City Council Legislative Process

When a committee of the Council submits a committee chair report to the full Council that a docket Ought Not to Pass and a majority of the Council accepts the recommendation, the issue is defeated.

When a committee submits a committee chair report that the docket Ought to Pass or Ought to Pass in a New Draft and a majority of the Council accepts the recommendation, it shall then be presented to the Mayor. If the Mayor approves it and signs it, it shall be in full force.

If after fifteen days, the Mayor has taken no action on a docket approved by the full Council, the matter shall be in force (with some exceptions). If the Mayor disapproves (vetoes) the matter passed by the Council, he shall state in writing his objections to the Council through the City Clerk. The Council may assign the matter for further action and after seven days with a two-thirds majority of all Councilors, may pass the matter not withstanding the disapproval of the Mayor.

Other ramifications may apply in the case of ordinances, home rule petitions and so called 17F orders too detailed to go into here. You may ask to obtain a copy of the booklet Organization of City Government or the Municipal Register which expands upon the workings and rules of the City Council.

Any item (docket) on the agenda of the City Council meeting may be referred to a committee for action at a later date. When the committee chair elects to hold a hearing on a particular docket, a written invitation with at least forty-eight hours notice is sent to all Councilors, the press, and interested parties giving date, time and place of hearing.

A hearing held by a committee of the Council is open to the public. After those most interested or affected by the subject matter, either pro or con, have testified anyone present may give their testimony either orally or in writing to the committee assembled.

When the hearing is concluded, the chair, with assent of the majority of the committee, may submit a committee chair report to the full Council containing its recommendations as to whether the docket Ought to Pass or Ought Not to Pass, whether it should be Placed on File, or Rejected Without Prejudice. In some cases, no committee chair report is given to the Council and the matter will stay in committee until such time as the chair determines that another hearing is warranted or a committee chair report to the Council is appropriate.