Coun­cil pro­poses Rosen­berg’s Rules of Or­der for meet­ings

If ap­proved, other func­tions also would be gov­erned this way

The Signal - - News - By Tammy Murga Sig­nal Staff Writer

Af­ter an in­tense de­bate last month over the may­oral ro­ta­tion for the new year, the Santa Clarita City Coun­cil may soon have for­mal changes to its norms and pro­ce­dures for all of its func­tions, in­clud­ing how the coun­cil ap­points may­ors from within its own ranks.

Coun­cil mem­bers Tues­day, dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing, voted unan­i­mously to di­rect staff to bring for­ward at a later date a for­mal pro­posal the City Coun­cil could adopt, spec­i­fy­ing the coun­cil would adopt Rosen­berg’s Rules of Or­der for the con­duct of meet­ings.

To come to this agree­ment, how­ever, coun­cil mem­bers found them­selves di­vided once again, as they de­bated how each would like to fol­low the rules.

“It’s not my de­sire to make any changes to the coun­cil lead­er­ship process,” said Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smith, who asked the mat­ter to be item­ized fol­low­ing the de­bate last month. “But I do think that it makes sense to sim­ply have a par­lia­men­tary process in place for this coun­cil and fu­ture coun­cils to just pro­vide guid­ance on any items that are up for de­bate.”

They had to con­sider adopt­ing ei­ther Robert’s or Rosen­berg’s Rules of Or­der, to which each voiced in fa­vor of fol­low­ing the lat­ter af­ter City At­tor­ney Joe Montes gave a brief run­down of each.

Robert’s Rules, based upon rules gov­ern­ing the con­duct of the U.S. Congress, has been ex­pressed by sev­eral ju­ris­dic­tions as more com­plex and lengthy when com­pared to Rosen­berg’s — the op­tion Santa Clarita has unof­fi­cially prac­ticed. Un­der Robert’s Rules, nom­i­na­tions are sub­mit­ted with­out the re­quire­ment for a sec­ond, un­less the City Coun­cil re­quires so.

Un­der Rosen­berg’s Rule, de­vel­oped by state Supreme Court Judge Dave Rosen­berg and rec­om­mended by the League of Cal­i­for­nia Cities, mo­tions re­quire a sec­ond but nom­i­na­tions are not specif­i­cally ad­dressed. Votes would take place in the re­verse or­der nom­i­na­tions or mo­tions are made, which helped Mayor Mar­sha McLean earn the ti­tle in De­cem­ber as the first nom­i­na­tion went to Smyth, fol­lowed by one for McLean.

Montes said mod­i­fi­ca­tions could be made should they choose Rosen­berg’s Rules. Coun­cil­man Bob Kel­lar mo­tioned for Rosen­berg’s but said con­sid­er­a­tion of nom­i­nees should be made in the or­der the nom­i­na­tions are made un­til a nom­i­nee re­ceives a sim­ple ma­jor­ity vote.

Coun­cil­man Bill Mi­randa coun­tered Kel­lar’s mo­tion by pre­sent­ing a mo­tion to adopt Rosen­berg’s Rules as is, mean­ing con­sid­er­ing nom­i­nees in the re­verse or­der nom­i­na­tions are made.

They each then took a vote for both mo­tions. Only McLean and Mi­randa voted “yes” for Mi­randa’s mo­tion and the rest “no.” A 3-2 re­sult was also counted for Kel­lar’s mo­tion.

See­ing that a con­sen­sus ex­isted in fa­vor of Rosen­berg’s Rules with vot­ing on the first mo­tion first, this was suf­fi­cient for staff to re­turn with a pro­posal for may­oral ro­ta­tions.

City Man­ager Ken Striplin said, “In or­der to re­solve this, I think it’s what­ever the ma­jor­ity of the coun­cil chooses to do — in terms of which mo­tions to choose to take first — would be suf­fi­cient un­der your cur­rent rules, be­cause we don’t have an adopted rule.”

Montes clar­i­fied that what is cho­sen for mo­tions un­der Rosen­berg’s Rules can be sep­a­rate and dis­tinct from what the coun­cil does for nom­i­na­tions and se­lec­tion for mayor and mayor pro tem.

Although the coun­cil asked the staff to re­turn with a writ­ten plan by the next reg­u­lar meet­ing, Jan. 22, Striplin said staff would re­quire ad­di­tional time. The mat­ter could re­turn some­time next month.

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