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(1) The regular meetings of the Common Council shall be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the city hall in the City Council chamber, 172 N. 2nd Street; provided that, the regular meetings may be held at a different time and/or place as designated by the Mayor or any three members of the Common Council; and, provided further that, each member of the Common Council be notified of the changes in the same manner as hereinafter required for special meetings. At the hour fixed, the Clerk-Treasurer shall call the roll of members, noting those present and those absent. If the Mayor is absent at the time of first roll call, the presiding officer pro tem shall act as presiding officer at such meetings until the arrival of the one entitled to preside.
(2) Special meetings of the Council may be held upon call made as follows: by the Mayor or by any three members of the Common Council. In case of a call for a special meeting, in whatever manner made, it shall be the duty of the persons authorizing the same to notify the Clerk-Treasurer thereof and it shall be the duty of that officer to cause notice of such meetings to be served upon each member and to be served as otherwise required by law.
(B) Presiding officer.
(1) The presiding officer shall preserve order and decorum. The presiding officer shall decide all questions of order subject to an appeal to the Council.
(2) The presiding officer shall appoint all standing committees as well as special committees that may be ordered by the Council. All standing committees shall be appointed at the commencement of term of the Council; provided that, the standing committees shall survive only during the term of the presiding officer appointing same. He or she shall also fill all vacancies that may occur in any of said committees.
(C) Clerk-Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Clerk-Treasurer to keep an accurate journal of the proceedings of the Common Council. He or she shall keep a proper file of all papers and documents of every kind or character and hold them subject to the orders of the Common Council. He or she shall arrange a roll call in alphabetical order. It shall be his or her duty to have all necessary papers delivered to chairpersons of committees within seven days after the adjournment of any meeting of the Council, which shall have been referred to the committees.
(D) Chief of Police. At the direction of the presiding officer, the Chief of Police or officer designated by him or her shall preserve order in the Council room and lobby.
(E) Officers and employees. It shall be the duty of all officers and employees of the city to be present at any stated meeting, upon the request of the presiding officer.
(F) Rules of order.
(1) Robert’s Parliamentary Rules shall be authority on all questions of parliamentary law and procedure not specifically covered by these rules.
(2) A quorum shall consist of a majority of all members elected, but no ordinance or resolution shall be passed, or ordinance engrossed, which shall not have received the votes of a majority of all members constituting the Council.
(3) Upon objection of any member of the Common Council, no one not a member thereof shall be permitted to address the Council, except on a majority vote of the members present.
(4) The presiding officer shall decide whether any question is carried by affirmative or negative vote. In cases of a rising vote, those voting in the affirmative shall first arise and be counted and afterwards those voting in the negative.
(5) The Finance Committee shall be a standing committee consisting of at least three members of the Common Council and shall be appointed, as herein provided, by the presiding officer. The duties of the Finance Committee shall be the same as in legislative bodies, except as herein modified or changed, and shall include the review of all claims submitted to the city for payment. All other matters relating to finances of the city shall be referred to the Committee.
(1) Ordinances shall be of three distinct classes:
(a) Appropriation ordinances;
(b) Special ordinances relating to special matters; and
(c) General ordinances relating to the government of the city.
(2) All ordinances shall be read at least once by the City Attorney and no ordinance shall be passed on the same day, or at the same meeting, that it is introduced, except by unanimous consent, and then only in case there are present and voting at least four-fifths of all the members-elect of the Council.
(3) Ordinances, upon introduction, shall be read by short title, which title shall clearly set forth the subject matter of the ordinance. After being read the second time, the ordinance is then open for amendments or for referring to proper committee. After the second reading, all ordinances shall be ordered engrossed by the Common Council and placed upon passage, but it shall be proper to include an order for engrossment in a motion for passage, in which case the proper form of motion shall be as follows: to “I move Ord. be ordered engrossed and placed upon its passage” or “tabled to the next regular meeting”.
(4) No amendment, except to strike out, shall be in order after an ordinance has been ordered engrossed, unless by unanimous consent. Any ordinance failing to receive a majority of the votes upon order for engrossment shall be considered as still upon its second reading and awaiting engrossment, unless stricken from the files or otherwise disposed of by the Common Council. All votes upon the passage of ordinances and resolutions and motions to reconsider shall be by roll call.
(5) Any ordinance may be stricken from the files at any time by a vote of four-fifths of all members elected or by a majority vote after the ordinance shall have passed a second reading.
(6) Any ordinance failing to receive a sufficient number of votes on final passage will be considered as lost and stricken from the files; provided that, the vote not be reconsidered within the time and manner authorized by rule under division (I) below.
(7) Any amendment to an ordinance may be referred, delayed or otherwise disposed of without delay or prejudice to the ordinance itself.
(8) Ordinances reported back to the Council by the person or officer to whom the ordinance was returned will take their proper place in first, second or third reading.
(9) Upon call of the roll on any question after any one member shall have voted, it shall not be in order for any member to offer remarks, except in explanation of his or her vote; and no explanation shall be in order under the operation of “the previous question” or “motion to lay on the table”.
(1) When any motion is made and seconded, it shall be stated by the presiding officer and shall be entered upon the journal with the names of the member making it and the member who seconded the meeting.
(2) Every motion shall be reduced to writing, except to adjourn; to adjourn to a day certain; to reconsider the previous question or the seconding thereof; to lay on the table; to postpone to a certain day; to postpone indefinitely; to amend; to suspend the rules or to concur; and every other motion not so reduced to writing shall, upon the objection of any one member, be considered out of order.
(3) When any question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to lay on the table, for the previous question or to postpone, which motions shall have preference in the order in which they are herein arranged.
(4) A motion to lay on the table or for the previous question shall not be in order if prefaced by any speech or remarks.
(5) Any motion or resolution which, in effect, contemplates a violation of law or is in conflict with any ordinance shall be ruled out of order.
(6) A motion to adjourn cannot be repeated unless other business has intervened between the motions.
(7) A motion to adjourn cannot be reconsidered, unless by unanimous consent of the members present.
(8) Any matter laid upon the table may be taken up by a vote of the Council at any time; provided, a motion to reconsider, once laid upon the table, cannot be again taken up.
(9) A motion to “reconsider” is a privileged question and is debatable.
(I) Reconsideration of questions. When any question has been once decided in the affirmative or negative, any member voting with the majority may move to reconsideration thereof on the same or next regular meeting. A resolution, once adopted, may be rescinded by subsequent resolutions. An ordinance, once adopted, may be rescinded by subsequent ordinance(s).
(J) Previous question. The “previous question” shall be put in this form, “Shall the main question now be put?” It shall be admitted only when decided by a majority of the members present and, until decided, shall preclude all motions or amendments, except the motion to adjourn. If the motion be sustained, the chair shall at once put the question, first upon the pending amendments in their order and then upon the main question.
(K) Order of business.
(1) The following order of business shall be observed by the Common Council at its meetings:
(a) Call meeting to order;
(b) Calling of roll;
(c) Pledge of allegiance;
(d) Reading the correcting journal of preceding meetings;
(e) Old business (including tabled resolutions and ordinances);
(f) New business (including intro- duction of new resolutions and ordinances);
(g) Mayor’s report;
(h) Reports from department heads and officers;
(i) Comments from Council;
(j) Comments from general public;
(k) Consideration of claims; and
(2) The reading of the journal may be dispensed with at any time by order of the presiding officer.
(3) The Council may order a return to any order of business after the call of the regular order of business.
(4) The chairperson of each standing committee or, in his or her absence, some delegated member of the committee shall have the privilege of asking for action upon all matters reported by his or her committee before reports of other committees are considered, unless a majority of the members present decide to the contrary.
(1) Unless recognized by the Chair as having the floor, any member may speak or deliver any matter to the Council; provided, he or she shall confine himself or herself to the question in debate and avoid personality.
(2) When two or more members wish to speak at the same time, the presiding officer shall decide who shall speak first.
(3) While the presiding officer is putting a question or addressing the Council or when any member is speaking, no member shall engage in any private discourse or walk across or leave the room unnecessarily.
(4) No member shall impugn the motives of any other.
(5) Any member may change his or her vote before the announcement of the result by the Chair. Every member must vote upon every question unless excused from voting by a majority of the members present.
(6) If any member, in any way, transgresses the rules of the Council, the presiding officer may call him or her to order; in which case, the alleged offender shall immediately yield the floor unless permitted to explain and proceed.
(M) Communications. When the reading of any paper is called for, if objection be made, the Council shall decide whether the paper shall be read; and no paper shall be read, if objected to, without the consent of the Council.
(N) Amendments. No matter or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of an amendment.
(O) Postponed matters.
(1) When any matter is postponed indefinitely, it shall not again be voted upon during that or the next two succeeding meetings.
(2) Any member may demand the “ayes and nays” upon any question to be voted upon by the Council and, when such demand is made, the Clerk- Treasurer shall call the roll.
(3) Any member may demand a division of the question when the question is capable of division.
(P) Amending rules. These rules may be amended or annulled by a majority vote of all members of the Common Council. Any member of the Common Council may offer an amendment for consideration.
(Prior Code, § 32.03) (Ord. 1983-4, passed 2-1-1983) (Amended - -2008; Amended 4-15-2009)
Majority vote required to pass ordinance, see I.C. 36-4-6-12
Meetings, see I.C. 36-4-6-7
Passage of ordinance on day of introduction, see I.C. 36-4-6-13
Presiding officer, see I.C. 36-4-6-8
Quorum, see I.C. 36-4-6-10