RULES OF PROCEDURE AT ALGER COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS: The following agenda, designed to provide for complete and thorough discussion of all relevant county business, shall be adopted as a guideline for the conducting of the county business at each meeting of the Alger County Board of Commissioners:
1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Public Comment
5. Consent Agenda
6. Old Business
7. New Business
8. Financial Matters
b. Board Bills
9. Committee Reports
b. Other Committees 1
11. Board Comments
12. Staff Comments
13. Public Comment
In order that business be conducted in an orderly and efficient manner the public comment shall be restricted to the times provided within the rules of order. The regular order of business or any of these rules may be suspended at any meeting by two-thirds of any vote of the members present.
The Board at its lawfully held meetings shall be presented with an agenda prepared by the County Clerk. Any party wanting to appear before the Board on the agenda must make an appointment with the County Clerk at least two (2) days before the Board meeting. Amendments to the agenda at a full board meeting may be made only by unanimous vote of all commissioners present.
WHAT RULES SHALL GOVERN: The rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Alger County Board of Commissioners in all cases to which they are applicable, provided that they are not in conflict with these rules or with state law.
PROCEDURES OF MEETINGS:
1. Any members, desiring to speak, shall address the chair.
2. No person, other than a member, shall be allowed to address the Board, except by the consent of the chairman of the Board of Commissioners.
3. When two or more members address the chair at the same time, it shall be the duty of the chair to decide which shall be entitled to the floor.
4. Only the Board, Clerk and/or the Clerk’s assistant, Prosecuting Attorney, Sheriff, Undersheriff, Administrator, and the Treasurer and/or the Treasurer’s assistant, shall be seated on the backside of the table.
5. Committee services are set at $40.00 per meeting with a maximum of fifteen (15) meetings per month, and mileage is the same as for the Board of Commissioners. Conferences do not constitute as any meetings. *Can have up to twenty-two (22) meetings per month for those commissioners who have added committees. When those committees have ended, the number of meetings reverts to the original 15 meetings per month.
6. No regular meeting of the Alger County Board of Commissioners should last over three (3) hours.
RIGHTS OF THE PUBLIC TO ADDRESS A MEETING: The Open Meetings Act provides that a person shall be permitted to address a meeting of a public body. The law further provides that public bodies may establish rules, which regulate the conditions which the public may address the meeting. These rules must be reasonable, flexible and designed to encourage public expression and not to discourage or prohibit it.
The rules regulating the right of the public address may include such controls as the length of time any one person may be permitted to address the body, the portion of the agenda set aside for public address and a requirement that persons wishing to address the public body identify themselves and make it known ahead of time that they wish to address the body in order to facilitate the planning of time allotments to various portions of the agenda.
The Alger County Board of Commissioners stated that public comment session shall not last longer than 20 minutes for the total time and during public comment, persons may address the County Board through the recognition of the County Chair for no longer than two minutes per person. (Amended 01/02/1987)
OPEN MEETINGS ACT: All meetings of the Alger County Board of Commissioners and its various committees shall be held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act, that being Public Act 1976, No. 267, M.C.L.A. 15.261 et.seq. The Open Meetings Act dictates that certain requirements must be met before a public body shall become involved in a meeting. “Public Body” is defined as including the Board and its various committees in a meeting. “Meeting” is defined as the convening of a public body at which a quorum is present for the purpose of deliberating toward or rendering a decision on public policy. The Open Meetings Act further provides as follows:
1. All meetings of a public body shall be open to the public and shall be held in a place available to the general public. 2. All decisions of a public body shall be made at a meeting open to the public. 3. All deliberations of a public body, constituting a quorum of its members, shall take place at an open meeting. 4. There shall be no condition precedent for a person to attend a public meeting. 5. A person shall be permitted to address a public body, under the rules established by the public body. 6. A person shall not be excluded from a public meeting, except for a breach of the peace, actually committed at the meeting. It is hereby the policy of the Board to establish the following notice provisions with respect to public notice of meetings:
1. A public notice shall always contain the name of the public body to which the notice applies, its telephone number if one exists and its address.
2. A public notice for a public body shall always be posted at the office of the Alger County Clerk and any other locations considered appropriate by the public body.
3. A meeting of a public body shall not be held unless public notice is given, pursuant to the rules under the Open Meetings Act.
4. For regular meetings of the County Board of Commissioners there shall be posted within ten days after the first meeting of the Alger County Board of Commissioners, in each calendar year, a public notice stating the dates, times and places of its regular meetings.
5. If there is a change in the schedule of the regular meetings of a public body there shall be posted within three days after the meeting at which the change is made a public notice stating the new dates, times and places of its regular meeting.
6. For a rescheduled regular or special meeting of the Alger County Board of Commissioners or its committees a public notice stating the date, time and place of the meeting, shall be posted at least 18 hours before the meeting.
7. A meeting of the Alger County Board of Commissioners, which is recessed for more than 36 hours, shall be reconvened only after public notice, stating the date, time and place of the meeting, said notice being posted at least 18 hours before the meeting.
8. Nothing in this policy shall bar the Alger County Board of Commissioners from meeting in emergency session in the event of a severe or immanent threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public, when two-thirds of the members of the Board decide that delay would be detrimental to efforts to lessen or respond to the threat.
OPEN MEETINGS ACT AS APPLIES TO COMMITTEE MEETINGS: The statute defines “public body” to include a board and committees, which are empowered by the state constitution or other laws to exercise governmental or propriety authority.
Therefore, it is the general intent of the Alger County Board of Commissioners to apply to committee meetings the same requirements that the Open Meetings Act dictates for meetings of the full board. At any County Board meeting wherein a quorum of the full county board is not present, the committee chairperson, in his or her discretion may exclude the public or any individual from attendance at said committee meeting.
CLOSED SESSIONS: A two-thirds roll call vote of members elected shall be required to call a closed session, under the following circumstances:
1. To consider the purchase or lease of real property up to the time an option to purchase or lease that real property is obtained.
2. To consult with the Board’s attorney with regard to trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending litigation, but only when an open meeting would have a detrimental financial effect on the litigating or settlement position of the public body.
3. To review and consider the contents of an application for employment or appointment to a public office if the candidate requests that the application remain confidential. All interviews by the Alger County Board of Commissioners for employment or appointment to a public office shall be held in an open meeting and pursuant to this act except as otherwise provided in this subdivision.
4. To consider material exempt from discussion or disclosure by State or Federal statute. (MCL 15.268(h)) Section 8(h) has been interpreted to permit a public body to hold a closed session for consideration of a written legal opinion within the attorney-client privilege, but a closed session may not be held for consideration of an oral opinion.
Closed sessions may also be held by public bodies for the following reasons without a two-thirds roll call vote:
1. To consider the dismissal, suspension or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against or to consider a periodic personnel evaluation of, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, if the named person requests a closed hearing. A person requesting a closed hearing may rescind the request at any time, in which case the matter at issue shall be considered thereafter only in open sessions.
2. For strategy and negotiation sessions connected with the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement when either of the negotiating parties requests a closed hearing.
A roll call vote and the purpose or purposes for calling the closed session is required to be entered into the minutes of the meeting at which the vote is taken. During the closed session, a separate set of minutes is required to be taken. The minutes are required to be retained by the clerk of the public body. However, they are not to be made available to the public and shall only be disclosed as required by a civil action. The minutes are permitted to be destroyed one year and one day after approval of the minutes of the regular meeting at which the closed session was approved. A public body may call a second closed meeting to approve the minutes of a closed session to ensure they are not disseminated to the public.