City Council Rules of Procedure
|TABLE OF CONTENTS
|IV. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
IV.A. Robert’s Rules of Order
IV.B. Informal Meeting; Order of the Agenda
IV.B.1. Referral of Service Delivery Issues to City Administration
IV.B.2. Recommendations of Standing Committees
IV.B.3. Docket Review
IV.B.4. Reports of the City Administration
IV.C. Commencement of Formal Meeting
IV.D. The Order of the Formal Meeting Agenda
IV.E. Preparation of the Agenda
IV.F. Consent Agenda
IV.G. Citizen Comment
IV.H. Awards and Presentations
IV.I. Improper Comments and Conduct
IV.J. Debate of Action Items
IV.K. Order of Business at Special Meetings
IV.L. Maintenance of OrderIV. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
IV.A. Robert’s Rules of Order: The rules of parliamentary procedure set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (9th Edition), shall govern the conduct of meetings of Council, except where otherwise specified by these rules or otherwise mandated by the Charter of the City of Richmond, Virginia or state law. Any rules of parliamentary procedure may be suspended by five votes. Any standing rule set forth here (e.g. the length of time permitted for public hearings, amount of time allotted to each speaker, etc.) may be suspended or modified by five votes unless a contrary intent is manifested by these rules.
IV.B. Informal Meeting; Order of the Agenda: At 3:00 p.m. on each regular meeting day, the President of the Council shall call the Informal Meeting to order. The order of the agenda at the Informal Meeting shall be as follows:
IV.B.1. Referral of Service Delivery Issues to City Administration: At this time, the President of the Council shall inquire of each Council Member present as to whether such Council Member has any service delivery issues to refer to the City Administration. Each Council Member shall be afforded an opportunity to state any such issues, which shall be limited to service delivery problems already reported to the City Administration to which the Council Member has not received a satisfactory response. The City Attorney shall prepare a resolution, with all Members of Council as the patrons, incorporating a list of service delivery issues and requesting the Chief Administrative Officer to address these issues with greater priority and furnish all Council Members with a written report on the Administration’s response to each service delivery issue within two weeks of the date on which such resolution is adopted. In order for a Council Member’s service delivery issues to be made a part of this resolution, the Council Member must submit a list of such issues, preferably in electronic format, to the City Attorney or his designee no later than 12:00 p.m. on the Friday before the Council meeting at which such issues are to be included in the service delivery issues resolution. Such resolution shall be called by the City Clerk and considered for adoption by the Council during the Business Meeting portion of the Formal Meeting of the Council that night. Notwithstanding any provision of these Rules to the contrary, such resolution shall not be subject to any requirements for expedited consideration as set out in Rule V(B) or for referral of ordinances and resolutions to standing committees of the Council as set out in Rule VI.
Also during this time, the Chief Administrative Officer shall distribute his written report on the Administration’s response to service delivery issues referred to him at the prior regular meeting of the Council.
IV.B.2 Recommendations of Standing Committees: At this time, the chairpersons of each Standing Committee will present the report of their Committee’s recommendations on all ordinances and resolutions referred to their Committee.
IV.B.3 Docket Review: At this time, the Council will engage in a preliminary review of the agenda, including motions to amend, continue or strike ordinances or resolutions thereon and the removal of ordinances or resolutions from the consent agenda.
IV.B.4 Reports of the City Administration: At this time, the Council will afford the City Administration an opportunity to present any reports to the Council.
IV.C. Commencement of Formal Meeting: At 6:00 p.m. on each regular meeting day and at the specified hour for adjourned or special meetings, the President of the Council shall call the formal meeting to order.
IV.D. The Order of the Formal Meeting Agenda: The order of business at a regular meeting of Council shall be as follows:
Order of Business
The President of the Council may call items in the order of business in a different order than that set forth in this section on a case-by-case basis, provided that the Council may, by adopted motion, overrule such a decision by the President of the Council. Any Council member may make a motion to act on items in the order of business in a different order than that set forth in this section.
IV.E. Preparation of the Agenda:
IV.E.1 The title and assigned number of each ordinance or resolution on which action is to be taken at that meeting shall appear on the agenda. The Agenda for each regular meeting shall (a) be prepared at least five days prior to the meeting at which the ordinances and resolutions to appear thereon are to be considered, (b) be immediately mailed to each Member of the Council, or, if so instructed by any Member of Council, be placed in the repository assigned to such Council Member, and (c) be distributed to officers and employees of the city government and members of the public requesting copies thereof. The following provisions shall also apply.
IV.E.2 Resolutions or ordinances may be introduced and presented to Council by any Member of Council or by the Mayor.
V.E.3 The City Clerk shall prepare the agenda and review same with the President of the Council.
IV.E.4 The order and scheduling of agenda items shall be decided by the President of the Council, subject to appeal thereto to Council, in consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer and the City Clerk, taking into account strategic planning, time management, administrative and other considerations.
IV.E.5 Requests by Members of Council for information or reports concerning the administration of the City or matters having to do with actions of or failure to act by the administrative staff or amenable to administrative disposition shall not be placed on the agenda of any Council Meeting until the Chief Administrative Officer shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to furnish the interested Member or Members with an explanatory statement.
IV.E.6 The agenda for Special Meetings shall be prepared and distributed as provided in Rule II(B).
IV.F. Consent Agenda: The City Clerk, with the approval of the President of the Council, is authorized to prepare a consent agenda for matters of a routine, noncontroversial nature. The purpose of the consent agenda is to provide a method for the expeditious handling of items which, in the opinion of the City Clerk and the President of the Council, will not require discussion and will be approved unanimously by the Council. Prior to the consideration of a motion to approve the agenda, the President of the Council shall ask if any Member of Council would like to have an item removed from the consent agenda for discussion, for further information, or in order that there might be a separate vote on that item. The public will be able to speak on any item on the consent agenda. Matters shall be removed from the consent agenda and placed on the regular docket for debate at the request of any Council Member, with the approval of the patron, or the President of the Council. In the discretion of the President of the Council, any item on the docket may be called out of the order as listed thereon.
IV.G. Citizen Comment: A time shall be established during each meeting of Council for citizens to address the Council on any item which is not on the agenda for that meeting. Citizen Comment is an opportunity for citizens to present comments and information to the Council. Council may request that the staff prepare a report or take other action in response to any citizen’s comments; or Council may instead decide to put the matter on a subsequent agenda for further discussion or action or both.
The hearing of citizens concerning the services, policies and affairs of the City shall not exceed thirty minutes. Each citizen desiring to present any matter concerning such services, policies and affairs shall be allotted such time within the thirty-minute period as determined and allotted by the President of the Council, but not to exceed three minutes. Every citizen desiring to present a matter to the Council as herein specified shall, no later than 12:00 noon on the date of the meeting at which such citizen desires to be heard, make request to the City Clerk for an allotment of time. No citizen shall speak on any matter of business which is the subject of an ordinance or resolution included on Council’s docket for that day.