[HISTORY Adopted by the County Council of Wicomico County 2-1-1965. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Meetings. Regular meetings shall be held annually on the first day of February, the first day of June and the first day of October and also on the 13th day of February, June and October, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, of each year. In the event that either the first or the 13th day of each of said months falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the County Council may, by a majority vote, schedule the legislative day on the day before or the day after such Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Any meeting may adjourn to a time not later than the next regular meeting. The place of meetings shall be the County Council Chamber, Salisbury, Maryland, and the time of meetings shall be 10:00 a.m., unless otherwise ordered by the Council. The President of the County Council shall have the authority to call special meetings of the Council.
[Amended 2-1-1983; 2-19-1985 by Res. No. 285]
Presiding officer. The President shall be the presiding officer. In the absence of the President, the duties of the presiding officer shall be performed by the Vice President. In the absence of both, the members present shall elect a temporary presiding officer to function during such absence.
Quorum. A majority of the members in office shall constitute a quorum.
Decision of questions of order. The President shall decide questions of order subject to an appeal to the Council by any member.
Committees and hearings. There shall be no standing or other committees or committee of the whole. The Council may hold hearings at any time ordered by the Council other than during a regular meeting or any adjourned meeting thereof.
Journal. The Secretary shall keep a brief, accurate daily journal of the proceedings of the Council, including every vote and the roll call by yeas and nays, if any, thereon. In addition to the title of a bill, only amendments of the bill adopted shall be entered in the journal, except that amendments offered but not adopted shall be entered if a vote on roll call by yeas and nays was had thereon. After correction, the journal shall stand approved without motion.
Yea and nay votes. A vote on roll call by yeas and nays shall be had where required by other provisions of these rules and on any other vote on demand of any member.
The order of business at all regular meetings shall be as follows:
Statement of motions. When a motion has been made and seconded, the President shall state it, but it may be withdrawn by the mover.
Written motions. Any motion shall be reduced to writing if the President or any other member requests it.
Motions on question under debate.
Such motions shall have precedence in the order above stated, and none shall be debatable except a motion to amend or to amend that amendment. A majority vote of members present shall be required for adoption of any such motion, except that a four-fifths vote of the members in office shall be required for adoption of a motion to close debate. After adoption of a motion to close debate, all incidental questions or order, whether on appeal or otherwise, shall be decided without debate. A motion to amend the title of a bill shall not be in order until the bill has been considered in full on call for final reading. A motion to strike out the enacting clause of a bill or to postpone indefinitely shall not be in order.
Heading. The heading of a bill shall be as follows: County Council for Wicomico County, Maryland Legislative Session (first, second, third) (year)
Title. The title shall be a succinct reference to the general subject of the bill.
Enacting clause. The enacting clause shall read "Be it enacted by the County Council of Wicomico County, Maryland." The enacting clause shall appear following the title and not be repeated in whole or in part thereafter.
Numbering of sections. Sections of a bill shall be numbered in arabic numerals (for example, Section 1).
Amendments of existing law. A bill for amendment of a section of a public local law may amend the section "to read as follows," repeating in full the section as proposed to be amended or may strike out, insert or strike out and insert without repeating in full the section proposed to be amended.
Introduction of bills. Bills may be introduced by any member at any meeting on call for introduction of bills during the first five days of each session, except emergency legislation as provided in Article III, Section 308 (g) of the Charter. A member may not introduce a bill by request, but on order of the Council a proposed bill may be printed and may be set for hearing. A bill as introduced shall be printed, multilithed, mimeographed, photocopied or typewritten and shall be in the form provided in Rule IV. No bill shall be received for introduction unless the Secretary has certified on the copy introduced that 25 copies are immediately available for distribution to the public and to the press. On receipt from a member of a bill for introduction by him, the Secretary shall cause such number of copies (not less than 25) as he deems necessary to be prepared in proper form and, when prepared, shall deliver a copy with his certificate to the member for introduction. On introduction, the Secretary shall make copies available for distribution to the public and the press and shall promptly post one copy on the official bulletin board, distribute one copy to each member and prepare an advertisement in a newspaper published in Wicomico County, Maryland, providing the time, place and date of public hearing on said bill, which hearing shall not be held within three days of the date of its introduction, unless such public hearing has been held prior thereto by said Council sitting in Executive Session as provided in Article IV, Section 403 (d) of the Charter.
Reprinting of bills. After introduction, no bill shall be reproduced at any stage until finally passed unless otherwise ordered by the Council. Amendments may be offered orally (subject to Rule III, Subsection B) or in printed, multilithed, mimeographed, photocopied or typewritten form.
Reading of bills. There shall be a first reading and a final reading of each bill. On first reading a bill shall be read by number and title only when introduced and on final reading a bill shall, at the request of any member, be read once (and only once) section by section for amendment before vote on final passage and, if amended, shall, at the request of any member, be read as amended before vote on final passage. Vote on final passage shall be on roll call by yeas and nays.
Call of bills for final reading. On call of bills for final reading, bills eligible for passage under Article III, Section 308 (e) and (f) of the Charter shall be called in order of number (starting with the lowest number), except that on call for final reading and when no other bill is undergoing final reading at the time, a bill may, by majority vote, be made a special order for immediate final reading. After vote on final passage, no bill, whether passed or failing of passage, shall be further considered during the same legislative session, except by consent of all members of the Council present.
Enrolled copy. After passage of a bill, the Secretary shall promptly prepare an enrolled copy in printed or typewritten form which, when certified by the Secretary, shall be presented to the President who shall lay it before the Council. On demand of two members of the Council (but not otherwise), the enrolled copy shall be read for correction of errors in enrolling. The President in Legislative Session shall certify the enrolled copy (or such copy as corrected) as being the text as finally passed, and the copy so certified by the President shall be conclusive evidence of the bill as enacted, and such copy shall be maintained by the Secretary in his office in an official file of Acts of the County Council. On enrolling, the Secretary shall have authority to correct obvious errors in section references and numbers and references to existing law, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, headings and similar matters.
These rules may be suspended in whole or in part by a vote of 4/5 of the members of the Council in office, except where failure to observe the rule would be contrary to the requirements of the Charter or other law. These rules may be amended by a majority vote of the members of the Council in office at any regular meeting on notice of the amendment proposed at a meeting at least one week prior.
These rules shall continue in effect from session to session and year to year without necessity for readoption at each subsequent session.