The rules of procedure set forth in this article shall govern the conduct of the meetings of the Town Council.
Except as may be provided in the Charter, questions of order, the methods of organization and the conduct of business of the Town Council shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Procedure in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the rules of the Council.
[Amended 9-11-1984 by Ord. No. MC 2742; 1-8-1985 by Ord. No. MC 2762; 1-14-1986 by Ord. No. MC 2804; 6-10-1987 by Ord. No. MC 2829; 4-12-1988 by Ord. No. MC 2851]
The Council shall meet at least once a month for a regular meeting on the dates and times fixed by the Council, as permitted by law. All regular meetings of the Council shall be held in the Council Chambers or such other place as the Council may designate.
[Amended 10-10-2018 by Ord. No. MC 3667]
Attendance at Municipal Council meetings. Every department head shall attend regular Municipal Council meetings at a time designated by the Council upon notification to the Mayor. In the event that the department head is unable to attend these meetings, he or she shall designate someone from his or her department to attend in his or her absence, provided that the representative must have knowledge of the workings of the department he or she represents and have decision-making rank or authority within that department. Each person addressing the Council members and/or department heads or their designee during these meetings shall step up to the microphone provided for this purpose, shall give his or her name and address in an audible tone of voice for the records, and unless further time is granted by the presiding officer, shall limit his address to five minutes. All remarks shall be addressed to the presiding officer. No person, other than Council members, department heads and the person having the floor, shall be permitted to enter into any discussion, either directly or through a Council member or department head or his or her designee, without the permission of the presiding officer. Council members and department heads shall be limited in their responses to five minutes in aggregate per response.
[Added 2-11-1991 by Ord. No. MC 2921; amended 8-10-1993 by Ord. No. MC 2979]
The Mayor or the President of the Council may, and upon written request of a majority of the members of the Council shall, call a special meeting of the Council. The request and call for a special meeting shall specify the purpose of the meeting, and no business shall be transacted at any special meeting other than that so specified. The call for a special meeting shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk, who shall serve notice upon each Councilman as hereinafter provided at least 24 hours prior to the time for which the meeting is called; provided that the Mayor or the President of the Council may determine that an emergency exists affecting the health or safety of the people which requires consideration by the Council within a shorter time, and upon such determination, which the Mayor or the President of the Council shall set forth in the call, the call may be filed with the Municipal Clerk at any time not less than three hours prior to the time set for the meeting.
Upon the filing of any call for a special meeting, the Municipal Clerk shall forthwith give notice thereof by telephone or telegraph to each Councilman, at such place as he shall have previously designated for that purpose, and shall also serve or cause to be served a written copy of the call upon each Councilman, by delivery of a copy to him personally or by the leaving of a copy at his usual place of abode. The Public Safety Department shall cooperate with the Municipal Clerk in effectuating such service of notice.
[Amended 10-14-2015 by Ord. No. MC 3553]
Upon written waiver of notice executed by all members of the Council, a special meeting may be held without prior notice notwithstanding the above provisions of this section.
[Amended 1-8-1985 by Ord. No. MC 2762; 8-12-1986 by Ord. No. MC 2811; 6-10-1987 by Ord. No. MC 2829; 4-12-1988 by Ord. No. MC 2851]
The Council may hold premeeting conferences in preparation for regular meetings, as permitted by law. When held, the time shall be fixed by the Council and scheduled on the same day as the regular meeting. All premeeting conferences of the Council shall be held in the Council Chambers or such other place as the Council may designate. A majority of the Council may request the Mayor and/or any department head or officer of the Township to attend any premeeting conference, and the department head or officer, when requested to do so, shall attend the conference.
[Amended 11-12-2014 by Ord. No. MC 3516; 10-10-2018 by Ord. No. MC 3667]
The Mayor of the Township of Irvington upon written notice from the Municipal Council shall be required to attend one premeeting conference per month. Upon receiving written notice, the Mayor shall respond and advise the Council of what date he/she will be in attendance at the Council's premeeting conference.
[Added 11-13-1996 by Ord. No. MC 3048]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was vetoed by the Mayor; said veto was overridden by a two-thirds vote of the Council 12-10-1996 by Res. No. MC 96-1210-107.
All reports, communications, ordinances, resolutions, claims, license reports, contract documents or other matters to be submitted to the Council by its members or by the administration shall, at least 32 business hours prior to each Council meeting, be delivered to the Municipal Clerk, whereupon the Municipal Clerk shall immediately prepare a calendar of such matters, together with such additional matters that he may have to present, in conformity with the prescribed order of business as provided by this article, and shall furnish a copy thereof to each member of the Council. He shall furnish the Mayor, the Business Administrator, the Legislative Research Officer, directors of the departments and all other officers with a copy of the same prior to the Council meeting and as far in advance of the meeting as time for preparation will permit. None of the foregoing matters shall be presented to the Council by the administrative heads of the several departments of the Town government except those of an urgent nature, and the same when so presented shall have the written approval of the Mayor before presentation to the Council; provided, however, that the Council may bring before it any matters that it determines necessary.
[Added 2-24-1998 by Ord. No. MC 3089]
Any legal bills submitted for Council approval for payment shall be accompanied by the following:
A copy of the contract for legal services previously approved by the administration and Municipal Council.
A resolution indicating the name of the case or cases that such bills or invoices apply to and acknowledgment that the Law Department for the Township of Irvington has reviewed the invoice for the scope of services performed and acknowledges that such has been performed.
Attached to the resolution an itemized invoice from the attorney or law firm requesting to have the bill approved for payment by the Municipal Council.
This does not apply to matters settled, adjusted or disposed of by counsel representing the Township's insurance carrier.
The above shall be submitted at least 32 business hours prior to each Council meeting.
Editor's Note: This ordinance was vetoed by the Mayor; said veto was overridden by a two-thirds vote of the Council 3-23-1998 by Res. No. MC 98-0324-23.
[Added 6-28-1983 by Ord. No. MC 2702]
All proposed ordinances shall be submitted to the Municipal Clerk as provided in § 7-14 of the Code, at which time the Municipal Clerk shall place said ordinance or ordinances on the agenda of the next Council conference meeting under the category of "pending business" for discussion. After this procedure has been accomplished, the Municipal Clerk shall then place said ordinance or ordinances on the agenda of the next following Council conference meeting under the category of ordinances on first reading for consideration and introduction as provided in § 7-32C of the Code.
The foregoing procedures may be waived and early consideration and adoption procedures adopted if approved by a majority of the members of the Council present at the meeting or if permitted by statute as an emergency matter or otherwise.
[Added 1-10-1984 by Ord. No. MC 2719]
The members of the Municipal Council shall not submit names to the Municipal Clerk to be placed on the agenda for consideration for reappointment or replacement of one or more members of any board, committee, commission or authority more than one month prior to the expiration of the citizen member's term of office.
The Council shall organize on July 1 pursuant to statute and thereupon select from its members a presiding officer, who shall be known as President of the Council and who shall serve for a period of two years beginning July 1. He shall conduct all meetings in accordance with this article and the rules adopted thereunder and maintain order at such meetings. He shall be entitled to vote on all questions, being called last in any roll call. The President of the Council shall sign all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the Council during his presence. In the event of the absence of the President of the Council, such ordinances and resolutions shall be signed by the presiding officer.
The President of the Council or such other member of the Council as may be presiding may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are imposed by these rules upon all members, and shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of a Councilman by reason of his being the presiding Chairman. A majority vote of the Council members present shall govern and conclusively determine all questions of order not otherwise covered by this article.
In the event of the temporary absence or the temporary disability of the President of the Council, the Vice President of the Council shall preside over the Council, and, during such absence or disability of the President, the Vice President shall have the duties and powers of the President of the Council. In the event that the absence or disability of the President of the Council continues or exceeds six months, the Council shall declare the office of the President of the Council vacant, and the Vice President shall serve as President of the Council for the unexpired term of the President.
[Amended 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. MC 2739]
All special committees and the chairmen thereof shall be appointed by the presiding officer from time to time as the Council by a majority vote shall require at a regular or special meeting. All special committees shall be made up of Council members exclusively and shall consist of no more than four members of the Council, including the presiding officer, who shall be a member ex officio of all special committees; provided, however, that the presiding officer may appoint a special committee consisting of all the members of the Council. A quorum of each special committee appointed shall consist of a majority of the members thereof. Meetings of special committees shall be held at such times as do not conflict with regular meetings of the Council.
The only standing committee shall be the committee of the whole, and the rules of proceedings of the Council shall also be observed in the committee of the whole as far as applicable. The committee of the whole shall make its report in writing, which shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk, returning at the same time all petitions, resolutions or other papers submitted to it for consideration.
No committee shall make public its report or determinations prior to introduction of the report to the Council.
Beginning July 1, 1984, the Municipal Council shall appoint by resolution for a term of two years a Council member as a representative of the Township of Irvington to the Joint Meeting of Essex and Union Counties.
[Added 7-12-1983 by Ord. No. MC 2703]
Beginning July 1, 1984, the Municipal Council shall appoint by resolution for a term of two years a Council member to serve as Chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
[Added 8-9-1983 Ord. No. MC 2709]
The Municipal Council shall elect from its members a First Vice President of the Municipal Council who shall act as President Pro Tempore during the absence or disability of the President as herein provided in Chapter 7 of the Revised Code of the Township of Irvington. The First Vice President of the Municipal Council shall be appointed at the Municipal Council's biennial inauguration and reorganization meeting and shall serve for a term of two years effective from the date of said meeting. The Municipal Council shall also elect from its members a Second Vice President of the Municipal Council who shall act as President Pro Tempore during the absence or disability of the President and First Vice President as herein provided in Chapter 7 of the Revised Code of the Township of Irvington. The Second Vice President of the Municipal Council shall be also appointed at the Municipal Council's biennial inauguration and reorganization meeting and shall also serve for a term of two years effective beginning one year from the date of said meeting.
[Added 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. MC 2739; amended 7-12-1994 by Ord. No. MC 3001]
The Municipal Clerk, as Clerk of the Council, or his designee in his absence, shall act as parliamentarian and shall advise and assist the presiding officer in matters of parliamentary law.
The Legislative Research Officer or such member of his office as he may designate shall be available to the Council at all regular and special meetings. He or his designee shall draw ordinances for any member of the Council when and as requested. All ordinances, resolutions, contract documents and all other legal documents shall bear the stamp and signature of the Legislative Research Officer approving the same as to legality and form prior to their consideration by the Council. No such document shall be signed by the Mayor or the administrative heads of the various departments of the Town government until the approval of the Legislative Research Officer is appended thereto.
The President of the Council shall take the chair at the hour appointed for the meeting and shall immediately call the Council to order. In the absence of the President of the Council, the Clerk of the Council or his designee shall call the Council to order. The Clerk of the Council shall then determine whether a quorum is present and in that event shall call for the election of a temporary President. Upon the arrival of the President of the Council, the temporary President shall forthwith relinquish the chair upon the conclusion of the business immediately before the Council.
Before proceeding with the business of the Council, the Clerk of the Council or his designee shall call the roll of the members in alphabetical order, and the names of those present shall be entered in the minutes.
A majority of the whole number of members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. No ordinance, resolution or motion shall be adopted by the Council without the affirmative vote of the majority of all the members of the Council.
Should no quorum attend within 30 minutes after the hour appointed for the meeting of the Council, the President of the Council, or in his absence the Clerk of the Council, or his designee, may thereupon adjourn the meeting until the next day, unless, by unanimous agreement, those members present select another hour or day. The names of the members present and their action at such meeting shall be recorded in the minutes by the Clerk.
[Amended 3-8-1977 by Ord. No. MC 2487; 5-23-1995 by Ord. No. MC 3017; 7-11-1995 by Ord. No. MC 3021]
All regular and special meetings of the Council shall be open to the public. Promptly at the hour set for each meeting, the members of the Council and the Clerk thereof shall take their regular stations, in the Council chamber, and the business of the Council shall be taken up for consideration and disposition in the following order:
Pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Moment of silence.
Reading of the statement of proper notice.
Hearing of citizens.
Hearing of Council members.
Reports and recommendations of Town officers, boards and commissions.
Reports of committees.
Ordinances, bills and claims.
Resolutions and motions.
Communications and petitions.
Pending business on the calendar.
New business on the calendar.
Hearing of citizens.
Hearing of Council members.
Unless a reading of the minutes of a prior Council meeting is requested by a majority of the members of the Council, such minutes, when signed by the President of the Council and the Clerk of the Council, shall be considered approved without reading, provided that the Clerk of the Council, at least two full working days preceding the meeting, shall deliver a copy thereof to each member of the Council.
Question under consideration. When a question is presented and seconded, it is under consideration, and no motion shall be received thereafter, except to adjourn, to lay on the table, to postpone or to amend, until the question is decided. These motions shall have preference in the order in which they are mentioned, and the first two shall be decided without debate.
President or presiding officer may debate, etc. The President of the Council or such other member of the Council as may be presiding may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are by these rules imposed upon all members, and shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of a Councilman by reason of his being the presiding Chairman.
Every member desiring to speak for any purpose whatsoever shall address the presiding officer and, upon recognition, shall confine himself to the question under consideration and avoid all personalities and indecorous language (in which event a member may be silenced). When said debate occurs at the regular or special open business meetings (not a premeeting conference or caucus), a member's remarks shall be limited to 10 minutes unless further time is granted by the Council. A member may only speak once on the subject but may speak to clear up a matter of fact or explain a material part of his speech. A member introducing a motion, ordinance or resolution may once again speak on the subject as the last speaker closing the debate.
[Amended 10-11-1983 by Ord. No. MC 2715]
Interruptions. A member, once recognized, shall not be interrupted when speaking unless it is to call him to order or as herein otherwise provided. If a member, while speaking, is called to order, he shall cease speaking until the question of order is determined by the presiding officer, and, if in order, he shall be permitted to proceed. Any member may appeal to the Council from the decision of the presiding officer upon a question of order, when, without debate, the presiding officer shall submit to the Council the question, "Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?," and the Council shall decide by a majority vote.
Privilege of closing debate. The Councilman moving the adoption of an ordinance or resolution shall have the privilege of closing the debate, although he may have already spoken thereon at its moving.
Roll call. Upon any roll call there shall be no discussion or explanation given by any member voting, and he shall vote "yes" or "no" unless he shall first receive special permission from the Council to explain his vote. A member of the Council may abstain from voting on any matter.
The vote upon every motion, resolution or ordinance shall be taken by roll call in alphabetical order, except that the President of the Council shall be the last member called, and the vote by "yes" or "no" shall be entered upon the minutes. Resolutions and ordinances shall be signed by the presiding officer at such meetings and by the Clerk of the Council before they are entered upon the minutes.
Subject to the provisions of § 7-32, any person may petition the presiding officer for leave to address the Council, which permission shall be granted only after a showing to the satisfaction of the presiding officer that the subject matter of the address deserves the time and attention of the Council, by oral communication, on any matter over which the Council has control; provided, however, that notice is given to the Clerk of the Council 32 business hours in advance of the Council meeting in order that the same may appear on the calendar of the Council.
Any person may orally petition the Council, at any Council meeting, for leave to orally address the Council at that meeting, which leave shall be granted only after showing to the satisfaction of a majority of the members of the Council present that the subject matter of the address deserves the time and attention of the Council.
[Amended 5-23-1995 by Ord. No. MC 3017; 7-11-1995 by Ord. No. MC 3021; 4-22-1997 by Ord. No. MC 3064]
Each person addressing the Council shall step up to the microphone provided for this purpose, shall give their names and addresses in an audible tone of voice for the record and, unless further time is granted by the Council, shall limit their address to three minutes, for a total not to exceed 30 minutes. For the purposes of this section, no time balance from any one citizen or any one Council member may be relinquished to another citizen or Council member without the affirmative majority vote of the full membership of the Municipal Council. All remarks shall be addressed to the Council President. The Council President may defer citizen comments to other members of the Municipal Council. All remarks for the purposes of this section must pertain directly to matters which appear on the Municipal Council's agenda for that particular meeting. Dialogue between the person addressing the Council and the President of the Council shall be allowed unless the presiding officer, or the majority of the full membership of the Council, by affirmative roll call vote, shall determine that the interests of decorum and/or the expeditious conduct of municipal business are being adversely affected by said dialogue.
Citizens seeking to address the Council about community concerns may do so at the end of the meeting sessions. Citizens' remarks are also limited to five minutes. All other procedures for addressing the Council as previously stated will apply during this period.
Council members. While the Council is in session, the members thereof shall preserve order and decorum, and a member shall neither, by conversation or otherwise, except as otherwise provided by this article, delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the Council nor disturb any member while speaking or refuse to obey the orders of the Council or its presiding officer.
Other persons. Any person making impertinent or slanderous remarks or who shall become boisterous, immoderate or disorderly shall forthwith be barred from the Council chamber by the presiding officer, unless permission to remain or address the Council is granted by the majority vote of the Council.
[Amended 10-14-2015 by Ord. No. MC 3553]
The Director of Public Safety or such member of the Public Safety Department as he may designate shall be the Sergeant at Arms of the Council meetings. He shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the presiding officer for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the Council meetings.
No person, except Town officers or their representatives, shall be permitted upon the dais of the Council or be permitted to disturb any Councilman while on the dais, during any meeting, without the express permission of the Council.
Preparation of ordinances. The Legislative Research Officer or his designee, when requested, shall prepare ordinances, which shall be delivered to the Municipal Clerk in conformity with § 7-19. A copy of the same shall be forthwith furnished to each member of the Council by the Municipal Clerk.
Prior examination by Mayor, administrative heads of departments, etc. All ordinances, resolutions and contract documents, before presentation to the Council by the Mayor or the Business Administrator, shall have been reduced to writing and shall have been approved as to form and legality by the Legislative Research Officer or his designee. Prior to presentation, all such documents shall have first been referred to the head of the department under whose jurisdiction the administration of the subject matter of the ordinance, resolution or contract document would devolve. When examined, the Mayor or Business Administrator or his designee shall affix his signature on the document certifying to the factual contents.
Introducing for passage or approval. Ordinances, resolutions and other matters and subjects requiring action by the Council shall be introduced and sponsored by a member of the Council; except that the Mayor may present, under § 7-14, ordinances, resolutions and other matters or subjects to the Council, and any Councilman may assume sponsorship thereof by moving that such ordinance, resolution, matter or subject be adopted in accordance with law; otherwise, they shall not be considered. When a Councilman assumes sponsorship of an ordinance or resolution, he shall countersign the same in the space provided thereon.
When ordinances effective. All ordinances shall take effect 20 days after final passage and approval by the Mayor. Two-thirds of the Council may, however, declare an emergency by written resolution to reduce this twenty-day period, except that the period for bond ordinances shall not be reduced.
Adoption of ordinances.
Passage, etc., of ordinance over veto. The Council will reconsider any ordinance returned by the Mayor within the time permitted by the Charter, together with a statement setting forth his objections thereto or to any item or part thereof. Such reconsideration of the ordinance or any item or part thereof from which the Mayor is constrained to withhold his approval shall be at the next meeting of Council which occurs not less than three days following the return of the ordinance by the Mayor. Whenever an ordinance has been reconsidered by the Council following a veto by the Mayor, the Municipal Clerk shall append to such ordinance a certification of the action of the Council upon such reconsideration in substantially the following form:
Ordinances not returned by Mayor. Whenever an ordinance shall take effect without the Mayor's signature by reason of his failure to return it to the Council by filing it with the Municipal Clerk within 10 days after it has been presented to him, the Municipal Clerk shall append to such ordinance as engrossed a certificate in substantially the following form:
Emergency resolutions. Resolutions creating emergency appropriations shall require five affirmative votes for adoption.
Upon the receipt from the Mayor of his nomination to any office or position, the same shall be read under communications by the Municipal Clerk or his designee, and unless otherwise ordered, shall be considered by the Council under "new business." When taken up for action, the President of the Council shall put the question on each nomination as follows: "Will the Council confirm the nomination?" On that motion, a vote shall be ordered, and if four or more members vote to confirm, the President of the Council shall announce, "The nomination is confirmed." If less than four members vote to confirm, the President of the Council shall announce, "The nomination is rejected."
Action by confirmation or rejection upon a nomination made by the Mayor shall not be postponed or delayed longer than for one regular meeting.
Within two days after confirmation or rejection of a nomination, the Municipal Clerk shall, in writing, notify the Mayor of that fact.
All reports and resolutions shall be filed with the Municipal Clerk and entered in the minutes.
A motion to adjourn shall always be in order and decided without debate.