The Borough Council action may take either form of an ordinance or a resolution. Ordinances are municipal legislation, usually of a permanent effect, enacted by the Council. There is a specified procedure for passing an ordinance. First, it must be brought up at an Agenda Session, at which time the Council decides whether or not to introduce it at a public meeting. The formal introduction, also known as a First Reading, requires four votes. Following introduction, the ordinance is published in the Courier-News with reprints available at the Borough Clerk's office. Two weeks later, the item is read again, and a public hearing is held for citizens who want to address the Council on the matter in question. After the hearing the Council votes upon the ordinance, four votes being required for passage. The ordinance must then be signed by the Mayor, and takes effect 20 days later.
Many official actions of the Borough may be accomplished by a resolution of the Council. These include approval of the annual municipal budget, contracts, mayoral appointments, and other miscellaneous matters. Resolutions, except for the annual municipal budget, do not require a public hearing, or a second reading. Usually, they are read at the public meeting, voted upon, and take effect immediately.
Privilege of the Floor
Per each Council meeting agenda, a privilege of the floor is granted at the beginning of the Council Agenda Conference Meeting, at the end of every Regular Council Meeting, and at the beginning of all public hearings for ordinances and annual municipal budgets. At these designated times, any person may address the Council through the Council President on matters of concern. There is a five (5) minute time limit for each speaker and a person may speak only once at each occasion. Appropriate times for public comment are clearly marked on the meeting agenda.
Occasionally, the Council may find it necessary to interrupt a public meeting to hold an executive session. Generally, this is done for matters regarding litigation, contracts, and/or personnel.
Before an action is taken at a public meeting, it is usually discussed by the Council at an Agenda Session. Agenda Sessions are work sessions open to the public.