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City Council Meeting Procedures Policy

 

Terrell City HallAdopted by City Council August 5, 2003
Amended by City Council November 4, 2003


1.) AGENDA. The agenda for the regular and special meetings of the City Council of the City of Terrell shall be divided into the following types of business and order.

 

(a.) INVOCATION. Request Council member or audience member to open with invocation, if desired.

 

(b.) APPROVAL OF MINUTES. Ask if there are any corrections then call for vote. After vote, Mayor could then restate motion, name the person making the motion and second. If vote is less than unanimous, statement could be made naming those voting for and against for clarity for the recorder. If denied, the presiding officer can declare the minutes approved as read or approved as corrected.

 

(c.) PUBLIC HEARINGS. Staff will provide introduction of request and any background information that needs to be presented. Open public hearing for those in favor of the change or presenting request, declare that portion of the public hearing closed. Open public hearing for those against the change or presenting request, declare that portion of the public hearing closed. Consider motion for request.

 

(d.) NEW BUSINESS. The business under this category shall be written action items considered for the first time or items tabled or deferred from prior agenda.

 

(e.) HEAR REMARKS FROM VISITORS. A meeting that is "open to the public" under the Open Meetings Act is one that the public is permitted to attend [Texas Attorney General Opinion No. M-220 (1968)]. The act does not entitle the public to choose the items to be discussed or to speak about items on the agenda [Texas Attorney General Opinion No. H-188 (1973)]. A governmental body may, however, give members of the public an opportunity to speak at a public meeting [Id]. If it does so, it may set reasonable limits on the number, frequency, and length of presentations before it, but it may not unfairly discriminate among speakers for or against a particular point of view [Texas Attorney General LO-96-111]. The Open Meetings Act permits a member of the public or a member of the governmental body to raise a subject that has not been included in the notice for the meeting, but any discussion of the subject must be limited to a proposal to place that subject on the agenda for a future meeting.

 

The remarks from visitors section on the agenda is for citizens to raise a subject that has not been included in the notice for the meeting. The remarks section is not to allow debate on items on the agenda but to inform Council in regard to subjects not on the agenda. To participate in the remarks from visitors citizens must fill out a card outlining the subject they wish to address and turn cards in prior to the first action item on the agenda. The speaker will be allowed three (3) minutes and Council is restricted from comments other than to direct the speaker to the proper person or foreman or elaborate on current policy.

 

The Council does prohibit disruptive comments from the public regarding staff or members of the Council.

 

The Hear Remarks from Visitors portion of the printed agenda shall be preceded by an explanatory note to the public:

 

The purpose of this item is to allow citizens an opportunity to address the City Council on issues that are not the subject of a public hearing or any items on the City Council agenda. Any item requiring a Public Hearing will allow citizens or visitors to speak at the time that item appears on this agenda as indicated as a "Public Hearing". Items that are the subject matter jurisdiction of the City Council include Council Policy and legislative issues. Issues regarding daily operational or administrative matters should first be dealt with at the administrative level by contacting City Hall at 972-551-6600 during business hours.

 

(f.) Consent Agenda. A consent agenda contains routine items, which do not need further discussion and may be approved with one motion and vote. The consent agenda portion of the printed agenda shall be preceded by an explanatory note to the public:

 

All matters listed under Consent Agenda are considered to be routine by the City Council of the City of Terrell and will be enacted by one motion. There will not be separate discussion of these items. If discussion is desired, that item will be removed from the consent agenda and will be considered separately.

 

The City Council and City Administration agree in advance on the general type of items that are to be included on the consent agenda. Routine business found on consent agendas will include:

 

1. Approval of license applications and bonds;
2. Resolutions;
3. Approval of payments of contracts;
4. Bid and contract awards;
5. Resale lots which meet all requirements established by the Resale Lot Policy;
6. Final readings of Ordinances;
7. Recommendations from Planning and Zoning Commission regarding preliminary and final plats, which do not require waivers / variances.

 

The actual items to be placed on each consent agenda are selected at a weekly city department head meeting. The City Council sets a policy for items to be included on the consent agenda, which are listed above. When the consent agenda is used, the City Secretary is to ensure that such consent agenda items are incorporated into the minutes of the City Council Meeting.


(g.) CITY MANAGER'S REPORT. This item shall consist of a report by the City Manager on subjects he deems of importance for the Council or have been requested by the Mayor or members of the Council.

 

(h.) EXECUTIVE SESSION. Executive session must be posted and only may be held regarding specific items. Discussions may be in private, however action must be taken after meeting is reopened to the public.

 

2.) ESTABLISHING AN AGENDA.

 

(a.) INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES. Any proposed ordinance or resolution shall be introduced in written or printed form and discussed by City Council on an agenda posted in accordance with the Open Meetings Law of the State of Texas. Upon introduction of any ordinance, a copy shall be distributed to each Council Member and to the manager and a reasonable number of copies shall be made available in the office of the City Secretary and such other public places as the Council may designate. No ordinance shall be finally adopted until it has been considered and favorably acted on by the Council at two separate meetings held at least seven (7) days apart except as is otherwise expressly provided for in the City Charter, or except as authorized by State Law. An ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment or rejected, but if it is amended in substance from the form as first introduced to a degree that substantially changes its context, then the ordinance or its amended sections shall be subjected to all the procedures here in above required in the case of newly introduced ordinances.

 

(b.) EMERGENCY ITEMS. Emergency items may be added to the agenda up to two (2) hours previous to a meeting. Cases of emergency and urgent public necessity are limited to imminent threats to public health and safety or reasonably unforeseeable situations requiring immediate action by the City Council.

 

3.) MEDIA.

(a.) All regular meetings, special meetings, emergency meetings, executive sessions, and city board meetings will be called and conducted in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Law.

 

(b.) Regular, special, and emergency meetings of the City Council of the City of Terrell are open to the public and to representatives of the media. Properly called and convened executive sessions of the City Council are not open to the public, media coverage, pictures, or taping for public release.

 

(c.) No media personnel or equipment, including lights, cameras, or microphones will be located on the Council dais. Media personnel shall be located along the South wall of the Council Chambers no closer than five feet (5') in front of the Council table, and shall not obstruct other aisles or exits. This procedure applies to all City Council and appointed board meetings.

 

(d.) Reporters and media technicians are required to structure their movements, equipment setup, removal, and adjustments, etc., in such a manner as to not disrupt any Council deliberations or the ability of the audience to see and hear the proceedings.

 

(e.) Interviews shall not be conducted inside the City Council Chamber during the time that the Council is in session.

 

(f.) During the time the Council meeting is in session, interviews may not be conducted in the lobby adjacent to the City Council room; however, interviews may be conducted in front of the City Hall.

 

(g.) The City Secretary will furnish media representatives with a copy of the meeting agenda upon request.

 

 

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City of Terrell
201 East Nash St.
P.O. Box 310

Terrell, Texas 75160
972-551-6600
Metro: 972-524-3332
After Hours Repair Services: 469-474-2700
Fax: 972-551-6682

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