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City Code of Procedure


Sec. 1. Governing Body. The term governing body shall include the mayor and council.
Sec. 2. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members-elect of the city council. The quorum shall not include the mayor.
Sec. 3. Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the city shall be held at a time, place and date certain as set by the city ordinance and in accordance with applicable state law.
Sec. 4. Special Meetings. Special Meetings will be called only for a special purpose and will be called in accordance with applicable state law.
Sec. 5. Work Sessions. No agenda is required for a work session and no binding action may be taken during a work sessions.
Sec. 6. Quorum. A quorum is required at all meetings during which binding action will be taken by the City.
Sec. 7. Public Comment. Citizens desiring to comment on matters of a general nature or on any specific agenda item(s) shall sign up in advance of the meeting prior to the Official Call to Order and shall provide his or her name and address for the purpose of putting both in the minutes of the meeting. The Mayor may limit the time of each citizen to three (3) minutes. Comments are welcome, however questions to council may not be answered at the meeting if the Mayor feels that staff or council needs time to formulate a response to questions. Questions reserved shall be placed on the agenda for the next meeting at which time the particular question or issue may be addressed. Citizens that fail to sign up in advance of the Official Call to Order may not submit comments and should those comments be submitted regardless, the Mayor may rule such actions to be out of order and such person can be ejected from the meeting by a St. John Police Officer.
Sec. 8. Agenda. Prior to each regular and special meeting, the city will distribute an agenda to each governing body member and it will be made available to the public at that time.
Sec. 9. Setting Agenda. The governing body of the city shall designate an individual to be in charge of setting the agenda.

Sec. 10. Agenda Items. Any governing body member, city staff member or member of the public may request to have an item placed on the agenda by submitting their request, and provide all relevant documents for copy and distribution to the governing body members for examination, to the city staff no later than noon the Friday before the regularly scheduled meeting. Citizens shall provide his or her name and address for the purpose of putting both in the minutes of the meeting.
Sec. 11. Additions to the Agenda. Items may be added to or removed from the agenda at a regular meeting by motion approved by a majority of the governing body members present and voting. No items may be added to the agenda at a special meeting.
Sec. 12. Order of Business. At the hour appointed for the meeting, the mayor shall call the meeting to order. In the absence of the mayor the president of the council shall chair the meeting. Upon having a quorum present, the governing body shall proceed to business, which shall be concluded in the order set by the governing body.
Sec. 13. Consent Agenda. By majority vote of the governing body, any item may be removed from the consent agenda and considered separately.
Sec. 14. Order of Business, Suspended or Amended. By a majority vote of the governing body, the order of business may be amended to add or delete sections as appropriate, or may be suspended in its entirety to consider other matters. Executive sessions may be held at any time in order of business.
Sec. 15. Motions; Seconds. All motions require a second before such motion may be considered.
Sec. 16. Debate. All motions are debatable unless otherwise noted in the section governing motions.
Sec. 17. Substantive Motion. Only one main substantive motion may be pending on the floor at any one time. It must be withdrawn or advanced to a vote before another substantive motion is introduced.
Sec. 18. Substitute Motion. Substitute motions are prohibited. Substantive motions must be withdrawn or advanced before another substantive motion is introduced.
Sec. 19. Motion to Amend. A motion to amend is in order when the proposal is to change, add, or delete words form the main substantive motion. If the motion is to amend a document before voting on its adoption, it is advisable to reduce the change to writing, but it is not required if all members of the governing body understand the amendment. A vote of an amendment is not a final vote on the under lying substantive motion. To pass the underlying substantive motion requires a vote.

Sec. 20. Motion to Pass an Ordinance. All ordinance of the city shall be considered at a public meeting of the governing body. After consideration and amendment (if any) of the ordinance, the question shall be: “Shall the ordinance pass?” No ordinance shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, and no section or sections of an ordinance shall be amended unless the amending ordinance contains the entire section or sections as amended and the sections or sections amended shall be repealed.

Sec. 21. Motion to Refer. If the governing body deems it appropriate, it may refer an ordinance, resolution, contract, or other matter back to staff, committee, board, or other appropriate location for further review and consideration. Such motion may or may not contain a time certain for the item to be returned to the governing body.

Sec. 22. Motion to Reconsider: Prohibited. Motions to reconsider are prohibited. Any governing body member may make a new substantive motion on a matter previously considered by the City.
Sec. 23. Motion to Call the Previous Question. This motion is not debatable and, if passed by a majority of the governing body, calls for an immediate vote on the substantive motion. This motion requires a vote.
Sec. 24. Motion to go into Executive Session. The motion to go into executive session shall be made as follows: “I move that the governing body recess into executive session pursuant to _______________ exception in order to discuss ________________ (general description), the open meeting to resume in the city council chamber at ________ (time).” The motion may also state who is to be present in the executive session, although this is not required. This motion must be made, seconded, and carried. Such motion shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The meeting may not reconvene until the time stated in the motion.
Sec. 25. Motion to Adjourn to a Later Date and Time. If the governing body is unable to complete its agenda during the time allotted for the meeting, the meeting may be adjourned to a time and date certain to continue the regular or special meeting. The motion shall state the time, place, and date for the meeting to reconvene. If the motion is adopted the meeting is adjourned to the specified time, place and date.
Sec. 26. Motion to Adjourn. At the conclusion of the agenda, a motion is in order and requires a majority vote.

Sec. 27. Form of Voting. All votes shall be by voice vote or, in the alternative; the mayor may request that a vote be by “show of hands”. No vote shall be by secret ballot.
Sec. 28. Division. The mayor or any member may request a formal division of vote. At the discretion of the mayor, division may be either by poll of each member or a show of hands.
Sec. 29 Duty to Vote. Members of a governing body have a duty to vote unless such member choosing to abstain has a conflict of interest or other conflict that appears to make voting on an issue improper. Any member who abstains must state for the purposes of its inclusion in the minutes the reason for the abstention.
Sec. 30. Recording. Upon final passage of a matter the vote shall be recorded in the minutes.
Sec. 31. Votes: Non-Ordinance Matters. Unless otherwise specifically required by law, the adoption or rejection of resolutions and other matters shall be by a majority of those present. An abstention shall be counted with the prevailing side.
Sec. 32. Mayor in Council City; Non-Ordinance Matters. The mayor may cast a tie breaking vote when the council is equally divided on a vote in a non-ordinance matter.
Sec. 33. Same; Ordinary Ordinances; Council City. The adoption of an ordinary ordinance requires three affirmative votes of the council.
Sec. 34. Same Ordinary Ordinance: Council City. The mayor may cast the deciding vote in favor of an ordinance at any time that the number of favorable votes is one less than required.
Sec. 35. Same; Ordinary Ordinance; Council City. Mayor’s Veto. The mayor in council may veto any ordinance passed by the council on or before the next regularly scheduled meeting with the exception of ordinances on which the mayor casts the deciding vote and appropriations ordinances. Ordinance not signed or vetoed by the mayor take effect without the mayor’s signature. Any ordinance vetoed by the mayor may be passed over the veto by a vote of four council members. The president of the council, acting in the absence of the mayor, shall have not power to sign or veto ordinances.
Sec. 36. Same: Charter ordinances; Council City. The adoption of a charter ordinance requires four affirmative votes of the governing body. The mayor is considered a member of the governing body.
Sec. 37. Same: Council City; Confirmation of Mayoral Appointments to Non-Elected Position. The mayor may cast the deciding vote when the council is equally divided on a vote for the mayoral appointment to a non-elected position.
Sec. 38. Same: Council Cities; Confirmation of Mayoral Appointment to Elected Positions. The mayor may cast the deciding vote when the council is equally divided on a vote to confirm a mayoral appointment to an elected position.
Application and Amendment
Sec. 39. Rules. For those matters not covered by these rules, the procedure shall be as decided by a majority vote of the governing body. The rules may not be suspended by the governing body during the meeting.