to the executive services director or ask that the matter be referred to the appropriate department head with the background information for action.

(c) The mayor should announce that no council action will be taken on the citizen request or comment at the meeting at which it is made, unless it is deemed by majority vote that an emergency exists.

(d) Each speaker will be limited to three minutes, and all remarks shall be addressed to the city council as a body, and not to individual members of council or staff.

(e) The mayor has the authority to limit the number of speakers or otherwise exercise such control over this portion of the meeting to ensure that it does not interfere with or impede the council’s ability to conduct its business.

(f) The council may, by motion, approve a form of rules for public participation.

(g) The clerk shall be the timekeeper.

(4) Public Hearings, Presentations and Appointments.

(a) Public hearings shall begin according to the established agenda. The mayor or presiding officer shall declare the public hearing open, and ask for the city staff presentation. Following questions of staff by council, the applicant or petitioner shall be given 10 minutes to present the issue. Following the presentation of the applicant or petitioner, the major opponent shall be allowed to speak to the issue for 10 minutes. Then any interested person may be heard for three minutes each. All speakers should sign up on the public hearing roster provided by the city clerk.

(b) The mayor or presiding officer shall recognize staff comments and questions from the council, if any, at the conclusion of each speaker’s remarks. After all interested members of the public and staff have had an opportunity to speak, the applicant shall be given up to three minutes to respond to or rebut information presented by the opponent(s), other speakers or staff. This opportunity for rebuttal shall not be used to present new information or to address subjects other than issues raised by the opponent(s) and the other speakers or staff. After all interested persons have had a fair opportunity to speak the presiding officer shall declare the public hearing closed. The council may, however, decide to allow for certain written materials to be presented to the council for a period of time declared by the council. This shall be decided by the council and requires a majority vote. Once the public hearing is closed, no person may introduce new substantive information without reopening the public hearing. The council may alter the time limits of speakers upon a vote prior to the opening of the hearing.

(c) The city clerk shall be the timekeeper.

(d) The following additional rules shall be observed during any quasi-judicial public hearing:

(i) According to the established agenda, the presiding officer shall declare the public hearing open, and ask for councilmembers to reveal ex parte oral or written communications or any potential appearance of fairness problems. Councilmembers will disclose any facts that could lead to a challenge. After all disclosures are made, the presiding officer will ask if any person in the audience wishes to make an appearance of fairness challenge to any councilmember. If so, the member of the audience will come forward to the podium and make his/her challenge. After all challenges have been made, the presiding officer shall ask the councilmember if they wish to disqualify themselves and may ask the city attorney to advise if any councilmember should consider disqualifying themselves. This may be done in public or executive session. Any councilmembers that disqualify themselves shall leave the room and not return until the conclusion of the quasi-judicial matter. After any disqualified councilmember leaves, the quasi-judicial hearing shall proceed under the same rules as provided above.

(ii) All public testimony received during a quasi-judicial process shall be sworn in by the mayor.

(iii) The city attorney shall advise as to what state law permits as to public comment on quasi-judicial matters. Council may adopt a written form addressing this issue.

(e) Addressing Council Outside of a Public Hearing or Public Comments. No person shall be allowed to address the council while it is in session without the recognition of the presiding officer.

(f) Individuals or groups wishing to make a presentation before the council shall request time on the agenda at least two weeks prior to the city council meeting, by contacting the mayor or city clerk. The mayor may determine the presentation may need to be assigned to an appropriate council committee to determine inclusion on a future city council agenda.

(g) Appointments. Resolution No. 2009-34 provides for the process of making appointments to volunteer boards or commissions. The mayor may make appointments to positions and certain appointments, and require ratification by the city council.

(5) Consent Agenda. Approval of bills and payroll should be a matter of routine, for payment of anticipated and budgeted expenses, approved by at least two people prior to presentation to the city council. Any member of council may, nonetheless, examine bills and move that any bill be held pending obtaining further information. The minutes of previous meetings may be approved on motion without reading if the city clerk has provided each member of council a copy thereof prior to the meeting. The minutes, bills, payroll and noncontroversial agenda bills (including agenda bills for adoption of resolutions) may be approved by one motion of the consent agenda. If separate discussion is desired on an item, that item may be removed from the consent agenda and placed on the regular agenda at the request of a councilmember.

(6) Ordinances and Resolutions.

(a) Ordinances.

(i) Ordinances constitute laws and regulations of a general and permanent nature, and ordinarily should not be adopted without the utmost deliberation of the policies and procedures which are to be enacted.

(ii) A motion to adopt a proposed ordinance shall not be deemed in order until the regular meeting at which it is introduced, or first read. A proposed ordinance may be introduced by reading its title only, provided a copy of the draft ordinance has been provided to members of council at least 72 hours prior to the meeting, except in an emergency.

(iii) A motion to adopt a proposed ordinance amending the budget for unanticipated grant revenues shall be considered for adoption at the meeting in which it is introduced.

(b) Resolutions.

(i) Resolutions constitute an expression of the council’s action on particular matters not having the force or effect of general and permanent laws or regulations.

(ii) The adoption of a resolution may be through the consent agenda and moved immediately upon its introduction. The city clerk shall include the resolution number on the council follow-up and in the minutes of the meeting.

(c) Waiver of Requirements of This Section. The requirements of this section may be waived only upon a determination by a simple majority of council that an emergency exists requiring immediate action on an ordinance or resolution.

(7) Reports.

(a) Mayor’s Report. The purpose of the mayor’s report is to inform the public of major developments affecting the city occurring since the previous meeting of council, including key personnel changes or other matters in which the mayor was involved.

(b) Report of Council Committees. The chairperson of each council committee should discuss matters referred to the committee, and be prepared to address questions regarding those matters. If approval of a motion is sought, the action should ordinarily be moved by the committee chairperson and seconded by the committee member. Discussion on the motion shall ordinarily be limited to statements of position for or against. Council committee reports should also include announcements of significant results of meetings of county, regional or state groups at which the member of council has represented the city.

(8) Citizen Comments. Citizens shall be given an opportunity to comment in accordance with WCC 1.07.080(2).

(9) Announcements. Any announcements not made during the mayor’s report or the reports of committees should be made at this time.

(10) Adjournment. Motions to adjourn shall be in order at any time, and shall be decided without debate. Any matter on the agenda not decided by time of adjournment may be held to the next regular meeting of council. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.100 Executive sessions.

(1) Purpose and Process. The council may hold executive sessions from which the public may be excluded, for those purposes set forth in RCW 42.30.110.

(a) Before convening in executive session, the mayor or presiding officer shall announce the purpose of the session, the anticipated time when the session will be concluded, and if any business or action is anticipated to be conducted by council after the executive session.

(b) Should the executive session require more time, a public announcement shall be made that the executive session is being extended.

(c) All executive sessions are subject to WCC 1.07.020(6), Confidentiality. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)

1.07.110 Other council meetings.

(1) Special Meetings.

(a) Special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the mayor, or request by a quorum of members of the city council, by giving written notice to each member of the council and to each local newspaper of general circulation and to each local radio or television station which has on file with the council a written request to be notified of such special meeting or of all special meetings. Such notice must be delivered either personally, electronically (email), or by regular mail at least 24 hours before the time of such meeting as specified in the notice. The notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted. Final disposition shall not be taken on any other matters at such meeting by the governing body. The notices provided in this section may be dispensed with in the event a special meeting is called to deal with an emergency involving injury or damage to persons or property or the likelihood of such injury or damage when time requirements of such notice would make notice impractical and increase the likelihood of such injury or damage. Special meetings are open to the public.

(b) Special meetings shall be conducted, to the extent possible, in the same manner as regular meetings of council, within the legal limitation that only the business specified in the notice of the meeting may be transacted.

(2) Online Special Meetings.

(a) Online special meetings shall be called at the discretion of the mayor, or request by a quorum of the city council, subject to the notice requirements prescribed by state law. Formal action or vote may be taken during the meeting, limited to the subjects stated in the notice of meeting. The public may view the special electronic meetings while in progress; however, no comment will be allowed by the public.

(b) The notice of such special electronic meetings shall state the subjects to be considered, and shall include instructions on how to view the meeting through the city’s website, and shall also include the name and address of a public facility at which the online meeting may be viewed by persons without Internet access.

(c) Special electronic meetings shall be conducted, to the extent possible, in the same manner as regular meetings of council, within the legal limitation that only the business specified in the notice of the meeting may be transacted.

(3) Work Sessions. Work sessions of the city council shall be held on the third Thursday of each and every month and on the first Thursday of each and every month, if such a work session is required. In the event a work session is required for the first Thursday of the month, councilmembers will be notified no later than the Monday preceding the first Thursday of the month. The city council, at any work session, may study, discuss and debate among themselves and city staff such items as are on the work session agenda, but may not take formal action or receive public comments or testimony regarding work session agenda items. Formal action of the council and receipt of public comment or testimony shall take place only at a regular city council meeting or a special meeting called for such purpose. All work sessions of the city council shall be open to the public. (Ord. 2012-22 § 1)


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Prior legislation: Ords. 2000-07, 2001-27, 2002-15 and 2012-08.