RULES AND ORDERS
MALDEN CITY COUNCIL
1.00 SCHEDULE OF COUNCIL/COMMITTEE MEETINGS
1.01 With the exception of the months of July and August, regular meetings of the City Council shall be held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., except when said Tuesday falls on a holiday, and at such other times as the majority of the Council may agree. City Council Committee meetings shall be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., except when said Tuesday falls on a holiday and at such other times as the majority of the Council may agree.
1.02 The City Council as a Committee of the Whole shall meet on any fifth Tuesday of a month, with such persons or on such topics as the City Council deems appropriate, unless the Council has determined in accordance with Subsection 1.01 that said Tuesday should be reserved for a regular meeting of the City Council.
1.03 At the call of the President, meetings of the City Council may be called during July and/or August. The schedule of regular meetings or committee meetings, referred to in Rule 1.01, may be modified, upon 7 days notice.
1.04 A roll call shall be taken at the beginning of each regular Council meeting. A roll call of the Committee of the Whole shall be taken at 7 p.m. on committee meeting nights and at each Committee meeting.
2.01 A majority of the members of the City Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
3.00 ORDER OF BUSINESS
3.01 At every regular meeting of the Council, the order of business shall be as follows:
1. Call to Order;
2. Salute the Flag and moment of silence for the nation’s veterans;
3. Roll Call
4. Special guests, citizen achievement, and announcements;
5. Approval of minutes;
6. Appointments and elections;
7. Hearings, petitions, remonstrances and memorials;
9. Motions, orders and resolutions;
10. Communications and reports from City Officers;
11. Claim Notices;
12. Reports of Committees;
13. Tabled papers.
14. Personal Privilege
3.02 The above order shall not be departed from except by vote of the majority of the members present; and all questions relating thereto shall be decided without debate.
4.00 MEETING RECORDS
4.01 The City Clerk, or in his/her absence, the Assistant City Clerk, shall attend and keep the records of all meetings of the Council, shall record the names of the members present, and shall have care and custody of all documents, maps, plans and papers submitted to the Council as a matter or record during a Council meeting.
4.02 Each Member shall be provided with a copy of the minutes of the full Council forty-eight hours in advance of any vote regarding those minutes. Minutes of each meeting of the full Council shall be given to the IT Department to be posted on the city’s website within twenty-four hours after the minutes are accepted by the full Council.
5.00 NON-MEMBER'S RIGHT TO FLOOR
5.01 No person except the Mayor shall be given the floor on any matter except by majority consent.
5.02 At any time during a meeting, the Mayor may be recognized by the presiding officer and address the Council on the matter presently under debate.
6.00 NOTICES TO DEPARTMENT HEADS
6.01 No person who is the head of a Commission, Department or any other agency of the City government shall be required to address, explain or defend any activity of the respective commission, department or agency that may be involved in any discussion before that City Council unless one week written notice is given to such department executive.
6.02 If a person who is the head of a Commission, Department or any other agency of the City government requests to appear before the City Council to address, explain or defend any activity of the executive Commission, department or agency that may be involved in any discussion before the City Council, one week written notice must be given to the City Council.
6.03 Such notice shall contain all matters in which the Council may require information but shall not prevent any member from requesting information on any other department matter subject to the rule of the Chair. If request is made for information not contained in such notice, the department executive shall be given sufficient time, as defined by presiding officer, to prepare his/her response.
6.04 This rule shall not apply to the Solicitor, the Controller or the Treasurer.
7.00 EFFECT OF FAILURE TO ACT ON MATTERS BEFORE COUNCIL
7.01 Petitions for an initial license or permit, if not finally acted upon by the date of expiration of the license or permit applied for, shall be placed on file.
7.02 A petitioner seeking to renew an existing license may continue to operate pending final determination of any renewal application by the City Council, but only on condition that application for renewal of said license has been made. Failure to timely apply for license or permit renewal shall subject the holder to revocation, suspension, or modification upon notice and hearing.
7.03 If the license or permit for which petition has been made has no expiration date, the petition shall remain active until final action has been taken by the Council.
7.04 Claims, if not finally acted upon within three years of the date of the incident from which the claim arises, shall be placed on file.
7.05 All other papers not finally acted upon at the end of a biennial session shall be placed on file, unless the Council votes within 30 days of the beginning of the next biennial session to hold over said bill, order, petition, resolve, memorial or remonstrance; provided that no matter shall be carried over for more than one biennial session.
8.00 ROBERT’S RULES APPLY
8.01 Robert's Rules of Order shall be the authority on all questions of debate or parliamentary procedure, whenever the same do not conflict with the rules set forth by the City Council.
9.00 DECORUM DURING MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL
9.01 Spectators or visitors shall wear no head covering while in the Council Chamber. This rule shall not apply in any case where one's religious duty prescribes the wearing of head covering.
9.02 Participants and spectators shall disable the audible signal on any electronic communication device and shall not use any said device to the distraction of others in attendance when any meeting of the Council is in progress.
II. PRESIDING OFFICER
10.00 DESIGNATION OF PRESIDING OFFICER
10.01 Meetings of the City Council shall be presided over by President, who shall be chosen annually from among its members.
10.02 In the absence of the President of the Council, the senior member present shall preside until a President pro tempore is chosen by ballot. Senior member shall mean the member with the most years of service to his/her credit as a member of any prior or present Malden City Council.
10.03 In the event of a vacancy in the office of President of the Council, the senior member, as defined in 10.01, shall preside until a President is chosen by ballot.
10.04 Any member called upon to preside over a City Council meeting under the provisions of Rule 10.02, 10.03 or 14.00 shall assume all the powers and duties of the President.
11.00 PRESIDENT TO CALL MEETING TO ORDER
11.01 The President of the City Council shall take the chair at the hour fixed and, a quorum being present, shall proceed to business.
12.00 PRESIDENT TO ENFORCE RULES AND PRESERVE ORDER
12.01 The President of the Council or the presiding officer thereof shall enforce the Rules and Orders of the City Council by any means necessary and proper.
12.02 The President shall preserve order and decorum, may speak to points of order in preference to other members, and shall decide all questions of order.
13.00 PRESIDENT TO DECIDE WHICH MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO THE FLOOR
13.01 When two or more members request the floor at the same time, the President shall determine who is entitled to speak.
14.00PRESIDENT TO DECIDE QUESTIONS AND DECLARE VOTES
14.01 The President shall decide all questions of order, but any member may appeal the President's ruling to the full Council, under the provisions of Rule 20.
14.02 The President may vote on all questions under appeal.
14.03 The President shall declare all votes of the City Council; provided that, if a member doubts the vote as declared by the President, he/she may request that a roll call be taken.
15.00 PRESIDENT TO VACATE CHAIR TO ENGAGE IN DEBATE
15.01 The President may state facts and give an opinion on questions of order without leaving the Chair.
15.02 The President may express an opinion on any matter under debate, but in such cases, shall call upon another member to preside and shall leave the Chair.
15.03 The President shall not resume the chair while a question on which he/she has spoken is pending, provided that the question under debate is decided before adjournment.
III. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS
17.00MEMBERS TO OBSERVE RULES OF DECORUM
17.01 When speaking, members shall address the chair and shall confine him or her to the question under debate.
17.02 No member shall mention another member in debate except by his/her title or surname.
17.03 No member shall speak or vote out of place without the consent of the presiding officer.
17.04 No member shall interrupt another, except by a call to order, for the correction of a mistake, or for explanation.
17.05 Members shall not converse among themselves while a question is being stated, while a member is speaking or while a paper is being read.
17.06 When a member is called to order, he/she shall immediately come to order unless permitted to explain. If, on a call to order, the full Council is appealed to, the question shall be decided without debate; and if the decision is against the member, he/she shall not be permitted to speak.
18.00 MEMBERS TO VOTE, UNLESS EXCUSED
18.01 Except when excluded by interest, every member, including the President, shall vote on all questions. A request to be excused from voting must be made before the calling of the roll begins, and shall be decided without debate.
18.02 No member shall vote on any question or serve on any committee where his/her private right or interest is immediately concerned.
19.00 MEMBERS TO REMAIN AT MEETINGS UNTIL ADJOURNMENT
19.01 No member shall leave a meeting without permission of the President and his/her presence shall cause his/her name to be added to the roll for purposes of constituting a quorum.
20.00MEMBERS MAY APPEAL PRESIDENT'S RULINGS
20.01 Any member may appeal any ruling of the President to the full Council, provided that a motion for appeal will be in order only if it is seconded by another member.
20.02 When an appeal is pending, no other business shall be in order until the appeal is decided.
21.00 MEMBERS MAY REQUEST PERSONAL PRIVILEGE
21.00 At the conclusion of regular business, the President shall afford any member so requesting the floor on any matter of personal privilege.
IV. INTRODUCTION OF ARTICLES TO THE CITY COUNCIL, MAKING OF MOTIONS, DEBATE, DECIDING QUESTIONS
A. FORM AND MANNER FOR INTRODUCTION OF ARTICLES TO COUNCIL
22.00 FORM OF ORDINANCES
22.01 The enacting style of all ordinances shall be as follows: "Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Malden as follows... ".
23.00 FORM OF ORDERS AND RESOLVES
23.01 Any action which the Council may command shall be an termed an order and shall be expressed in the following form: "Ordered: That...".
23.02 Any matter in which the Council wishes to express an opinion or principal or to state a fact shall be termed a resolve and shall be expressed in the following for: "Resolved: That it is the sense of the City Council that...".
24.00 FORM OF PETITIONS
24.01 Any request to the City Council for a license or permit shall be termed a petition and shall be submitted on a form provided by the City Clerk.
24.02 Petitions shall be submitted to the City Clerk with a fee as determined by the City Council. Said fee shall be deemed an application fee and shall be non-refundable in the event that the license or permit is denied.
25.00 ARTICLES TO BE SIGNED, IN WRITING, AND READ BY CLERK
25.01 All matters, except petitions for licenses or permits, coming before the Council must be in writing and signed by the member presenting them.
25.02 All petitions for licenses or permits coming before the Council must be in writing and signed by the petitioner.
25.03 All items introduced to the Council shall be read into the record by the Clerk.
26.00 OBJECTIONS TO THE INTRODUCTION OF ARTICLES
26.01 When a member objects to the reading of a paper, the majority of the members present and voting shall decide whether or not the paper will be read.
27.00 MANNER IN WHICH ARTICLES ARE PLACED ON COUNCIL DOCKET
27.01 All articles to be introduced at a City Council meeting shall be submitted to the City Clerk on or before 2 hours prior to the close of business on the Friday preceding the meeting.
27.02 On the Friday preceding each Council meeting, the City Clerk shall prepare and distribute a docket, containing a listing of all articles of new business to be brought before the Council, all matters laid on the table, all enrolled ordinances, and any matters to be reconsidered. To the extent practicable, the docket shall also contain a listing of Mayor's appointments and committee reports to be brought before the Council, provided that the introduction of additional appointments or committee reports may be made without suspension of this rule. Dockets for regular and committee meetings shall be given to the IT Department to be posted on the city’s website by the close of business on Friday preceding the meeting.
28.00LIMITATIONS ON PLACING ARTICLES ON COUNCIL DOCKET
28.01 When a measure has been rejected by the Council, no item containing substantially the same subject matter shall be introduced within the next six months; provided that no application for permit to store gasoline in tanks of cars in garages shall come before the City Council for a period of one year after its denial.
29.00LIMITATIONS ON A MEMBER'S RIGHT TO SPEAK
29.01 No member shall speak more than once on the same question until all members choosing to speak have spoken.
29.02 No member shall speak more than three times to the same question on the same day except by majority consent.
30.00 LIMITATIONS ON DEBATE
30.01 The following motions shall be decided without debate:
to take from the table.
30.02 Debate on the following motions shall be limited as hereinafter proscribed:
1. on a motion to adjourn to a date certain, debate shall be allowed only on the date to which adjournment shall be made;
2. on a motion for the previous question, debate shall be limited to five minutes, with no member permitted to speak for more than two minutes. Members shall confine their comments to reasons why the main question should not be put.
30.03 In all other instances, debate may be limited only by adoption of a motion for the previous question.
The President shall put a motion for the previous question in the following form: "Shall the main question now be put?" and all debate on the main question and pending amendments shall be suspended until that question is decided.
Motions for the previous question shall be limited as proscribed in Rule 33.02. All incidental questions of order arising after a motion is made for the previous question shall be decided without debate, except an appeal.
After the adoption of the previous question, votes shall be taken, without debate, upon pending amendments in their regular order, and then upon the main question.
31.00 MOTIONS MAY BE REQUESTED IN WRITING
31.01 At the request of the President, any motion shall be reduced to writing by the member making said motion.
32.00 DISPOSAL OF MOTIONS
32.01 After a motion is stated or read, it shall be disposed of by vote, except as provided in Rule 35.02.
32.02 The sponsor of any motion may withdraw it, by majority consent, at any time before a decision or amendment.
33.00 ORDER IN WHICH MOTIONS ARE CONSIDERED
33.01 Except as set forth below, the President shall propound all questions in the order in which they are moved.
33.02 A privileged motion shall be considered before any regular motions. Privileged motions shall be considered in the order set forth in Rule 33.
33.03 When setting amounts, the smallest figure shall be put first.
33.04 When fixing times, the latest date shall be put first.
33.05 When referring to committee, a motion to refer to a standing committee shall be considered before a motion to refer to a special committee.
34.00 MOTIONS IN ORDER DURING DEBATE
34.01 When a question is under debate, only the following subsidiary and incidental motions shall be in order:
to table until a date certain;
to table indefinitely;
to order the previous question;
to refer to committee;
to amend; or
34.02 These motions shall have precedence on the order in which they are arranged.
35.00 MOTIONS MAY BE DIVIDED
35.01 A motion containing two or more propositions capable of division shall be divided whenever a majority of the members present and voting so request.
36.00 MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
36.01 After a vote has been taken, any member of the majority may move reconsideration, provided that the motion is made under one of the following conditions:
1. at the same meeting, only if the item in question appeared on the docket; or
2. within twenty-four hours of adjournment, whether or not the item in question appeared on the docket.
36.02 A member who wishes to move reconsideration after the adjournment of a meeting shall notify the City Clerk of his/her intention to move for reconsideration at the next regular meeting. Upon receipt of such notice, the City Clerk shall retain possession of the papers until such meeting.
37.00 LIMITATIONS ON MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
37.01 No motion shall be reconsidered twice.
37.02 No vote on the following motions shall be reconsidered:
to lay on the table;
to take from the table;
the previous question, and;
D. DECIDING QUESTIONS
1. IN GENERAL
38.00 ARTICLES PRESENTED TO PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE
38.01 Every article voted in the affirmative by the City Council shall be presented to the President for his/her signature without necessary delay.
39.00 APPOINTMENTS SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION AND ELECTIONS BY THE CITY COUNCIL
39.01 APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS GENERALLY
The Ordinance Committee shall interview and make recommendation to the City Council on every appointment or re-appointment to a city office, board or commission; provided that any such recommendation shall not be binding upon the Council. Any person who is nominated for election or appointment to office at a properly called meeting shall be elected or confirmed if he/she receives the vote of a majority of the members present and voting.
39.02 ELECTION BY THE CITY COUNCIL
No less than 30 days prior to the expiration of the term of an appointment by the City Council, the City Clerk shall solicit in writing a statement from the appointee as to whether or not he or she will seek reappointment.
Upon notification that an incumbent officer is seeking reappointment, the Ordinance Committee shall meet with the officer for purposes of discussing departmental operations, accomplishments and goals and shall make a recommendation to the full City Council. This rule may be waived with respect to reappointment of full time city officers by majority vote of the City Council.
Upon notification that an incumbent officeholder is not seeking reappointment to a board or commission, if an appointee has been denied reappointment by the Council to a board or commission or prior to the initial appointment to a newly created board or commission, the President shall publicize the vacancy, providing a description of the duties of the office and outlining necessary qualifications and an application process. At the expiration of the application period, the City Council shall refer all applications to the Ordinance Committee for interview and recommendation.
Upon receipt of notification that a full time city officer appointed by the Council will not be seeking reappointment or upon the retirement of a full time city officer, the Council shall advertise the vacancy, providing a description of the duties of the office and outlining necessary qualifications and an application process. At the expiration of the application period, the City Council shall refer all applications to the Ordinance Committee for interview and recommendation.
Upon receipt of the Ordinance Committee recommendation, the Council shall open nominations for the position, and members may nominate any applicant deemed qualified to fulfill the duties of the office.
39.03 APPOINTMENTS REQUIRING CONFIRMATION
Initial appointments and reappointments by the Mayor which are subject to confirmation shall be referred to the Ordinance Committee for review and recommendation to the full Council. The Ordinance Committee may, as part of its review, request that the Mayor provide background information on any initial appointment and shall meet with all nominees prior to recommendation. In the case of reappointments, the Ordinance Committee shall, prior to recommendation, meet with the officer for purposes of discussing departmental operations, accomplishments and goals.
The Council may, by majority vote of those members present and voting, waive referral of an reappointment to the Ordinance Committee and proceed immediately to confirmation.
40.00 STAGES FOR PASSING ORDINANCES
40.01 The City Solicitor shall, at the request of the Ordinance Committee, provide an opinion as to form and legality prior to an ordinance being passed to be enrolled.
40.02 All ordinances shall pass though the following stages: first reading; passed to be enrolled; passed to be ordained.
40.03 The City Clerk shall engross all ordinances before they are passed to be ordained. No engrossed ordinances shall be amended.
40.04 An ordinance shall not be passed in all its stages in one day except by a three-fourths vote of the City Council.
4. FINANCIAL ORDERS
41.00 LIMITATION ON AUTHORIZATION OF EXPENDITURES
41.01 Except as provided by statute, after the annual budget has been adopted, no additional expenditures shall be authorized, unless provisions for the same shall be made in one of the following manners:
1. by specific transfer of an appropriation contained in the budget,
2. by supplemental appropriation,
3. from any funds in the City Treasury not otherwise appropriated or
4. by expressly creating debt.
41.02 In the last two cases, the order shall not be passed unless two-thirds of the whole of the City Council shall vote in the affirmative by roll call vote.
42.00 FINANCIAL ORDERS TO BE REVIEWED BY FINANCE COMMITTEE
42.01 All orders for appropriation to be made by transfer or loan shall not be acted upon until the matter has been referred to and reported upon by the Finance Committee.
42.02 No less than 14 days prior to adoption of the annual budget, the City Council shall hold a public hearing on proposed expenditures to provide residents with an opportunity to express objections to or support for specific expenditures or programs, or to propose new initiatives. The time and place of the hearing shall be determined by the Finance Committee Chairman. Notice of said hearing shall be publicized as determined by the Finance Committee Chairman and shall include information relative to the availability of the budget proposal for public inspection.
43.00 TWO READINGS OR ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS AUTHORIZING TAX
43.01 All orders authorizing the levying of a tax or an expenditure of money shall have two readings before being finally passed.
43.02 No order authorizing a loan shall have more than one reading on the same day.
A. IN GENERAL
44.00 APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES
44.01 The President shall annually, as soon after the organization of the Council as may be convenient, appoint members to the Standing Committees of the City Council, as listed below in Rule 46.01.
44.02 The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. When present, his/her name may be added to the committee roll for the purpose of constituting a quorum. If the President is added to the committee roll, he/she may vote upon matters before the committee. In any other case, the President shall vote only on committees to which he/she is regularly appointed.
44.03 Reports on all matters referred to a standing committee, except licenses, claims and amendments to the zoning ordinance, shall be made within four weeks of referral, unless the Council stands in recess for the summer or, at the request of the committee, a majority of the Council members present and voting have approved an extension of the reporting deadline on a specific matter.
45.00 APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMEN
The first named member of each committee shall be the committee's chairman, and the second named member shall be its vice-chairman.
46.00 STANDING COMMITTEES
46.01 Standing Committees shall be constituted as follows:
CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS. The Citizen Engagement Committee shall be responsible for increasing communication with the community, including the city’s youth, making improvements to the City Council section of the City of Malden’s website, and developing a strategic plan.
DOWNTOWN COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS. The Downtown Committee shall have jurisdiction over all issues pertaining to the downtown area, including the relocation of City Hall.
FINANCE COMMITTEE: SIX MEMBERS. The Finance Committee shall have jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to municipal finance, including accounts, bonds, claims, and salaries. The Finance Committee shall also make recommendations relative to allocation of Community Development Block Grant Funds and settlement of small claims against the city.
LICENSE COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS The License Committee shall have jurisdiction over all petitions for licenses granted by the City Council.
PUBLIC PROPERTY COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS. The Public Property Committee shall have jurisdiction over the care, use and maintenance of all municipal buildings and all property obtained though foreclosure of tax titles.
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS. The Public Safety Committee shall have jurisdiction over all matter relating to the Police Department, Fire Department and Civil Defense.
PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS. The Public Works Committee shall also have jurisdiction over all matters related to streets, sidewalks, water, sewer, parks and playgrounds.
RULES AND ORDINANCE COMMITTEE: FIVE MEMBERS. The Rules and Ordinance Committee shall have jurisdiction on all proposed changes to the Council rules, city ordinances and petitions to the state for home rule legislation; provided that the Ordinance Committee shall not make a recommendation on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance before having received a written recommendation from the Planning Board, or until 21 days have expired from the close of the required public hearing and no recommendation has been received
COMPLIANCE/APPOINTMENTS COMMITTEE: The Compliance/Appointments Committee shall have jurisdiction over the activities of the Compliance Bureau, shall recommend candidates to fill vacancies to all city offices, including Mayoral appointments to be confirmed by the City Council and positions over which the City Council has appointing authority.
47.00 SPECIAL COMMITTEES
47.01 Unless otherwise provided by law, all special committees shall be appointed by the President.
47.02 The sponsor of any order or resolve creating a committee shall be the first named to that Committee, provided that the Councillor so named may refuse appointment to the Committee and the President may name another member in his/her place.