A. Quorum. As provided in Article VIII, Section 4 of the City Charter, four Councilors, or the Mayor and not less than three Councilors constitute a quorum. If the Council members present do not constitute a quorum, the members present may adjourn or a majority of the members in attendance may direct staff to notify the absent members, except those known to be unavoidably detained, that their presence is required to enable the Council to proceed with business.
B. Attendance by Electronic Communication. Except in the event of a suspension of rules pursuant to AMC 2.04.010.E, members of the City Council may not attend or vote at public meetings by means of telephone or other electronic communication. The rules on meeting procedures and Council actions shall otherwise remain in effect notwithstanding any such suspension of rules to allow for attendance by electronic communication.
C. Council Deliberation.
1. Presiding Officer. The Mayor, or in the Mayor’s absence, the Chair of the Council, shall be the presiding officer at the meetings of the City Council. In the absence of these officers at any meeting, the Councilors present shall appoint a Chair Pro-Tem to serve temporarily as presiding officer and proceed with the meeting. The presiding officer may not vote on appeals from decisions made while acting as presiding officer. The Chair of the Council or Chair Pro-Tem may vote on all other motions, but the Mayor may vote only as provided in City Charter Article 4, Section 3.
2. Deliberation Rules. The presiding officer shall ensure that each Council member has the opportunity to speak on each issue before the Council. Councilors must ask the presiding officer to be recognized. Unless otherwise permitted by the presiding officer, no member may speak more than once on an issue and may do so only after every other member has spoken on or declined to address the issue. Time limits may be set on topics by the presiding officer or by a consensus of the Council. Council members, as well as members of the public speaking on Council agenda items, shall confine their remarks to the question under deliberation, avoid redundancy, speak only for themselves, and make no negative personal remarks or comments about the motives or personal traits of others.
3. Decorum. The presiding officer shall be responsible for ensuring order and decorum is maintained. Except by permission of the presiding officer, a Councilor shall address any remarks to the Council, and not to the audience. Any person’s failure to abide by the presiding officer’s instructions constitutes “disruption of a lawful assembly” as provided in ORS 166.025(1)(c) and may be cause for the presiding officer, or a majority of the Councilors, to direct a city official to remove the person from a Council meeting. Disruptive behavior includes engaging in violent, intimidating or distracting actions or gestures, making loud or disruptive noise, using loud or disruptive profane language, making negative personal remarks or comments about the motives or personal traits of others, and refusing to obey an order of the presiding officer. Signs are not permitted and will be considered disruptive. A direction or order of the presiding officer may be challenged by a point of order as set forth in AMC 2.04.040.C.4.b.(1).
4. Motions and Permissible Intervening Actions.
a. Councilor Actions during Debate. No motion or intervening action shall be received or recognized by the presiding officer when a question is under debate, except for the ten secondary motions and intervening actions listed below. The disposition of any motion or action listed below must occur before consideration of any other action lower on the list.
(1) Point of order, request for information, or objection to consideration of a matter
(2) Motion to adjourn
(3) Withdrawal of a motion
(4) Motion to lay the matter on the table
(5) Motion to divide a motion under debate
(6) Motion to refer
(7) Motion to call for the previous question
(8) Motion to postpone to a certain time
(9) Motion to postpone indefinitely
(10) Motion to amend
b. Permissible Intervening Actions While a Speaker Has the Floor.
(1) Point of Order. Any member may interrupt a speaker who has the floor to raise a point of order if meeting protocol appears to have been broken. The point of order must be addressed to the presiding officer and may not be addressed directly to the speaker. The speaker must immediately cease speaking, and the issue identified in the point of order must be resolved before business continues. No second is required, and no debate is allowed on the point of order. The presiding officer may seek clarification on the point of order from its maker, from the speaker who had the floor when it was made, or from the Parliamentarian. Before proceeding further, the presiding officer must sustain or overrule the point of order or submit it to Council decision by majority vote with no debate. A member who disagrees with the presiding officer’s decision to sustain or overrule a point of order may move immediately following a ruling by the presiding officer to overturn it. The motion to overturn a ruling on a point of order may not be debated, and the presiding officer may not vote on it. Approval of the motion requires a majority of affirmative votes; the motion fails in the event of a tie vote.
(2) Request for Information. Any member may interrupt a speaker who has the floor to seek permission to make a request for information from the speaker or from staff or invitees with expertise on the subject under discussion. The request must be addressed to the presiding officer and may not be addressed directly to the speaker. The speaker must discontinue speaking until the request for information has been denied or satisfied. No second is required, and no colloquy is allowed on the request for information, except to the extent specifically set forth herein. The information sought must concern either the subject under discussion or meeting procedure rules. The presiding officer may ask the requestor for a statement of the nature of the information sought. Neither a request for information nor a statement of the nature of the information sought may contain statements of fact unless they are necessary to make the request intelligible and must not contain arguments. Upon inquiry from the presiding officer, the person who had the floor when the request for information was made has sole discretion whether to temporarily relinquish the floor to allow the requested information to be provided. An objection to apparently superfluous requests for information may be made through a point of order.
(3) Objection to Consideration of a Matter. A member who contends a matter about to be discussed is irrelevant or for any other reason not advisable to consider, may object to consideration of the matter. The objection may be made before or after another member has been assigned the floor, but only if debate has not yet begun and none of the motions in AMC 2.04.040.C.4.a. has been made. An objection to consideration of a matter does not require a second and is not debatable or amendable. Immediately after the objection is made, a vote on sustaining the objection must be taken. The objection fails unless at least two-thirds of the Councilors present vote to sustain it.
c. Main Motion. A main motion is a proposed action that brings business before the Council when no other motion is pending. The actions listed in AMC 2.04.040.C.4.a. may be undertaken while the main motion is pending, and, if passed, may affect the Council’s consideration of the main motion. A main motion requires a second, is amendable and debatable, and passes upon a majority vote in favor.
d. Adjourn. A successful motion to adjourn terminates a meeting and transfers the remaining unfinished business to the agenda of the next Regular Meeting or Study Session. It requires a second, is not debatable or amendable, and passes upon a majority vote in favor.
e. Withdrawal. A motion may be withdrawn by the mover at any time before an amendment is made to it or, if no amendment is made, before a vote is taken on it. Withdrawal of a motion does not require a second, and debate of a proffered withdrawal is not allowed.
f. Motion to Lay a Matter on the Table. A motion to lay a matter on the table is a proposal to suspend consideration of a main motion and all pending related motions until later in the same meeting in order to deal with another matter that has come up unexpectedly and which must be dealt with before the pending motion can be properly addressed. A motion to lay a matter on the table requires a second, is not amendable or debatable, and passes upon a majority vote. Before the meeting adjourns, a subsequent nonamendable, nondebatable motion may take the matter from the table if seconded and passed by a majority vote in favor. If the meeting adjourns without considering the tabled item, it will be continued to the next Regular Meeting or Study Session in accordance with AMC 2.04.030.E.
g. Division of a Motion. Any member may move to split a motion under consideration into two or more independent motions that are taken up in sequence. Each new motion is debated, possibly subjected to secondary motions, and voted upon before taking up the next part. The mover may designate in the motion the order in which the parts are considered. The motion requires a second, is amendable, is not debatable, and passes upon a majority vote in favor.
h. Referral. A motion to refer is a proposal to refer a matter to a subcommittee or another body for further study and possible recommendations to the Council. The motion requires a second, is debatable and amendable, and passes upon a majority vote in favor. Any proposed amendments to a main motion on the referred matter that are pending at the time are also referred.
i. Previous Question. A motion to call the previous question is a proposal to end debate on a pending motion. It precludes all amendments and debate on the pending motion until it is decided. The motion to call the previous question is not debatable or amendable and requires a second and a two-thirds vote in favor.
j. Postpone to a Certain Time. This motion is a proposal to postpone a matter to a particular future meeting, requires a second, is debatable and amendable, and passes upon a majority vote in favor. One function of this motion can be to continue consideration of an agenda item at a designated subsequent meeting.
k. Postpone indefinitely. A successful motion to postpone a matter indefinitely prevents action on the matter for the rest of the meeting. It must be seconded, may be debated, may not be amended, and passes upon a majority vote in favor. The debate may address the substance of the main motion. A successful motion to postpone a matter indefinitely does not preclude consideration of the matter at a subsequent meeting if it is properly added to the respective agenda.
l. Amendment. Any main motion and any amendment to a main motion may be amended to add or omit words. A proposed amendment must be germane, must be seconded, and is debatable if the motion to be amended is debatable. The amendment passes upon a majority vote in favor. Other amendments may also be proposed; provided, that they do not nullify the amendments already passed or attempt to amend a motion to amend a motion to amend.
5. Restatement of Motion. Before a vote is taken on a motion, it must be restated by the presiding officer or the City Recorder.
a. When a question or motion is put to a vote by the presiding officer, each Councilor present must vote for or against the motion unless a majority of the Council excuses that Councilor from so doing. Unless excused from voting, a Councilor who is present and does not vote for or against the motion shall be counted as having cast a negative vote. The Mayor can only vote in the case of a tie, and then is required to vote unless excused from voting by a majority of the Councilors present. If the Mayor fails to vote when required to do, the Mayor shall be counted as having cast a vote against the motion.
b. A simple majority of the quorum present determines the action on ordinance, or resolution and on most motions. On questions required by City Charter, City Ordinances, or applicable provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised to be decided by a two-thirds vote of the Council, approval requires an affirmative vote of at least four Councilors.
7. Reconsideration. A member who voted in favor of any Council action may move for reconsideration before adjournment of the meeting at which the action was approved or at the next Regular Meeting, unless the item already has been approved or vetoed by the Mayor pursuant to City Charter Article 4, Section 3. The motion must be seconded, is debatable if the action under reconsideration is debatable, is not amendable, and passes upon a majority vote in favor. Any member may second a motion for reconsideration. A motion to reconsider a Council action may be made only once. A vetoed item may not be the subject of a motion for reconsideration. (Ord. 2947, amended, 12/18/2007; Ord. 2902, amended, 11/18/2003; Ord. 3100, amended, 2014)