HALIFAX SELECTBOARD RULES OF PROCEDURE
The Halifax Selectboard is required by law to conduct its meetings in accordance with the Vermont Open Meeting Law. 1 V.S.A. §§ 310-314. Meetings of the Halifax Selectboard must be open to the public at all times, except as provided in 1 V.S.A. § 313.
This policy setting forth rules of procedure shall apply to the Halifax Selectboard, which is referred to below as !the Board.” These rules shall apply to all regular, special, and emergency meetings of the Board.
- The Board shall annually elect a chair and a vice-chair. The chair of the Board or, in the chair“s absence, the vice-chair, shall preside over all meetings. If both the chair and the vice-chair are absent, a member selected by the Board shall act as chair for that meeting.
- The chair shall preserve order in the meeting and shall regulate its proceedings by applying these rules and making determinations about all questions of order or procedure.
- A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. If a quorum of the members of the Board is not present at a meeting, no meeting shall take place.
- No single member of the Board shall have authority to represent or act on behalf of the Board unless, by majority vote, the Board has delegated such authority for a specific matter at a duly-noticed meeting and such delegation is recorded in the meeting minutes.
- Motions made by members of the Board require a second. The chair of the Board may make motions and may vote on all questions before the Board. A motion will only pass if it receives the votes of a majority of the total membership of the Board.
- There is no limit to the number of times a member of the Board may speak to a question. A member may speak or make a motion without being recognized by the chair. Motions to close or limit debate will be entertained.
- Any member of the Board may request a roll call vote. Pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 312(a)(2), when one or more members attend a meeting electronically, a roll call vote is required for votes that are not unanimous.
- Meetings may be recessed to a time and place certain.
- These rules may be amended by majority vote of the Board.
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- Each regular and special meeting of the Board shall have an agenda. Those who wish to be added to the meeting agenda shall contact any member of the board or the designated assistant to the board, if there is one, to request inclusion on the agenda.
- At least 48 hours prior to a regular meeting, and at least 24 hours prior to a special meeting, a meeting agenda shall be posted in or near the municipal office and at the following designated public places in the municipality: the Halifax Post Office and Halifax Center. At least 48 hours prior to a regular meeting, and at least 24 hours prior to a special meeting, a meeting agenda shall also be posted on HalifaxVT.com. The agenda must also be made available to any person who requests such agenda prior to the meeting.
- All business shall be conducted in the same order as it appears on the noticed agenda, except that any addition to or deletion from the noticed agenda must be made as the first act of business at the meeting. No additions to or deletions from the agenda shall be considered once the first act of business at the meeting has commenced. Any other adjustment to the noticed agenda, for example, changing the order of business, postponing or tabling actions, may be made by majority vote of the Board.
- Special meetings shall be publicly announced at least 24 hours in advance by giving notice to all members of the Board unless previously waived; to an editor, publisher or news director, or radio station serving the area; and to any person who has requested notice of such meetings. In addition, notices shall be posted in the municipal clerk’s office and at the following designated places in the municipality: the Halifax Post Office and Halifax Center.
- Emergency meetings may be held without public announcement, without posting of notices, and without 24-hour notice to members, provided some public notice thereof is given as soon as possible before any such meeting. Emergency meetings may be held only when necessary to respond to an unforeseen occurrence or condition requiring immediate attention by the Board.
- A member of the Board may attend a regular, special, or emergency meeting by electronic or other means without being physically present at a designated meeting location, so long as the member identifies him or herself when the meeting is convened, and is able to hear and be heard throughout the meeting. Whenever one or more members attend electronically, voting that is not unanimous must be done by roll call. If a quorum or more of the Board attend a meeting (regular, special, or emergency) without being physically present at a designated meeting location, the agenda for the meeting shall designate at least one physical location where a member of the public can attend and participate in the meeting. At least one member of the Board, or at least one staff or designee of the Board, shall be physically present at each designated meeting location.
- PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.
- All meetings of the Board are meetings in the public, not of the public. Members of the public shall be afforded reasonable opportunity to express opinions about matters considered by the Board, so long as order is maintained according to these rules.
- Comment by the public or members of the Board must be addressed to the chair or to the Board as a whole, and not to any individual member of the Board or public.
- Members of the public must be acknowledged by the chair before speaking.
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- If a member of the public has already spoken on a topic, he or she may not be recognized again until others have first been given the opportunity to comment.
- Order and decorum shall be observed by all persons present at the meeting. Neither members of the Board, nor the members of the public, shall delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the meeting or interrupt or disturb any member while speaking. Members of the Board and members of the public are prohibited from making personal, impertinent, threatening, or profane remarks.
- Members of the Board and members of the public shall obey the orders of the chair or other presiding member. The chair should adhere to the following process to restore order and decorum of a meeting, but may bypass any or all steps when he or she determines in his or her discretion or upon a vote of a majority of the Board, that deviation from the process is warranted:
- Call the meeting to order and remind the members of the applicable rules of procedure. b. Declare a recess or table the issue.
- Adjourn the meeting until a time and date certain.
- Direct disorderly person(s) to leave the meeting, or eject disorderly person(s) if the individual is attending remotely;
- Order the constable to remove disorderly person(s) from the meeting.
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