Copy of the Kittery Council Rules

Council rules




Except as superseded by these rules, Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 10th Edition, govern the conduct of meetings.





The regular meetings of the Council are held in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall on either the second or fourth Monday of each calendar month, or both. Public proceedings commence at 7:00 p.m. whether or not preceded by an executive session.


When said meeting falls on a holiday or is otherwise postponed, the regular meeting is held on the following Wednesday, at the same time and place.


The date and venue of any regular meeting may be changed upon the vote of the Council, provided, however, that said change in date, or venue, will still provide for at least one regular meeting in each month.





Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or by four members of the Town Council.  Notice of such meeting must, when possible, be given at least twelve hours before the time for holding the meeting.  The call for the meeting must set forth the matters to be acted upon and nothing else may be considered.


Special meetings include public comment time as provided at regular Council meetings, but such public comment is limited to the matters on the agenda for the meeting. Notices of such meetings must include the name(s) of the person(s) requesting the meeting.






The Town Council shall act only by ordinance, order, resolve, and by consensus.



Actions of the Council are recorded in the minutes of the Council meeting.






All actions of the Council, except ordinances, take effect immediately upon passage.


The effective date of ordinances is governed by Section 2.14, Paragraph 3 of the Town Charter.





The Chairperson shall assume the chair at the time appointed for the meeting; call the members to order; provide for introductory and pledge of allegiance; cause the roll to be called; and, a quorum being present, proceed to conduct the business of the Council according to the published agenda.




The Chairperson shall preserve decorum and order; speak to points of order in preference to other members; and, decide all questions of order subject to an appeal to the Council by motion regularly made and seconded, and no other business is in order until the question on appeal be decided.



The Chairperson shall declare all votes, but if any member doubts a vote, the Chairperson shall cause a return of the members voting in the affirmative and in the negative without debate.



All persons wishing to speak, whether they be Council members or members of the general public must first be recognized by the Chairperson.



The Chairperson enjoys the same rights and privileges as other members of the Council, including the introduction and seconding of motions and participation in debate.





The position of Vice Chairperson is hereby established.  The provisions of Charter Sec. 2.05 (1) apply for election to this position.


In the temporary absence or disability of the Chairperson, Charter Sec. 2.05 (3) and Section Five of these Council Rules govern the duties of the Vice Chairperson.






When a vote is concluded, it is in order for any member who voted on the prevailing side to move a reconsideration thereof at the same or next regular meeting.






Proper decorum. befitting the gravity of their solemn duties, is expected of all Councilors during the conduct of meetings.



Councilors wishing to speak shall respectfully address the Chairperson, and confine their comments to the question under debate, or the issue  the Councilor wants to raise.



No member may be interrupted by another, but for a point of order or to correct a mistake, and only upon recognition by the Chairperson.






Motions must be reduced to writing if the Chairperson so directs.






The rules may not be dispensed with, or suspended, unless five members of the Council consent thereto.  No rules may be adopted, amended, or deleted without notice in writing being given at the preceding regular meeting.






Voting is by a randomly sequenced roll call.  Councilors shall indicate their vote by a yes or no, or by abstention, when polled.  No Councilor may be excluded from participation in debate on any question except as required by Town Charter or state statue, (currently Section 12.01 and 30-A MRS §2605, respectively).  Councilors have the right to change their vote up to the time the vote is announced by the Chairperson.



The vote must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting to indicate each Councilor’s vote, or abstention.  






In order that advance notice of the matters to be discussed at Council meetings be afforded interested parties, all meetings of the Council will be conducted according to the agenda.



An agenda will be prepared for each regular meeting and posted by the Thursday preceding said meeting. Posting will be in a public area of the municipal building and of the U.S. Post Offices in Kittery and Kittery Point.



When practicable, an agenda will be prepared at least twelve hours in advance of a special meeting; delivered to all Council members and posted as previously provided.



All Town Manager’s memoranda of interest to the Council members will be delivered to them at least seventy-two hours before a regular meeting.



All reports or proposals made to the Council, which require or request that an action be taken by the Council, are to be submitted in written form. The content will consist of the following, as appropriate:



·                Executive Summary


·                Statement of Need


·                Background


·                Facts Bearing on the Equation


·                Current Situation


·                Proposed Solution / Recommendation


·                Rationale for the Proposed Solution (including costs)



The agenda consists of the following categories:



1.  Call to Order


2.  Introductory


3.  Pledge of Allegiance


4.  Roll Call


5.  Agenda Amendment and Adoption


6.  Town Manager’s report


7.  Acceptance of previous minutes


8.  Interviews for Planning Board and Board of Appeals.


9.  All items involving the town attorney, town engineers, town employees or other town consultants or requested officials.


Persons who are represented by legal or engineering consultants, who are present and wish to address the Council, shall notify the Chairperson prior to the Council Call to Order of the subject they wish to speak on and will be heard at this time.


          10.  Public hearings


          11.  Discussion


a.  Discussion by members of the public (3 minutes per person)


b.  Response to public comment directed to a particular Councilor’


c.  Chairperson’s response to public comments.


          12.  Unfinished business


          13.  New business


           13.  a. Donations/gifts received for Council disposition


          14.  Councilor issues or comment


          15.   Committee and other reports


a.  Communications from the Chairperson


b.  Committee reports


          16.   Executive session, if required


          17.   Adjournment


To the extent possible, matters to be discussed at a meeting by the town manager or Chairperson will be listed on the agenda under Chairperson Communications, or Town Manager’s Report, respectively.



The category of Unfinished Business is specifically reserved for Council business discussed at a previous meeting that has been postponed or continued to the meeting for which the present agenda is prepared.



The New Business section of the agenda is reserved for those matters which a Councilor wishes to introduce anew.


Except as provided in Charter Article XI, no proposal for ordinances enactment, repeal, or amendment may lie before the Council unless introduced by a Council member.



In keeping with the policy regarding advance notice, Councilors are encouraged and requested to submit to the Town Clerk those matters which they wish to introduce under New Business by 4:00 p.m. on the Tuesday preceding the Thursday that the agenda is to be posted. The Town Clerk shall then place those matters on the agenda.



Immediately following the roll call, the Chairperson may amend and must adopt the agenda, except no matter requiring public notice may be added without such notice.  Agenda amendment after adoption may be made only by majority vote.






A.  Discussion by members of the public (3 minutes per person)



Any person wishing to address the Town Council will be given an opportunity to do so in accordance with the following procedures.




1.  The Public Discussion section of the agenda is reserved for members of the public who wish to address the Council on any matters listed on the agenda or on other matters they wish to bring to the Council’s attention.



2.  Any person wishing to have an item listed on the agenda under Public Discussion shall submit the matter to be discussed in writing to the Town Clerk by 4:00 p.m. on the Tuesday preceding the Thursday that the agenda is to be posted.



3.  Persons wishing to address the Council during public discussion will signify their desire by raising their hand and, when recognized by the Chairperson, request permission to address the Council, giving their name and address, then designating the subject matter on which they desire to address the Council.



4. Members of the public, addressing the Council during the public discussion section of the agenda shall limit their statements to the Council, to no more than three minutes per person unless the Chairperson finds it necessary to allow more time.



5.  Persons wishing to address the Council on an item which appears on the agenda after public discussion shall wait until the Chairperson announces the consideration of such item, at which time, after being recognized, they may address the Council on that particular item.



However, once the Council has begun its deliberation on the item, no person is permitted to address the Council unless the Chairperson, having determined that the Council’s deliberations appear finished, and that the item under consideration is of great concern to members of the public gathered, permits persons in the audience to address the Council before closing the discussion and calling for Council vote.



B.   Response to public comments.



In order to assure that the Council is speaking as one voice when responding to public comments all general responses shall be made by the Council Chairperson. 



The Chairperson is responsible for any subsequent follow-up response to the speakers. In the event a member of the public addresses an issue to a particular Councilor, the Chairperson will invite such Councilor to respond directly, if that Councilor so desires.






The Town Clerk shall maintain copies of Council rules and policies and provide same to the Rice Public Library.



To allow for the opportunity for full attendance, all workshops held by the Council will be scheduled for a Monday.  When this is impossible to do, another night will be chosen by the Council at a regular Monday meeting.


No member of the Council may request a legal opinion relative to Town business from the Town’s appointed attorneys without prior approval of a majority vote of the Council.  All such requests must be made through the Town Manager.





 A. In accordance with the Kittery Town Charter, Sec. 2.10(2) the Council establishes two standing committees consisting of the entire Council, as follows:



Financial                                            Legislative



All budgetary matters                          Approvals:  Permits, licenses


Any appropriation ordinance              All non‑appropriation ordinances


Administrative relations                       Appointments


Grants, bequests, etc.                        Property transfers



B.         The Ordinance Review Committee consists of two members of the Council appointed annually at the first Regular meeting after the November municipal elections.  All communication should be in coordination with the Town Manager.



The Committee is to conduct a review and evaluation of any non-appropriation ordinance proposal prior to Council Public Hearing on the matter.  The Committee is to:



§  provide a report of review results to Council at an appropriate level of detail;


§  ensure that form and format are consistent with the codification structure;


§  note any substantive debatable issues identified; and,


§  make a recommendation for ordainment.






The cost charged by the Town for making copies of any materials, excluding those produced by the Planning Department,  access to which the public is entitled, is twenty-five (25) cents a copy.


Copies of the Council packets are to be made available to the media at ten (10) cents a page.






The Council realizes that Councilors should make an effort to broaden and increase their knowledge of information and skills directly related to their responsibility to govern the Town, and that efforts should be made to appropriate funds for this purpose.



Prior to incurring and requesting reimbursement for such expenses, however, individual Councilors must obtain the approval of the Council.  Such approval is required for any individual expense that would be paid from the Council Contingency or the Council Expense accounts.


Approved  02/27/89        Amended  09/27/99         Amended  12/17/01         Amended 09/27/10


Amended  12/28/92         Amended  11/22/99         Amended  09/16/02         Amended 01/09/12


Amended  06/26/95         Amended  05/31/00        Amended  10/28/02         Amended 09/10/12


Amended  010/3/96         Amended  10/30/00        Amended  08/24/09         Amended 02/11/13


Amended  01/10/96         Amended  03/19/01        Amended  11/23/09         Amended 03/25/13


Amended  12/09/96        Amended  07/02/01        Amended  08/23/10          Amended 01/27/14