Board Rules

2017 Rules Governing the Midland County Board of Commissioners
1

At the first business week following January 1st of each year, the County Clerk or a Deputy County Clerk shall convene the first session of the Midland County Board, at which time a Chairperson of the Board shall be elected.  After the duly elected Chairperson takes office, a Vice-Chairperson shall be elected (Chairperson by signed written ballot if requested).  Both shall continue in office until their successors are chosen or removed from office for any legitimate reason.

2

The Chairperson of the Board shall appoint a Committee on Organization, consisting of not less than four (4) members, including the Chairperson, to name the Standing Committees and their Committee assignments and areas of responsibility.  The Committee will submit the report and their recommendations to the Board for approval by a majority vote of the Commissioners present.  The Chairperson of the Board shall act as Chairperson of the Committee.

3

The Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees, but shall not be allowed to vote as an ex-officio member of a Standing Committee of the Board, unless at least one Standing Committee member is absent and the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners has been asked by the Standing Committee Chairperson to fill the temporary vacancy.

4

The Chairperson shall take the chair at the hour to which the Board is convened and call the members to order on the appearance of a quorum.  The Chairperson shall preserve order and decorum and shall decide all questions of order, using the advice of the parliamentarian, subject to an appeal to the Board of the Whole.  During absences of both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson at a properly called meeting, the Chairperson of the Administration and Operations Committee shall preside at the Board Meeting.  The Chairperson of the Finance Committee shall preside in the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson if the Vice-Chairperson also serving as Chairperson of the Administrations and Operations Committee.

In the event of death, resignation or removal from office of the chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson will assume the office of chairperson for the remainder of that current term.  The Chairperson of the Administration and Operations Committee will assume the Vice-chairpersonship for the remainder of that current term.  Additionally, at the discretion of the Chairperson a special reorganization session may be called to fill any vacancies.

5

When the Midland County Emergency Operations Plan is in effect, in the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, the Chairperson of the Administration and Operations Committee shall preside (if the Vice-Chairperson and the Chair of the Administration and Operations Committee hold both the Chair of the Administration and Operations Committee and Vice-Chairperson positions the Vice-Chairperson of the Administration and Operations Committee will preside).  The commissioner representative in the Emergency Operations Center shall notify the remaining commissioners of the existing situation as soon as practical and keep commissioners informed of changes in the situation as events demand.

6

When a question is put by the Chair, every member present shall vote thereon.  All votes on resolutions, contracts and policies shall be by roll call vote.  Any member may request a roll call vote on any question. (Except as noted hereon.)

7

Each committee report to the Board shall state, the reason for the Request, Petition or Communication and the committee recommendation.

8

Standing Committee Chairs may recommend that their Committee Reports be placed on a "Consent Agenda."  The "Consent Agenda" shall contain routine and probable non-controversial items such as endorsements, no action needed, receive and file, minutes, etc.  Any commissioner may ask, and his/her request shall be granted, that a committee report be removed from the "Consent Agenda" and placed on the regular order of business for Board discussion.  The intent of providing a "Consent Agenda" is to expedite routine business items and provide an atmosphere conducive to concerned and detailed consideration of the most important public matters.

9

Recognizing that the Board of Commissioners is primarily a policy making body, all requests and petitions and communications affecting policy, budget, and appointments to Boards and Commissions shall be directed to the Chairperson and the Administrative Assistant for the referral to the appropriate standing committee.  All others shall be directed to the Administrator/Controller for action.

10

Each member of the Board of Commissioners shall be furnished, prior to the meeting, a written copy of each Resolution or Committee Report on the Agenda for that meeting, copies of all Requests, Petitions and Communications and a listing of Unfinished Business.

All Requests, Petitions and Communications; and all Committee Reports and Resolutions shall be submitted to the Administrative Assistant of the Board, Wednesday prior to 4:00 p.m., or three (3) working days prior to the regularly scheduled Board Meeting.  All communications received after the above time will be submitted to the Board at the next regular session of the Board unless the communication is of an urgent nature and shall be at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Board.

11

 Order of Business: Each Regular Scheduled Board Meeting or Special Meeting will be an adjourned meeting, whose order of business shall be as follows:

Regular Board Sessions

Call Meeting to Order
Roll Call
Invocation
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Previous Minutes
Claims and Accounts
Special Program of the Day
Public Comment
Consent Agenda
Standing Committee Reports / Resolutions - Public Comment
Requests, Petitions & Communications
Old Business - (Unfinished Business)
New Business
Commissioners Comments
Meeting(s) Schedule
Recess or Adjournment

Executive Committee of the Whole

Call Meeting to Order
Roll Call
Administrator/Controller Report
Civil Counsel Report
Commissioners - update Boards and Commissions
Commissioners Comments
Recess or Adjournment

Special Meeting Agenda

Call Meeting to Order
Roll Call
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Public Comment
Standing Committee Report
RPC
Old Business
New Business
Recess or Adjournment

12

The Board of Commissioners meeting will provide the following two occasions to receive public comments:

The first shall take place after the agenda item has been introduced by motion of a commissioner, other than the Chairperson of the Board, prior to either discussion of approval of the Consent Agenda, and will be limited to item(s) that are proposed to be on the Consent Agenda or item(s) of county business that are not on the regular agenda for discussion.  All Standing Committee Reports/Resolutions marked with an asterisk (*) are considered to be routine and probable non-controversial items and will be enacted by one motion.  There will be no separate consideration of these items unless a commissioner requests a Report(s)/Resolution(s) be removed from the "Consent Agenda" and his/her request shall be granted and placed on the regular order of business for Board discussion.  Chairperson shall call for public comment(s) before approval of the "Consent Agenda" limited to any of the "Consent Agenda" Reports/Resolutions or county business not on the regular agenda.  Commissioners may not respond directly to Public Comments made during the first Public Comment period. 

The second occasion for Public Comment shall take place prior to discussion of the commissioners of each item on the regular agenda. Each speaker shall have one opportunity to speak on each agenda item.  Order preference shall be given to those who have not spoken previously.

During the Public Comment portions of any regular meetings, any person may be allowed to address the Board by indicating name and address for the record and stating the subject they wish to address the Board of Commissioners. Each speaker’s comments shall be limited to three minutes in each item(s) and the Parliamentarian will be the timekeeper.

13

The Clerk shall rotate roll call votes calling the roll by numerical districts on a sequential basis with the Chairperson voting last.  All roll calls shall be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings.

14

Each Resolution and Committee Report shall be in writing.  Each motion except to adjourn, postpone or commit, shall be reduced to writing.  Each Commissioner is entitled to a copy of any motion prior to roll call.  If the written Resolution, Motion or Committee Report is amended, or changed during discussion, the Standing Committee Chairperson or designee must approve the amendment and restate the question being voted on.  Major Amendments must be in writing. Committee reports need not be seconded.

15

A Motion to Table, Postpone, Commit, Recess or Adjourn, shall always be in order and shall be decided on without debate, and shall not require a second.

16

When a member wishes to speak, he/she shall address the Chairperson from their chair by raising their hand and be recognized by the Chairperson.  When two or more members shall request the floor, the Chairperson shall decide who shall speak first.

17

If a Commissioner has a question about a committee report the questions will be directed first to the Committee Chair.

18

 If a Commissioner wishes to have a person, other than a member of the Board of Commissioners, address a committee report or other matter under discussion, they shall so inform the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners of their wishes.  The Standing Committees of the Midland Board of Commissioners are:  The Administration and Operations Committee, Finance Committee and the Human Services Committee.

19

Each Commissioner will be allotted one opportunity to speak up to three (3) minutes at the end of the board session.  Any additional comments from the Commissioners to be approved by the Board Chairperson.

20

The following exception to the Order of Business of a Regular Board Session or a Special Meeting Agenda will be: 

When a closed session has been called after the Board of Commissioners has already taken up item(s) business under Requests, Petitions and Communications, Old Business, and New Business, and if a motion is made after the Board returns to open session from the closed session, any of these item(s) of business will be allowed to be brought up again.  It is at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Board as to when the board will consider entering into the closed session.

21

Each Standing Committee shall consist of three (3) members.  The Chairperson of the Committee may appoint any Commissioner, including the Chairperson of the Board, as a temporary member of the Committee to fill any temporary committee vacancies.

The Chairperson of a Standing Committee, or if unavailable, the Vice-Chairperson of that committee, may determine if a regular or emergency meeting of that Standing Committee is necessary.  In the event both the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee are unable to attend a necessary meeting, The Chairperson of the Board may chair the Standing Committee meeting and/or appoint a replacement for one or both of the absent member’s seats for that meeting.

All Standing Committee Chairpersons shall be authorized to set date, time and location of all meetings and determine if meeting(s) will be televised or recorded by county staff, order agendas, call and chair meetings on subjects assigned to their Committee by the Administrative Assistant of the Board based on advice of the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners. 

The Chairperson of a Standing Committee shall have the responsibility to notify each member of that committee of any meeting cancellation, rescheduling of meeting, time change, or of a special committee meeting to be called.

The Chairperson of a Standing Committee shall be responsible for notification of any departments or interested party as to when the Committee has scheduled discussion of matters affecting them.

All Requests, Petitions and Communications shall be submitted to the Administrative Assistant of the Board, by the deadlines listed for each Standing Committee as outlined below:

Administration and Operations Committee: Thursday, three (3) working days prior to the regularly scheduled Standing Committee Meeting.

Finance Committee: Wednesday, three (3) working days prior to the regularly scheduled Standing Committee Meeting.

Human Services Committee: Tuesday,  three (3) working days prior to the regularly scheduled Standing Committee Meeting.

All Requests, Petitions and Communications received after the aforementioned deadlines will be submitted to the Standing Committee at the next regularly scheduled Standing Committee Meeting unless they are of an urgent nature with verifiable evidence of a required deadline; only then it shall be submitted to the Standing Committee at discretion of the Chairperson of the Standing Committee.

Each Standing Committee may go into closed session by majority vote and may invite other individuals to remain as required and/or appropriate to conduct the business at hand.  However, no more than three (3) commissioners may be present at that closed portion of the meeting.  All recommendations/motions to the Board must be made during an open committee meeting.

Each Standing Committee will be responsible for formulating and regularly reviewing County Policy for those County Functions as shown in the "Assignment of County Functions.”

Agendas and minutes of all meetings must be prepared and filed with the Board of Commissioners' Administrative Assistant.  Committee Reports coming to the Board must be in writing and signed by at least two (2) members. 

22

The Executive Committee of the Whole shall be responsible for:  advice and counsel for the Administrator/Controller, providing liaison between the Administrator/Controller and the Board of Commissioners.  It shall be comprised of the Committee of the Whole.  The Executive Committee of the Whole will not be allowed to enter into closed session.  No committee reports will be allowed from the Executive Committee of the Whole.  Succession for chairing the Executive Committee of the Whole meeting will follow that of the Committee of the Whole (#24).

Commissioners wishing to give an update on outside Boards and Commissions may do so after the Administrator/Controller’s and Civil Counsel’s reports are completed.

23

The Board of Commissioners will decide if there will be night sessions and if so the night sessions will adjourn by 8:30 p.m. unless a majority of the members present vote to continue.  If Board business is not completed, said meeting shall be recessed to the following day at an agreed upon time.

24

There shall be a Committee of the Whole consisting of all seven (7) members of the Board.  The Committee shall consider all Requests, Petitions, Communications, and any other matters deemed appropriate as directed by the Chair of the Board with the actions or motions recorded in the minutes of the Committee of the Whole.  The Vice-Chairman shall assume Chairmanship of said Committee of the Whole meetings.  In the absence of the Vice Chairman, the line of succession to Chair Committee of the Whole meetings will be, next the Administration and Operations Committee Chair, next the Finance Committee Chair, and lastly the Human Services Committee Chair.  If the Vice-Chairperson simultaneously serves also as Chair of a Committee the level of succession will be so altered.  Upon completion of discussion, only motions to refer to an organized committee of the Board of Commissioners, or motions to refer to the Board of Commissioners, or to postpone indefinitely, shall be allowed.

25

The Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners is authorized to execute and affix his/her signature to all documents identified in MCL 46.3(5).  In the absence of the Chairperson or when the Chairperson is unable to act because of the reasons set forth in MCL 46.3(5), the Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners is hereby designated to execute the responsibilities described therein.

26

The Board will comply with all aspects of the "Open Meetings Act" and the "Freedom of Information Act."  Questions not covered by the above rules or adopted as Board of Commissioners' Resolutions, will be determined by consulting "Roberts Rules of Order," Revised Michigan Statutes or County’s Civil Counsel.

27

Notice to Board Members of Special Meetings

The Board of Commissioners may meet in special session on the written petition to the county clerk signed by one-third or more of the members.  The petition of a special meeting shall specify the time, date, place and purpose of the meeting.  Upon receipt of the request, the county clerk shall immediately give notice to each member of the board of commissioners via writing notice placed in the traditional mailbox assigned to each commissioner (office mail box), written notice via U.S. Postal Mail, telephone, facsimile, in person or Electronic mail (email, delivered to the email address assigned to the commissioners by the county), and will post the special meeting agenda indicating the date, time, and place.  The notice requires an 18-hour advance notice to the public, as required by 1976 PA 267, and at least 10-days notice before the meeting to each commissioner. (MCL 46.10)

The Chairperson, as an alternate means of calling meetings other than the regularly scheduled meetings, the chairperson of the board of commissioners, may convene a meeting of the board upon his/her discretion (MCL 46.1)

1/3/17 Board of Commissioners revised