RESOLUTION NO. 2020-02- Rules of Council

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Related Area: | Council |
Related Elkins Municipal Code (EMC):
Related Year:| 2020 |

Ordinance #: 2020-01


WHEREAS, the City Council is charged with setting the rules for its proceedings, and the City Council finds the following rules should be followed in order to promote efficient, consistent and fair City Council Meetings.


1. City Council – Members and Duties. There shall be two (2) Council Members per ward, with respective positions designated as #1 or #2. Candidates for the position of Council Members shall reside within the corporate limits of their respective wards at the time they file as candidates for Council Members, and while holding that office.
Members of the City Council shall have all powers and duties as set forth in state law.
2. Regular Meetings. All regular meetings of the City Council shall be held in the Council Chambers located at 1874 Stokenbury Road on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00p.m. Should a holiday or conflicting event occur on any such Thursday, the regular meeting shall be held the following day or at the day designated by the City Council, at the same time and place determined by the City Council.
3. Special Meetings. The Mayor shall have the power to call a special meeting of the City Council. The Mayor shall notify the City Clerk and each Council Member of the date, time, place and subject of the meeting.
Further, three (3) Council Members may call a special meeting by signing and submitting a notice to the Mayor and the other members of the City Council. The notice shall state date, time, place and subject of the meeting. Said notice shall be filed with the City Clerk (or authorized designee), who shall notify the Mayor and City Council members of the date, time, place and subject of the meeting.
The City Clerk’s notification to Council Members of a special meeting shall be made by personal service, or by telephone, or by e-mail.
Only the Council Member who requested the special meeting, or the Mayor, if he or she requested the special meeting, may cancel the special meeting.
At any special meeting, no other business shall be transacted beyond that for which the meeting was called. All such meetings shall be open to the public, and press and media that have requested notice must be given at least two (2) hours advance notification.
4. Executive Sessions. Executive sessions shall only be convened by the City Council when one is permitted according to state law, and specifically the State Freedom of Information Act which shall be strictly observed at all times.
5. Work Sessions and Committee Meetings. All work sessions and committee meetings of the City Council shall be open to the public, and shall be subject to notification as required by law, and as provided herein.
6. Duty of Council Members to Attend. It shall be the duty of each Council Member to attend all meetings.
7. Absence from Meetings. Any Council Member who is absent from two (2) Council Meetings in a calendar year shall forfeit any stipend or enumeration provided for the attendance of the second meeting and each subsequent meeting missed that calendar year. The calendar year shall begin January 1st.
8. Quorum. A quorum of the City Council of the City of Elkins shall be constituted in accordance with applicable state law.
9. Presiding Officer. As set forth in state law, the Mayor shall preside at a meeting of the City Council and shall have a vote as provided in state law. In the absence of the Mayor, the City Council shall appoint one of its members to serve as the presiding officer of the City Council meeting, and such appointment shall rotate by ward.
10. Appeal from Decision of the Chair. Any member may appeal to the Council from the decision of the chair or presiding officer of the meeting, but no decision of the Mayor shall be reversed unless by a majority of all Council Members present at the meeting.
11. Duty of Police Chief to Attend. It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police or an officer assigned by the Chief of Police, to be present and on duty at all regular and special meetings of the City Council.
12. Meeting Journal. The City Clerk shall, in accordance with state law, keep a journal of the proceedings of all regular and special meetings of the City Council, which shall be open for inspection and examination as set forth in state law.
13. Order of Business. Regular sessions of the City Council shall proceed under the following pattern which shall be reduced to writing in the form of an agenda distributed to Council Members prior to the meeting:

1. Call to Order;
2. Invocation;
3. Pledge of Allegiance;
4. Roll Call;
5. Approval of Consent Agenda;
6. Public Forum;
7. Procedural Motions;
8. Committee Reports and Announcements;
9. Presentation of Ordinances and Resolutions;
a. Old Business;
b. New Business; and
10. Adjournment.

14. Rules of Procedure. The Council Meeting shall be conducted with a relaxed application of Robert’s Rules of Order. The City Attorney shall serve as a parliamentarian. Rulings of the chair regarding matters of procedure shall be final unless reversed by the Council as provided in that section pertaining to appeals from decisions of the chair.
15. Who May Address the Council. No one but a member of the City Council shall address the Council unless by unanimous consent of the members present, or as provided by the rules governing public comment.
16. Addressing the Council. No member of the Council shall address the City Council until he or she has addressed the chair and been recognized by the chair as entitled to floor.
17. Participation in Discussions. Participation in discussion of any question before the City Council shall be limited to members of the Council and the Mayor.
18. Unwarranted Interruptions. Any member or members of the City Council interrupting another who has the floor, without consent of such member, or who shall otherwise interrupt or obstruct business of the council, may be called to order by the chair and for a second offense expelled, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the City Council, from the meeting.
19. Failure to Obtain Leave. No Council Member shall absent himself or herself from the Council while in session without permission of the chair and any Council Member who shall violate this section shall forfeit any stipend or payment for the attendance of a Council meeting.
20. Ordinance to be Reduced to Writing. No ordinance before the City Council shall be acted upon until it shall have been reduced to writing, and approval by the City Attorney.
21. Agenda. The City Council meeting agenda, with consent agenda, shall be prepared by the City Clerk (or her authorized designee), and shall be mailed or delivered such that they are received, in hand, by Council Members no later than noon the Tuesday before the meeting.
22. Public Comments; Procedure.
(a) There shall be a period of public comment as prescribed in the Order of Business. The Mayor will be responsible for noting concerns and questions and responding to the citizen as appropriate. The person desiring to speak during this comment period shall limit their comments to two (2) minutes as determined by the Mayor;
(b) At the Mayor and City Council’s discretion, persons desiring to address a particular agenda item shall do so immediately before that item is considered by the Council, as indicated by the Mayor. Each person addressing an agenda item shall limit their comments to two (2) minutes and may speak one (1) time only to an individual item which shall be monitored by the Mayor. Persons wishing to address an agenda item shall designate whether they are “for” or “against” the item so that the speakers and positions may be alternated;
(c) Any person wishing to address the Council in the comment period or pertaining to a particular item shall indicate their desire by signing the public comment sheet in the Council Chambers;
(d) The Mayor shall administer the public comment period and comments pertaining to agenda items, and shall be responsible for monitoring the time taken by each speaker and will instruct the speaker as to when their time is exhausted, or their comments have become repetitive. Any Council Member may move for additional time to be allowed, which will require a 2/3 vote of the council;
(e) This section shall not be applied to conflict with any law or regulation pertaining to public hearings required by state law.
23. Procedural Motions. Motions must be made by City Council Member before presentation of Ordinances and Resolutions;
(a) Motion to dispense with the Rule and read all Ordinances one time and by title