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Meeting Date: November 13, 2001

Subject/Title: Approve a Resolution adopting the Council/Administrative Policy No. 110-1 relating to City Council Meeting Rules and Procedures 

Submitted by: Dennis Beougher, City Attorney

Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager

Approve a resolution adopting the attached Council/Administrative Policy No. 110-1 titled City Council Meeting Rules and Procedures.

The City Council requested that the City Attorney draft rules of order and procedures to apply to all City Council regular, adjourned regular, and special meetings. On October 9, 2001 the City Council Meeting Rules and Procedures were adopted and now need to be incorporated into the Council/Administrative Policy Manual.

The purpose of the Meeting Rules and Procedures is to establish protocol that will be convenient for the public and contribute to the orderly conduct of City business. The procedures are in addition to, and not in place of, applicable ordinances and statutes, the latter shall govern.



WHEREAS, the City of Brentwood City Council requested the City Attorney to prepare meeting rules and procedures and

WHEREAS, City of Brentwood has reviewed the draft Meeting Rules and Procedures as requested; 

WHEREAS, the City Council adopted the Meeting Rules and Procedures for city council meetings that shall apply to all regular, adjourned, and special city council meetings and now needs to incorporate it into the Council/Administrative Policy Manual: and 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood
adopts Council/Administrative Policy No. 110-1 relating to City of Brentwood City Council Meeting Rules and Procedures, attached hereto as Exhibit A, incorporated herein by this reference. :

PASSED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at a regular meeting on the 13th day of November, 2001 by the following vote:


The purpose of the Meeting Rules and Procedures is to establish protocol that will be convenient for the public and contribute to the orderly conduct of City business.




The following rules of order and procedures of the city shall apply to all regular, adjourned regular and special meetings of the city council,.

Reference to “Mayor,” “Council,” “Councilmember,” and “City Clerk,” where appearing in this chapter, shall respectively mean “chairperson,” “planning commission,” “commissioner” and “secretary of the planning commission,” when applicable to planning commission meetings, etc. and as appropriate for other boards, commissions and agencies. 



The term “meeting” means the gathering together of three or more members of the city council or a majority of the total members of any board, commission, or agency, each member within normal hearing distance of the other, at the time and place established by ordinance, resolution or motion, for regular or adjourned regular meetings or at such other time and place as authorized by law for special meetings, for the purpose of acting in their official capacity as the legislative body of the city in the case of the city council, and in their official capacity as a board, agency or commission, to make decisions, commitments or promises by a majority of the council, board, commission, or agency, or by actual vote by a majority of the vote of the council or a board, commission or agency when sitting as a body or entity upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance.

Unless otherwise authorized by law to be held in closed session, all such meetings shall be open and public; provided, however, the city council may hold closed sessions from which the public may be excluded for the consideration of such matters as are specifically provided by the laws of the state.

Special meetings of the Council may be held at any time upon the call of the Mayor or in his/her absence or unwillingness of make such a call, upon the call of a majority of the Council. Notice of any such meeting shall be given in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Sections 55950, et seq., as amended. The definition of a meeting in addition to that set forth above, shall include all legislative or final appellate court definitions. 



Any meeting may either be terminated or continued to another time, place or date by adjournment, regardless of whether or not all matters on the agenda or under discussion have been completed, acted on or concluded. Notwithstanding the above, no meeting shall be terminated before closing all public hearings which were notified for such meeting, without first continuing such public hearings to another time, place and date. Subject to the above, a motion to adjourn shall always be in order and decided without debate.

No meeting shall be adjourned to a date beyond the next regular meeting. Where a meeting is continued to a future date, if either the time or place, or either of them is not stated in the order of adjournment, it shall be deemed to be at the hour and place specified for meetings of the council.

If less than a quorum of councilmembers appear at a meeting, any member or, if all members are absent, the City Clerk, shall adjourn the meeting to a stated day and hour. The City Clerk shall cause a written notice of the adjournment to be given in the same manner as provided for special meetings, unless such notice is waived by a member of council.

Once adjourned, the meeting may not be reconvened. 



A majority of the total members of the council shall constitute a quorum and shall be sufficient to transact regular business. Such a quorum shall be required notwithstanding absences or vacancies. A councilmember present but abstaining shall be counted for purposes of constituting a quorum. A councilmember disqualified from voting by law shall not be counted for purposes of constituting a quorum. The foregoing shall not prevent less than a quorum, otherwise gathered at the time and place and for the purpose of conducting a meeting, from adjourning from time to time in accord with the law until a quorum is present.



Councilmembers are expected to attend all meetings of the city council. If a councilmember fails to attend without permission all regular, adjourned regular or special meetings for sixty days consecutively from the last meeting attended, that office becomes vacant and shall be filled as any other vacancy.

Every December in even number years, Council shall select a Vice-Mayor from the four councilmembers eligible.



A. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the Council. In the absence of the Mayor of the Council, the Vice-Mayor shall preside over the Council. In the absence of the Vice-Mayor, the City Manager shall preside over the election of a temporary chair, who will preside until the return of one of the officers. The Mayor shall have the power, authority, and discretion, without a vote of the majority of the council to:
1. Open all meetings of the Council at the appointed hour by taking the chair and calling the Council to order.
2. Maintain order and proper decorum.
3. Announce the business before the Council in the order prescribed by these rules.
4. Receive and submit all matters properly brought before the Council, to call for votes upon the same, and to announce the results.
5. Authenticate by signature all acts of the Council as may be required by law.
6. Make known all Rules of Protocol when so requested, and to decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal of the Council.
7. Except as otherwise provided by these Rules, to preside at all closed sessions of the Council.
8. Perform such other duties as may be required by law or as may pertain to such office.
9. Sign all instruments requiring execution or agreement by the Council.
10. Serve as the chief spokesperson and representative for the Council for matters before the public, the State and Federal governments, and the City Administration.
11. delegate by administrative directive any of the duties assigned to the Mayor to the City Manager.
12. Set time limits on council discussion on any matter.
13. Set time limits on any communications from members of the public to the council; in no event shall any individual public communication exceed five minutes without the consent of the Mayor.
14. Declare the opening of public hearings.
15. Rule any motion on a subject not on the agenda as being out of order, in which case the motion shall thereafter be void.
16. Continue or postpone any matter until the next regular, adjourned regular or special meeting whenever the city attorney advises that there is a question as to the validity or constitutionality of the particular proposed course of action which is the subject matter of such motion.
17. Rule any speaker out of order, terminate any communication with the council from a member of the public and/or declare a recess in order to establish order at any meeting. Mayor may move, second and debate from the chair, subject only to such limitations of debate as are by these rules imposed upon all members. The Mayor shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges of a councilmember by reason of being Mayor or acting as the Mayor. 

B. It shall be the duty of the Vice-Mayor:

1. In the absence of Mayor, the Vice-Mayor shall exercise the duties and powers of the Mayor 
2. To serve with the Mayor as spokesperson and representative for the Council.
3. To assist the Mayor in anticipating issues and problems deserving or in need of special meetings.



The City Clerk shall be appointed by the City Manager. The City Clerk shall have power and be required to:

A. Be responsible for the recording and maintaining of a full and true record of all the proceedings of the Council in books that shall bear appropriate titles and be devoted to such purpose, and attend all meetings of the Council either in person or by deputy;
B. Maintain separate books, in which shall be recorded respectively all ordinances and resolutions, with the certificate of the Clerk annexed to each thereof stating the same to be the original or a correct copy, and as to an ordinance requiring publication, stating that the same has been published in accordance with state law; keep all books properly indexed and open to public inspection when not in actual use.
C. Maintain separate files, with appropriate indexes thereto, of all contracts the execution of which was specifically authorized by Council action, and of all official bonds of the City.
D. Be the custodian of the Seal of the City.
E. Administer oaths or affirmations, take affidavits and depositions pertaining to the affairs and business of the City and certify copies of official records.
F. Maintain in appropriate books and files such other records, documents, instruments, and papers as the Council shall provide by ordinance.
G. Except as may be otherwise provided by ordinance or resolution of the Council the destruction or other disposition of City records, documents, instruments, books, and papers in the custody of the City Clerk shall be governed by the laws of the State regulating the destruction or disposition of the records of general law cities and procedures adopted by the City Council.



The City Attorney shall be appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Council.

1. The City Attorney shall have power and may be required to:

(a) Represent and advise the Council and all City officers in all matters of law pertaining to their offices:

(b) Represent and appear for the City in any or all actions or proceedings in which the City is concerned or is a party, including the prosecution of violations of this Charter and ordinances enacted by the Council, and represent and appear for any City Officer or employee, or former City Officer or employee, in any or all actions and proceedings in which any such officer or employee is concerned or is a party for any act arising out of his/her employment or by reason of his/her official capacity provided the interest of the City in such action or proceeding is not adversely affected;

(c) Attend all regular meetings of the Council and give his/her advice or opinion in writing whenever requested to do so by the Council or by any of the boards or officers of the City;

(d) Approve the form of all contracts made by and all bonds given to the City, endorsing his/her approval thereon in writing;

(e) Review any and all proposed ordinances or resolutions for the City and amendments thereto;

(f) Join in amicus briefs if there is no cost to the City.

(g) Surrender to his/her successor all books, papers, files and documents pertaining to the City’s affairs.

(h) The Council shall have control of all legal business and proceedings and City Attorney may employ other attorneys to take charge of any litigation or matter to assist the City Attorney therein.



Advisory committees may be created as needed with the concurrence of a majority of the Council.

Advisory committees shall assist in the resolution or study of issues arising from specific areas of concern resulting from the main subject matter assigned it by the Council.

All communications and advice from an advisory committee shall be made to the Council.

. Advisory committees shall serve until discharged by a majority of the Council.



Every vote taken by the Council shall be by open ballot.

There shall be four methods of ascertaining the decision of the Council upon any matter:

First, by a call of the roll of the members and a record made by the City Clerk of the vote of each member;

Second, by a voice vote;

Third, electronic vote; or

Fourth, by unanimous consent.

Upon the request of any member of the Council on any motion, the City Clerk shall call the roll. A member’s silence shall be recorded as an affirmative vote.

If a member does not vote in the affirmative or negative or does not respond in a manner permitted under this paragraph, the member shall be deemed to have voted in the affirmative.

. The City Clerk shall record each vote and each abstention in the Minute Book. Whenever the ayes and noes are called, a Councilmember shall not be permitted to explain a vote or an abstention without the unanimous consent of the Council. After the announcement of the result, a Councilmember shall not be permitted to vote or to change a vote or an abstention, except in the case of a motion to reconsider as set forth in Rule No. 25.



As to conflict of interest issues, it is insufficient for a Councilmember who has a conflict to abstain from a vote. The Political Reform Act prohibits a Councilmember or Redevelopment Agency Board member from participating or influencing the rest of the Council in any way. When a Councilmember or Redevelopment Agency Board member does have a conflict of interest, he/she shall announce his/her conflict when the item comes up on the agenda and then he/she shall leave the dais until the item has been voted upon.



Failure to observe the rules set forth in this chapter shall not invalidate any action taken which is otherwise lawful but defective only for failure to follow the procedure outlined in this chapter. 



The City Council shall hold regular meetings in the council chambers of the City Hall, or at such other place as may be determined by the council. The times and dates of regular City council meetings shall be determined by the city council resolutions.

When the day for any meeting falls on a holiday as provided in this chapter, no meeting shall be held on such holiday, but a meeting may be held at the same hour on the following business day that is not a holiday.

Special meetings may be called at any time by the Mayor or by a majority of the members of the city council by delivering personally or by mail written notice to each councilmember and to each local newspaper of general circulation, radio or television station requesting notice at least twenty-four hours before the time of such meeting as specified in the notice and by posting, at least twenty-four hours prior to the special meeting in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public.

A. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted
B. No other business shall be considered at such meetings.
C. Written notice may be waived by any councilmember who, at or prior to the time the meeting convenes, files with the city clerk a written waiver of notice.
D. Such waiver may be given by email or other written documentation.
E. Such written notice may also be dispensed with as to any councilmember who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes. 



All reports, communications, ordinances, contract documents or other matters, including basic fact and matters pertinent thereto, to be submitted to the council, shall be delivered to the City Clerk not later than 9 a.m. on the Tuesday preceding the meeting. The City Clerk shall thereafter arrange a list of such matters according to the order of business, and furnish each member of the council with a copy of the list not later than five p.m. on the Thursday preceding the regular or adjourned regular meeting. Whenever feasible, each item on the agenda shall contain a staff recommendation and the specific action requested to be taken by the council. All material pertaining to and accompanying the agenda shall be made available to the public when made available to the city council.

No matters other than those listed on the agenda shall be finally acted upon by the council provided, however, that matters not on the agenda may be submitted for council consideration and action pursuant to state law or under any of the following conditions:

A. Upon a determination by a majority vote of council that an emergency situation exists, as defined in Government Code Section 54956.5;

B. Upon a determination by a two-thirds vote of council, or if less than two-thirds of the members are present, a unanimous vote of those members present, that the need to take action arose subsequent to the agenda being posted; and

C. The item was posted for a prior meeting of the council occurring not more than five calendar days prior to the date action is taken on the item, and at the prior meeting the item was continued to the meeting at which action is being taken.

The business of the council shall, except upon an affirmative vote of the city council or a determination by the Mayor, be taken up for consideration and disposition at its meeting.

The regular order of business may be changed or suspended for any purpose at any particular meeting by the Mayor with the consent of a majority of the councilmembers present. 



Summary minutes for all minutes, including city boards, commissions, and agencies shall consist of a clear and concise statement of each and every council, board, commission, or agency action, including the motions made and the vote thereon. The city council shall determine the scope and format for all minutes including city boards, commissions and agencies. The City Clerk shall have exclusive responsibility for preparation of the City Council minutes. If a majority of the City Councilmembers approves a verbatim transcript, the City Clerk or his/her designate shall prepare the transcript. 

Minutes may be approved without reading if the City Clerk has previously furnished each councilmember with a copy.



When any motion is in order for the question, a vote thereon shall be taken by voice, roll call, or voting device and entered in full upon the record.

A member’s vote may be changed only upon a timely request to do so immediately following the announcement of the vote by the city clerk and prior to the time that the next item in the order of business is taken up.

Ordinances, resolutions and other matters submitted to the council must be adopted by a majority vote of the total membership of the council unless a greater number of votes may be required by law. The word “majority” means three votes for the city council and all city boards, commissions and agencies with a total of five members. In instances where a majority vote cannot be obtained and no additional action is taken and one or more members of the council is absent, such matter shall automatically be added to a future agenda of the council to be considered at least once by the council with all members present.



The term “public hearing” includes all public hearings having specific notice requirements by state law or city ordinance, including employee disciplinary proceedings and proceedings for the revocation, suspension, or reinstatement of permits, licenses, and franchises.

Public hearings shall be conducted in the following order:

1. Staff Reports; 

2. Hearing opened by Mayor;

3. Public testimony;

4. Close hearing by majority vote;

5. Discussion among city council; and

6. Action by majority vote.

On the date and at the time and place designated in the notice, the council shall afford any interested person or his or her authorized representative, or both, the opportunity to present witnesses, to present documentary evidence, to present statements, arguments or contentions orally and/or in writing, subject to the rules on addressing the council and rules stated in this chapter.

All oral statements, documents, exhibits, communications, petitions, maps, or displays submitted at the hearing may be considered by the council as evidence and in such event retained as part of the record. Whenever practicable, a written staff report shall be prepared and presented as part of the staff presentation. Evidence shall not be taken outside the council chambers and shall not be considered by the council, except when, during the hearing, the meeting is adjourned to a particular date, place and time for the purpose of taking visual or demonstrative evidence.

In the event a councilmember is absent at a meeting where a hearing is held which has been continued to a subsequent meeting, such member may participate in the matter at such subsequent meeting if otherwise qualified upon stating for the minutes that such councilmember has reviewed the written minutes of the prior portions of the hearing and is prepared to participate.

Any hearing being held or noticed or ordered to be held by the council may, by minute action, be continued to any subsequent regular or adjourned regular meeting of the council in compliance with the laws of the state. 



Every councilmember desiring to speak shall address the chair, and upon recognition by the Mayor shall confine comments to the question under debate, avoiding personalities and indecorous language.

A member, once recognized, shall not be interrupted when speaking unless it is to call such member to order, or as herein otherwise provided. If called to order while speaking, a member shall cease speaking until the question of order to be determined, and, if in order, shall be permitted to proceed.

The councilmember moving the adoption of an ordinance, resolution or council action shall have the privilege of closing the debate. 



No motion may be debated nor voted upon unless it has received a second. Only one motion may be before the council at any time.

A motion to table takes precedence over all other motions and shall be subject to debate. When a motion to table is passed, the matter shall not again be considered by the council unless such matter is taken from the table by a majority vote of the council.

A matter once tabled shall not be placed on the agenda nor discussed unless a member who had voted to table such matter requests the council to have such matter taken from the table, or requests the clerk to place such matter on the agenda for the purposes of determining whether or not such matter shall be taken from the table. 



Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, proceedings of the council shall be governed by common sense and good taste. In the event of a dispute concerning procedural matters not specifically covered in this chapter, the majority vote of the council shall prevail.

Rules adopted to expedite the transaction of business of the council in an orderly fashion are deemed to be procedural only, and the failure to strictly observe such rules shall not affect the jurisdiction of the council or invalidate any action taken at a meeting that is otherwise held in conformity with the law. 



Any person desiring to address the council shall first secure the permission of the Mayor to do so. In addition, but unless the Mayor rules otherwise, any person shall have the right to address the council upon obtaining recognition by the Mayor to speak subject to the following:

A. Public Hearings. Interested persons or their authorized representatives may address the council orally or in writing relating to the matters which are then subject to a public hearing.

B. Non-“Hearing” Matters. Interested parties or their authorized representatives may address the council with regard to matters with which they are concerned and are then the subject of council discussion. When copies of such communications are furnished each councilmember present, such written communications shall not be read aloud at the meeting unless so ordered by a majority vote of the council. Written communications from the administrative staff shall not be read aloud unless requested by any councilmember.

C. Oral Communications. Any person may address the council under oral communications with regard to any matter with which they are concerned. The council shall not discuss any matter not on the agenda pursuant to state law and this chapter nor take any action except to refer such matter to a future agenda.

D. Addressing the Council. Each person addressing the council shall speak into the microphone at the speaker’s podium, and should state his or her name and address in an audible tone of voice for the record, and unless further time is granted by the Mayor shall limit the remarks to five minutes. All remarks shall be addressed to the council as a body, and not to any member thereof. No person other than the council and the person having the floor shall be permitted to enter into any discussion, either directly or through a member of the council, without the permission of the Mayor

E. Limitation to Agenda Item. Except under oral communications, the Mayor shall not permit any communication, written or oral, to be made or submitted unless such communication addresses the agenda item then under discussion.

F. Consent Required. No person shall address or question a councilmember, the staff or any other person without the prior consent of the Mayor.

G. Permission to Speak. After a motion is made by a councilmember, no person shall address the council without first securing the permission of the council to do so.

H. Anonymous Communications. Anonymous communications shall not be considered nor placed on the agenda.

I. Group Communications. When any identifiable group of persons, as opposed to the general public at large, wishes to address the council on the same agenda item, the Mayor shall have the discretion to request that a spokesperson be chosen by said group to address the council. If additional issues are to be presented at the hearing by any other member of such group, the Mayor may limit the number of persons and the time periods to address the council, so as to avoid unnecessary repetition of issues before the council.

J. Additional Opportunity to Address the Council. Subject to the needs of he council to expeditiously perform its business and to avoid repetitive testimony, any person may be permitted by the Mayor to address the council more than once on any particular item. No person shall be allowed to address the council more than once on an item until all persons present and wishing to address the council have been provided the opportunity to do so. The Mayor may limit the time period allowed any person to address the council on an item more than one time, and shall not permit repetitive testimony from any person. 



While the council is in session, all persons shall preserve the order and decorum of the session; and a member shall neither by conversation or otherwise delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the council nor disturb any member while speaking, or refuse to obey the orders of the council or its Mayor, except as otherwise herein provided.

Any person making personal, impertinent or slanderous remarks, or who becomes boisterous while addressing the council, which conduct delays or interrupts the due course of the meeting, shall be forthwith barred from further audience before that session of the council by the Mayor, unless permission to continue is granted by majority vote of the council.

While the council is in session, any person or councilmember who acts in a disorderly, contemptuous or insolent manner towards the council or any councilmember thereof, or who becomes boisterous while addressing the council or any councilmember thereof, which conduct delays or interrupts the due course of the meeting, or any member of the public in attendance who fails, on demand of the Mayor, to comply with any order of the Mayor made in accord with the authority of this chapter, is subject to the criminal penalties of the Brentwood Municipal Code.

No person, except city officials and their representatives, shall be permitted within the area beyond the rostrum which is reserved for staff and council without the express consent of the council.

The city manager may designate such appropriate person or persons to act as sergeant at arms to carry out all orders and instructions given by the Mayor for the purposes of maintaining order and decorum at the council meeting. Upon instructions of the Mayor, it shall be the duty of the sergeant at arms, or any of them present, to place any person who violates the order and decorum of the meeting under arrest, and cause such person to be prosecuted under provisions of this code, the complaint to be signed by the Mayor or other appropriate person present. 



Action by the Council on requests by the Mayor for confirmation or approval of an appointee or nominee to a public office or position shall be taken by minute action confirming or not confirming the appointee or nominee.



Any person may petition the Council. Petitions and other matters shall be in writing, signed by the petitioners or persons presenting them. All petitions shall be made part of the official records kept by the City Clerk and referred to committee, as appropriate.



A motion to reconsider any action approved by the Council shall be made by a member of the majority no later than the end of the next public meeting of the Council. It may be either immediately during the same session, or at a recessed or adjourned session thereof. Such motion must be made at any time and have precedence over all other motions or while a member has the floor; it shall be debatable. 


The majority of the entire membership of the Council may, by motion, designate any matter to be a special order of business, which shall take precedence over all other business. A special order of business action is limited to matters properly noticed and placed on the agenda under the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Sections 54950 et. seq.

The Mayor or a majority of the Council shall decide all questions relating to the priority of business to be acted upon by the Council without debate.

The order of business will be as follows:

Roll Call
Pledge of Allegiance
Awards, commendations, proclamations, and honorary resolutions.
(Council quorum not necessary.)
Approval of Agenda
Adopt Uncontested Consent Calendar Items & Minutes
Contested Consent Items 
Proceed with Order of Agenda. 
Closed Session (Can be conducted before the meeting or after all items of the 
Agenda have been completed)

Consent calendar items will be enacted by one motion. There will be no separate discussion of such items unless requested by a Councilmember. Items pulled for discussion will be considered immediately after the uncontested consent items have been approved. A Councilmember may also pull a consent item simply to move an item or oppose an item without discussion. An item pulled to move or to oppose with no discussion may be voted upon during the Uncontested Consent Calendar section of the agenda.



A rule of the Council may be altered or rescinded and a new rule may be adopted by a resolution approved by an affirmative vote of a majority of the entire membership of the Council at an open meeting. Any amendments would have to be placed on the agenda before Council may take action to amend them.

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