CITY COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE
Adopted April 10, 1963
(Amended March 9, 1977; May 28, 1980; May 11, 1983;
May 13,1987; March 8,1989; March 17, 1992;
March 9,1994; March 27,1996; March 11, 1998; March 10,1999; March 8, 2000;
March 28, 2001; March 12, 2008; March 14, 2012)
Download a PDF of the Rules of Procedure
- The Chair shall preserve order in the meetings and regulate its procedure by applying the rules of order impartially to all members and the public. Absent objection, the Chair may determine the order in which the City Council considers items on the agenda. Absent such unanimous consent, the provisions of Rule 8(c) below shall control.
- The Mayor will vote only to break a tie vote, to create a tie vote, to create a fourth vote, or for appointments and bond resolutions of necessity.
- No one other than the Mayor may normally address the meeting unless called upon or recognized by the Chair. If members of the City Councilor or staff wish to speak, therefore, they must first be recognized by the Chair.
- Members of the audience must be recognized by the Chair as well, and are required to state their name and address.
- No vote is required unless a motion is involved.
- Any discussion should be limited to the agenda item under consideration and not more than one person should be speaking on the same item at one time.
- Any items discussed in the agenda under the heading of general appearances should be limited to not more than 10 minutes per subject, unless extended by majority vote of the Council.
- Regular meetings shall mean the meetings provided by the Charter to be held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, and may be adjourned to a date and time certain.
- Special meetings shall mean all meetings of the City Council other than regular Meetings; notice thereof shall be given as provided by statute.
- Agenda shall mean a table of items of business for consideration at a Council meeting. Upon motion duly seconded and adopted, agenda items may be added deleted or passed over at any time.
- Executive Session shall mean meetings as provided for in V.S.A., Title I, Section 313, Subsection (a), for the purpose of discussing contracts, labor relations, agreements with employees, arbitration, grievances, civil actions at law or prosecutions by the State where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the state, municipality, other public body or person involved at a substantial disadvantage; the negotiating or securing of real estate options; the appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee; a disciplinary or dismissal action against a public officer or employee; but nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impair the right of such officer or employee to a public hearing if formal charges are brought; a clear and imminent peril to the public safety; discussion or consideration of records or documents excepted from the access to public records provisions of section 317(b) of this title, or any other purpose allowed by statute. Discussion or consideration of the excepted record or document shall not itself permit an extension of the Executive Session to the general subject to which the record or document pertains. The substance of matters discussed in Executive Session shall not be disclosed by any participant, nor shall minutes of Executive Sessions be maintained.
- The agenda shall be prepared by the City Manager and shall include such items of business as the Mayor may wish to bring to the attention of the Council, and also such items as may be requested by any member of the City Council before 12:00 noon on a Friday preceding the regular Council meeting.
- The agenda for the regular meetings shall be closed at 12:00 noon on Friday preceding the regular Council meeting and a copy of the same shall be hand-delivered to each Council member at his/her home address on such Friday.
- Citizen's may request that items be placed on the Council's agenda by submitting written requests. In the event that the nature or timing of the item is such that it must be discussed at the next regular Council meeting, the written request must be submitted to the City Manager by 4:30 PM on the Thursday preceding the next Council meeting. With other requests, the Manager may determine the appropriate meeting date based on criteria including, but not limited to, items already scheduled, continuity with other issues and required deadlines or time lines.
- The agenda shall indicate the name of the official proposing the item and whether or not such official anticipates voting action on it.
- Each agenda may contain a section entitled Consent Agenda. Items listed on the Consent Agenda may be voted upon collectively. Examples of such Consent Agenda items are the minutes, vendors' licenses, routine approvals and other non-controversial matters. If desired, the request of a single Council Member will be sufficient cause to remove an item from the Consent Agenda and vote on it separately.
- Items on the agenda not indicated for vote are not to be brought on for vote without the consent of two-thirds of the Council Members present at the meeting. Matters not on the agenda of a regular meeting may be brought on for discussion and vote by the unanimous consent of all Council Members present.
- Special and emergency meetings may be called by the Mayor. The Mayor, or, in case of his/her failure, the City Clerk, shall call special or emergency meetings on the request of three (3) members of the City Council.
- Notice of special meetings, including a statement of the business proposed to be transacted, shall be given to each member of the City Council at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the time of the meeting. Notice of special meetings need not be in writing, but in event of failure of actual notice, written notice mailed or delivered to the home of the Council Members not otherwise contacted and posted at least twenty-four (24)hours in advance of the meeting shall be sufficient.
- Special emergency meetings may be held without formal notice, providing not less than five (5) members of the Council voluntarily agree to assemble for that purpose, but such meeting shall be held only after all reasonable means have been used to notify any Council Member not present, with reasonable opportunity given to such Council Member to attend, and the minutes of such meeting shall state the means used to notify or attempt to notify such absent members that the meeting was to be held.
- Application for Council permits shall be considered as agenda items.
- The rules of procedure to be followed by the City Council shall be Robert's Rules of Order, most recent revision, when otherwise not specified in the Rules of Procedure and City Charter.
- Nothing in these Rules of Procedure shall conflict or alter the Rules and Procedures granted by the Montpelier City Charter and/or State Law.
- A parliamentarian shall be elected at the same time as the President and Vice President of the City Council.