Editor's Note: The Davenport City Council is considering adopting the following procedural rules. The council will discuss the draft proposal at a meeting at 7 p.m. August 9 at United Neighbors, 808 Harrison Street, Davenport.
Rule 1. The City Council shall set by resolution the time and dates for the regular meeting of the Council, the Committee of the Whole, and the standing committees.
Two aldermen may call a special meeting of the City Council by providing written notice to the City Clerk at least twenty-four hours before the date of the special meeting. The City Clerk or designee shall provide personal notice of a special meeting to each Alderman, or alternatively, failing to provide personal notice, shall provide written notice delivered by hand delivery or electronic facsimile at the Alderman`s residence or place of business.
The Chief of Police or the Chief`s designee, a sworn officer of the police department, shall attend and act as a sergeant at arms during all council and standing committee meetings. This person shall act under the guidance of the presiding officer, and subject to Rule 4, shall maintain order and decorum.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
Rule 2. At the time set for City Council meetings the City Clerk or Deputy Clerk shall call the roll, recording those in attendance, and announce the presence of a quorum. A majority of the Council, exclusive of the Mayor, shall constitute a quorum. If a quorum is present the Council shall proceed to the business before it. If less than a quorum is present the Council may adjourn and compel the attendance of absent members.
The following shall be the order of business as reflected on a written agenda:
1. Moment of Silence
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll Call
4. Presentations to Council
5. Presentations from the Public
Regarding Agenda Items -
Members of the public may address the Council on business items coming on for vote by providing a written request to the Mayor before the meeting begins. The mayor shall call upon each person to make a presentation which shall not exceed two minutes in duration.
6. Petitions and Communications from Council members and the Mayor
7. Approval of Minutes
8. Approval of Report on Committee of the Whole
9. Approval of Appointments and Proclamations
10. Discussion Items - each item requires a separate vote by the council
11. Consent Items - council may pass these items en masse by one vote, but a member may remove an item and may require a separate vote under Discussion Items
12. Other Motions and Resolutions
13. Public with Business to Present to Council - any person may address the Council, for no more than five minutes, to discuss any topics relative to the City of Davenport
PRIORITY OF BUSINESS
Rule 3. All questions relating to the priority of business shall be decided without debate.
DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF THE MAYOR
Rule 4. The Mayor shall preserve order and decorum and shall decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal to the City council. The Council may override the decision of the Mayor by a two-thirds vote of those members present. The Mayor may cast a vote only on questions upon which the City Council is equally divided.
Rule 5. Aldermen, prior to addressing the Council, shall request from the Mayor permission to speak by addressing the Mayor as "Your Honor", and shall wait until recognized by the Mayor and given the floor.
Rule 6. An Alderman called to order while speaking shall immediately cease speaking. The Alderman may appeal the decision of the Mayor to the City Council, and the Council shall decide the issue on appeal without further debate.
Rule 7. While an Alderman is speaking no other member shall hold any annoying private discourse or create a disturbance of the meeting.
Rule 8. Each Alderman shall vote "Yes" or "No" on each question stated by the Mayor, unless the law requires an abstention for reasons of conflict of interest.
MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS
Rule 9. No motion or resolution shall be put before the City Council for debate unless it is seconded. The Mayor shall restate the motion before the Council shall vote upon it. A motion shall be reduced to writing if requested by the Mayor or an Alderman, and copies of the motion shall be distributed to all Aldermen and the City Clerk.
Rule 10. A motion or resolution put before the City Council may be withdrawn by its maker at any time before decision or amendment.
Rule 11. When a motion or resolution is entered into the minutes of the City Council the name of the maker and Alderman seconding the proposition shall be entered also.
Rule 12. A roll call vote is required for the adoption, repeal or amendment of an ordinance and shall be entered into the minutes and the record.
Rule 13. When a question is under debate the only motions which shall be in order are:
1) adjourn, 2) previous question, 3) lay on the table), 4) postpone indefinitely, 5) lay on the table to a date certain, 6) refer to committee, 7) amend
These motions shall have precedence in the order listed and the first three motions shall be decided without debate.
Rule 14. Motion to Adjourn - A motion to adjourn the City Council is always in order except when another Alderman is in possession of the floor, during a vote, when adjournment was the last preceding motion or when the previous question has been moved. A simple motion to adjourn cannot be amended or debated, however, a motion to adjourn to a time certain is open to amendment and debate.
Rule 15. Previous Question - When the previous question has passed all debate shall end and a vote on the main motion shall take place without further debate.
Rule 16. Lay on the Table - A simple motion to lay on the table is not debatable, however, a motion to lay on the table with any condition is open to amendment and debate.
Rule 17. Postpone Indefinitely - When a motion has been indefinitely postponed it shall not be considered again during the same meeting at which it was postponed.
Rule 18. Refer to Committee - A Motion to refer to a standing committee shall take precedence over a motion to refer to a special committee.
Rule 19. Amend - A motion to amend an amendment to an amendment is out of order. An amendment modifying the intention of a motion shall be in order, however, an amendment relating to a different subject matter shall not be in order.
Rule 20. Reconsider - A motion may be reconsidered at any time during the same meeting, or at the first meeting held thereafter. If a motion to reconsider fails, it shall not be remade until the next meeting. A motion to reconsider must be made by an Alderman who either voted with the majority or who was absent and did not vote on the motion. A vote to reconsider shall not be reconsidered.
Rule 21. Standing Committees - (RESERVED).
Rule 22. Special Committees - The Mayor shall appoint members of all special committees subject to majority vote confirmation by the City Council. All special committees shall consist of three Aldermen, unless some other number is specified. The Mayor shall appoint one of the members as Chairman. The acceptance of a final report from a special committee shall discharge that committee.
Rule 23. Reports - all special committee reports shall briefly describe the matter referred, and the conclusion to which the committee arrived, to be stated in the form of an order, resolution or recommendation.
Rule 24. Appropriations - No appropriation of city funds shall be passed by the Council at the same meeting it is proposed, without unanimous consent, unless previously referred to the Finance Committee. This provision does not apply to items previously budgeted by the Council.
SUSPENSION AND AMENDMENT OF RULES
Rule 25. These rules may be suspended by three-fourths vote of those members present.
Rule 26. These rules may be amended at a regular council meeting by two-thirds vote of all members upon notice at a preceding regular meeting.
Rule 27. Any question as to procedure not covered under these rules, or city ordinance or state law shall be determined under the most recent edition of Robert`s Rules of Order.