COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE


08-061-O


ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 27 OF THE CITY CHARTER TO REQUIRE BOARD AND COMMISSIONS TO ADOPT BYLAWS REGULATING CONDUCT OF BUSINESS AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

CITY PROPOSAL:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 27 of the 1912 Home Rule Charter of the city of Duluth, as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 27.   Nonsalaried boards and commissions.

     The council may provide, by ordinance, for appropriate nonsalaried boards or commissions which it deems desirable to serve in an advisory capacity, or to perform quasi-judicial functions, or to act as a board of appeal in the administration of regulatory ordinances, or to perform such other proper functions as the council may direct. Each such board or commission shall adopt bylaws which govern the conduct of its meetings. In the absence of an applicable bylaw, Roberts Rules of Order shall govern. Each such board or commission shall adopt rules allowing and regulating public participation. Among such boards or commissions the council shall provide for a planning commission, a board handling building code appeals, a board of zoning appeals, an airport board, a library board, a board or commission dealing with alcoholic beverage licensing and a park and recreation commission.

     Members of all such boards and commissions, including the civil service board, shall be subject to removal by the mayor, for cause, but only after council approval after notice and an opportunity for a hearing before the council.

     The cost of sending notices, preparing and distributing minutes and other similar clerical expense actually incurred by nonsalaried boards and commissions shall be borne by the city from the general fund, together with such extraordinary expense as shall be authorized in advance by council resolution.

     Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect 90 days after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance amends Section 27 of the City Charter to require that the City’s various nonsalaried board and commissions adopt bylaws to regulate the conduct of their business; this would need to include provisions which would allow public input at their meetings and would establish process by which that would be allowed. It would also specify that in the absence of an applicable bylaw, Roberts Rules of Order would govern their operation.


At the present time, there is no requirement that the boards and commissions formally adopt rules of procedure for their operation and there is the perception that some procedural decisions are of a more ad hoc variety. This ordinance would require that the procedures be formally established so that all board and commission members as well as the general public can know what the rules are and how they can participate in the group’s business.


The proposed charter change was proposed and recommended by the Charter Commission at its meeting of July 9, 2008.