City of Fairfax, MN
Renville County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fairfax at time of Adoption of Code (See Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of Fairfax provides for open meetings of the City Council at which reasonable opportunity shall be given for citizens to be heard under such rules as the Council may provide. The Rules of Procedure establish guidelines to be followed by all persons attending a City Council meeting, including members of the City Council, administrative staff, news media, and visitors.
A. 
Regular meetings. The City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, unless postponed or canceled for valid reasons.
B. 
Special meetings. Special meetings may be called by the Mayor or by a majority of the members of the Council. The call for a special meeting shall be filed with the City Clerk-Treasurer in written form, except an announcement of a special meeting during any regular meeting at which all members are present shall be sufficient notice of such special meeting. The call for a special meeting shall specify the day, the hour, and the location of the special meeting and shall list the subject or subjects to be considered. Only such business may be transacted at a special meeting as may be listed in the call for said meeting.
C. 
Public notice. The agenda for all regular meetings and the notice listing items to be considered shall be available upon request.
D. 
Quorum. Three members constitute a quorum except when the number of Council members, due to vacancies, is reduced to less than five, in which event a quorum consists of all the remaining Council members. A quorum of the City Council must be present to conduct a City Council meeting.
E. 
Compelling attendance. A lesser number than a quorum may adjourn from time to time and compel the attendance of absent members.
F. 
City Clerk-Treasurer participation. The City Clerk-Treasurer shall attend all meetings of the City Council unless excused and shall keep the official minutes.
G. 
City Attorney participation. The City Attorney shall attend all meetings of the City Council unless excused.
H. 
City Superintendent of Utilities and Streets. The City Superintendent of Utilities and Streets shall attend all meetings of the City Council unless excused.
I. 
Officers and employees. Department heads of the City, when there is pertinent business from their departments on the Council agenda, shall attend such Council meetings upon request.
J. 
Closed meetings. The City Council may hold closed meetings in accordance with the provisions of the State Open Meeting Law and other matters for which the Open Meeting Law requires closure of a public meeting. Topics that may be discussed would be: (1) personnel matters, (2) consideration of acquisition of property for public purposes, (3) potential or pending litigations in which the City has an interest.
A. 
City Council members.
(1) 
During City Council meetings, City Council members shall assist in preserving order and decorum and shall neither by conversation or otherwise delay or interrupt the proceedings nor refuse to obey the orders of the Presiding Officer or the rules of the City Council.
(2) 
A City Council member desiring to speak shall address the Chair and upon recognition by the Presiding Officer, shall confine discussion to the question under debate.
(3) 
A City Council member once recognized shall not be interrupted while speaking unless called to order by the Presiding Officer, unless a point of order is raised by another member, or unless the speaker chooses to yield to questions from another members.
(4) 
City Council members shall confine their questions to the particular matters before the Council and in debate shall confine their remarks to the issues before the City Council.
(5) 
When there is more than one speaker on the same subject, City Council members will delay their comments until after all speakers on the subject have been heard.
B. 
Administrative staff.
(1) 
Members of the administrative staff and employees of the City shall observe the same rules of procedures and decorum applicable to members of the City Council.
(2) 
All persons addressing the City Council, including staff members, or members of the public shall be recognized by the Presiding Officer and shall limit their remarks to the matter under discussion.
(3) 
All remarks and questions addressed to the City Council shall be addressed to the City Council as a whole and not to any individual member.
C. 
Citizens and other visitors.
(1) 
Citizens and other visitors are welcome to attend all public meetings.
(2) 
Everyone attending the meeting will refrain from private conversations while the City Council is in session.
(3) 
Citizens and other visitors attending City Council meetings shall observe the same rules of propriety, decorum and good conduct applicable to members of the City Council. Any person making personal, impertinent, profane or slanderous remarks or who becomes boisterous while addressing the City Council or while attending the City Council meeting shall be removed from the room if directed by the Presiding Officer. If the Presiding Officer fails to act, any member of the City Council may move to require enforcement of the rules, and the affirmative vote of a majority of the City Council shall require the Presiding Officer to act.
D. 
Enforcement. The City Attorney shall act as Sergeant-at-Arms for the City Council and shall furnish whatever assistance is needed to enforce the rules of the City Council.
A. 
Seating arrangements. City Council members shall occupy the seats in the City Council chamber as desired.
B. 
Right of floor. A City Council member who desires to speak must be recognized by the Presiding Officer. No member shall address the Presiding Officer or demand the floor while a vote is being taken.
C. 
Conflict of interest. A member prevented from voting by a conflict of interest shall leave the City Council meeting during the debate, shall not vote on the matter, and shall otherwise comply with the state law and City ordinances concerning conflicts of interest.
D. 
Right of appeal. Any member may appeal to the City Council from a ruling of the Presiding Officer. If the appeal is seconded, the member making the appeal may briefly explain the ruling; but there shall be no debate on the appeal, and no other member shall participate in the discussion. The Presiding Officer shall then put the question, "Shall the decision of the Chair be sustained?" If a majority of the members present vote "Yes," the ruling of the Chair is sustained: otherwise, it is overruled.
E. 
Voting.
(1) 
Every member present when a question is called shall vote either "Yes" or "No" except on matters involving a conflict of interests or the consideration of the member's own official conduct.
(2) 
After the result of a vote is announced, a member may not change a vote unless, before the adjournment of that meeting, permission is given to change the vote by a majority vote of the members present.
A. 
Chair. The Mayor, if present, shall preside as Chair at all meetings of the City Council. In the absence of the Mayor, the acting Mayor shall preside. In the absence of both the Mayor and acting Mayor the City Clerk-Treasurer shall open the meeting and the Council shall elect a Chair. If the Mayor vacates the Chair during the meeting, and the acting Mayor is not available, the Mayor may, subject to the approval of the City Council, appoint a temporary Chair.
B. 
Call to order. The meetings of the City Council shall be called to order by the Mayor or, in the Mayor's absence, by the acting Mayor.
C. 
Preservation of order. The Chair shall preserve order and decorum, call upon the Sergeant-at-Arms as necessary to enforce compliance with the rules, and confine members in debate to the question under discussion.
D. 
Questions to be stated. The Chair shall state all questions submitted for a vote and announce the result. A roll call vote shall be taken when requested by a member.
E. 
Call for recess. The Chair may call for a ten-minute recess at intervals of approximately one hour or at appropriate points in the meeting agenda.
A. 
Agenda; preparation and distribution.
(1) 
The agenda shall be a listing by topic of subjects to be considered by the City Council, and shall be delivered to members of the City Council in advance of each meeting in accordance with the directives of the City Council. The order of business of each meeting shall be as contained in the agenda prepared as follows:
(a) 
Call to order.
(b) 
Roll call.
(c) 
Approval of minutes.
(d) 
Changes to the agenda.
(e) 
Unfinished business.
(f) 
Public hearings.
(g) 
Bid openings.
(h) 
Presentations.
(i) 
Consent agenda.
(j) 
Administrative staff report.
(k) 
Council reports.
(l) 
Communications.
(m) 
Claims submitted for payment.
(n) 
Council concerns and citizen's requests.
(o) 
Adjournment.
(2) 
Unless the reading of the minutes of a City Council meeting is requested by a member of the City Council, such minutes may be approved without reading if the City Clerk-Treasurer has previously furnished each member with a copy.
(3) 
The City Clerk-Treasurer shall mark with the word "Consent" those items on the agenda regarding which it can reasonably be expected that there will be no discussion by members of the City Council, staff, or interested persons in the audience. The City Council shall consider all of the items on the agenda marked "Consent" at one time by vote after a motion has been duly made and seconded. If any member of the City Council or staff requests that a consent item be removed from the list of consent items, such item shall be taken up for consideration and disposition in the order in which it is listed on the agenda.
B. 
Presentation by members of the Council.
(1) 
The agenda shall provide a time under "Council Concerns" when the Mayor or any Council member may bring before the Council any business that he/she feels should be deliberated upon by the Council. These matters need not be specifically listed on the Agenda, but formal action on such matters shall be deferred until a subsequent Council meeting, except that immediate action may be taken upon a vote of 2/3 of all members of the Council.
(2) 
Time limits on voting items. The length of time a person will be allowed to speak on voting items at City Council meetings will be determined according to the following rules:
(a) 
A person will have a maximum of three minutes to speak regardless of the number of voting items they wish to address. The Mayor may determine the order in which speakers are called. If an item is deferred from a City Council agenda a citizen may not be heard until the item is actually considered by the City Council.
[1] 
The Mayor may impose more restrictive time limits on voting items that are not public hearings, but for which a large number of persons would like to speak.
[2] 
For called public hearings concerning applications to change zoning and similar each person will have a maximum of three minutes to speak, or if the City Council approves by a majority vote, each side of the issue will be allowed a maximum of 15 minutes to make a presentation.
[3] 
For other public hearings, including annexation, benefit assessment, budget, and other specially-called hearings, each person will have a maximum of three minutes to speak.
(3) 
Closed public hearings. A person will not be permitted to address the City Council during the consideration of a zoning ordinance placed on the agenda on which a public hearing has already been held by the City Council and has been closed.
C. 
Oral presentation. Matters requiring the City Council's attention or action may be presented orally by Staff members.
D. 
Public hearings.
(1) 
The City Clerk-Treasurer shall schedule public hearings on the City Council's agenda pursuant that due call and notice have been performed.
(2) 
The City Council may schedule public hearings at times other than its regular meetings when it determines that the matter to be heard is a significant issue that requires more time than is available at regular meetings. The Mayor may call an advertised public hearing at a specified time.
A. 
Printed form. All ordinances and resolutions shall be presented to the City Council only in printed form.
B. 
City Attorney to approve. All ordinances shall be approved as to form by the City Attorney.
C. 
Distribution of ordinances. The City Clerk-Treasurer shall prepare copies of all proposed ordinances to be available for distribution to all members of the City Council at the meeting at which the ordinance is introduced, or at such earlier time as is appropriate.
D. 
Consideration of ordinances. Each proposed ordinance shall be read by title or in full two times. Except in case of a bill for an emergency ordinance or an appropriation ordinance, not more than one such reading shall be on the same day, and at least one week shall elapse between introduction and final passage.
E. 
Adoption of ordinances. Ordinances introduced at a Council meeting shall not be finally acted upon until at least the next official meeting, except that appropriation and emergency ordinances may be acted on immediately, and provided further that an affirmative vote of at least four members of the Council shall be required for the final passage of an emergency ordinance.
F. 
Ordinance adoption procedure. When adopted by the Council, an ordinance shall be signed by the Presiding Officer and be attested by the City Clerk-Treasurer; published and immediately filed and thereafter preserved in the office of the City Clerk-Treasurer.
G. 
Rules of order. The most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order Revised shall govern the proceedings of the City Council in all cases, unless they are in conflict with these rules.
H. 
Order of precedence of motions. The following motions shall have priority in the order indicated:
i.
Adjourn (when privileged)
See notes 1 and 2
ii.
Take a recess (when privileged)
See notes 1 and 3
iii.
Raise a question of privilege
iv.
Lay on the Table
v.
Previous question
See note 5
vi.
Limit or extend limits of debate
See notes 3 and 5
vii.
Postpone to a certain time
See note 3
viii.
Commit or refer
See note 3
ix.
Amend
See notes 3 and 4
x.
Postpone indefinitely
xi.
Main motion
See note 3
Note 1: The first two motions are not always privileged. To adjourn shall lose its privileged character and be a main motion if in any way qualified. To take a recess shall be privileged only when other business is pending.
Note 2: A motion to adjourn is not in order: (1) when repeated without intervening business or discussion, (2) when made as an interruption of a member while speaking, (3) while a vote is being taken.
Note 3: Can be amended — others cannot be amended.
Note 4: A motion to amend shall be nondebatable when the question to be amended is nondebatable
Note 5: Two-thirds vote of members present required.
I. 
Reconsideration.
(1) 
A motion to reconsider any action of the City Council may be made, seconded, and voted on not later than the next succeeding meeting. If reconsideration of the Council action has not been on the Council agenda for the meeting at which the motion to reconsider is made, reconsideration of the item must be delayed until the next meeting when it is on the agenda.
(2) 
A motion to reconsider an action of the City Council may only be made by a member who voted with the prevailing side. It can be seconded by any member. No question shall be twice reconsidered except by unanimous vote of the City Council, except that action relating to any contract may be reconsidered at any time before the final execution.
J. 
The previous question. When the previous question is moved and seconded, it shall be put as follows: "Shall the main question be now put?" There shall be no further amendment or debate, but pending amendments shall be put in their order before the main question. If the motion for the previous question is lost, the main question remains before the City Council. An affirmative vote of 2/3 of the City Council members present shall be required to approve the previous question.
K. 
Withdrawal of motions. A motion may be withdrawn, or modified, by its mover without asking permission until the motion has been stated by the Chair. If the mover modifies the motion, the person that second may withdraw the second. After the question has been stated, the mover shall neither withdraw it nor modify it without the consent of the City Council.
L. 
Amendments to motions. No proposal of a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted as a motion or amendment to a motion. A motion to amend an amendment shall be in order, but one to amend an amendment to an amendment shall not be in order.
M. 
Appropriations of money. Before formal approval by the City Council of motions providing for appropriation of money, information must be presented to the City Council showing the purpose of the appropriation. In addition, before finally acting on an appropriation, the City Council shall obtain a report from the City Clerk-Treasurer as to the availability of funds.
N. 
Deferral of agenda items.
(1) 
A City Council member may defer until the next Council meeting a voting item appearing on the City Council agenda unless:
(a) 
The item previously appeared on a City Council meeting agenda and was deferred by request of a City Council member.
(b) 
Majority of a City Council moves to take action on agenda item.
(2) 
For the convenience of the public, other City Council members, and the staff, a City Council member should announce the intent to defer an item on the agenda as soon as that determination is made.
O. 
Moratoriums. No moratorium on the acceptance of applications for permits, certificates, licenses, or other approvals may be imposed for a time period of greater than 60 days.
Approval of every ordinance, resolution, or motion shall require on final passage the affirmative vote of a majority of City Council members present except that certain state statutes impose other voting requirements on various questions. In addition, these rules set forth certain instances in which the number of votes required is greater than a majority of all members. As a matter of convenience, questions on which the voting requirement is varied by state statutes and these rules are listed below:
A. 
State requirements.
(1) 
Rezoning residential to commercial or industrial: 2/3 vote of all members.
(2) 
Changing paving assessment plans: 2/3 vote of all member.
B. 
City Council rules requirements.
(1) 
Suspending rules: 2/3 vote of members present.
(2) 
Special meeting: Special meetings may be called by the Mayor or two City Council members. This must be in written form to the City Clerk-Treasurer to allow posting and notice filings to be made. Special meetings require a three-day notice.
(3) 
The previous question: 2/3 vote of members present.
(4) 
Limit or extend limits of debate: 2/3 vote of members present.
(5) 
Extension of moratoriums: 3/4 vote of all members.
A. 
Committees established.
(1) 
The following standing committees of the City Council are established:
(a) 
Utilities.
(b) 
Streets and sidewalks.
(c) 
Parks.
(d) 
City buildings and liquor store.
(e) 
Law enforcement.
(f) 
Personnel.
(2) 
Each committee shall review matters in its area of responsibility that are referred to it by the City Council.
B. 
Appointment.
(1) 
The Mayor will appoint the Acting Mayor and Weed Inspector annually. The City Council shall confirm appointments.
(2) 
City Council will appoint the Attorney, Civil Defense Director, and City Assessor annually.
(3) 
The Mayor may remove and reassign members to and from the various committees.