[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council (now Town Commission) of the Town of Zolfo Springs 11-19-1999 by Ord. No. 2000-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Rules of the Town Council of Zolfo Springs."
It is the intent of the Town Council of Zolfo Springs, Florida, to establish consistent rules for the conduct of Town Council meetings and the conduct of Town business by the Town Council.
Except as specifically described herein, the Town Council hereby adopts Robert's Rules of Order (Robert's) as the rules of order for the conduct of all meetings within the Town of Zolfo Springs. The Town Attorney shall obtain three reference copies of a version of Robert's he or she feels is appropriate for use as a reference by the Town Councilors.
Except as specifically described herein or as provided by law, all meetings of the Town Council, as well as other committees and boards conducting any form of the Town's business, shall utilize Robert's for determining the proper manner of conducting meetings.
The Town Attorney shall serve as the parliamentarian for Town Council meetings and shall rule on points of order. In the Town Attorney's absence, the Chair or the Chair's designee shall serve as parliamentarian. Other committees and boards shall either select a parliamentarian based on a person's knowledge of Robert's, or failing designation, the chair of that committee or board shall serve as parliamentarian. Improper rulings on Robert's shall not be cause to reverse or nullify any action taken by the Town Council, committee or board unless such failure deprived some person of due process of law.
Exceptions and clarifications to Robert's:
The President of the Council is authorized to make or second motions the same as any other Councilor.
A motion to have a matter taken up by workshop may be made while any motion is pending, except a motion to adjourn requires a second, is debatable, and holds the motion in abeyance until the next regular meeting or special meeting called for that purpose.
The Town Council, at the discretion of the President of the Council or vote of the Council, may allow public participation in the debate of any motion before the Council. The President of the Council may recognize any individual in the audience seeking to speak. Any person from the audience who speaks on a matter must first state his name and address. Any speaker is limited to no more than five minutes unless extended by the President or the Council. Any Councilor can terminate public discussion by either a motion to call the question, which requires that the vote be taken on the motion, or a motion to close the discussion to the public. A motion to close public discussion is not debatable and requires a second.
Public hearings. When public hearings are required, the agenda shall so reflect, and the President of the Council shall open the public hearing no earlier than the published time and shall conduct the agenda for such hearing as follows:
Emergency ordinances. A two-thirds majority vote of the Councilors present is required to pass an emergency ordinance.
[Amended 11-20-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-10; 3-10-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-01; 2-18-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01; 11-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-06]
The Clerk shall provide reasonable notice for all meetings and shall provide a minimum notice in the following manner:
Regular Commission meetings.
All regular Commission meetings shall be held at Town Hall on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m., unless said day falls on holidays recognized by the Town government, or the Town Commission otherwise declares that there is a substantial reason to change the meeting night, in which case the regular meeting shall be held any other day in the same month declared by the Town Commission, Town Manager, or Mayor.
[Amended 1-23-2018 by Ord. No. 2017-08]
Notice of regular meetings shall be posted on the door of the Town Hall and on the Town's Internet website within a reasonable time prior to the meeting depending on the circumstances, but generally 72 hours prior to the meeting. The Commission shall strive to stay within the agenda; however, the Commission may address other topics, or decline to address topics on the agenda, as necessary.
Special Commission meetings and workshops. The Town shall post the proposed agenda of special meetings and regular meetings that have been moved from their regular dates, no less than 48 hours prior to the meeting, at both the Town Hall and post office, and notify the local news media no less than eight hours prior to the meeting. The Commission shall strive to stay within the agenda; however, the Commission may address other topics, or decline to address topics on the agenda, as necessary.
Emergency meetings of the Commission. Emergency meetings shall be afforded the most effective and appropriate notice possible under the circumstances but shall include, unless otherwise advised by the Town Attorney, no less than 24 hours' notice to the local news media and posting of notice at the Town Hall and post office. "Emergency meeting" shall include any meeting lawfully determined to be held to address a legitimate emergency, including, without limitation, those meetings which arise from emergencies causing the need to address matters which, if not addressed immediately, could cause or allow a detriment to the health, safety or welfare of the citizens or which could impose a substantial financial risk on the Town's fisc, and does not include matters, no matter how important, that could reasonably have been addressed at a properly noticed Commission meeting.
Commission actions requiring a public hearing shall add the statement "Public Hearing (the time published for the hearing)" to the agenda set for the published time.
Modifications to time, place and location of meetings. All meetings shall be held at Town Hall at 6:00 p.m., on the day of the meeting unless otherwise stated by the Commission. The Commission may modify the time, place and location of any meeting by a majority vote, so long as at least 48 hours of notice of the modification is given in the manner provided herein for special meetings.
Outside groups or individuals may arrange to make presentations to the Council. These arrangements shall be made through the Town Clerk, who has the discretion to approve or disapprove of each special presentation and schedule and set time limitations on such presentations. If the presenter disagrees with the Clerk's rejection of a presentation, the presenter shall be set for the public comments section of a regular meeting, if requested.
Town ordinances and resolutions shall take a consistent form. Pursuant to F.S. § 166.041, as amended from time to time, the following definitions apply: "Ordinance" means an official legislative action of a governing body, which action is a regulation of a general and permanent nature and enforceable as a local law. "Resolution" means an expression of a governing body concerning matters of administration, an expression of a temporary character, or a provision for the disposition of a particular item of the administrative business of the governing body.
Ordinances shall be drafted in the following general form:
Resolutions shall be drafted in the following general form:
[Added 1-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2004-02]
Newly elected officers of the Town shall be sworn in at the first meeting in January of the year following the election if the election was held in November or the first regular meeting held two months after the election if the election is held on a date other than in November. All previous officers shall be entitled to retain their seat until the new officer is sworn in. In the event that the newly elected officer's chair is already vacated for any reason prior to the date established above, that elected official may be sworn in on any day when a qualifying Town officer is available. Swearing in shall be conducted only by a Town officer who is a notary under the laws of the State of Florida.
Newly appointed officers shall be sworn in on any date subsequent to appointment set by the appointing officer or Council.
Editor's Note: See also Charter Section 2.04, Mayor, Vice-Mayor.
[Added 1-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2004-02]
Regular meetings and special business meetings. It is the intent of the Council to provide a portion of each meeting for comments from the public. At regular and special meetings, the comments shall be restricted to that designated portion of the meeting in order to conduct the Town's business in an orderly fashion. Except as otherwise provided herein, each person wishing to speak shall be allowed no less than five minutes to speak one time.
Workshops and miscellaneous meetings. Workshops are intended for a lively and free flow of information within reasonable limits of small-meeting decorum. Except as otherwise provided herein, therefore, at such workshops the Council intends to allow, to the extent reasonably possible, each person seeking to comment to make his comments when duly recognized by the Chair, except that the Chair shall seek to select persons who have not yet spoken over those who have already spoken. The Chair may, in his discretion, restrict a speaker's further input to a fixed time limit when that speaker is using excessive meeting time or otherwise dominating the meeting, so that the Council and remaining members of the public can have an orderly conclusion of the business of the meeting. The Chair shall not use that discretion to limit any speaker because of the Chair's objection to the lawful content of the comments.
Public hearings. The Council shall open the floor to persons wishing to speak at a duly called public hearing at some point prior to when the motion to take the action contemplated is finally voted on by the Council. Comments shall be restricted to no more than five minutes per speaker.
Written requests to speak. In the event that the topic at any meeting is deemed by the Chair or determined by vote of the Council to require more orderly comments, the Council or Chair may require that all members of the public wishing to speak at any meeting shall write their name down on a request form provided by the Clerk and left in an area available to the public until collected by the Clerk at the commencement of the portion of that meeting allowing the comments from the public. No other person who shall have failed to write his name down shall be allowed to speak after the form is collected by the Clerk. If the need for the sign-up form is anticipated prior to the meeting, the notice of the meeting shall contain a statement informing the public of that requirement. If the determination of need is made after the notice is issued, the Chair shall inform the public of the requirement at the commencement of the meeting after the invocation and pledge.
No person shall be allowed to "bank" time to or for another speaker. All time not used by a speaker shall be lost.
No person shall violate the decorum of the meeting or otherwise interrupt or disturb the meeting within the meaning of F.S. § 871.01.
Comments from the public shall not be limited to residents of the Town.
This chapter shall be effective immediately upon adoption in accordance with law. If any state or federal laws, rules or regulations conflict with this chapter, the state laws, rules or regulations shall prevail unless the standard provided herein is compatible with or stricter than the state laws, rules or regulations. Except for notice periods provided by other ordinances, any ordinances in conflict with this chapter are revoked.