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(A) Every board, commission, task force, advisory body, committee and other entity created by the Council, including any sub-committee or working group, by whatever name or designation, and whether created by the Council or other town body with Council approval, must operate in compliance with the State Open Meetings Law, codified as G.S. §§ 143-318.9 et seq. Meetings of all town bodies or sub-committees shall be conducted as follows:
(1) Notice of any official meeting, other than an emergency meeting, shall be given by posting of the date, time and name of the town body or sub-committee at least 48 hours in advance, on the bulletin board for that purpose in Town Hall. If an agenda has been distributed to members of the town body or sub-committee prior to the meeting, it shall also be posted. When an agenda has not been distributed prior to the meeting, it shall be distributed at the beginning of the meeting before the meeting is called to order and additional copies shall be available for members of the media and public.
(a) An OFFICIAL MEETING occurs whenever a scheduled meeting of the town body or sub-committee occurs, whether or not a quorum is present, or when a majority of the town body or sub-committee meet, whether in person or by electronic means such as conference call or e-mail, to conduct a hearing, deliberate, take action or otherwise transact public business.
(b) DELIBERATE includes examining, weighing or reflecting upon the reasons for or against a possible decision and also includes the collective acquisition and exchange of facts preliminary to a decision.
(c) An EMERGENCY MEETING is one that concerns generally unexpected circumstances which require the immediate consideration of the town body or sub-committee. In the event of an emergency meeting, a local news medium must be notified prior to the meeting;
(2) All official meetings shall be open to the public, except as to a closed session conducted in accordance with law; and
(3) Full and accurate minutes of the meeting shall be kept, a copy of which shall be provided to the Town Clerk once approved by the body or sub-committee.
(B) Unless the Council adopts procedures specific to the body or sub-committee, it will conduct its meetings in compliance with the following procedures.
(1) A quorum shall be 50% of the persons initially appointed to the body or sub-committee.
(2) In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall conduct any meeting of the body or sub-committee, and in the absence of both officers, the Mayor may designate a person to act as chair for the meeting in question.
(a) The agenda of the body or sub-committee shall include only those matters within the responsibilities and powers of the body or sub-committee which have been conferred upon it by the Council.
(b) The Chair or his or her designee (e.g. the Board’s Secretary) shall prepare the agenda for each meeting.
(c) At any regularly-scheduled meeting, the body or sub-committee may, by majority vote, add an item to or delete an item from its agenda.
(d) At any special or emergency meeting, the body or sub-committee may consider only those matters included in the notice of the meeting.
(4) The business of the body or sub-committee shall be conducted in a manner as to afford all members an opportunity to speak. However, no member shall generally address the body until first recognized by the chair, and members of the committee, task force or advisory body shall be respectful to each other and shall avoid interrupting each other.
(5) Town Council may appoint Council members and/or the Mayor to serve as liaisons on various town boards, commissions, committees and other town bodies so long as the number of such liaison members does not exceed two per body. Unless otherwise provided by Council, these liaisons shall be voting members of such bodies any may serve as the Chair or Vice-Chair of the body. Their role shall be:
(a) To provide direction to the body or sub-committee regarding the relationship between the Town Council and the body or sub-committee;
(b) To assist with procedural matters;
(c) To serve as a resource; and
(d) To communicate concerns and initiatives of the body back to the full Town Council.
(6) Minutes of the body or sub-committee shall be subject to revision and adoption by the group as a whole.
(7) All actions or recommendations of the body or sub-committee shall require the presence of a quorum and are only effective or adopted upon majority vote, following a motion and second. When the action is to be reported to the Town Council, the committee, task force or advisory body shall not only report the action or recommendation adopted, but the vote by which it was adopted.
(8) Meetings of the body or sub-committee shall proceed in the following order: adoption of an agenda, approval of the minutes, unfinished business, new business, informal discussion and public comment, when public comment is to be accepted. By majority vote of the members of the body or sub-committee in attendance, the order of business may be altered.
(9) At any meeting, if public comment is permitted at the discretion of the body or sub-committee, any person wishing to address the body or sub-committee shall state his or her name and whether or not he or she is a resident of the town.
(a) If there is a sign up sheet provided for speakers, speakers shall be recognized in the order in which they have signed up.
(b) Unless by motion, second, and majority vote a different time limit is adopted by the committee, task force or advisory body, no person shall be allowed to speak for more than five minutes.
(c) Should more than one person wish to make substantially the same comments regarding the same subject, or where a group of persons supports or opposes the same positions, the Presiding Officer may require that all persons designate a spokesperson for their group to address the committee, task force or advisory body, and the Presiding Officer may allot a larger amount of time for the presentation of the group position by the spokesperson.
(d) All persons addressing the body shall be treated respectfully by other persons in attendance at the meeting, and all speakers shall conduct themselves with proper decorum. Should any person present during a public comment period substantially interfere with the ability of a person offering public comment or engage in behavior which violates norms of accepted decorum, or should a person offering public comment engage in behavior which violates norms of accepted decorum, after warning the person(s) and, except in a situation where there is a risk of harm to any person present, providing the person(s) the opportunity to alter their behavior to bring it into conformity with norms of accepted behavior, the Presiding Officer may direct that the person(s) be removed from the meeting.
(Ord. passed 6-18-2009; Ord. passed 9-21-2010; Ord. passed 6-21-2011; Ord. passed 4-21-2016; Ord. passed 6-16-2016; Ord. passed 1-15-2019)