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All rules of order and procedure shall govern the deliberations and meetings of both the City Council and its Committees except as to Committee meetings, division (AA)(1) of this section, shall apply only to a vote or question considered at any time during the same Committee meeting.
Except as otherwise provided, all references in this section to the terms City Council, Council and Alderman shall include and apply to Committee Members and Committee Chairman as applicable.
(A) Order of business.
(1) The order of business shall be as follows:
(a) Call to order by Presiding Officer;
(b) Roll call;
(c) Approval of minutes;
(d) Public hearings;
(e) Public comment;
(f) Reports and communications from the Mayor and other city officers;
(i) Reports of standing committees;
(j) Executive session; and
(k) Action taken on executive session items.
(2) All questions relating to the priority of business shall be decided by the Chair, without debate, subject to appeal.
(B) Duties of Presiding Officer.
(1) The Presiding Officer shall preserve order and decorum and may speak to points of order in preference to other members, and shall decide all questions of order, subject to appeal.
(2) In case of any disturbances or disorderly conduct, the Presiding Officer shall have the power to require that the chamber be cleared.
(C) Duties of members.
(1) While the Presiding Officer is putting the question, no member shall walk across or cut off the Council chamber.
(2) Every member, previous to speaking, making a motion or seconding the same, shall not proceed with his or her remarks until recognized and named by the Chair. The member shall confine himself or herself to the question under debate, avoiding personalities and refraining from impugning the motives of any other member’s argument or vote.
(D) Public comment.
(1) City Council meetings.
(a) City Council meetings are deliberative sessions by members of the governing body. Civility and decorum are expected at all times. Public comment is encouraged at all public meetings, but the primary purpose of the meetings are for the aldermen to discuss and determine public policy for the city.
(b) Speakers will be acknowledged by the Mayor and shall address the City Council in a respectful manner from the podium and not approach the City Council. Speakers will begin their statement by first stating their name and whether or not they are a resident of the city. A speaker who represents an organization or other person, must identify the organization or person.
(c) Statements are to be directed to the City Council as a whole and not to individual Council members or individual city staff.
(d) A speaker shall speak no longer than five minutes on any subject matter and shall only speak once on the same subject matter. A speaker may speak for longer than five minutes if given permission by the Mayor.
(e) After a speaker has made his/her statements, he/she shall be seated with no further comments.
(f) Public comment is not intended to require the City Council members or city staff to provide any answer to the speaker.
(g) Discussions between speakers and members of the audience will not be allowed.
(h) The Mayor reserves the right to stop or remove, from the Council chambers meeting room, any speaker or member of the audience who uses profanity, makes threats or is otherwise disruptive.
(i) The public has the right to distribute written materials, including copies of comments which material shall be presented to the City Clerk.
(j) The general public shall not be permitted to bring signs, banners or other display materials into the Council chambers.
(k) Cellular telephones, electronic beepers and pagers that emit a paging or telephone sound, shall be allowed in the Council chambers, provided the device is turned off or on "silent" mode.
(l) The Mayor reserves the right to override the above rules in the case of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances.
(2) Committee meetings.
(a) Council Committee meetings are deliberative sessions by members of the governing body. Civility and decorum are expected at all times. Public comment is encouraged at all public meetings, but the primary purpose of the meetings are for the Committee Members to discuss and determine public policy for the city.
(b) Speakers will be acknowledged by the Committee Chairman and shall address the Committee in a respectful manner from the podium and not approach the Committee. Speakers will begin their statement by first stating their name and whether or not they are a resident of the city. A speaker who represents an organization or other person, must identify the organization or person.
(c) Statements are to be directed to the Committee as a whole and not to individual Committee members or individual city staff.
(d) A speaker shall speak no longer than five minutes on any subject matter and shall only speak once on the same subject matter. A speaker may speak for longer than five minutes if given permission by the Committee Chairman.
(e) If the Committee Chairman or a Committee Member has a question of any person who has previously addressed the Committee, that person may answer and address the specific question even though he or she has previously addressed the Committee.
(f) The Committee Chairman reserves the right to stop or remove, from the Committee meeting room, any speaker or member of the audience who uses profanity, makes threats or is otherwise disruptive.
(g) The public has the right to distribute written materials, including copies of comments which material shall be presented to the Committee Chairman.
(h) The general public shall not be permitted to bring signs, banners or other display materials into the Committee meeting room.
(i) Cellular telephones, electronic beepers and pagers that emit a paging or telephone sound, shall be allowed in the Committee meeting room, provided the device is turned off or on "silent" mode.
(j) The Committee Chairman reserves the right to override the above rules in the case of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances.
(E) Presentation of new business. When a member wishes to present a communication, petition, order, resolution, ordinance or other original matter, he or she shall send it to the desk of the Clerk, who shall read such matter when reached in its proper order.
(1) No member shall speak more than once on the same question, except by unanimous consent, and then not until every other member desiring to speak has had an opportunity to do so; provided, however, that, the proponent of the matter under consideration, as the case may be, shall have the right to open and close debate. No member shall speak longer than ten minutes at any one time, except by consent of the Council; and, in closing debate on any question, as above provided, the speaker shall be limited to five minutes, except by special consent of the Council.
(2) While a member is speaking, no member shall hold any private discussion, nor pass between the speaker and the Chair.
(G) Call of member to order. A member, when called to order by the Chair, shall thereupon discontinue speaking and take his or her seat and the order or ruling of the Chair shall be binding and conclusive, subject only to the right of appeal.
(H) Appeals from decisions of Chair. Any member may appeal to the Council from a ruling of the Chair and, if the appeal is seconded, the member making the appeal may briefly state his or her reason for the same, and the Chair may briefly explain the ruling, but there shall be no debate on the appeal and no other member shall participate in the discussion. The Chair shall then put the question, “Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?” If a majority of the members present vote “No”, the decision of the Chair shall be overruled, otherwise it shall be sustained.
(I) Questions of personal privilege. The right of a member to address the Council on a question of personal privilege shall be limited to cases in which the integrity, character or motives of the member are assailed, questioned or impugned.
(J) Voting. Every member who shall be present when a question is stated from the Chair shall vote thereon, unless excused by the Council, or unless the member is personally interested in the question, in which case, he or she shall not vote.
(K) Special order of business. Any matter before the City Council may be set down as a special order of business at a time certain if two-thirds of the Aldermen present vote in the affirmative, but not otherwise.
(L) Motions. No motion shall be put or debated in the meeting or in committee unless it be seconded. When a motion is seconded, it shall be stated by the Presiding Officer before debate, and every motion in the Council, except motions of procedure, shall be reduced to writing, if required by a member, and the proposer of the motion shall be entitled to the floor.
(M) Withdrawal of motions. After a motion or resolution is stated by the Presiding Officer, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the Council, but it may be withdrawn at any time before decision by consent of the Council.
(N) Division of questions. If any question under consideration contains several distinct propositions, the Aldermen, by a majority vote of the members present, may divide such question.
(O) Record of motions. In all cases where a resolution or motion is entered in the journal, the name of the member moving the same shall be also entered.
(P) Taking and entering votes; explanations of votes not permitted.
(1) If any member requires it, the “yeas” and “nays” upon any question shall be taken and entered in the journal; but the “yeas” and “nays” shall not be taken unless called for prior to any vote on the question.
(2) When the Clerk has commenced to call the roll of the Council for the taking of a vote by yeas and nays, all debate on the question before the Council shall be deemed concluded, and during the taking of the vote, no member shall be permitted to explain his or her vote, but shall respond to the calling of his or her name by the Clerk by answering “yea” or “nay”, as the case may be.
(Q) Announcement and changes of votes. The result of all votes by yeas and nays shall not be announced by the Clerk, but shall be handed by the Clerk to the Chair for announcement, and no vote shall be changed after the tally list has passed from the hands of the Clerk.
(R) Precedence of motions. When a question is under debate, the following motions shall be in order and shall have precedence over each other in order, as listed, divisions (R)(2), (R)(4) and (R)(5) to be decided without debate.
(1) To adjourn to a day certain;
(2) To adjourn;
(3) To take a recess;
(4) To lay on the table;
(5) The previous question;
(6) To refer;
(7) To amend;
(8) To defer or postpone to a time certain;
(9) To defer or postpone (without reference to time); and
(10) To defer or postpone indefinitely.
(S) Motions to adjourn.
(1) A motion to adjourn the City Council shall always be in order, except:
(a) When a member is in possession of the floor;
(b) While the yeas and nays are being called;
(c) When the members are voting;
(d) When adjournment was the last preceding motion; and
(e) When it has been decided that the previous question shall be taken.
(2) A motion simply to adjourn shall not be subject to amendment or debate, but a motion to adjourn to a time certain shall be.
(3) The City Council may, at any time, adjourn over one or more regular meetings, on a vote of a majority of all the Aldermen authorized by law to be elected.
(T) Previous question. When the previous question is moved on the main question, and seconded, it shall be put on this form: “Shall the main question now be put?” If such motion be carried, all further amendment and all further motions and debate shall be excluded, and the question put without delay upon the pending amendment in proper order and then upon the main question.
(U) Motions to lay on the table and to take from the table.
(1) A motion simply to lay the question on the table shall not be debatable, but a motion to lay on the table and publish, or with any other condition shall be subject to amendment and debate.
(2) A motion to take any motion or other proposition from the table may be proposed at the same meeting at which such motion or proposition was laid upon the table; provided, two-thirds of the Aldermen vote therefor.
(3) A motion to lay any particular motion or proposition on the table shall apply to that motion or proposition only. An amendment to the main question or other pending question may be laid on the table and neither the main question, nor such other pending question shall be affected thereby.
(V) Indefinite postponement; motion to defer or postpone without any reference to time.
(1) When consideration of a motion or other proposition is postponed indefinitely, it shall not be again taken up at the same meeting.
(2) A motion to postpone indefinitely shall not open the main question to debate.
(3) A motion to defer or postpone without any reference to time shall not be construed as a motion to postpone indefinitely, but shall be considered to be of the same general nature, and to possess the same general attributes so far as applicable under these rules, as a motion to postpone indefinitely or to a time certain.
(W) Motion to refer. A motion to refer to a standing committee shall take precedence over a similar motion to refer to a special committee.
(X) Motion to amend.
(1) A motion to amend an amendment shall be in order, but one to amend an amendment to an amendment shall not be entertained.
(2) An amendment modifying the intention of a motion shall be in order; but an amendment relating to a different subject shall not be in order.
(3) On an amendment to “Strike out and insert”, the paragraph to be amended shall first be read as it stands, then the words proposed to be stricken out, then those to be inserted and, finally, the paragraph as it will stand if so amended shall be read.
(4) An amendment to the main question or other pending questions may be referred to a committee and neither the main question nor such other pending question shall be affected thereby.
(Y) Filling of blanks. When a blank is to be filled, and different sums or times proposed, the question shall be taken first on the least sum or the longest time.
(Z) Motion to substitute. A substitute for any original proposition under debate or for any pending amendment or such proposition may be entertained notwithstanding that at such time further amendment is admissible; and if accepted by the Aldermen by a vote, shall entirely supersede such original proposition or amendment, as the case may be, and cut off all amendments appertaining thereto.
(1) A vote or question may be reconsidered at any time during the same meeting, or at the first regular meeting held thereafter. A motion for reconsideration, having been once made and decided in the negative, shall not be renewed, nor shall a motion to reconsider be reconsidered.
(2) A motion to reconsider must be made and seconded by members who voted on the prevailing side of the question to be reconsidered, unless otherwise provided by law; provided, however, that, where a motion has received a majority vote in the affirmative, but is declared lost solely on the ground that a greater number of votes is required by statute for the passage or adoption of such motion, then in such case a motion to reconsider may be made and seconded only by those who voted in the affirmative on such question to be reconsidered.
(BB) Adoption of Robert’s “Rules of Order Revised”. The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in the latest published edition of Robert’s “Rules of Order Revised” shall govern the City Council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the special rules of the City Council.
(CC) Temporary suspension of rules; amendment of rules. These rules may be temporarily suspended by a vote of two-thirds of all Aldermen entitled by law to be elected and shall not be repealed, altered or amended, unless by concurrence of two-thirds vote of all Aldermen entitled by law to be elected.
(DD) Censure of members; expulsion of members. Any member acting or appearing in a lewd or disgraceful manner, or who uses opprobrious, obscene and insulting language to or about any member of the Council, or who does not obey the order of the Chair, shall be, on motion, censured by a majority vote of the members present or expelled by a two-thirds vote of all members elected.
(1999 Code, § 30.07) (Ord. 3784, passed 12-3-2012; Ord. 3939, passed 6-20-2016)
City Council rules, see ILCS Ch. 65, Act 5, § 3.1-40-15