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Rules of Procedure
The City Council uses a set of rules to govern the conduct of its meetings. These "Rules of Procedure" are for the convenience of those attending the meeting as well as for the members of the City Council.
Order of Business
The schedule for a Council meeting is shown on the Agenda. An agenda is simply a list of business items to be considered at a meeting and usually includes the following:
- Call to Order
- Public Hearings
- Approval of Minutes
- Consideration of Ordinances
- New Business Items
- Council Committee Reports
- Miscellaneous Business
- Executive Session
To find out what specifically is on the Council's agenda, please call 803-329-7012 on the Friday prior to the Council meeting. Copies of the agenda are available immediately prior at meeting times at Council Chambers.
The Role of the Public
The City Council welcomes the public to all Council meetings, workshops and hearings. When appropriate, you are encouraged to express your opinion during these meetings. To keep the agenda moving smoothly, the Council has adopted basic guidelines for making presentations before the Council. These guidelines are:
- provide for a more orderly meeting
- provide time for review and consideration of agenda items
- provide equal rights to all members of the public.
Certain items on the agenda are identified as Public Hearings. These are formal proceedings giving citizens an opportunity to express their concerns on a specific issue. Some issues on which the Council is required to hold public hearings include the annual budget, rezoning, public improvement projects or levying of special assessments.
Sometimes Council will take action on issues the same night as the hearing. However, there may be circumstances where additional information or action is needed making it desirable to defer action until a later date.
General Hearing Procedures
- Mayor opens the hearing.
- Staff describes the proposal. Those wishing to comment are heard.
- Formal action is taken to close the hearing. Councilmembers have an opportunity to comment and ask questions on the issue.
- Council takes action on the issue or defers decision.
The following guidelines have been developed by Council to facilitate orderly meetings.
- Persons attending a Council meeting may address the Council at the appropriate time that specific items appear on the agenda.
- Citizens are allowed a total of five minutes for the meeting, with the exception of public hearings.
- When addressing the Council, the presenter shall approach the podium and begin by clearly stating his/her name and address.
- All persons who speak must address the Council.
- At public hearings, all questions and remarks from the audience are limited to five minutes and shall be addressed to the Council. Each person is limited to one turn, but the Mayor may use discretion whether to allow repeat statements from the same person.
- Presentations concerning items will be heard only upon approval of the Mayor.
- To help maintain order, applause or other unnecessary disturbances are discouraged.
- Petitions should be presented to the Municipal Clerk.
- Audience members are encouraged to address the Council but cannot make motions or otherwise participate in the meeting.
Individuals wishing to appear before Council regarding items which are not on the agenda may speak or make presentations at the Citizens Hearing, which is held at 5:30 PM on the second Monday of each month. No Council action should be expected at this hearing, since the Council will want to study all proposals or requests before making a decision. To request to speak at the Citizens Hearing, please call 803-329-7013.