Rules of Order

The Council of the City of Niles, Ohio

Term: 2018 – 2019

The following Rules of Order shall govern the procedures of City Council and the conduct of council members.


Meeting – Place

All meetings of City Council shall be held in the council chambers’
located in the Safety Service Complex unless otherwise ordered by council.

Meetings – Public

All meetings of City Council or committees shall be public. All
minutes and records of council shall be open to the public at all reasonable times. Any
citizen desiring to be heard on any matter under consideration by council may address
council during the public remarks section of the order of business. Persons desiring to be
heard by any committee of council on any matter under consideration, shall, by majority
consent of such committee, be given the opportunity to be heard. All minutes and record of council shall be open to the public within ten ( 10) days of a city council meeting.

Members must abide by the Ohio Revise Code Section 121.22 (Sunshine LCI’A1 which
requires public officials to take official action and to conduct all deliberations upon
official business only in open meetings unless the subject matter is specifically exempted

Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of council shall be held in the council chamber
located in the safety service complex the first and third Wednesday of each month at
6:00 pm unless otherwise ordered by motion, resolution or ordinance. When any regular
meeting falls on a legal holiday, such meeting shall be held on the day following, but the
council may adjourn any regular or special meeting to meet at any time within ten (10)
days thereafter.

July / August Schedule

Regular meetings shall be held the first Wednesday of July and
third Wednesday of August unless otherwise ordered by motion, resolution or ordinance.

Special Meeting(s)

Special meetings may be called at any time by the Mayor or any
three members of council upon at least twenty-four (24) hours of written notice to each
member of council, served personally on each member or left at his/her usual place of

Notification Requirements

  • When such meeting is ordered by three or more members of council, the Clerk of
    Council is required to provide twenty-four (24) hours notice to the local
    newspapers (Tribune Chronicle / Youngstown Vindicator). The Clerk is also
    required to provide notice to each member of council.
  • When such meetings are order by the Mayor, the Mayor’s secretary is required is
    required to provide twenty-four (24) hours notice to the local newspapers
    (Tribune Chronicle / Youngstown Vindicator). The Mayor’s secretary is also
    required to provide notice to each member of council.


A majority of all the members elected to council shall be a quorum to do
business, but a less number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of
absent members in the manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by

Order of Business

The business of all regular meetings of council shall be transacted in
the following order unless the council by three-fourths (6 members) shall suspend the
rules and change the order:

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Nondenominational Invocation
4. Roll Call of Members
5. Disposal of Minutes.
Minutes are to be provided lo council within three (3) days of a meeling for review. The preriding
officer shall provide the members of council with an opportunity to correct the meeting minutes. In
the absence of any objection or correction, the minutes shall sland approved by a majority voice
vote of council
6. Reports and Communications to council
7. Public Remarks
a. Individual(s) must first address himself/herself to the President of Council,
and when recognized by the chair, shall provide his/her full name and
address for the record.
b. He/she must avoid and refrain from impugning or making derogatory
remarks about individuals.
c. He/she shall have no more than five (S) minutes in which to inquire or make
a statement on matters of concern. If necessary, he/she may be granted
additional time, through a majority vote of the members of council.
d. Citizens shall not be permitted to speak at the conclusion of public remarks
without the permission of council through a majority vote of all council
8. Council Committee Reports
9. Presentation of Legislation
a. Third Reading of Ordinances and Resolutions
b. Second Reading of Ordinances and Resolutions
c. Introduction of Ordinances and Resolutions for the first time.
At the conclusion of the Presentation of Legislation, the presiding officer may, by
two-thirds (5 members) permit a member to introduce a resolution, ordinance or
motion that was not listed on the Agenda of City Council.
10. Miscellaneous Remarks
During miscellaneous remarks, the Council President shall first call upon the
Mayor and members of his/her cabinet for remarks, immediately thereafter, upon
each member council.
11. Adjournment

Officers and Employees of Council

Presiding Officer

The President of Council, in his/her absence, the President ProTempore,
shall preside over the meeting of council. The President Pro-Tempore shall
discharge all of the duties and clothed with the same powers of the President of Council
as such presiding officer during the President’s absence. President Pro-Tempore shall
retain his/her right to vote as a member of city council.

The presiding officer shall call meetings of council to order at the appointed hour and
shall proceed with the order of business. The President of Council shall preserve order
and decorum, prevent personalities or impugning of members’ motives, confine
members in debate to the question under discussion, shall decide points of order subject
to an appeal to the council.

Vote necessary for election of Clerk & Assistant Clerk and any other employee(s) of council

No candidate for Clerk and/or Assistant Clerk of Council shall be declared
elected unless he/she has received a majority vote of all members elected to council. No
person shall be employed by council except pursuant to a majority vote of all members
elected to council. No vacancy which council is authorized to fill shall be filled except
pursuant to a majority vote of all members elected to council.

Clerk of Council

The clerk of council shall be elected by a majority of all members
elected to council. The council shall choose an assistant clerk and other officers and
employees as may be deemed necessary and fix their compensation. The clerk shall keep
the records of council. He/she shall keep a proper file of all papers and documents which
are part of the transactions of the council, of the meetings of committee(s) and all orders
of council.

The Clerk of Council shall be the secretary to all committees. When directed by a
Committee Chairperson, he/she shall cause to be kept minutes of such committee
meetings. The minutes shall be redacted in written form and made available for public
inspection within IO days of such committee meeting.

The Clerk shall ensure that all such records of Council must be made available to the
public and shall serve as council designee concern Ohio’s open records law.

In addition, the Clerk shall report to Council the reason(s) advanced by members for
absences from council meetings; and shall perform other duties that may arise from time
to time by order, rule, statute, resolution, or ordinance.

The Clerk’s salary shall be $4,200.00 unless otherwise ordered by a majority vote of all
the elected members of council.

Assistant Clerk of Council

The Assistant Clerk shall attend meeting in the absence of
the Clerk. He/she shall perform the duties aforementioned in Rule 10. The Assistant shall
be responsible for keeping the records of council and transcribing the records of the
council meeting(s) in which he/she attended. The rate of pay shall be $75.00 per meeting.


The Council shall appoint a Sgt.-at-Arms, who, under the direction
of the President of Council, shall preserve order and compel the attendance of absent
members as prescribed by order, resolution or ordinance of Council.


The Council shall appoint a Parliamentarian, who will provide
assistance in interpretation of rules and questions that may arise from time to time.

Committees of Council

Standing Committees

The standing committees of council shall be: Public
Grounds, Neighborhood Stabilization, Community Development & Annexation, Finance,
Improvements, Safety, Technology, and Utilities.

Council may elect to have the President appoint Committee Chairs and members or
select Chairs and members by a majority vote of all the members of council. All
appointments/votes shall be made in public.

The secretary of each committee shall be responsible for recording minutes of each
committee meeting. In the absence of the committee secretary, the chairperson or
committee member shall be responsible for meeting minutes. These minutes shall be
forwarded to the Clerk of Council to be kept on file.

In the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chair shall preside until the chairperson
appears and shall discharge all the duties and be clothes with all the powers of the
chairperson during such absence. The President of Council shall serve as an ex-officio
member of each committee.

The subject matter which shall be referred to the standing committee shall be as follows:

Public Grounds Committee

to which shall be referred all ordinances, resolutions and
other matter(s) pertaining to public streets, public sidewalks, public parks, public places,
public recreation, public cemeteries, playgrounds, public swimming pools and buildings
owned, leased and/or operated by the City of Niles.

Neighborhood Stabilization, Community Development & Annexation Committee

to which shall he referred all ordinances, resolutions and
other matter(s) pertaining to all stabilization, development, redevelopment and annexation
projects. The Chairperson of this committee shall also sit on the Niles Community
Improvement Corporation (C.I.C.).

Finance Committee

to which shall be referred all ordinances, resolutions and other
subject matter(s) relating to finances, indebtedness, appropriations, the payment of moneys not
provided for by previous legislation, taxation, and all subject matters pertaining to the
department of finance, the standardization of salaries and wages, civil service, pensioning of
employees, the sale and purchase of real estate and license.

Improvements Committee

to which shall be referred all ordinances, resolutions and
other matter(s) pertaining to sewer improvements, pipelines, elimination of grade crossings,
waste collection and disposal and bridges. All improvements, except those relating to streets
and sidewalks shall be handled by this committee.

Safety Committee

to which shall be referred all ordinances, resolutions and other
matter(s) pertaining to police, fire and traffic regulations. Civil defense, nuisances and
concessions upon public streets and inspections of buildings and all matters relating to the
enforcement of the building code, zoning, and matters of public safety, health and welfare.

Technology Committee

to which shall be referred all ordinances, resolutions and
other matter(s) pertaining to information technology i.e. hardware, software, IT planning.

Utilities Committee

to which shalt be referred all ordinances, resolutions and other
matter(s) pertaining to the city’s water supply, electrical distribution, sewage disposal, and all
matters relating to the department of public utilities, and all ordinances, resolutions and other
matters pertaining to proposed franchises.

Council as a Whole

When the Council shall decide to go into Committee of the
Whole, without objection, the regular officers shall continue to serve, unless council
otherwise appoints a chairperson to preside, the presiding officer of the council shall
leave the chair. The rules of council, insofar as practical, shall be observed in the
Committee of the Whole, except that no limit shall be placed on the frequency of
speaking, the yeas and nays shall not be taken and that a motion to speak shall always in
in order requested and shall be decided upon without debate.

Duties, Privileges & Decorum of Members

Duty to Vote

Every member present shall vote on all questions upon the call of the yeas
and nays, unless excused by the unanimous consent of council members; except that no
member shall vote on any question which involves private rights or matters subject to the
rules, polices and regulations of the Ohio Ethics Commission. Any member present,
unless excused, or excepted above, who refuses to vote upon nay question relating to the
legislation of city council or city government, upon which he/she may vote, when the
yeas and nays are being taken, shall be guilty of contempt of council and may, for such
contempt, be censured by a majority vote of council or may be expelled from the city
council by a vote of two-thirds ( 5 members) of all the members of council.

Yeas and Nays

On the passage of every ordinance or resolution and on the appointment
of every officer, the vote shall be taken by Yeas and Nays and entered upon the record by
the Clerk of Council. On any other question, the Yeas and Nays shall be entered upon the
record on the request of any member and seconded by another member.

Upon the call of Yeas and Nays, the Clerk shall call the names of the At-Large Members,
Ward 4 Member, Ward 3 Member, Ward 2 Member, Ward 1 member and record the
vote. Once the roll call for Yeas and Nays has begun, voting shall not be interrupted.

For the purpose of order, the seating arrangements shall be as follows. Council-At-Large
representatives shall be seated in alphabetical order by last name followed by the 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Ward council members.

Change of Vote

Before the announcement of the vote on any measure, the Clerk shall
read the Yeas and Nays, at which time, any member(s) of council may, on account of
error, may change, vote; but no council member shall be permitted to change
his/her vote as recorded after the President of Council has verified the result and declared
the disposition of the measurer.

Right to the Floor

When any member is about to address council, he/she must first
address the himself/herself to the President of Council, and once recognized by the Chair,
shall confine himself/herself, to the question under discussion, avoid personalities and
refrain form impugning the motives of any other members argument(s) or vote.

Time Limitation of Speaking

No member of council shall be permitted to speak for a
longer time than fifteen (15) minutes at any one time without the permission of council.
No member shall speak more than once on the same motion until every other council
member desiring to speak on the motion has had an opportunity to do so. Nor shall the
Mayor or any director speak for longer the fifteen (15) minutes upon the same motion,
ordinance, resolution or question without the consent of Council.

During Public Remarks, citizens may speak for no more than five (5) minutes unless
given permission by a majority vote of council to exceed this time limit.

Member call to Order

If any member, while speaking or otherwise, transgresses the
rules of council, said member shall be called to order by the President of Council. Any
member by raising a point of order may call attention to such transgressions to the
President of Council. The point of order shall be decided upon by the President without

Right of Appeal

Any member may appeal to the council a ruling by the presiding
officer, and is such appeal is seconded, the member making the appeal may briefly state
bis/her reason, and the presiding officer may explain his/her ruling, but there shall be no
debate on the appeal and no member shall participate in the discussion. The presiding
officer shall then put the question to a vote;

“Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?”


If a majority of members present to vote, vote Yea, the ruling of the chair is sustained,
otherwise, the decision is over-turned.

Member may read from a book, etc…

Any member while discussing a question, may
read form a book, paper, document or any other material pertinent to the subject matter
under consideration.

Division of Question(s)

If the question under consideration contains two or more
divisible proposition, the presiding officer may, and/or upon the request of a member,
shall divide the same, but a motion to strike out a provision and insert a substitute is not

Personal Privilege

Any member may be recognized by the chair in order to explain a
matter of personal privilege, he/she shall not discuss the question or issue in such
explanation. Such explanation shall not consume more the five (5) minutes of time unless
additional time is extended by a majority vote of all the members of council present.
Matters of personal privilege shall yield only to a motion to recess or adjourn.

Recording of Vote of Council

No person other than the Clerk and/or Assistant Clerk
shall be permitted at the clerk’s desk while the Yeas and Nays are being recorded.


Purpose and Form

Motions hall be used only to expedite the orderly transaction of the
business of council and shall not be substituted for resolutions or ordinances. The form of
all motions shall be “I move that…” followed by the substance(s) of the motion. Upon
demand of any member, any motion shall be reduced to written form by the Clerk. Any
such motion shall be rescinded by the maker with the consent of the member who seconded the motion before it has been amended or acted upon.

Precedence of Motions

When a question is before council, no motion shall be
entertained except the following:

a. To adjourn
b. To fix the hour of adjournment
c. For the previous question
d. To table
e. To postpone to a date certain
f. To postpone indefinitely
g. Reconsideration
h. To refer to a committee
i. To amend

These motions shall have precedence in the order indicated. The motion to adjourn and
the motion for the previous question shall be put to a vote without debate, the motion to
fix the hour of adjournment shall be debated only as to the time of such adjournment and
all other motions shall be debatable.

The previous question

The motion for the previous question shall require a majority
vote of all members elected to council, shall be considered only once, may be renewed
after intervening business, shall take precedence over all debatable questions and shall be
in order to prevent amendment of undebatable questions. When the previous question is
moved and seconded by one member it shall be put as follows: “Shall the main question
now be put?”. There shall be no further debate or amendment; but pending amendments
shall be put in their order before the main question: If the main question; “Shall the main
question no be put?” be decided in the negative, the main question remains before council.

Motion to Table

The motion to table shall disposed finally of the legislation against
which it is invoked, but a motion to table pending amendment to an ordinance or
resolution shall not carry the ordinance or resolution with it. A motion to table shall
require a majority vote of all members present.

Motion to postpone to a day certain

A motion to postpone to a day certain shall require
a majority vote of the members present; shall be subject to reconsideration, may be
renewed after intervening business; shall be debatable as to the propriety of
postponement, but not upon the merits of legislation, and may be amended by changing
the date. Upon arrival of the date to which postponed legislation shall be considered in
the regular order of business that day.

Motion to postpone indefinitely

The motion to postpone indefinitely shall have the
same effect as a motion to table, and shall require a majority vote of all members of
council present. Motion to postpone indefinitely shall not be reconsidered; shall be
debatable and shall open the legislation to debate; may be renewed after intervening
business and may not be amended or laid on the table and shall be subject to the
previous question.


After the decision of any question, any member who voted with the
majority may move to reconsider any action at the same or next succeeding meeting,
provided, however, that a resolution authorizing or relating to any contract may be
reconsidered at any time before the final execution thereof. A motion to reconsider shall
require the same number of votes as if acted upon, no other motion for reconsideration
thereof shall be made without the unanimous consent of the members present.

Ordinances & Resolutions

Form of Ordinances

The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be “Be it ordained by the Council of the City of Niles…”, except those submitted by initiative petition which
shall be “Be it ordained by the citizens of the City of Niles…”. All ordinances or resolutions shall be submitted in a typed format. No ordinance or resolution or section
thereof shall be revised or amended unless the new ordinance or resolution contains the
entire ordinance or resolution, or section revised or amended, and the original ordinance,
resolution section or sections so amended shall be repealed.

Emergency Ordinance

If an emergency ordinance or resolution fails to receive six (6)
affirmative (Yeas) votes of members present, such measure shall cease to be before
council as an emergency measure and shall have the standing that a measure would have
if it had not been read as an emergency measure. The vote of suspension shall be called by roll and the Yeas and Nays shall be recorded.

Referral to Committee

All ordinances or resolutions shall be read by caption during the
meeting when introduced unless it is declared to be read as an emergency measure and
unless otherwise ordered by council, shall be referred by the presiding officer to the
appropriate committee, which reference shall be announced forthwith by the clerk. The
committee(s) to which the referral shall, after due consideration, report the same back
with or without amendments and with recommendations for approval or disapproval.
When so reported, such ordinances or resolution shall, unless otherwise ordered, be read
a second time by title only and laid over until the next meeting of council, when the same
shall be read a third and time in full and a vote taken thereon.

Three Readings

No ordinance or resolution shall be passed until it has been read on
three separate days, unless the reading on three separate days has been dispensed with by
a suspension of the rules with six votes of members present.

Appropriation Ordinances

Ordinances making appropriations shall be confined to the
subject of appropriation. No money shall be appropriated except by ordinance. All
ordinances for fixing a tax rate, the appropriation of money, the issuance of bonds, the
transfer of money to any fund, or the payment of claims; and all resolutions and
ordinance whereby the city shall become liable for the payment of money, shall be
referred without debate to the Finance Committee for consideration and report; unless this requirement shall be suspended by six votes of council.


Prior to adoption of a resolution or ordinance, it shall be in order to
amend a resolution or ordinance at any time when a motion is made by a member of
council and seconded by another member. A majority vote of all elected members of
council shall be necessary for the adoption of an amendment to any legislation.


All resolutions and ordinances shall require for passage or adoption a
majority vote of all elected council members. The vote on adoption shall be taken by roll
call and Yeas and Nays shall be recorded by the clerk and entered into the record of the
meeting. The presiding officer shall affirm the passage or failure of such measure.

Signing of Ordinances – Resolutions

All ordinances and resolutions adopted by
council shall be signed by the President of Council, the Clerk of Council and presented to
the Mayor by the Clerk for his/her signature. The Clerk is required to present all
legislation to the Mayor within twenty-four (24) hours of passage of such measures.

Action on Mayor’s Veto

When the Mayor refuses to sign an ordinance or resolution, or
part thereof and returns such ordinance or resolution to the council, the Mayor must
provide, in writing to the respective committee chairperson, his/her objection(s) to such
measure, the council shall at the next meeting following the meeting at which such
vetoed ordinance or resolution is returned, if such meeting shall occur not less than
fourteen ( 14) days after receipt of such ordinance or resolution, proceed to reconsider the
same. After adoption of the motion so to reconsider, the questions hall be stated:

“Shall ordinance #_ (Resolution#_) be adopted notwithstanding the veto of the Mayor?”

The presiding officer shall call:

“Those voting Yea to override the Mayor’s veto. Will the Clerk please call the roll.”

If two-thirds (5 Yeas) of all elected members elected to council vote Yea, such ordinance
or resolution vetoed by the Mayor shall take effect with his signature.

Status of Pending Measures

the Clerk of Council shall keep the members of council
informed regarding the status of pending measures by preparing a typed agenda for each
meeting, listing the status of pending measures, which will include the following
a. Number, sponsoring committee, committee members requesting member (s). All
sponsoring member(s) of each measure shall have his/her name listed on the
resolution/ordinance under the sponsoring committee.
b. All ordinances and resolutions to be acted upon by council shall be delivered
(emailed) no later than 5:00pm on the Monday preceding the first and third
Wednesday of each mouth.
c. All ordinances and resolutions requested by a member of council must be
submitted to the Clerk or Law Director by the Friday prior to the regularly
scheduled council meeting. Ordinances and resolutions may be requested by the
Chairperson of the committee or two members of the committee or four members
of council from various committees or council as a whole. Sponsoring members
shall have their names affixed to the ordinance or resolution.
d. Sponsoring member(s) of a Pending Measure may have the draft removed from the
tentative agenda by contacting the Clerk of Council no later than (24) twenty-four
hours prior to the pending council meeting.

Publication requirements of Council

(O.R.C. 731.21) After passage of all legislation,
and the affixing of signatures by the President of Council, Clerk of Council, Mayor or an
Override of a Mayoral Veto, this legislation shall be forwarded to the Law
Director’s Office by the Clerk of Council, no later than ten (10) days from the date of the
council meeting. The Law Director’s Office shall be responsible for completion of
summaries and submission to the local newspapers for publication.

Administrative Officers

Attendance Required

The Mayor, Service Director, Safety Director and all department
supervisor are required to attend the regular meeting of council. They shall be required to
attend any such meetings, to answers questions relating to the affairs of the City under
their respective supervision and control as may be put to them by any members of
council. The Mayor shall be entitled to take part in the discussion on all questions before
council. The Department Supervisors shall be entitled to take part in discussions on all
questions relating only to their respective department. Should a Department supervisor
wish to be excused, he/she must contact the Clerk of Council prior to the meeting.

Excusal from council meetings shall be made by motion and acted upon by council. A
majority vote of members present is necessary for approval.

Reports of City Officers

All ordinances, resolution and communications pertaining to
matters that come under the supervision and control of the Mayor and Department
Supervisors shall, in addition to being referred to the proper committees, be also referred
to such respective administrative officers for recommendation and report. Every such
officer to whom any such matter is referred shall report to council. All reports form city
officers suggesting or recommending action by council shall, unless otherwise ordered by
council, be referred to the appropriate committee for consideration, which shall be made.
without delay.