[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lebanon 9-18-1974. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Ordinances — See Charter § C419:22.
Enactment of ordinances — See Ch. 115.
Editor's Note: This resolution also provided as follows: Resolved by the Lebanon City Council that the following be and hereby adopted as the Rules and Regulations of the Council.”
The Council shall meet in regular session on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. until the conclusion of business or 10:00 p.m., whichever comes first. The 10:00 p.m. adjournment shall only be extended by a 2/3 vote of the Council.
[Amended 11-7-1979; 4-15-1992; 6-23-1993; 3-30-1994; 7-19-1995; 10-18-1995; 5-21-2003]
Attendance. Prior to each meeting, unless prevented by emergency, a Councilor shall notify either the Mayor, City Manager or City Clerk if he or she will be unable to attend a meeting.
Remote attendance. As long as a quorum of the Council is present in person, one or more members of the City Council at the discretion of the Mayor may participate in a meeting by electronic or other means of communication only when attendance is not reasonably practical. This procedure shall not be construed to mean that conferencing by electronic means shall be regularly used or used at every meeting of the Council but shall be used only as necessary to allow the participation of Council members who are unable to attend in person due to such circumstances as personal illness or disability, employment obligations, or a family or other emergency.
Member must notify the City Manager's office at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, unless impractical, so that necessary communications equipment can be arranged. Inability to make the necessary technical arrangements may result in the inability of the member's remote attendance.
Each part of a meeting required to be open to the public shall be audible or otherwise discernable to the public at the location specified in the meeting notice as the location of the meeting. Each member participating electronically or otherwise must be able to simultaneously hear the other members physically present or participating electronically during the meeting and shall be audible or otherwise discernable to the public in attendance at the meeting's location.
If participation is not in person, the member must state the reason such attendance is not reasonably practical, and that information must be included in the minutes of the meeting.
Sufficient security and identification procedures be employed, either at the outset of any meeting or at any time during the meeting as appropriate, to ensure that any and all members attending for discussion or voting purposes are in fact an authorized member with the right to speak and vote.
The person not in attendance shall identify the persons present (if any) in the location from which the member is participating.
If a member of the Council is participating by electronic or other means of communication, all votes must be recorded by roll call vote.
Electronic or other means of communication can include, but due to changing technology are not limited, to telephone/speakerphone/conference calls and computer audio/video conferencing.
In case of the absence of the Mayor and Assistant Mayor, the Clerk shall call the Council to order. If a quorum is found to be present, the Council shall choose one of its members to act as Chair.
[Amended 3-30-1994; 5-16-2012]
The City Clerk or his/her designee shall be ex officio clerk of the Council and shall keep minutes of the meeting and perform such other and further duties in the meeting as may be ordered by the presiding officer of Council. Copies of the minutes of meetings shall be furnished to each Councilor with the agenda of the next meeting.
Designated legal counsel shall attend any meetings of the Council when requested by the Mayor or City Manager. Any member of the Council, upon notification to the City Manager, may call upon Counsel for an oral or written opinion to decide any question of law or parliamentary procedure.
[Amended 2-6-1991; 7-19-1995; 4-21-2004; 6-5-2019]
Robert's Rules of Order (most recent Edition) shall be used in all Council deliberations except as modified herein.
Councilors do not have to stand to move motion or second.
[Amended 5-7-1986; 7-19-1995; 6-3-1998; 4-18-2007; 4-15-2009]
As stated in § A191-1 above, the Council shall meet in regular session on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at 7:00 p.m. Agendas for Council meetings are the responsibility of the City Manager and the Mayor.
Any Councilor wishing to have an item placed on an agenda must submit said item (in its proper format by utilizing a City Council Agenda Request Form, provided by the City Manager's Office) to the City Manager's Office by noon on the Tuesday preceding the Wednesday on which the agenda is to be set.
Items of an urgent nature which require special attention or are in need of immediate action by the Council may be placed on any agenda at the discretion of the Mayor and/or City Manager.
[Amended 6-21-1978; 4-7-1982; 5-7-1986; 4-6-1988; 3-27-1991; 6-23-1993; 7-19-1995; 5-15-1996; 4-16-1997; 6-7-2006; 9-3-2008; 4-1-2009; 4-20-2011]
The business of all regular meetings of the Council shall be transacted in the following order unless the Council, by a vote of at least 2/3 of the members present, suspends the rules and changes the order.
[Amended 3-1985; 4-20-2011; 5-2-2012]
On a quarterly basis, and within the months of October and November, the City Manager shall submit a budgetary summary to the City Council. Discussion of the summary shall be placed on the agenda of the next Council meeting following submissions.
[Amended 7-19-1995; 5-16-2012]
When a motion is made and seconded it shall be repeated upon request by the presiding officer before debate. At his/her discretion the Mayor may request motions to be put in writing. A motion may not be withdrawn by the mover without the consent of the member seconding it and the approval of the Council.
The presiding officer may at any time, by a majority vote of the members present, permit a member to introduce an ordinance, resolution or motion out of the regular order.
[Amended 12-9-1992; 7-19-1995; 6-16-2004; 5-2-2012]
Unattributed communications shall not be introduced in Council meetings. Information advocating a certain position obtained from constituent contact may be introduced at Council meetings if the name of the source is given. Electronic and written communications from any Councilor to four or more members shall constitute public comment and shall be transmitted to the City Manager's office for public record.
With the exception of the Mayor's use of City letterhead, stationery, or official City insignia for resolutions or proclamations, members of the City Council may only use such for purposes officially approved by the Council.
Persons other than members of the Council and City officers shall be permitted to address the Council. A time limit of three minutes shall be in effect; the speaker shall not enter into a debate with any person, Mayor or Council member and shall speak only on a subject on that particular agenda item.
Each newly seated Council by motion shall formally adopt the Council Rules and Regulations currently in place.
These rules may be amended or new rules adopted by a 2/3 vote of all members of the Council. Any such alterations or amendments shall be submitted in writing at the preceding regular meeting and shall be placed on the calendar under the order of new business.
These rules may be suspended by a vote of 2/3 of those members present and voting. The purpose for suspension must be clearly stated before the vote is taken, and 2/3 of the members present and voting must declare the matter one of such priority that it would be detrimental to hold it over until the next regular meeting.
[Amended 4-20-2011; 5-16-2012]
The Mayor shall designate and appoint representatives from the City Council to other bodies, including City boards, committees and commissions, as the need arises.
[Amended 11-7-1979; 8-2-1995; 9-18-1996; 5-21-2003; 4-2-2008; 5-16-2012; 12-2-2015; 6-5-2019]
When vacancies occur on City boards, committees, commissions, either by resignation, removal or lapse of term, applications received by the City Clerk will be forwarded to the City Council in a timely manner in order for vacancies to be filled as quickly as possible.
All appointments shall be acted upon by the City Council as authorized by the City Code, the City Charter and New Hampshire law.
The following procedure will be followed for board, commission and committee appointments and reappointments:
For initial appointment, the applicant shall fill out the standard application form.
For reappointment, the applicant can update the current form on file or complete a new updated application form.
One member of the City Council shall interview the applicant within 30 days of receiving the application from the City Clerk and report to the full Council prior to any nomination for appointment or reappointment.
While one City Councilor is officially assigned to interview each applicant, any City Councilor may interview any applicant for any position to better inform their decision.
Council members shall use the process outlined on the attached flow chart for constituent contacts.
In the event that materials need to be classified as confidential, a standard will be applied by the City administration to determine if a compelling purpose exists to require that the materials be confidential and that public disclosure of the materials would serve to undermine the interest of the City. The City administration's determination of confidentiality shall be made in accordance with RSA 91-A.
[Amended 5-21-2003; 4-20-2011]
Some examples where materials would be classified as confidential would include positions in labor negotiations, personnel matters involving a right of privacy and settlement discussions of pending litigation.
In order to ensure that the government of the City of Lebanon conducts its affairs in public and not in private, and that the citizens' deliberation on public affairs in Lebanon be as fully informed as practically possible, hereby be it resolved, that the City promptly release to the public all legal opinions received hereafter by the City, including, but not limited to, memoranda from any legal counsel to the City, and opinions received by the City in private consultation with legal counsel (as allowed under RSA 91-A:2, Meetings Open to Public, I(c), Consultation with legal counsel), except that the following shall only be released at the discretion of the City Manager and City Council:
Opinions pertaining to the dismissal, promotion or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against the employee.
Opinions pertaining to the hiring of any person as a public employee.
Opinions which, if released to the public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person other than a City Councilor.
Opinions pertaining to the consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of real or personal property which, if released to the public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the City.
Opinions pertaining to the consideration or negotiation of claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed against the City.
Opinions pertaining to matters before quasi-judicial boards of the City.
Opinions which, in the judgment of the City Manager and City Council, could potentially cause harm to the City if released.
Treatment of classified materials. When materials are classified as confidential, they will be identified and marked as "Confidential" and transmitted to the City Council in sealed envelopes marked as "Confidential." The reason for the confidential classification will be noted on the materials.
In the event that a significant portion of a document may be made available to the public without compromising the portions of a document which are necessary to be maintained as confidential in accordance with Subsection A of this policy, then such portion(s) shall be made available to the public with only the confidential portion(s) classified.
[Amended 6-19-1996; 5-21-2003; 4-20-2011]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, Declassification of confidential materials, was repealed 6-20-2012. Said amendment also redesignated former Subsection D as Subsection C.
Any Councilor who wishes to attend (at the expense of the City) a seminar, workshop, or other function designed to improve his/her ability to serve on the City Council (or his/her respective board, committee, or commission) must first confirm with the City Manager that funds are available for use. If funding is in place, the following options are available:
If Option (2) is exercised, reimbursement is only guaranteed if confirmation of funding was requested in advance of attending and proper documentation, according to the City's Purchasing Policy, is submitted with the reimbursement request.
Editor’s Note: This amendment also repealed former §§ A191-20, Ordinances and resolutions, and A191-21, Expense policy, added 3-19-1975.
All City Councilors will be provided with City-issued email addresses and computer devices to assist them in their capacity as elected officials. Use of City email addresses and/or computer devices is not mandatory. Councilors who elect to utilize City email addresses and/or computer devices must comply with and sign an acknowledgement form for compliance with any City computer use and cyber security policies.