[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia 4-9-2019 by Ord. No. 910. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The President shall take the chair at the proper time of meeting and immediately call the members to order. On the appearance of a quorum and after call of the roll he shall, at stated meetings, cause the minutes of the preceding meeting or meetings to be read, which may then be corrected by Council. He shall preserve order and decorum and, in debate, shall prevent personal reflections and confine members to the questions under discussion. When two members rise at the same time, he shall name the one entitled to the floor. He shall decide all questions of order, but an appeal in all such cases shall lie to Council. He shall not participate in debate, except in the enforcement of a rule of order, unless he vacates the chair and appoints a President Pro Tempore to preside while he is so engaged. He shall vote last on questions on which the roll is called.
The order to be observed in taking up business at stated meetings, after roll call and reading of the minutes, shall be as follows:
Extending the privilege of the floor to persons not members of the Council for the purpose of offering oral or written petitions or remonstrances.
The reading of reports of committees not deemed to be committees of Council.
Receiving report of objections from the Mayor and the reconsideration of ordinances not approved.
The consideration of unfinished business.
The offering and reading of original ordinances, memorials and petitions presented by or through members, and the consideration thereof.
The reading of communications addressed to the Council.
The consideration of new business.
The consideration of bills.
Public comment will be allowed by Borough Council in accordance with Pennsylvania law at such times during stated meetings as Council shall, from time to time, deem appropriate.
The order to be observed in taking up business at the meeting for the organization of the Council, after new members and officials have taken and subscribed the proper oath, shall be as follows:
Assumption of the chair by the Mayor or formation of a temporary organization in case of the absence of the Mayor;
Election of a President, who shall thereupon take the chair;
Election of a Vice President;
Election of a President Pro Tem;
Fixing appropriation for the Board of Health;
Naming of committees by the President;
Appointment of a Vacancy Board.
Members speaking shall arise and address the President and, when presenting a paper, shall first state its import. Members shall not speak more than twice on any question without permission of the Council, nor be interrupted when speaking, except by a call to order by the President or by a member through the President, or by a member to explain or by a call for the previous question. At the request of any member, a call of the yeas and nays shall be ordered, and the vote of each member shall be entered on the minutes.
When a motion is made and seconded, it shall, before debate, be stated by the President. Every motion shall be reduced to writing if the President or any member requires it; but a motion may be withdrawn by the member making it any time before final action thereon.
A question regularly before the Council can be interrupted only by a call for the previous question, for amendment, postponement, commitment or adjournment.
A motion to adjourn shall always be in order, except when on the call for the previous question the main question shall have been ordered to be now put, or when a member has the floor, and shall be decided without debate.
In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall sign all orders for the payment of bills authorized at that meeting, and shall exercise all other powers, perform all other duties of the President and vote last on all questions on which the roll is called. In the absence of the President and the Vice President, the President Pro Tem shall perform all of the above duties in the same manner as the Vice President.
Every ordinance under consideration by the Council shall be read at length, unless an individual copy thereof shall have been furnished to each member of the Council in advance of the consideration thereof, provided that, by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the members of Council present at the meeting, the above requirement for reading at length or for furnishing an individual copy of a particular ordinance or group thereof shall be dispensed with, but in such case the title of said ordinance shall be read out at length and an explanation of the purpose and effect of such ordinance or ordinances shall be given by the Borough Secretary/Treasurer, the Solicitor or the member of Council introducing such ordinance.
The Council may establish from among its members such committees as it may from time to time deem necessary or appropriate. The manner of appointment shall be specified in a motion to create the committee. The committee may be discharged in the same manner as appointed. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
Should Council have appointed committees, notice of meetings shall be advertised and, to the extent possible, shall be established on a fixed schedule for the year at the first meeting of Council, and at the first monthly meeting of each calendar year thereafter, and the annual schedules shall then be advertised. Meetings shall be governed and regulated by the Sunshine Law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: See 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq.
Every member of a committee shall attend the call of the Chairman, and in case of his absence, sickness or neglect, the committee shall attend the call of the person named second thereon.
No person, except under the first item of the regular order of business, shall be permitted to address Council except as otherwise approved by the President of Borough Council (or any other member of Council chairing a meeting of Council) in accordance with policies established by Borough Council from time to time dealing with the provision of public comment at stated meetings of Borough Council in accordance with applicable Pennsylvania law.
The consent of 2/3 of the members elected to Council shall be necessary to dispense with any rule.
Every member present shall vote upon every question before Council, unless a member is personally interested in that result or is otherwise excused from or prohibited from voting by applicable Pennsylvania law.
All employees of the Borough whose duties are not herein specified shall obey the direction and orders of the Borough Manager. The duties of the following officials appointed by Borough Council shall be as follows:
Secretary/Treasurer. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be subordinate to the Borough Manager and shall report to the Borough Manager and the Borough Council. The Secretary/Treasurer shall perform all duties required of a Borough Secretary as prescribed in the Borough Code, Act of February 1, 1966 (1965 P.L. 1656, No. 581), as amended (the "Act"). The Secretary/Treasurer shall perform all duties required of a Borough Treasurer as prescribed by the Act and in particular Section 1106 of the Act. The bond or surety, given by the Secretary/Treasurer shall be in the form and amount required by Borough Council. The Secretary/Treasurer shall perform all duties required of a Borough Controller by the Act and in particular Section 1063 of the Act. In addition to performing all duties required by the Act, as above detailed, the Secretary/Treasurer shall:
In the absence of the Borough Manager, supervise all nonpolice employees of the Borough. The Secretary/Treasurer shall be such person designated by the Borough Manager pursuant to § 40-8 of the Code of the Borough of Columbia, Pennsylvania;
Comply with all local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations pertaining to care, maintenance and execution of Borough records and documents, the Borough's accounting and budgeting systems and programs, and the Borough's financial funds and investments;
Develop, implement and maintain policies, procedures and programs, including automated data systems, to effectively and accurately create and store Borough records and reports, including, but not limited to, fiscal reports as may be requested by Borough Council and/or the Borough Manager;
Attend all meetings (in addition to Borough Council meetings) as may be assigned by Borough Council or the Borough Manager;
Keep full minutes of any and all meetings which the Secretary/Treasurer is assigned to or otherwise required to attend;
Subject to the review, supervision and discretion of the Borough Manager, Borough Council, and in compliance with the Act and any other applicable federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations, assist the Borough Manager to administer and control the fiscal affairs of the Borough, including, but not limited to, budget preparation and compliance, financial and accounting systems development, implementation and maintenance, financial record keeping, financial reporting, internal auditing, preparing for external audits, and general book and record keeping;
Prior to complying with any order to pay any bill or claim for labor, services, salary or for goods or materials sold, furnished or delivered, and before payment is delivered to the payee, or any other person, ascertain from the Collector of Borough Taxes the amount of any tax which may be due by the payee to the Borough and, if the payee shall owe the Borough a sum in excess of the amount of the bill or claim, the Secretary/Treasurer shall write or stamp across the face thereof, with red ink, the words "The within payee is indebted to the Borough of Columbia for taxes in excess of the amount hereof, and this Order is hereby transferred to . . . (name of Collector), Collector of Borough Taxes, as a credit on account of such indebtedness, and is payable to the order of such Collector," and sign the same, and shall deliver such order so endorsed to the Collector of Borough Taxes as a cash credit on account of such indebtedness of such payee; and if such bill or claim shall be for an amount in excess of the indebtedness of such payee, the Secretary/Treasurer shall, in like manner, write or stamp across the face thereof the words "The within payee is indebted to the Borough of Columbia for taxes in the sum of . . . (amount) . . . dollars, which amount the Borough Secretary/Treasurer is required to deduct therefrom and place the same to the order of the Collector of Borough Taxes," and sign the same, and shall deliver to the Collector of Borough Taxes an order describing said transaction and the requisite funds therefor;
Such other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Borough Manager or Borough Council; and
Deliver to his/her successor the Seal, books, papers, accounts and other things belonging to the Borough.
Solicitor. The Solicitor shall perform all duties required of a Borough Solicitor by the Act and in particular Sections 1116 and 1117 of the Act or by any other federal, state or local law, regulation or rule. The Solicitor shall deliver to his/her successor all books, papers, records, documents and other things belonging to the Borough. Additionally, the Solicitor shall keep a record of all taxes which have become a lien and shall, at least 60 days before the expiration of any lien, report such expiring lien to Council's Committee on Finances.
Editor's Note: See 8 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 1116 and 1117.
Engineer. The Engineer, subject to the Act and all other federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, shall be under and subject to the direction and control of Borough Council. The Engineer shall survey and ascertain all lines and grades and fix and correct all permanent points of reference; prepare and preserve all necessary notes, drafts and surveys and shall deliver them to his/her successor; have the exclusive custody of all instruments pertaining to his/her office; direct the construction, reconstruction and repair of all streets, alleys, sidewalks and gutters; shall make such recommendations and suggestions to Council, affecting highways, as to him/her may seem proper; and perform such other services, not incompatible with the duties of a Municipal Engineer, as may be required.
Supervisor (also known as the Public Works Manager). The Supervisor, subject to the control of Council, shall report to the Borough Manager, and, subject to the direction of the Engineer, shall personally supervise the construction, reconstruction and repair of all streets, alleys, sidewalks and gutters and shall be in charge of the labor employed thereon. When so requested, the Supervisor shall also assist the Borough Manager, Council and its committees in budget preparations, design, implementation and maintenance of all appropriate policies and procedures for the construction, reconstruction and repair of streets, alleys, sidewalks and gutters, and in the identification, application for and administration of appropriate federal, state, local or other grants of funds for the purposes of construction, reconstruction, or repair of Borough streets, alleys, sidewalks and gutters.
Janitor. The Janitor shall be under and subject to the control and direction of the Borough Manager and the Borough Council and shall exercise a general oversight of the Municipal Building and prevent the loitering therein of any persons not in the employ of any lessees. The Janitor shall remove all snow and ice from gutters and sidewalks about the Municipal Building and shall immediately report to the Borough Manager all breaks, leaks or damage to the Municipal Building.
Attendant of Municipal Building Clock. The Attendant of the Municipal Building Clock shall be under and subject to the control and direction of the Borough Manager and the Borough Council. The Attendant of the Municipal Clock shall possess the qualifications of a clock repairman, shall keep the clock in the tower of the Municipal Building accurate and shall wind the same whenever necessary.
The Health Officer, subject to the authority of Borough Council and the Board of Health, shall report to the Borough Manager and shall perform all duties and have all of the powers of the Health Officer as prescribed by Chapter 126 of the Code of the Borough of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and shall perform all duties assigned him/her by the Board of Health, the Borough Manager or Borough Council. The Health Officer shall have and maintain all certifications and training required by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Borough Council.
Confidential Clerk. The Confidential Clerk shall be the administrative assistant of the Borough Manager and shall report to the Borough Manager and Borough Council. The Confidential Clerk shall perform such duties as may be assigned him/her by the Borough Manager or Borough Council.
Employees or officials of the Borough of Columbia designated in § 5-15 of this chapter shall:
Comply with all federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations pertaining in any way whatsoever to that employee/official's job duties or performance;
Supervise subordinates in a manner consistent with federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations and in conformity with any applicable employment contract under which the Borough is bound; such supervision shall include, but not be limited to, counseling, discipline, professional development and performance reviews;
Operate any and all Borough vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner; and
Timely and courteously respond in an appropriate manner to all requests of a superior or Borough Council and to citizens of the Borough.
Council shall meet at least once a month, at the regular-stated meeting in January of each year, or at any adjournment thereof, Council shall, by resolution, fix a time for its regular-stated meeting.
Council may adjourn to a particular time for general business or for special business.
If the quorum is present at a regular or adjourned meeting, a majority of those who do meet may agree upon another date for like business and may continue to so agree until the meeting is held.
Special meetings may be called by the President of Council or upon written request of at least 1/3 of the members thereof. Members shall have at least 24 hours' notice of said special meetings. The notice shall state whether it is for general or special purposes, and if it is for special purposes, the notice shall contain a general statement of the purpose of the business to be transacted. Presence at a meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice.
Council may adopt rules relating to the calling and holding of all meetings, which rules shall supersede the provisions of this article.
The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Robert's Rules of Order shall govern in all cases in which they are applicable and not inconsistent with the standing rules of the Council and with the provisions regarding the conduct of meetings previously set forth in this chapter.
Council may sit as a committee of the whole. When sitting as a committee of the whole, no vote may be taken. Council may establish rules for the governing meetings of the committee of the whole including the designation by Council President of members of Council to lead discussions on various topics. All committees of the whole meetings shall be advertised and opened to the public.