Meeting Procedures

Meeting Procedures

Council meetings are conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.  There are a variety of subject types the Council will consider.  Below is a summary of Council actions:

Ordinances:  Ordinances are formal documents which carry the binding force of law and are passed by the Council in accordance with rules set forth in the City Charter.  Two kinds of Ordinances, emergency and non-emergency, appear on the Agenda.  Emergency Ordinances require a unanimous vote with at least four Council members present to vote.  Non-emergency ordinances come before Council twice and go into effect 30 days after passage by Council.  Public testimony is generally taken only at the first reading and the vote is taken at the second reading.   Only a simple majority of votes is required for adoption.

Resolutions: A resolution usually establishes Council policy or directs certain administrative actions.  It requires only one reading and approval by a simple majority.  They are effective upon adoption unless an action is delayed in the language of the resolution.  Resolutions are often used to memorialize actions such as large purchases, appointments to boards or commissions, and contracts.

Reports:  Reports provide information, transmit other documents and/or make recommendations.  Reports are commonly used to approve bids and the completion of contracts, or make recommendations, etc.

Consent Agenda:  To expedite Council business, routine and non-controversial items are placed on a Consent Agenda which is passed without discussion and with a single vote of approval by  amajority of Council.  Anyone who wishes to comment on any item on the Consent Agenda may ask the City Recorder to remove that item from the Consent to be heard as part of the Regular Agenda.  The Mayor will also provide an opportunity to make such a request prior to calling for the vote.

Quasi-Judicial Proceedings:  Special rules apply to land use appeals, which are quasi-judicial in nature and are conducted in accordance with Oregon State statutes and City Code provisions.  Those rules are stated in the hearing notification and at the beginning of the session.

Communications:  In addition to testifying before Council on any item listed on the Agenda, citizens may address a communication to Council, in care of the City Recorder, requesting to be heard by Council.  Generally, the request is placed at the beginning of the Council session and the correspondent is given three minutes to speak. 

Citizen Participation:  Councilors welcome public testimony.  As each item pulled from the Consent Agenda and all those on the Regular Agenda are read, the Mayor will ask if anyone wishes to be heard.  Normally, anyone wishing to speak is given three minutes and Councilors may then ask questions. Before the meeting begins an individual wishing to testify must fill out a Public Comment Registration Form, which are available on the table just inside the Council Chambers.  Names are called by the Mayor and the person(s) testifying is(are) to take a seat at the table facing Council.  Written materials may also be submitted to the City Recorder for distribution to Council members either prior to or at the meeting.  Those wishing to make video or Powerpoint presentations should check with the City Recorder prior to the meeting.  Written material for distribution to Council members may also be submitted by those unable to attend in person.  Persons needing assisted listening devices or other accommodation should advise the City Recorder several days in advance of the meeting.

If you have any questions about how you may participate in the governmental process, please do not hesitate to contact the City Recorder  (503) 647-5555.

Public Meeting Types: 

All meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Regular Meeting - A meeting that occurs on preset schedule (First and Third Monday of the month).  Agendas are published in advance of the meeting, and minutes are later adopted.  The Council can take actions such as adopting resolutions or provide direction at staff during such a meeting.

Study Session - A meeting where any members of the Council or committee may attend, ask questions and generally discuss a topic.  No action or consensus may be taken at the meeting.  An agenda is published in advance of the meeting.  No minutes are taken.

Closed or Executive Session - A meeting where attendance is limited to the Council and invited guests.  Members of the press can attend but cannot report on discussions within the meeting.  The topics of discussion are limited to ones specified in ORS and the nature of the discussion must be posted on an agenda in advance of the meeting.  No minutes are kept.  Council must report in a open meeting, if a decision has been reached.  

Special Meeting - A meeting occurring outside of the regular schedule for Council. An agenda is published and minutes are taken.

Emergency Meetings - An "emergency meeting" is a special meeting called on less than 24 hour's notice. An "actual emergency" must exist, and the minutes must describe the emergency justifying less than 24 hours notice.