[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Oaklyn 3-11-2014 by Ord. No. 5-14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Mayor of the Borough of Oaklyn shall preside as Chair of its meetings. The President of the Borough Council, in case of the absence of the Mayor, shall preside as Chair of its meetings in his stead.
The Chair shall maintain order, decorum, and the fair and equitable treatment of all speakers.
The members of the Borough Council should refer to one another formally during public meetings as Mayor, Council President, Councilman or Councilwoman, as appropriate, followed by the individual's last name.
Each member of the Borough Council shall cooperate with the Chair in preserving order and decorum, and no member of the Borough Council shall, by conversation or otherwise, delay or interrupt the proceedings of the Borough Council, nor disturb any member of the Borough Council while speaking, or fail to abide by the orders of the Borough Council or the Chair.
Any person who shall disturb the peace of the Borough Council, make impertinent or slanderous remarks or conduct himself in a boisterous manner while addressing the Borough Council shall be forthwith barred by the Chair from further audience before the Borough Council; except that if the speaker shall submit to proper order under these rules, permission for him to continue may be granted by a majority vote of the Borough Council.
The Oaklyn Borough Police Department shall, upon request of the Chair, designate a member of the Police Department to serve as Sergeant at Arms at the Borough Council meetings. The designated police officer shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the Chair or any member of the Borough Council for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the meeting. Furthermore, the Borough Clerk is directed to contact the Chief of Police to inform the Police Department of the time and date of the meeting to be held. The Police Department shall take any and all appropriate steps within the parameters of law, including the use of electronic equipment, to secure the Borough Council meeting room and provide adequate protection for the citizens and members of the Borough Council attending said meetings.
Any person wishing to address the Borough Council shall be given one five-minute time period per meeting to comment in public session. Time cannot be shared or allotted with other speakers. The allotted time shall include and commence from the beginning of the speaker's remarks and includes any time that passes during questioning or colloquy between the speaker and the Borough Council. Additional time may be granted to that person by the Mayor or Chair of the meeting, in the sole discretion of the Mayor or Chair of the meeting. Persons shall address the Mayor and members of the Borough Council only; persons shall address questions to Oaklyn Borough employees, staff or professionals only upon permission to do so as granted by the Mayor or Chair of the meeting.
Any person who continues beyond his/her time limit will be asked to cease his/her comments and return to his/her seat. If a speaker refuses to conclude his/her comments at that time, Oaklyn Borough police officers will escort the person from the podium. If the individual still refuses to leave the podium, he or she will be arrested and charged as a disorderly person.
Borough Council meetings shall be conducted in a courteous manner. The Mayor, members of the Borough Council and citizens will be allowed to state their positions in an atmosphere free of slander, threats of violence or the use of the Borough Council as a forum for politics. Sufficient warnings may be given by the Chair at any time during the remarks; and in the event that any individual shall violate the rules heretofore set forth, the Chair may then cut off comment or debate.
The Mayor, members of the Borough Council and every member of the public shall be required to utilize a silent alert mode on or to mute the sound emitted from all electronic devices in their possession (including but not limited to cellular telephones, pagers, radios, personal data assistants, and hand-held or portable computers) during all Borough Council meetings subject to the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq. Law enforcement and emergency services personnel acting in their official capacity shall be exempt from the provisions described herein.