PDT Staff Writer
First Ward Portsmouth City Councilman Kevin Johnson is asking Council to streamline the way ordinances and resolutions are brought through the process of consideration. In an e-mail to members of Council, Johnson said — after discussion at the last Mayor’s Conference Agenda meeting regarding the concept of a Consent Calendar and the difficulties in amending the City Charter — that he would like to propose amending the “Rules for the Government of Council” to address the issues of introducing legislation and consent agenda.
Johnson said the purpose of the Rules of Council amendment is to incorporate the direction given Council by the City Solicitor in regards to the introduction of legislation, and to develop a means by which the public would be notified in advance of any legislation that is to be or needs quick approval by the use of waiving the “three reading” rule.
“This amendment will immediately follow the heading Motions and Speaking from the Floor and to be listed as item #5. All current items from #5 onward shall be assigned new numeration. All legislation shall be introduced at the Mayor’s Conference Agenda; to be discussed and approved by a majority of Council for placement on the Council Agenda at the next meeting of Council,” Johnson said in his proposal.
“Ordinances requiring a waiver of the three reading rule shall be discussed and approved based upon the necessity for doing so. If approved, such legislation shall include, immediately following the condensed legislative language on the Agenda and in this fashion, the term (consent agenda).”
Johnson defined emergency legislation, as “that which no party was aware of in order to meet the Conference Agenda requirement, may be introduced at Council upon the affirmative vote of four members of Council. The legislation must be in writing and, should it be of an emergency nature, the nature of that emergency and necessity for waiving the three reading rule must also be in writing so as to become a part of the minutes.”
Johnson added - As per Section 24-a., Rules of Council “may be modified or added to by a two-thirds vote of all members of Council.”
Johnson requested the proposed amendment be discussed at the Mayor’s Conference Agenda of Dec. 10, 2012.
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