How Commission Meetings Work
The main body of the City Commission agenda consists of reports of the City Manager and proposed legislation. The Mayor presides over the meeting, public hearings, policy discussions and/or presentations indicated on the agenda.
Reports of the City Manager
The reports of the City Manager are generally concerned with business matters, such as purchase orders, voucher payments and contractual agreements. Any purchase of $10,000 or more must be approved by the City Commission. All reports are voted on at the same time unless otherwise requested by a Commissioner, who may ask that any one report or reports be held or voted on separately. Reports are approved by a simple majority.
Legislative items consist of ordinances, which establish a rule of law and become part of the Revised Code of General Ordinances; and resolutions, which generally express a policy, desire or feeling. Legislation, whether ordinance or resolution, is normally given first reading without a vote at one meeting and second reading with a roll call vote a week or more later. A simple majority is required for passage, and the legislation takes effect 30 days later. "Emergency" legislation is so labeled in order to expedite it. Both readings may be given at the same meeting and it becomes effective immediately upon passage. Four votes are required for passage.
Because citizen participation is important, time may be set aside within the Commission meeting for public commentary on a specific issue or proposed course of action, such as zoning changes recommended by the Plan Board.
The City Commission may call for an Executive Session. Executive Sessions are used to discuss in private any subjects covered under the Ohio Sunshine Law. Examples of such subjects include personnel action, litigation, purchase and sale of property, and labor negotiations. The public and the media are informed of the time and place of these meetings as well as the general category of discussion, but are not permitted to attend. It is possible that the Commission may adjourn to Executive Session during a regular meeting.
Citizens who wish to speak at a City Commission meeting must complete a "Public Speaking Request Form" and submit it to the Clerk of Commission prior to the start of the meeting. These forms are available at the entrance of the City Commission Chambers. Citizens are also required to state their name and address for the record when they speak. The Mayor will ask for citizens' comments at the appropriate times. Citizens must limit their comments to three minutes and are only permitted to speak once at each meeting.