The public contacts the Council, via letter, telephone, fax, e-mail, or in person. If the Council has advisory, investigative, or legislative authority over the matter, the Council Chair places the communication on the next Council meeting agenda. At the Council meeting, the issue is introduced and referred to the appropriate standing committee. (If the issue requires expeditious legislative action, the Council may, by a two-thirds vote, waive the referral to committee and take action at the meeting.)
The Committee schedules the issue for discussion and accepts public testimony. The Committee may act (i.e., draft a bill or resolution) or may conduct further research on the issue. When the Committee makes a recommendation to the full Council (adopt, accept, file, first reading, etc.), a committee report is prepared and scheduled for consideration by the full Council at the next Council meeting.
At the Council meeting, the Council acts by adopting the recommendations contained in the committee report (bill is passed on first reading, resolution is adopted, communication is filed, etc.). Digests of all bills that pass first reading, along with the Council’s voting record, are published in the newspaper at least three days before final reading. Sometimes, the issue may be recommitted or returned to Committee for further discussion. All bills and certain resolutions requiring two readings are placed on the following Council meeting agenda for final action.
If a bill is not passed on second and final reading at the Council meeting, it may be: (1) recommitted to Committee, (2) filed, or (3) postponed until a specific date. If the bill is passed on second and final reading, the bill title and Council voting record are, once again, published in the newspaper. The bill is sent to the Mayor for approval.
For bills relating to the Fiscal Year’s Budget and Capital Program, the Mayor has 20 days to approve or veto the bill. If the Mayor does not return the bill with a disapproval within that time, the bill shall take effect as an ordinance as if the Mayor had signed it. The Council may, within 10 days after the bill has been returned, reconsider and pass the bill by a two-thirds vote. The County Clerk assigns an ordinance number.
For all other bills, the Mayor has 10 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) to approve or veto the bill. If the Mayor does not return the bill with a disapproval within that time, the bill shall take effect as an ordinance as if the Mayor had signed it. The Council may, after 5 days and within 30 days, reconsider and pass the bill by a two-thirds vote. The County Clerk assigns an ordinance number.