Rules of Procedure

Administrative Procedures

Section: City Council
Subject: City Council Rules of Procedure
Effective Date: Revised February 15, 2022 by Resolution 22-07
Procedure No.: 5

1.    Purpose

These rules implement Lake Oswego Charter Chapter IV Section 14(A), which requires adoption of rules to govern Council proceedings.

2.    Compliance with Oregon Public Meetings Law Required

All meetings of the City Council shall comply with the Oregon State Public Meetings Law (ORS 192.610 to 192.690), which is hereby incorporated by reference into these rules. 

3.    Types of Meetings

a.    Regular Meetings:  The Council shall hold a regular meeting at least twice per month.  The regular meeting shall be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month no later than 6:30 P.M. in the City Council Chambers, unless the Council cancels or reschedules the meeting.  If the regular meeting falls on a legal holiday, the meeting shall be convened at the same time and place on the next regular business day.  Notice of a regular meeting shall be given by:

i.     Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City;

ii.    Posting the meeting notice to the City’s website;

iii.   Providing the agenda and supporting material to members of the news media who request notice; and

iv.   Providing the agenda to other persons who request copies.

               [Charter Chapter IV Section 14(A); LOC 12.050.]

b.    Special Meetings:  Special Meetings may be called by the Mayor or three or more Councilors.  At least 24 hours written or verbal notice must be provided to the Council and to members of the news media and the public who have requested notice.  [Charter Chapter IV Section 14(A).]

c.     Emergency Meetings:  In the case of an actual emergency, an emergency meeting may be called by common consent of all available Councilors upon such notice as is appropriate to the circumstances.  The minutes of the emergency meeting shall describe the emergency justifying less than 24 hours notice.  [Charter Chapter IV Section 14(A).]

d.    Executive Sessions:  An executive session (a meeting closed to the public) may be held in accordance with the Public Meetings Law.  The Mayor may call any regular, special or emergency meeting into executive session by citing the specific provision of ORS 192.660 which authorizes the session.  Executive Sessions may also be separately scheduled pursuant to the requirements for special meetings.

i.     Attendance at Executive Sessions:  The Mayor shall determine which persons other than the Council shall attend an executive session.

ii.    Media Attendance:  Representatives of the news media shall be allowed to attend executive sessions except those called pursuant to ORS 192.660(1)(d) (deliberations with persons designated to carry on labor negotiations).  The Mayor shall instruct any media representatives present not to disclose the substance of any media representatives present not to disclose the substance of any discussion during executive session.

iii.   Final Decision Prohibited:  No final decision shall be made in executive session.  To make a final decision, the presiding officer shall either call the meeting into open session or place the decision on the agenda of a future open session.

e.    Study Sessions:  Any portion of a Council meeting, including special meetings, may be designated as a study session.  Typically a study session designation indicates that matters of substance will be discussed, but that final action will not be taken.  However, this designation does not prevent the Council from taking final action at the meeting if necessary or convenient.

4.    Agenda

a.    Setting the Agenda:  The Mayor shall determine the business to be placed on the Council meeting agenda.  Any Councilor may request that an element be placed on the Council Agenda.  A majority of the Council may direct that an element be placed on the agenda.  [Charter Chapter V Section 19].

b.    Delivery:  Promptly after it is developed, the agenda with any supporting materials shall be electronically available.

c.     Alteration of the Agenda:

i.        New matters:  Matters not on the printed agenda may come before the Council as determined by the Mayor or a majority of the Council.

ii.      Final Written Land Use Orders:  Any Councilor voting with the prevailing side on a tentative land use decision may continue consideration of the final written order to the next regular meeting.

d.    Order of Business:  The Mayor shall establish the order of business for all Council meetings. The Mayor shall have the right, with Council consent, to add or remove agenda elements, and to divide elements between the first and second regular meetings of the month. Agenda elements may include the following:

Call to Order.

Roll Call: If the roll has been taken for a regular meeting, there is no need to call for the roll to be taken again if during the same meeting the members of the City Council convene in their role as members of the Board of Directors of the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency.

Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda.

Presentations and Proclamations:  This agenda item is for the presentation of awards or special recognition to staff or citizens, and proclamations.

Public Comment:  The purpose of public comment is to allow members of the public to present information or raise an issue regarding items not on the agenda.  Unless altered by the Mayor, a time limit of three minutes per speaker shall apply.  The Council may accept the information, answer the question if simple, or refer the matter to the City Manager to route the question to the appropriate City Department for review and response.  If the matter is referred, the Council may request a written response or a report to Council at a future meeting.  Public comment shall not exceed thirty minutes unless revised by the Mayor. Written comments may also be submitted prior to the meeting via Copies of written comments and materials introduced during the meeting are to be handed to the City Recorder to deliver to the Council and submit to the record. If a speaker wishes to give an electronic presentation, the materials must be delivered to the City Recorder 24 hours prior to the meeting. For security purposes, the commenter's external electronic data device will not normally be permitted to be used. 

Public Hearings:  Written comments may be submitted prior to the meeting via Copies of written comments and materials introduced during the hearing are to be handed to the City Recorder to deliver to the Council and submit to the record. If a speaker wishes to give an electronic presentation, the materials must be delivered to the City Recorder 24-hours prior to the meeting. For security purposes, the public's external electronic data device will not normally be permitted to be used on City equipment for security purposes.

Consent Agenda: The purpose of the consent agenda is to expedite the Council meeting by grouping routine or uncontested items of business so that they may be approved by one motion.  The consent agenda may include any or all of the elements on the regular agenda, except as otherwise prohibited by law.  The Mayor  and City staff shall develop the consent agenda during agenda setting.  The Council by consensus may add any element of business on the regular agenda to the consent agenda.  Any Councilor may remove any element from the proposed consent agenda for individual consideration.  A vote in favor or opposed to a consent agenda is considered to be an affirmative or negative vote on each of the elements on the consent agenda.  Approval of a consent agenda containing the reading of an ordinance shall be followed by a reading of the ordinance title.

Element Pulled from Consent Agenda: This agenda element is reserved for consideration of items of business pulled from the Consent Agenda pursuant to Rule 4(d)(iv), above.

Information from Councilors:  This agenda element provides an opportunity for individual Councilors to provide information to the Council on matters not otherwise on the agenda.   Each Councilor will be given five minutes.  This agenda element shall not be used for matters requiring action by the Council.  Action items must be placed on the agenda pursuant to Rule 4(a) or 4(c), above.

Reports of City Officers.

Approval of Minutes:  Minutes may be approved without being read at the meeting if the Council members are given copies to review beforehand.  Minutes are generally approved as part of the Consent Agenda. 


5.    Conduct of the Meeting [Charter Chapter IV Section 17.]

a.    Quorum:  A majority of the members of the Council constitute a quorum for conducting business.  [Charter Chapter IV Section 15(A).]

b.    Presiding Officer:  The Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the Council. The Mayor shall preserve order and enforce the rules of the Council. In the absence of the Mayor, the Council President shall preside.  [Charter Chapter IV Sections 17 & 18.] 

i.        Absence of Mayor and Council President:  In the absence of the Mayor and the Council President, the Council shall elect a Councilor to serve as presiding officer as its first order of business.  Any Councilor may call a meeting to order for the purpose of electing a presiding officer.  [Charter Chapter IV Section 18.]

ii.       Temporary Substitution of Presiding Officer:  The Mayor may appoint a temporary presiding officer to cover his or her temporary absence from the meeting by handing the gavel to the Council President or, if the Council President is absent or serving as presiding officer, to any other Councilor.

          c.     Rules of Debate:

i.        Rules:  The principles set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, should be observed in the conduct of Council meetings.  However, strict adherence to the requirements of those rules is not required.  No action of the Council shall be in violation of this section for the reason that the action was not in conformance with Robert’s Rules of Order.  [LOC 12.02.010]

ii.       Participation:  The Mayor or any Councilor may move a question, second a motion, debate and vote. 

iii.      Motions:  A question is presented for decision by the Council by means of a motion. A motion shall precede discussion of a question.

A list of available motions and the rules for passage are set forth in attached Exhibit A.

A.      Friendly Amendment:  A formal motion to amend a main motion shall not be necessary if the proposed amendment is accepted by the maker and the second of the main motion.

B.      Withdrawing a Motion:  A motion may be withdrawn prior to a vote by the maker of the motion.

C.      Reconsideration:  A motion to reconsider any action by the Council may be made during the same meeting at which the action was taken.  A motion to reconsider must be made by a Councilor that voted with the prevailing side, but may be seconded by any member.

D.      Repeal:  Except as provided below, any action of the Council may be repealed.  A motion to repeal may be offered at any meeting following the meeting at which the subject action was taken.  The motion must be made by a Councilor who voted with the prevailing side, but may be seconded by any member.  A motion to repeal shall be passed by a two-thirds vote of members present and eligible to vote, unless notice has been given of the intent to offer the motion.  If notice of intent is published on the printed agenda, a motion to repeal shall be passed by a majority of members present and eligible to vote.  Notice of intent shall be placed on the agenda on one occasion upon the request of any Councilor who voted with the prevailing side. Notice of intent shall not be placed on the agenda on subsequent occasions unless pursuant to Rule 4(a) or 4(c).  The following actions may not be repealed:

1.         An action that can be reached by a motion to reconsider.

2.         An executed contract or agreement.

3.         A final written land use decision, unless the motion is made within 21 days of approval and specifies one or more reasons why the findings in favor of the decision are incorrect.

4.         An action which either legally or by its nature cannot be undone.

iv.       Discussion:  Following a motion the Mayor shall call on Councilors for discussion according to their requests for recognition.  The moving Councilor shall have the privilege of final comment on the motion.  Councilors shall limit their discussion to five minutes each. This time limit may be expanded at the discretion of the Mayor.

v.        Preservation of Order:  The Mayor shall preserver order and decorum, discourage personal attacks, and confine Council debate to the question under discussion.   The Mayor may eject from the meeting any person in attendance, including any Councilor, who becomes disorderly, abusive, or disruptive, or who fails or refuses to obey a ruling of the Mayor regarding a matter of order or procedure.  The Mayor may summon the assistance of the Lake Oswego Police to assist in maintaining order.  [Charter Chapter IV Section 17.] – See Section 9

vi.      Points of Order:  Any Councilor may request a ruling from the Mayor regarding procedure or preservation of order by calling for a point of order.  The Mayor shall determine the point of order, subject to appeal by any Councilor.  An appeal shall be decided by majority vote.  [LOC 12.02.010.]

6.    Voting

a.   Method of Voting:  The vote on any question shall be taken by voice or by roll call vote.  The vote shall be taken by roll call at the direction of the Mayor or at the request of any Councilor.  The minutes shall reflect the vote of each Councilor by name. [Charter Chapter IV Section 16.]

b.    Order of Voting:  At the first meeting of each year, the Mayor shall assign a seat on the dais to each Councilor, except that the Mayor shall sit in the center seat and the Council President shall sit directly to the Mayor's left.  For roll call votes, the Mayor shall vote first, followed by Councilors’ votes called in order of chair position, from the Mayor's right to the Mayor's left.  The order of voting shall be rotated each meeting so that each Councilor has an equal opportunity to vote second and last. No rotation shall occur in any week that no Council meeting is held.  The voting order of a meeting shall not change when the meeting is continued to a different week.   [LOC 12.015.]

c.     Vote Required to Decide a Question:  Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the concurrence of a majority of the members present and eligible to vote is necessary to decide a question.  No question may be decided with fewer than three affirmative votes, however, unless three or fewer members are eligible to vote on the question.  In this event, the question may only be approved by a unanimous vote of those eligible to vote at two consecutive regular City Council meetings.  The composition of the membership voting need not be the same at both meetings.  [Charter Chapter IV Section 15.]

d.    Abstention:  Abstentions are discouraged. For the purposes of Rule 6(c) above, an abstention shall not be considered an affirmative vote. Councilors who have a conflict of interest or a disqualifying bias should decline to participate rather than abstaining (See Rule 7, below).

7.    Conflict of Interest/Bias/Ex-Parte Contact

a.    Conflict of Interest:  Prior to participating in any decision, a Councilor shall declare any potential conflict of interest.  No Councilor shall participate in any manner regarding an agenda item if doing so would create an actual conflict of interest.

i.        "Potential Conflict of Interest" means any action by a councilor which would be to the private pecuniary benefit or detriment of the Councilor or a member of the Councilor's household, or a business with which the Councilor or member of the Councilor's household is associated.  "Potential conflict of interest" does not include pecuniary affects arising out of:

ii     Membership in a particular occupation or class required by law as a prerequisite to holding the office of Councilor; or

iii    An action which would affect to the same degree a class consisting of an industry, occupation, or other group to which the Councilor or a member of the Councilor's household belongs.

b.    Bias:  No Councilor shall participate in any manner in a quasi-judicial decision if the Councilor has actual bias regarding the decision.

i.     "Quasi-judicial decision" means a decision involving the application of existing criteria to identified persons or properties.

ii.    "Actual Bias" means prejudice or prejudgment of facts to such a degree that a Councilor is incapable of rendering an objective decision on the merits of the case.

c.     Ex-Parte Contact:  Before participating in any quasi-judicial decision, a councilor shall declare any ex-parte contacts.  An ex-parte contact is an oral or written communication with a member of the Council regarding the merits of the case made outside of the public hearing process during the pendency of a proceeding.  (Communication with staff is not an ex-parte contact).  Effective declaration of an ex-parte contact shall include identification of the party and disclosure of the nature of the communication.

8.    Council Subcommittees

The Mayor, with Council consent, has the power to appoint Council subcommittees.  A subcommittee shall have whatever duties and shall serve for any duration the Mayor and the Council deem appropriate.  Such subcommittees may be standing or ad hoc committees.  Each Council subcommittee shall comply with the Council Rules of Procedure, subject to the following exceptions and additions.

a.    Presiding OfficerAs its first order of business, each Council subcommittee shall elect a Chair to serve as presiding officer.

b.    Meetings:  The subcommittee may adopt a regular meeting time, or the Chair may call special meetings, as the subcommittee deems appropriate.

c.     Order of BusinessThe Chair shall determine the agenda and the order of business to come before the subcommittee, subject to the right of a majority of the subcommittee to alter the agenda or order of business.

d.    Approval of Minutes:  The Chair shall approve the minutes by signing and distributing the minutes to the members of the subcommittee.  Any member of the committee shall have the right to request amendments to the minutes at the next regular subcommittee or full Council meeting that occurs following distribution of the minutes.

9.     Council Vacancy Procedure

In the event of a vacancy on the Council, that does not occur 90 days or more prior to a general election, the following recruitment and appointment process will be observed:

a.  Mayoral Appointment: in the event of a mayoral vacancy, the remaining members of Council will first consider appointing a current member of the Council to the position. If no member of the Council desires to be considered for the position, the recruitment and appointment process for the Mayor will follow the vacancy procedure outlined below.

b.  Recruitment Processnotice of the recruitment will be advertised through the use of the City website, available City publications, and the local newspaper.

c.  Application Process:  candidates will be invited to complete an application similar to the application used for Board and Commission recruitments (including all standard board and commission application questions). Applicants will be given the option to include a cover letter and resume. The Council may identify supplemental questions in advance to be included with the standard Boards and Commission questions.

d.  Interview Process: all applicants will be invited to be interviewed for the available position, unless ten or more applications are received.

i.  If ten or more applications are received, the Council will discuss the desirability of screening the applications and narrowing the interview list to the top candidates based on their written applications.

a)  If the Council opts to narrow the list, a motion and a vote may be held for the Mayor to appoint a 3-member Council subcommittee to review the applications and recommend a list of candidates for the entire Council to interview.

ii.  Applications from those selected to interview will be published with the Council meeting packet.

iii.  Candidates will be interviewed separately; those waiting for interviews will be asked to remain outside the room.

iv.  All candidates will be asked the same interview questions; follow-up questions to clarify answers are permitted.

e.  Voting process: after the conclusion of interviews the Council will vote using the process outlined below:

i.  Each member of Council will complete a ballot ranking the candidates in order of their preference for first, second, and third choice. Under-voting is not permitted. The ballots are tabulated. If one candidate receives a majority of first choice votes, they are instantly the winner.

ii.  If no candidate receives a majority of first choice votes a second ballot will be held. The top three vote-getters according to the preferences listed on the ballots advance to the second ballot; the candidate(s) who received the fewest first choice votes are eliminated. For the second ballot, each member of Council will vote for their first and second choice candidate. If one candidate receives a majority of first choice votes on the second ballot, they are instantly the winner.

iii.  If no candidate receives a majority of first choice votes in the second ballot round, the top two vote getters will advance to a third and final ballot. For the third ballot, each member of Council will vote for their first choice candidate. If one candidate receives the majority of votes on the third ballot, they are instantly the winner.

iv.  If there is a tie after three ballots, a drawing of lots will be held for the winner.

At the conclusion of balloting or the drawing of lots, the Council will then make a motion and hold a vote to appoint the final candidate to the vacant position.

[Adopted October 15, 1991, Resolution R-91-50; Amended December 3, 1991, Resolution R-91-59; Amended July 7, 1992, Resolution 92-32; Amended February 2, 1993, Resolution 93-13. Amended January 16, 2001; Resolution 01-02, Amended February 7, 2006, Resolution 09-02; Amended March 2, 2010, Resolution 10-16; Amended November 18, 2014, Resolution 14-64, Amended June 7, 2016, Resolution 16-32, Amended February 15, 2022, Resolution 22-07.]

Exhibit A - List of Motions


To Do Council Member Says May You Interrupt a Speaker Must you be Seconded Is the motion debatable Vote Required
Introduce business (a main motion) "I move that..." NO Yes Yes Majority
Amend a motion "I move to amend this motion" No Yes Yes Majority
Divide the motion into parts for a separate vote "I move the question be divided..." No Yes Yes Majority
Suspend further consideration of something * "I move that we table this matter" No Yes No Majority
Take up a matter previously tabled * "I move to take from the table..." No Yes No Majority
Postpone consideration of something "I move we postpone this matter until..." No Yes No Majority
Have something studied further "I move we refer this to..." No Yes Yes Majority
End debate "I move the previous question" No Yes No 2/3 vote
Adjourn the meeting * "I move that we adjourn" No Yes No Majority
Recess the meeting "I move that we recess until..." No Yes No Majority
Complain about noise, room temperature, etc. * "Point of privilege" Yes No No No vote
Object to procedure or to personal affront * "Point of order" Yes No No No vote, chair decides
Request information * "Point of information" Yes No No No vote
Object to considering some matter * "I object to consideration of this" Yes No No 2/3 vote
Reconsider something already disposed of * "I move we reconsider action on..." Yes Yes Yes Majority
Consider something not in scheduled order * "I move we suspend the rules and..." No Yes No Majority
Vote on a ruling by the presiding officer "I appeal the presiding officer's decision" Yes Yes Yes Majority

* Not Amendable

[Adopted October 15, 1991, Resolution R-91-50; Amended December 3, 1991, Resolution R-91-59; Amended July 7, 1992, Resolution 92-32; Amended February 2, 1993, Resolution 93-13; Amended January 16, 2001, Resolution 01-02; Amended January 20, 2009, Resolution 09-02; Amended March 2, 2010, Resolution 10-16.]