Chapter 2.12


2.12.010    Council meetings.

2.12.020    Meetings of committees, boards and commissions.

2.12.030    Agenda and conduct of business.

2.12.040    Parliamentary rules.

2.12.050    Deliberations of council.

2.12.060    Reconsideration.

2.12.070    Minutes of meetings.

2.12.080    Suspension of rules.

2.12.100    Council member absence—Participation by phone.

2.12.110    Open meetings.

2.12.120    Financial procedure for bills and authorized claims.

2.12.130    Committee reports.

2.12.140    Adjournment—Quorum.

2.12.150    City officers to cooperate with committees.

2.12.160    Legislative referrals and requests for service.

2.12.010 Council meetings.

A.    Regular Meetings. The council shall conduct regular meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at seven forty-five p.m. in the council chambers of the City Hall, except when the council shall establish otherwise. Subject matter considered at regular sessions shall be included in an agenda available in the office of the city clerk at least twenty-four (24) hours before the convening of the regular session or unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impracticable. In which case, shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than two hours in advance of the meeting (Section 19.84(3), Wisconsin Statutes).

B.    Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by the mayor upon written notice of the time and purpose thereof to each member of the council, delivered to him personally or left at his usual place of abode at least six hours before the meeting. The city clerk shall cause an affidavit of service of such notice to be filed in his office prior to the time fixed for such special meeting. A special meeting may be held without such notice when all members of the council are present in person or consent in writing to the holding of such a meeting. If written consent is obtained, it shall be filed with the clerk prior to the beginning of the meeting. Attendance by any council member shall be deemed a waiver on his part of any defect of notice unless appearance is made solely to give objection to the notice of the meeting. Any special meeting attended by all aldermen shall be a regular meeting for the transaction of any business that may come before such meeting. The common council may approve the convening of a special meeting needed by an applicant requiring common council approval of a request or license. Applicants who require a special meeting due to missing deadlines shall pay a fee as specified in Section 3.24.050(DD). (Ord. 2331-13 § 4(AA), 2013; Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.020 Meetings of committees, boards and commissions.

Each committee, board and commission of the city that meets regularly shall advise the city clerk of its meeting schedule. The clerk shall publicly and continuously post such schedule in the City Hall. Each committee, board and commission shall provide the clerk with a subject matter agenda which shall be available for inspection in the clerk’s office not less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to such meeting. Committees, boards or commissions that do not meet regularly, but only as necessary, shall notify the clerk of such meeting and provide an agenda therefore which shall be publicly posted by the clerk and provided to the official city newspaper at least the day prior to the session. Special meetings of any committee, board or commission may be held, provided at least six hours’ notice is given to each member and the notice of meeting and agenda is publicly posted and provided to the official city newspaper no less than six hours prior to the commencement thereof. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.030 Agenda and conduct of business.

A.    The agenda for regular meetings of the council shall be prepared by the city clerk for delivery to the aldermen at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to a regular council meeting.

B.    It shall be proper in certain instances to vote on all recommendations of council committees, the plan commission or the appointments subject to confirmation in one vote. However, matters requiring a roll call vote must be voted upon unanimously to be recorded as a roll call vote within the consent agenda. If the vote is not unanimous, the item is separated from the consent agenda and an individual vote is taken. An individual vote upon any given matter shall be required if an alderman requests it.

C.    In the absence of the city clerk, the mayor shall appoint a clerk pro tem. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.040 Parliamentary rules.

The mayor, at the stated hour, shall call the meeting to order. He shall preserve order and decorum, decide all questions of order and conduct the proceedings of the meeting in accordance with parliamentary rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, unless otherwise provided by statute or by these rules. Any member may appeal from a decision of the presiding officer. The appeal may be sustained by a majority of the members present, exclusive of the presiding officer. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.050 Deliberations of council.

The deliberations of the council shall be conducted in the following manner:

A.    No alderman shall address the council until he has been recognized by the presiding officer. He shall confine his remarks to the question under discussion and avoid all personalities.

B.    When two or more members simultaneously seek recognition, the presiding officer shall name the member who is to speak first.

C.    An alderman who has not spoken on a given subject shall be given priority over any alderman who has previously spoken on such subject.

D.    No person other than a member or staff, shall address the council, except under citizen comments. Except, however, that citizens may address the council with the permission of a majority of the council members present.

E.    No motion shall be discussed or acted upon unless and until it has been seconded unless the rules permit one alderman to initiate action. No motion shall be withdrawn without the consent of the person making the same and the person seconding it.

F.    When a question is under discussion, no action shall be in order, except as follows:

1.    To adjourn;

2.    To recess;

3.    To lay on the table;

4.    To move the previous question;

5.    To postpone to a certain day;

6.    To refer to a committee;

7.    To amend;

8.    To postpone indefinitely.

These motions shall have precedence in the order listed.

G.    Any member wishing to terminate the debate may move the previous question. A second is required. If two-thirds of the members present vote in the affirmative, the main question shall be taken without further debate, its effect being to put an end to all debate and to bring the council to a direct vote, first upon any pending amendments, and then upon the main question.

H.    An alderman may demand a roll call vote on any matter and all votes shall be recorded in the journal. On confirmation of appointments and on the adoption of any measure assessing or levying taxes, appropriating or disbursing money, or creating any liability or charge against the city, or any fund thereof, the vote shall be aye and nay.

An alderman shall have the right to abstain from voting on any given matter after notifying the chair of the intention to abstain as soon as a conflict becomes apparent. A reason for the abstention shall be given and the member shall not enter into discussion about the issue upon announcing the intent to abstain. An alderman may not change his vote on any question after the result has been announced.

The mayor shall not vote except in the case of a tie. When the mayor does vote in the case of a tie, his vote shall be counted in determining whether a sufficient number of the council has voted favorably or unfavorably on any measure. A majority vote of all members of the council in favor of any proposed ordinance, resolution or appointment shall be necessary for passage or approval unless a larger number is required by statute. Except as otherwise provided, a majority vote of those present shall prevail in other cases.

I.    A motion to adjourn shall always be in order and a motion to adjourn, to recess, to lay on the table and a call for the previous question shall be decided without debate. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.060 Reconsideration.

Any member voting in the majority may move for a reconsideration of the vote of any question, except confirmation of the appointment of city officials, at that meeting or at the next succeeding regular meeting. A motion to reconsider being put and lost shall not be renewed. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.070 Minutes of meetings.

Within not more than ten days after each meeting of the council, the clerk shall supply to each alderman at his residence a typewritten copy of the proceedings thereof. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.080 Suspension of rules.

These rules or any part thereof may be temporarily suspended in connection with any matter under consideration by a recorded vote of two-thirds of the members present. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.100 Council member absence—Participation by phone.

Any member who, for good cause, is unable to be physically present at a meeting of the council may request in writing, fax or e-mail at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the meeting the written permission of the president of the council to participate in a meeting by speaker phone. Upon a showing of good cause, as determined in the president’s sole discretion, such a request may be granted. In such case, a speaker phone shall be placed in the council chambers or meeting room so that the physically absent member can hear and can be heard by all those who are present. The member shall be entitled to participate and vote to the fullest extent possible; however, the member shall not be entitled to participate and vote on any matter that requires the visual assessment of a witness’s demeanor, or any matter that requires the visual assessment of physical evidence or exhibits that have not been previously reviewed by the member. A member who is not physically present shall not count towards a quorum. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.110 Open meetings.

All meetings of the council and the various committees, boards and commissions of the city shall be open sessions, except where a closed session is authorized by Section 19.85, Wisconsin Statutes. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.120 Financial procedure for bills and authorized claims.

A.    Pursuant to the provisions of Section 66.0609, Wisconsin Statutes, all vouchers and claims (other than claims subject to Section 893.80, Wisconsin Statutes) shall be itemized and upon receipt thereof shall be examined by the city director of finance and/or designee. Upon the director of finance’s audit and approval that such claim is a proper charge against the city, and upon the endorsement of the director of finance upon said bill or claim, the same may be paid from the city treasury. The approval of the director of finance shall be based upon his determination that the following conditions have been complied with:

1.    That funds are available therefor pursuant to the budget approved by the common council;

2.    That the item or service covered by such claim has been duly authorized by the proper official, department head or board or commission;

3.    That the item or service has been actually supplied or rendered in conformity with such authorization;

4.    That the claim is just and valid pursuant to law. The director of finance may require the submission of such proof and evidence to support the foregoing as in the director of finance’s discretion may be necessary.

Approval may be sought from the finance committee for items of a specific nature, including, but not limited to, disbursements for capital projects and similar items. Claims and vouchers in excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), except for those items listed below, must be submitted to the finance committee for approval. On a monthly basis, a report shall be provided to the finance committee and common council listing all claims approved, including date paid, name of payee, purpose and amount. Payment of regular wages and salaries of officials and employees (as adopted by the council); payments on city indebtedness; automated clearing house or wire transfers for property tax and procurement card settlements; contractually or legally required fringe benefit payments and employee payroll deductions (for example, payroll taxes, employee health insurance claims, workers’ compensation insurance premiums, or employee deferred compensation remittances); property or liability insurance premiums under contracts approved by the council; monthly/quarterly payments for ongoing contracts for services previously approved by the council (for example, residential refuse collection); and payments for utility services (for example, natural gas and electricity or Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District service charges) shall be made by the director of finance without submission to the council after verification by the department head submitting and approval by the director of finance.

B.    Claims of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) or less, subject to Section 893.80, Wisconsin Statutes, after audit and approval that such claim is a proper charge against the city, may be paid by the city treasury if such payment is authorized by the city attorney and the city finance director. Approval for claims subject to Section 893.80, Wisconsin Statutes, exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), must be submitted to the finance committee and common council for approval. On a quarterly basis, the council shall be provided a report of all liability claim settlement payments. (Ord. 2407-15 § 1, 2015; Ord. 2261-11 § 1, 2011; Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.130 Committee reports.

Each committee shall, after referral of a matter, report to the council either its recommendation as to such matter or the status of such matter. The council may at any time, by majority vote, take a matter from committee for action by the council. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.140 Adjournment—Quorum.

A.    The council may, by a majority vote of those present, adjourn from time to time to a specific date and hour.

B.    No action shall be taken unless a quorum is present. Two-thirds (ten aldermen) of the aldermen of the council shall constitute a quorum. A lesser number may compel the attendance of absent mem-bers or may adjourn. The mayor shall not be counted in determining whether a quorum is present at a meeting. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.150 City officers to cooperate with committees.

Any committee may require any city officer to confer with it and supply information needed in connection with any matter pending before the committee. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)

2.12.160 Legislative referrals and requests for service.

A.    Definitions. The terms used in this section shall be defined as follows:

1.    “Legislative referrals (LR)” are items that will require a substantive change to an existing ordinance, removing an existing ordinance, creation of a new ordinance or a resolution.

2.    “Requests for service” are items of concern or requests for information that may require action or a work product from a specific department or division thereof. Policy items that are not legislative referrals would also be in this category.

B.    Legislative Referrals.

1.    The mayor is the official recipient of all legislative referrals. The mayor refers items to the appropriate committee, board or commission.

2.    All referrals shall be in writing and delivered to the mayor’s office before the close of business on the Thursday preceding the council meeting for introduction and committee assignment by the mayor.

3.    The committee chairman shall agenda the referral as soon as possible based on committee workload; however, all referrals must be agendized within ninety (90) days of the original referral date.

4.    An alderman may place a referral tabled in committee on a common council agenda any time after the ninety (90) day action period.

5.    The tabled referral shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular common council meeting. Any referral that has been tabled at committee and placed on the common council agenda may be removed from the table by a majority of the members.

C.    Request for Service or Information.

1.    An alderman requesting information or the services of a department or division should provide the request in writing to the mayor. The mayor will forward the request to the appropriate department head or committee chairperson. If it requires committee action, it shall be placed on an agenda within ninety (90) days.

2.    An alderman may place a service/information request tabled in committee on a common council agenda any time after the ninety (90) day action period.

3.    The tabled service/information request shall be placed on the agenda of the next regular common council meeting. Any service/information request tabled at committee and placed on the common council agenda may be removed from the table by a majority of the members.

4.    The administration director and the city attorney should be involved in policy matters to assess the policy impact as it relates to all city functions. (Ord. 2131-08 § 1 (part), 2008)