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City of Biddeford, ME
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
City Council — See Charter, Art. III.
City Council — See Ch. 2, Art. II.
[Ord. of 1-2-1979(15); Ord. No. 2001.119, 12-18-2001; Ord. No. 2002.136, 12-17-2002; Ord. No. 2003.12, 2-4-2003; Ord. No. 2003.123, 12-3-2003; Ord. No. 2006.11, 2-7-2006; 9-4-2012; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10; 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.42; 1-5-2016 by Ord. No. 2016.2]
a. 
The Mayor shall take the chair at the hour appointed for the meeting, or as soon thereafter as is convenient, call the members to order, and after the appearance of a quorum, cause the minutes of the preceding meeting to be read. In the absence of the Mayor, the President of the City Council shall be the presiding officer, but in case of the absence of both the Mayor and the President at such time, the Clerk of the Council shall preside until a President Pro Tempore for said meeting is chosen.
b. 
The Mayor shall receive and submit to vote all motions and propositions regularly moved, shall put the question, and shall declare all votes; but if any Councilor doubts the vote, all those voting in the affirmative, when called upon by the Mayor, shall raise their hand until they are counted, and also those in the negative, in like manner, to make the vote certain.
c. 
The Mayor shall restrain the members when engaged in debate, within the rules of order, and shall enforce, on all occasions, the observance of order and decorum among the members.
d. 
The Mayor shall decide all questions of order subject to an appeal to the Council by motion properly seconded.
e. 
The Mayor may speak to points of order in preference to the members.
f. 
When the Mayor desires to express his opinions on any subject, the Mayor shall yield the chair to the President of the Council, if present, or any other member.
g. 
The Mayor shall appoint all standing and special committees of the City Council and the Chairs thereof, except the Chair of the Finance Committee, which shall be chaired by the Council President, and all such mayoral appointments shall receive confirmation by the City Council.
h. 
Upon the Chair's inability to maintain order and in the event that either a Councilor or a member(s) of the public fail to comply with any of the rules or other rules as adopted by the Council regarding decorum and order the Chair shall immediately recess the Council. If upon resumption of the meeting order and decorum are unable to be maintained, the Chair shall call for the immediate adjournment of the meeting and conduct no further business.
i. 
The Mayor shall call regular meetings of the City Council to order at 6:00 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, and regular meetings shall adjourn by 9:00 p.m. unless a majority of the Councilors agree to extend the meeting. All regular and special meetings of the Council, including but not limited to Council workshops and public hearings, will be held in the Council chambers, unless a majority of the Councilors agree to a different location.
[Amended 9-20-2016 by Ord. No. 2016.85]
j. 
When, as required by law, the City Council must act as municipal officers, they shall do so during a Council meeting. Towards the end of each regular Council meeting there shall be a "public addressing the Council," portion for 30 minutes, when the residents of Biddeford shall be afforded an opportunity to address the City Council on any item of City business which is not before the Council as an order of the day on the Council agenda, over which the Council has direct control, not to exceed five minutes per speaker.
[Amended 1-17-2017 by Ord. No. 2017.8; 12-12-2017 by Ord. No. 2017.130]
[Ord. of 11-6-1996; Ord. No. 99.87, 9-21-1999; Ord. No. 2001.119, 12-18-2001]
a. 
At all meetings of the City Council, each member shall occupy the seat assigned to him or her by the Mayor at the first meeting of said Council.
b. 
Every member shall take notice of the day and hour to which the Council stands adjourned and shall give his or her punctual attendance accordingly; and shall attend all special meetings properly called.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
c. 
Every member, when about to speak, shall raise his or her hand and upon recognition by the presiding officer shall respectfully address the presiding officer, confine himself or herself to the question under debate, and avoid personalities. No member will be allowed to speak while out of his or her place. Debate must be confined to the merits of the pending question. Members must maintain a courteous tone, especially in reference to any divergence of opinion and shall avoid injecting any personal note into the debate. Members must never attack or make any allusion to the motives of members.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
d. 
Members speaking shall not be interrupted by another, but by call to order; if any member in speaking or otherwise shall transgress the rules of the Council, the presiding officer shall, or any member may, call him or her to order; in which case the member so called to order shall immediately stop speaking unless permitted to explain; and the Council if appealed to, shall decide whether the member is in fact transgressing the rules or otherwise out of order, but without debate. If the decision is in favor of the member so called to order, that member shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, he shall not speak again on the pending item without approval of the Council.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
e. 
Each member has the right to speak twice on the same motion on the same meeting, but cannot make a second speech on the same question as long as any member who has not spoken on that question desires the floor. No motion to move the question shall take place until each member has had an opportunity to speak once. A member who has spoken twice on a motion on the same meeting has exhausted his or her right to debate that motion for that meeting unless he or she obtains approval of the Council to speak on the same motion again. However, questions generated by discussing Council business or motions may be asked without limit.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
f. 
Every member who shall be present when a question is put shall give his or her vote, unless the Council shall excuse that member.
g. 
No member shall be permitted to vote on any question in the City Council, nor in committee, whose private right, distinct from public interest, is immediately involved.
h. 
When any member shall be guilty of a breach of any of the rules and orders of the Council and the Council has determined that member has so transgressed, that member shall not be allowed to vote or speak, unless by way of explanation for the same, until that member has recognized his or her transgression before the presiding officer and the Council and immediately ceases the breach. Any member who continues to breach any rule or order of the Council after the Council has determined said breach shall be subject to censorship by vote of the Council, and shall not be recognized in any further action.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
i. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection i, which prohibited any member from leaving a Council meeting unless excused by the Chair, was repealed 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10.
j. 
No member shall be permitted to vote on any question in the City Council, nor in committee, when that member is a member of any organization or entity which has an interest separate and distinct from the public interest and in opposition to the interest of the inhabitants of the City of Biddeford. In any circumstance when a member refuses to abstain from participating in any vote, when that member has a private right or a right separate and distinct from the public interest, the Council shall decide the qualification of that member to participate on that issue.
k. 
The members of the Council shall refrain from interference with the daily administration of City business.
l. 
No member shall begin to discuss a matter when no motion is pending, unless the chair authorizes a particular subject to be discussed while no motion is pending.
m. 
Any member may place an item(s) on a City Council agenda with the concurrence of at least one other member, with said item(s) being submitted in writing to the City Clerk. The submitted item(s) shall be placed on a City Council agenda within 30 days. The final agenda will be reviewed and approved by the Mayor and Council President.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10; 1-17-2017 by Ord. No. 2017.8]
n. 
The agenda for regular meetings of the City Council shall be prepared and available in the City Clerk's office to members by 4:00 p.m. on the Wednesday preceding the meeting. The City Clerk shall provide for delivery of any agendas after noon on the Friday preceding the meeting.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
o. 
Each member, when sending an email correspondence from the City email system, shall include the following disclaimer:
[Added 5-3-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.31]
NOTICE: Under Maine's Freedom of Access (Right to Know) Law, documents, including emails, in the possession of public officials about City business are classified as public records. This means if anyone asks to see them, we are required to provide them. There are very few exceptions. We welcome citizens' comments and want to hear from our constituents, but please keep in mind that what you write in an email is not private and could show up in one of the local newspapers.
p. 
Members are not permitted use any mobile device for making phone calls, text messaging, emailing or other outside communication while meetings are in progress, unless for emergency purposes.
[Added 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
[Ord. of 7-21-1998(5); Ord. of 1-5-1999; Ord. No. 2000.122, 10-17-2000; Ord. No. 2003.12, 2-4-2003; Ord. No. 2003.123, 12-3-2003]
a. 
In all votes, when the City Council expresses anything by way of command, the form of expression shall be "Ordered" and when it expresses opinions, principles, facts or propositions, the form shall be "Resolved."
b. 
All memorials and other papers addressed to the Council shall be presented by the presiding officer, who shall explain the subject thereof, and they shall be taken up in the order in which they were presented, unless the Council shall otherwise direct.
c. 
After a motion is stated or read by the presiding officer, it shall be deemed to be in possession of the Council, and shall be disposed of by vote of the Council unless the mover, with consent of the party seconding, withdraws it before a decision or amendment.
d. 
Every motion shall be reduced to writing if the presiding officer shall so direct or any member request it.
e. 
All questions shall be propounded in the order in which they are moved, unless the subsequent motion be previous in its nature, except that in naming sums and fixing times, the largest sum and the longest time shall be first put.
f. 
When a question is under debate no motion shall be received but:
First
To adjourn
Second
To lay on the table
Third
For the previous question
Fourth
To commit
Fifth
To postpone to a day certain
Sixth
To amend
Seventh
To postpone indefinitely
Which several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they are arranged.
g. 
No motion to postpone or commit shall be allowed twice on the same day in the same stage of the ordinance or proposition.
h. 
The previous question shall be in this form: "Shall the main question now be put." It shall only be admitted when demanded by a majority of the Council; and until it is decided, shall preclude all amendments and further debate of the main question.
i. 
A motion for reconsideration of a vote shall be open to debate, and only by a member voting with the majority; and only one motion for the reconsideration of any vote shall be permitted.
j. 
No motion or proposition on a subject different from that under discussion shall be admitted under color of an amendment.
k. 
The divisions of a question may be called for when the sense will admit it.
l. 
All orders, resolves and reports may be committed or recommitted at the pleasure of the Council.
m. 
When the reading of a paper is called for which has been before read to the Council, and the same is objected to by any member, the question of reading shall be determined by a vote of the Council.
n. 
When two or more members happen to request to be recognized at the same time, the presiding officer shall name the member who is to speak first.
[Amended 1-5-2016 by Ord. No. 2016.2]
o. 
The yes and no votes shall be taken on any question, upon the request of any member present.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
p. 
Any public comment on any Council order, resolve or ordinance, when allowed by state law or the Council shall not exceed three minutes per individual speaker. Such persons shall be permitted to speak only once on an item and shall confine their remarks to the merits of the order, resolve or ordinance before the Council.
[Amended 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
q. 
Procedure for addressing the Council on agenda items or during the municipal officers meeting:
(1) 
No public comment shall be permitted on the following agenda items: personnel matters, informational reports or communications from boards and commissions, staff or other organizations or entities; appointments and administrative action implementing prior action to the Council where that prior action had permitted public comment.
(2) 
On items other than those set forth in Subsection (1) above, public comment shall be permitted only once prior to final Council action. Except as specifically decided by the Council, such public comment shall occur at the advertised public hearing or at the first reading of such item. The public also may address the Council on proposed amendments at either the first or second reading.
(3) 
Persons wishing to address the Council on an item which appears on the agenda, and upon which public comment is permitted under Subsections (1) and (2) above, shall wait until the presiding officer announces the consideration of such item, at which time they may address the Council on that particular item. Any presentation on an issue or introductory information regarding the issue shall be presented prior to the public requesting or receiving an opportunity to address the Council. Once the Council has begun its deliberations on an item, no person shall be permitted to address the Council on such item. This subsection does not pertain to City staff or members of the public who may be called upon by the Chair or a member to give clarification on an issue under consideration by the Council.
(4) 
Any person wishing to address the Council shall signify such desire by raising his or her hand and, when recognized by the presiding officer, such person shall thereupon request permission to address the Council giving his or her name and physical address and designating the subject matter to the Chair.
(5) 
Persons present at Council meetings or at a municipal officers meeting shall not interrupt, nor applaud or otherwise express approval or disapproval of any statements made or actions taken at such meeting.
(6) 
The presiding officer may limit or cut off any commentary that he or she determines is not germane or that is discourteous, slanderous, abusive, or not in accord with good order and decorum. This will be prompted by a call to order by any member when appropriate.
(7) 
No public comment shall be allowed on matters related to ongoing or threatened litigation involving the City, its elected officials and/or employees. A person who shall continue to violate these rules, after warning by the presiding officer, shall be ejected. The Council may, at its discretion, suspend or prohibit a person from addressing the Council or the municipal officers.
[Ord. of 4-4-1995]
a. 
All orders and resolutions imposing a penalty or authorizing the expenditure of money shall have more than one reading before they shall be finally passed by the Council.
b. 
No ordinance, order or resolution imposing a penalty or authorizing the expenditure of money shall have more than one reading on the same day, except as allowed under Article III, Section 8, of the Charter of the City of Biddeford.
c. 
Every new ordinance or amendment to an ordinance shall be read and voted on two separate days in accordance with Article III, Section 8, of the Charter of the City of Biddeford. Article III, Section 8, shall govern the passage of ordinances.
[Ord. of 1-2-1979(15); Ord. 1-4-1994; Ord. of 4-4-1995; Ord. of 4-4-1995; Ord. of 2-2-1999; Ord. No. 99.112, 12-13-1999; Ord. No. 2000.112, 10-3-2000; Ord. No. 2003.130, 12-16-2003; 11-4-2010 by Ord. No. 2010.118; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10; 8-19-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.79; 1-5-2016 by Ord. No. 2016.2; 3-21-2017 by Ord. No. 2017.27; 10-2-2018 by Ord. No. 2018.120]
a. 
The following shall be the standing committees of the City Council: Personnel; Capital Projects/Operations; Policy; Finance; and Downtown Committee.
b. 
(Reserved)
c. 
The Capital Projects/Operations and Policy Committees shall consist of a chairperson, two Council members and two citizens. The two citizen members shall be appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. No citizen member may be a chairperson.
d. 
The Personnel Committee shall consist of a chairperson who shall be a City Councilor and three Council members. There shall be no citizen members on the Personnel Committee.
e. 
The Downtown Committee shall consist of the Mayor, four Council members, and a member of the Downtown Development Commission. The Downtown Development Commission member shall serve as a nonvoting member except in the absence of a full-time voting member. A Chairperson shall be selected from the voting members.
f. 
(Reserved)
g. 
The Council committees are subagents of the full Council which is the sole governing body of the City of Biddeford. The committees are delegated various functions by the full Council and are to provide recommendations upon which the full Council will act except where otherwise specified. The committees will examine the appropriate subject matter before them, collect the facts pertaining thereto and make a report which will recommend what action, if any, should be taken by the full Council. Additionally, each committee may take whatever action specifically authorized by the Charter, ordinance, or state law.
h. 
In general, the committees shall have the following subject matter before them:
(1) 
Finance Committee. The duties of the Finance Committee are set forth in the City Charter.
(2) 
Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee will investigate matters pertaining to employment matters with the City of Biddeford. It shall review the salaries of department heads and the City Manager. In the event of a termination hearing, for cause, it shall serve as a fair hearing authority before whom an impartial hearing shall take place involving the subject municipal employee.
(3) 
Capital Projects/Operations Committee. The Capital Projects/Operations Committee shall establish a five-year plan for implementation of major capital improvements in the City. It shall review matters involving the Public Works Director, Public Works Department and public property issues. This committee shall review the City's claims issues, insurance issues, making appropriate recommendations to the full Council when necessary. It shall coordinate with the Capital Projects Committee when necessary if issues involve the use of capital improvements within the City.
(4) 
Policy Committee. The Policy Committee shall be responsible for establishing and recommending ordinance language, Code revisions, (except for Chapter 42, Motor Vehicles and Traffic, and all other matters and ordinances that relate to Public Safety) and City policy to the full Council. The Policy Committee shall coordinate with the City Planner and the Code Enforcement Officer regarding the amendment, establishment and/or update of the City's land use ordinances.
(5) 
Downtown Committee. The Downtown Committee shall be responsible for reviewing matters affecting the City of Biddeford's downtown, including, but not limited to, downtown improvement initiatives, collaborating with external agencies and businesses on downtown improvement projects, and all minor garage design feature decisions, and is delegated as the Parking Authority with powers limited to those defined in Sec. 42-8.
i. 
Each committee meeting is a public proceeding as defined in 1 M.R.S.A. § 402(2). Each committee may hold executive sessions pursuant to the conditions and limitations expressed in 1 M.R.S.A. § 405. Should a committee vote, in public, to proceed into executive session, only those members of the committee shall be present in the executive session.
a. 
The rules or orders of the Council shall be observed in all cases unless suspended by a vote of the members present, for specific purposes.
[Amended 12-7-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.81; 2-4-2014 by Ord. No. 2014.10]
b. 
No rules or orders of the Council shall be repealed or amended unless the members of the Council concur therein.
[Amended 12-7-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.81]
c. 
The above rules and orders are hereby adopted and all rules and orders inconsistent with the above are hereby repealed.