Meetings -Rules and Procedures
Brandon TownshipRules and Procedures for Board Meetings 1. Date, Time and Place:
Brandon Township shall hold regular meetings on the third Monday of each month, ( or Tuesday, if Monday falls on a holiday) at 8:00 P. M. at the Brandon Community Center in Brandon, Minnesota. Special meetings may be called if the need arises.2. Open Meeting Law:
All meetings will abide by the open meeting law (MN Statue. Chapter 13D) with proper notice being given by public notice in the newspaper that has been established every year as the place for publication of its public notices.3. Convening and Running the Meeting.
A quorum of 2 supervisors is required for the meeting to be held. The town chairperson will convene and run the meeting. In the absence of the chair, the supervisors present shall decide who will chair the meeting. The chairperson has the same authority to participate in the meeting as does any other supervisor and thus can make motions and vote on any issue. The chair recognizes speakers, makes sure everyone is clear on the issues by allowing for complete discussion, calls for the vote and keeps the meeting moving at a good pace.4. Agenda:
The town clerk in cooperation with the chair will prepare an agenda for each meeting. The agenda is helpful to keep the meeting proceeding in an orderly manner and to track routine business and special items. The board is not limited to acting on only those items listed on the agenda at regular scheduled meetings. When special meetings are called, the board can only discuss and act on those items that are included in the public notice that was given.5. Conducting Business:
While no official formal process is adopted, meetings will generally follow the guidelines of the Roberts Rules of Order system. The business of the regular town meeting will be comprised of reports, discussions, motions, resolutions, and ordinances. Visitors will be invited to speak on concerns at the time of public comments and along with the clerk and treasurer may be recognized during the discussion on motions. Motions are the process by which action is requested. Motions can be made by any supervisor; motions require a second and need to be passed by a simple majority. Only Supervisors may vote and will vote by voice unless a member of the board calls for a written ballot vote.
Resolutions are generally used to make official appointments, to recognize special issues, and to adopt administrative polices such as by-laws. Ordinances are generally reserved for official regulations that will be enforced and for which penalties may be imposed for violations. Ordinances must be adopted pursuant to formal statutory procedures.6. Keeping Records:
The Open Meeting Law requires that all actions be recorded in a journal and that the votes of each board member be recorded when approving the expenditure of funds except for court ordered payments and routine bills. The clerk shall keep the meeting records with the final minutes approved by the board constituting the official public record. Visitors may also record the meeting proceedings so long as they do not disrupt the meeting.Brandon TownshipRules and Procedures for Board Meetings (page 2) 7. Managing the Meeting (especially when conflicting issues are addressed):
The Open Meeting Law gives people the right to attend town board meetings but not the right to participate and certainly not to disrupt the proceedings. Disrupting a public meeting is actually a criminal offense punishable as a misdemeanor. The following rules of procedures are adopted in order to facilitate the orderly movement of meetings.
a. A fixed time is given on the agenda for public input.
b. For issues of major concern, the board may require that those desiring to speak submit a request in writing to address the board or to raise a new issue.
c. All speakers must be recognized by the chair before speaking.
d. A time limit of 5 minutes is given per speaker on an issue or concern. A limit of 3 speakers (pro) and 3 speakers (con) per issue will be permitted, with pro and con speakers alternating. After discussion, a follow up limit of 3 minutes per speaker may also be given. If a large group is present, the group is to identify no more than 3 spokespersons (pro) and 3 spokespersons (con) speaking for a total of 10 minutes on each side of an issue. A follow up limit of 6 minutes may be given to the spokespersons.
d. Comments must be restricted to issues of public concern. Any comments that stray from public concern or make personal accusations will not be tolerated and the speaker may be asked to leave the meeting.
e. If a discussion period begins to get unruly, a recess may be declared by the chair. If there is a concern about the physical safety of any person at a meeting, law enforcement will be asked to be present during the meeting.8. Adjournment: When all the business has been brought forward and acted upon, the meeting will be adjourned by a motion and no more business may be conducted.
Adopted June 18, 2007
9. Additional notes adopted July 21, 2008
a. Speakers must address the board when speaking. They are to give their name, whom they represent if they are representing a group, and their location in the township.
b. Any questions raised will be answered by the board after the speaker has completed his/her comments. Public comment time is not a time for debate between public and board nor between public members.
c. Reguarding the sewer issue, the board is looking for new information or new questions. Repetitious information may be ruled out of order.