Professional Municipal Administrators (PMA) The Right Approach to Council Meetings & Procedures By Gerard Lewis, MMC April 7, 2011
Agenda • Welcome and Introduction • The Role of the Clerk • Clerk’s Role prior to Council Meetings • Clerk’s Role during Council Meetings • Clerk’s Role following Council Meetings • Council Minutes • Rules of Procedures • Conclusion
Welcome and Introduction • Welcome to Administrators • The topic for discussion is the right approach to Council Meetings and the procedures to ensure success • The overall goal of this session is to provide everyone with some tips on preparation, as well as activities during and after Council meetings to guarantee success
The Role of the Clerk • What is the role of the Clerk?
The Role of the Clerk (cont’d) • Preparation for Council Meetings • Council Chambers • Presentation/Proclamations • Recording of Proceedings • Attends Meetings • Secretary to Council • Records Proceedings • Keeps the records • Has a right to speak at Council Meetings
The Role of the Clerk (cont’d) • Review, research & report • Has no vote • Carry out directions & policies of Council • Follow the intent of Council’s directions & decisions • Treat all Councillors as equal • Recommend policies, programs & budgets • Provide timely, useful, sound & unbiased advice to Council
Clerk’s Role prior to Council Meetings • What are some suggestions on the Clerk’s Role prior to Council Meetings?
Clerk’s Role prior to Council Meetings (cont’d) • Prepares Agendas • Prepares Reports & Recommendations on Issues • Reviews all Items on Agenda • Distributes Council Agendas • Researches Issues on Agenda • Reviews Rules of Procedure • Anticipates Potential Questions • Anticipates Conflict of Interest Situations • Briefs Mayor on any potential issues
Clerk’s Role During Council Meeting • What is the Clerk’s Role During Council Meeting?
Clerk’s Role During Council Meeting (cont’d) • Records attendance • Records presentations • Records Mover and Seconder • Records who voted for or against motions • Records who leaves Council and the time they leave and return • Provides advice on Rules of Procedure, if requested. • Provides information & recommendations if required and also if requested.
Clerk’s Role following Council Meeting • What is the role of the Clerk following a Council Meeting?
Clerk’s Role Following Council Meeting (cont’d) • Drafts the minutes of Council Meetings • Distributes draft of minutes • Takes action on decision of Council made in Council Meeting • Pay approved invoices • Award Tenders • Draft correspondence, etc.
Council Minutes • What should minutes include?
Council Minutes (cont’d) • A legal record of what was decided at a meeting • Brief, accurate and to the point • Not a verbatim record of all the discussion at a meeting • Should be drafted and delivered to Councillors promptly • Kept in a safe place by the Clerk • Not read at meeting if they are circulated ahead of time
Council Minutes (cont’d) • Not normally available to the public until adopted by a motion of council at the next regular public Council Meeting • Includes Name of Council, time, date and place of meeting • Names of Councillors present and absent • Name of Chairperson • The adoption of the minutes(with corrections, if any) • The date and name of every letter read or otherwise brought to the attention of Council
Council Minutes (cont’d) • Details of Motions including • The name of the mover and seconder • A statement of the motion • Whether the motion was adopted or defeated • A record of who voted for, against or abstained or declared a conflict of interest • A recorded vote is mandatory • Date of next meeting • Time of adjournment
Council Minutes (cont’d) • Signature of the Clerk • If desired, the mayor’s signature • A record of arrivals and departures of Councillors at meetings • Abstentions must be approved by a majority vote of Council • Councillor must provide a reason • e. g. Insufficient information available to decide • Councillor requesting, must abide by the decision of Council
Rules of Procedure • What Should a Good set of Rules of Procedure for Council include?
Rules of Procedure (cont’d) • Types of Meetings • Notice of Meetings • Business of Meetings • Meeting Decorum • Presiding Officer • Quorum • Attendance • Meetings open to the Public • Conflict of Interest
Rules of Procedure (cont’d) • Minutes • Agenda for types of meetings • New Business for types of meetings • Notice of Motion • Motions • Main Motion • Subsidiary Motions • Privileged Motions • Incidental Motions
Rules of Procedure (cont’d) • Motions that bring a question again before Council • Motions during Debate • Withdrawal of Motion • Addressing the Motion • Entitlement to Speak • Order During Consideration of Motion • Debate procedure and length of debate • Rereading of Motion • Voting
Rules of Procedure (cont’d) • Recorded Vote • No Secret Ballot • Tie Vote • Committees • Clarification and Amendment Procedures • Effective Date • Publication • Copy to Minister • Repeal of Previous Rules of Procedure
Conclusion • The Rules of Procedure Template will be available through PMA • Modify it to suit your individual need • Further information can be provided upon request • Thanks and have a great convention