BY-LAW NUMBER 2008-1228
Being a By-Law to govern the proceedings of Council, the conduct of its members and the calling of meetings.
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 238 of the Municipal Act, 2001, Chapter 25, Statutes of Ontario, 2001, as amended every Council and local board shall adopt a procedure by-law to govern the calling, place and proceedings of meetings.
NOW THEREFORE the Council of the Corporation of the Township of Nipissing enacts as follows:
1. The rules and regulations contained in this By-law shall be observed in all proceedings of the Council and shall be the rules and regulations for the dispatch of business by Council and its committees.
2. Regular meetings of Council shall be held in the Council Chamber on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. except for the months of July and August date to be determined by Council.
3. The inaugural meeting of Council after a regular election shall be held on the first Tuesday in December at 7:30 p.m.
4. Council may, by Resolution, alter the date and/or time of a regular meeting provided that adequate notice of the change is posted and published in a local newspaper.
5. (a) The Head of Council may, at any time, summon a special meeting.
(b) The Clerk shall summon a special meeting upon receipt of a petition of the majority of the Council members for the purpose and at the time and date mentioned in the petition.
(c) A special meeting shall be held in the Council Chamber, unless otherwise specified.
(d) The notice of a special meeting shall specify the purpose for the meeting.
6. (a) The Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the Council.
(b) When the Mayor is absent or refuses to act, or the office is vacant, the Deputy Mayor shall act in the place and stead of the head, and, while so acting, the Deputy Mayor has and may exercise all the rights, powers and authority of the Mayor.
(c) Notwithstanding Paragraph 6 (b) above, the members may appoint another presiding officer from among themselves for the purpose of chairing a particular meeting.
(d) The Mayor or presiding officer may expel from a meeting anyone who engages in improper conduct.
7. (a) All Council and Committee meetings shall be open to the public.
(b) Notwithstanding Paragraph 7 (a) above, a meeting of Council or a Committee may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered relates to:
i) the security of the property of the municipality or local board;
ii) personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
iii) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
iv) labour relations or employee negotiations;
v) litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
vi) advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purposes;
vii) a matter in respect of which a council, board, committee or other body may hold a closed meeting under another Act;
viii) if the subject matter relates to the consideration of a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act if the council, board, commission or other body is the head of an institution for the purposes of that Act.
(c) Before holding a meeting or part of a meeting that is to be closed to the public, Council, local board or committee shall state by Resolution:
i) the fact of the holding of the closed meeting; and
ii) the general nature of the matter considered at the closed meeting.
(d) Subject to Subsection (e) a meeting shall not be closed to the public during the taking of a vote.
(e) Despite Subsection 27, a meeting may be closed to the public during a vote if:
i) Subsection 7 (b) permits or requires the meeting to be closed to the public; and
ii) the vote is for a procedural matter or for giving directions or instructions to officers, employees or agents of the municipality, local board or committee of either of them or persons retained by or under a contract with the municipality or local board.
(f) Meetings or sessions which are closed to the public may be referred to as in-camera meetings or sessions.
8. (a) The Clerk shall prepare agenda of Council and Committee meetings as assigned.
(b) Insofar as is practicable, Council agendas along with supporting material, shall be prepared and made available to members on the Friday prior to a regular meeting. c) Individuals or groups wishing to appear before Council at a regular meeting should advise the Clerk not later than Monday at 4:30 p.m. the week prior to the meeting and the Clerk may make a determination as to deferral of delegations to a subsequent meeting.
(d) Agendas shall be generally formatted as follows but modifications to the matters to be included or the order of business may be affected without requiring amendment to this By-law:
1) Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest
2) Minutes of Previous Meetings
3) Staff Reports
4) Petitions and Delegations
5) Resolutions
6) New Business/By-laws
7) Correspondence
8) Accounts
9) Resolution to move to an in-camera (closed) Session
10) Adjournment
(e) The business of the Council shall be taken up in the order as listed on the agenda unless otherwise decided by the Mayor or presiding officer.
9. Public notice of any meeting shall be posted on the bulletin board in the municipal office and the municipal web page and such notice shall include the date, time and location of such meeting. Such notice shall be posted at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the said meeting, exclusive of non-business days. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where such meeting is a special meeting called pursuant to this By-Law and it is not possible to provide the aforementioned notice, the Clerk shall make reasonable efforts to provide notice to those concerned and shall be posted as soon as is practicable after the meeting has been scheduled. Notice of regular meetings or their scheduled dates shall be posted on the bulletin board in the municipal office and the municipal web page. Failure to give notice shall not invalidate the meeting or any decision taken at the meeting; but the failure to give proper notice shall be called to the attention of Council at its next regular meeting by the Clerk or any member of Council who become aware of such failure.
10. If no quorum is present one half hour after the time appointed for a Council or Committee meeting, the Clerk or recording secretary shall record the names of the members present and the meeting shall stand adjourned until the date of the next regular meeting or until rescheduled.
11. Council and Committee meetings shall stand adjourned at 11:00 p.m. but business may be continued upon a Resolution passed by unanimous vote.
12. It shall be the duty of the Mayor or other presiding officer:
(a) to open the meeting by taking the chair and calling the members to order;
(b) to announce the business before Council in the order in which it is to be acted upon;
(c) to receive and submit, in the proper manner, all resolutions presented by the members;
(d) to put to a vote all questions which are moved and seconded, or necessarily arise in the course of the proceedings, and to announce the result;
(e) to decline to put to vote resolutions which infringe upon the rules of procedure;
(f) to enforce on all occasions the observance of order and decorum among the members;
(g) to call by name any member persisting in breach of the rules or order of the Council thereby ordering the member to vacate the Council Chamber;
(h) to authenticate by signature all By-laws, Resolutions and Minutes of the Council;
(i) to inform the Council when necessary or when referred to for the purpose, on a point of order or usage;
(j) to select the members of Council who are to serve on Committees;
(k) to represent and support the Council, declaring its will and implicitly obeying its decisions in all things;
(l) to ensure that the decisions of Council are in conformity with the laws and By-laws governing the activities of the municipal Corporation;
(m) to adjourn the meeting without question in the case of grave disorder arising in the Council Chamber;
(n) to order any individual or group in attendance at the meeting to cease and desist any behavior which disrupts the order and decorum of the meeting and to order the individual or group to vacate the Council Chamber where such behavior persists.
13. (1) No member or attendee shall:
(a) use offensive words or unparliamentary language in or against the Council or against any member, staff or guest;
(b) disturb another, or the Council, staff, or guest, by any disorderly conduct disconcerting to the speaker or the assembly;
(c) speak on any subject other than the subject in debate;
(d) operate or use any manual or electronic device, such as (but not so as to restrict the generality of the foregoing), a voice recorder, or photographic device, without first asking for, and receiving permission from, the Mayor or presiding officer of the meeting;
(e) resist the rules of Council or disobey the decisions of the Mayor or presiding officer or of Council on questions of order or practice or upon the interpretation of the rules of Council;
(2) No member or attendee of Council shall:
(a) leave a meeting without first obtaining permission from the Mayor or presiding officer;
(b) be permitted to retake their seat after being ordered to vacate, having committed a breach of any rule of the Council, until the next meeting and without making an apology to Council;
(c) interrupt the member who has the floor except to raise a point of order.
14. No person shall be allowed to address Council or speak in debate without permission of the Mayor or presiding officer.
15. Subject to Paragraph 15 and insofar as is practicable, notice of resolutions, except those listed in Paragraphs 30 and 31, shall be given in writing to the Clerk not later than 4:30 p.m. on the Monday preceding the next regular meeting so that the matter may be included in the Council agenda package.
16. Any resolution may be introduced without notice if Council without debate, agrees on a majority vote to dispense with notice.
16b) Any resolution shall be introduced and passed for any financial commitment.
17. A resolution must be formally seconded before the question can be put or a resolution recorded in the minutes.
18. When a resolution is presented in Council in writing it shall be read, or, if it is an oral resolution, stated by the Mayor or presiding officer.
19. (a) A resolution to amend shall:
i) be presented in writing;
ii) be dealt with by Council before a previous amendment or the main resolution;
iii) not be further amended more than once provided that further amendment may be made to the main resolution;
iv) be relevant to the main resolution;
v) not propose a direct negative to the main resolution.
20. Once read or stated by the Mayor or presiding officer a resolution may not be withdrawn without the consent of the majority of the members.
21. Immediately prior to voting on a resolution, the Mayor or presiding officer shall state the question in the precise form it is to be recorded in the minutes, including any amendments to the question.
22. After a resolution as amended is finally put, no member shall speak to the question nor shall any other resolution be made until after the vote is taken and the result is declared.
23. Members shall not speak more than once to the same question without the consent of the Mayor or presiding officer.
24. On a unrecorded vote, the manner of determining the decision on a resolution shall be at the discretion of the Mayor or presiding officer and may be by voice, show of hands, standing or otherwise.
25. Where a vote is taken for any purpose and a member requests, before or after the vote, that the vote be recorded, each member present, except a member disqualified from voting by any Act, shall, in an order determined by the Mayor or presiding officer, announce their vote openly, and any failure to vote by a qualified member shall be deemed to be a negative vote and the Clerk shall record each vote.
26. The Mayor or presiding officer, except where disqualified to vote, may vote on all questions and when so doing, shall vote last.
27. Except where expressly provided in Statute, any question on which there is an equality of votes shall be deemed to be defeated.
28. Subject to Subsection 7 (e) no vote shall be taken by ballot or any other method of secret voting and every vote so taken is of no effect.
29. (a) Unless otherwise authorized by the Mayor or presiding officer, all members, staff and guests shall address Council through the chair and only when recognized to do so.
(b) When two or more members seek to address Council, the Mayor or presiding officer shall designate the member who may speak first.
30. Any member may require the question or resolution under discussion to be read at any time during the debate but not so as to interrupt a member while speaking.
31. The following matters and resolutions may be introduced orally without written notice and without leave except as otherwise provided by these rules:
(a) a point of order or personal privilege;
(b) presentation of petitions;
(c) to lay on the table (to defer temporarily);
(d) to postpone indefinitely or to a specific day;
(e) to move the previous question (immediate vote on the main resolution).
32. The following resolutions may be introduced without notice and without leave but such resolutions shall be in writing and signed:
(a) to refer;
(b) to adjourn;
c) to amend;
(d) to suspend the rules of procedure.
33. Except as provided in Paragraph 30 all resolutions shall be in writing and signed by the mover and seconder.
34. The Clerk and other officers may introduce matters to be dealt with my resolution subject to the notice provisions set out in Paragraph 14.
35. Council may, from time to time, employ a confirming Resolution immediately prior to adjournment for the purpose of validating decisions or direction given which is minor in nature and not set out in a By-law or Resolution.
36. The Mayor or presiding officer shall preserve order and decide questions of order.
37. The Council, if appealed to, shall decide the question without debate and its decision shall be final.
38. No By-law shall be presented to Council unless the subject matter has been considered and approved by Council.
39. Every By-law shall be introduced upon resolution by a member specifying the title of the By-law.
40. Every By-law when introduced shall be in typewritten form and shall contain no blanks except as may be required to conform to accepted procedure or to comply with provisions of any Act.
41. Every By-law shall be given three readings prior to passage.
42. The first and second readings of a By-law shall be decided without amendment or debate.
43. By-laws may be given three readings on the same day except when requested otherwise by resolution of the majority of the members present or as otherwise provided in law.
44. Upon passage By-laws shall be numbered, signed by the Mayor or presiding officer and the Clerk and embossed with the seal of the Corporation.
45. Any proposed By-law may be referred to a Committee, Department Head or other officer for review and comment, including the solicitor for the Corporation.
46. When the Mayor of Council is absent on a temporary basis, under no circumstances shall the Council take a decision regarding capital spending unless provision for the capital spending is included in the estimates for that given year as approved by By-law or unless the expenditure is required as a result of an emergency.
47. In all matters and under all circumstances the members shall be guided by and shall have regard to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
48. Individuals or groups which are listed on an agenda or are otherwise approved to appear before Council shall, subject to Paragraph 8 (c), be limited to not more than ten (10) minutes except that a delegation consisting of more than five (5) persons shall be limited to two (2) speakers each limited to speaking not more than five (5) minutes.
49. Following a regular or new election, the Clerk shall provide each member of Council with a copy of this By-law, including any amendments thereto.
50. Any procedure under this By-law which is discretionary and not mandatory under statute may be suspended with the consent of a majority of the members present.
51. No amendment or repeal of this By-law or any part thereof shall be considered at any meeting of the Council unless notice of the proposed amendment or repeal is provided.
52. This by-law comes into effect on the day it is passed and By-Law No. 2008-1212 is hereby repealed.