Decorum Policy

Village of Johnson City
Rules of Decorum in Village Board Room

Adopted August 2009


Johnson City Village Board meetings shall be conducted in a courteous and respectful manner and follow the Robert Rules of Order as adopted by the Board in January of 2009.  Citizens and Trustees will be allowed to state their positions in an atmosphere free of slander, threats of violence, intimidation, or use as a forum for political agendas. During  ”Public Privilege of the Floor”, all comments by the public shall be addressed to the Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor presiding over the meeting. Sufficient warnings may be given by the Mayor and/or the Deputy Mayor at any time during the remarks and, in the event that any individual shall violate the “Rules of Decorum” heretofore set forth, then the Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor will immediately revoke that individual’s “Public Privilege of the Floor” until such individual demonstrates that they are capable of conducting themselves within the Johnson City Rules of Decorum.

Procedure for conducting meetings.

  1. At the time appointed for any meeting of the Board, the MAYOR or, in his/her absence, the Deputy Mayor shall take the Chair and call the meeting to order. If a quorum is present, as provided in this chapter, the presiding Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor shall proceed with the order of business prescribed for the meeting.
  2. The Mayor, or Deputy Mayor shall be responsible for the orderly conduct of business at each Board meeting and shall preserve order and decorum at such meetings.
  3. While the Board is in session, the members of the Public must preserve order and decorum, and no member of the Public shall, by conversation or otherwise, delay or interrupt the proceedings or the peace of the Board or disturb any member of the Board while speaking or refuse to obey the orders of the Mayor, or Deputy Mayor or of the Board except as otherwise herein provided.
  4. Each member of the Village Board and every member of the public shall be required to utilize a silent alert mode on or to mute the sound emitted from all electronic devices in their possession (including but not limited to cellular telephones, pagers, radios, personal data assistants, and hand-held or portable computers).

Public participation; enforcement of decorum.

  1. A citizen shall be provided a reasonable opportunity to address the Board on any agenda item or any public matter in which the Village has jurisdiction or authority, but the Citizen is being requested to address their question/concern regarding an agenda item to the Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor that is presiding the meeting. This privilege shall occur during the part of the agenda entitled “Public Comment” and “Public Privilege of the Floor.”
  2. In the case of a non-agenda item, citizens are requested, but not required, to present the matter to a member of the Village Board in an attempt to resolve the matter beforehand.
  3. The Mayor, or Deputy Mayor, with the approval of the majority of the Trustees present, may impose a time limit during which each person may speak, giving equal time to all. If the Mayor, or Deputy Mayor determines that there is not sufficient time at the meeting, the comment period may be deferred to the next regular meeting or special meeting occurring in advance of the next meeting.
  4. When a group of Citizens wishes to address the Board on the same subject matter, it shall be proper for the Mayor, or Deputy Mayor to request that a spokesperson be chosen by the group to address the Board and to limit the number of persons addressing the Board on the same matter so as to avoid unnecessary repetition.
  5. Any person violating any part of the board’s “Rules of Decorum”, making offensive, insulting, threatening, insolent, intimidating, slanderous or obscene remarks or who becomes boisterous or who makes threats against any person or against public order and security while in the Village Board Room shall be requested to leave the Board Room at the direction of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or a majority vote from the Village Trustees, unless permission to continue is granted by the majority vote of the Board members present.
  6. Enforcement of decorum. If necessary, the Mayor, or Deputy Mayor with the approval from the majority of Village Board of Trustees shall request the presence of a member of the Village of Johnson City Police Department.  He/she shall carry out all lawful orders and instructions given him/her by the Village Board for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum in the Board Room.  Upon instructions of the Mayor, and/or Deputy Mayor with the approval of the majority of the Village Board, it shall be the duty of any police officer present to remove any such person from the Board Room.
Village of Johnson City

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