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Municipal register : containing rules and orders of the City Council, the city charter and recent ordinances, and a list of the officers of the City of Boston, for .. (Volume 1896) online

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referred to the standing committee on elections, which shall consist of
five members.

Rule 10. There shall be a standing committee on judiciary,
consisting of five members, who shall have the power to obtain the
opinion of the corporation counsel on all matters that shall be referred
to them. Also a standing committee on contingent expenses, consisting
of three members, who shall audit monthly all bills charged to the con-
tingent fund of the common council, such audit to be completed on or
before the twenty-fifth day of the month.

Rule 11. All committees of this council shall be notified of their
meetings by the clerk of committees. They shall not sit during ses-
sions of the council without special leave, nor be called on less notice
than twenty-four hours from the time the notices are mailed by the



RULES OP THE COMMON COUNCIL. 83

clerk or despatched by special messenger, unless all the members consent ;
and they shall keep a record of their doings. The member first named
shall be chairman, unless otherwise ordered by the committee, in which
case the council shall be notified of the change ; and the same rule
shall apply to the members sarving on joint committees.

The absence of a member from three successive, duly called meetings
of any committee, except on account of sickness or absence from the
city, proved to the satisfaction of the president, shall be deemed a resig-
nation on the part of such member from such committee, and the vacancy
caused by the resignation shall be filled by the pi*esident at the next
meeting of the council.

The clerk of committees shall report at each meeting of the council
all resignations effected by the preceding clause.

Rule 12. Special committees of the council shall consist of three
members, unless otherwise ordered. All orders for the appointment of
such committees shall be assigned for one week.

Rule 18. No report of any committee shall be received, unless
agreed to by such committee at a duly notified meeting thereof. Such
report, when presented, may be ordered to be printed, and shall then
take its place among the unfinished business for consideration at the
next meeting.

Rule 14. Committees to whom any matter is referred shall report
within four weeks, or ask further time.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE.

Rule 15. When the council shall determine to go into a committee
of the whole, the president shall appoint the member who shall take
the chair.

Rule 16 . The rules of proceedings in the council shall be observed
in the committee of the whole, so far as they are applicable ; but the
previous question shall not be moved, and a motion to rise, report
progress, and ask leave to sit again shall be first in order, and shall
be decided without debate.

ORDER OF BUSINESS.

Rule 17. At every meeting of the council the order of business
shall be as follows :

First. Reading of the records of the preceding meeting, if called
for by any member.

Second. Message from his honor the mayor, reports of city officers,
and other communications addressed to the council.

Third. Papers from the board of aldermen.

Fourth. Reports of committee on finance.

Fifth. Reports of committees, which shall be called for by divisions
in numerical order.



84 MUNICIPAL REGISTER.

Sixth. Motions, orders, and resolutions. They shall be read once,
and referred to their appropriate committees or assigned to the next
meeting, unless the rules are suspended, in which case they may be
given a second reading and passed.

Seventh. Unfinished business of preceding meetings.

Eighth. Notices of motions for reconsideration.

Ninth. Motions, orders, and resolutions, which shall take the same
course as provided in the sixth section of this rule.

Provided, however, that not more than thirty minutes shall be allowed
for the presentation of papers under the sixth order of business. Papers
shall be called for by divisions in numerical order, and only one mem-
ber in a division shall be recognized until each division has been called.

Rule 18. All papers addressed to the council shall be presented
by the president or by a member ; and unless the council shall other-
wise determine, they shall be read by the president or such other
person as he may request, and be taken up in the order in which they
are presented.

Rule 19. All ordinances, orders, and resolutions shall, unless re-
jected, have two several readings, after each of which debate shall be
in order, and they shall then be put on their passage. Whenever the
second reading immediately follows the first, the document may be
read by its title only, unless objection is made.

Rule 20. No ordinance and no order or resolution imposing penal-
ties, or authorizing a loan or the expenditure of money, shall have
more than one reading on the same day ; but this rule shall not apply
to an order to print a document or to provide i*efreshments during a
session.

MOTIONS.

Rule 21. Every motion shall be reduced to writing if the president
shall so direct, and no other motion shall be entertained until a reason-
able time be afforded for compliance with such direction.

Rule 22. In naming sums and fixing times the largest sum and
longest time shall first be put to the question.

Rule 23. When a question is under debate, the president shall re-
ceive any of the following motions, but no others :

1. To adjourn.

2. To lay on the table.

3. To especially assign to a time certain.

4. To refer to a committee.

5. The previous question.



KULES OF THE COMMON COUNCIL. 85

6. To close debate at a specified time.

7. To amend.

8. To refer to another board.

9. To postpone indefinitely.

These several motions shall not be applied to each other, except that
the motion to assign, refer, amend, or to close debate at a specified
time may be amended ; and the previous question may be demanded
upon an amendment, which motion shall be decided without debate.
When one of these motions has been made, none of the others inferior
to it in precedence shall be made, and in proceeding to vote, motions
pending shall be put in the order of their rank, as above arranged.
No motion or proposition of a subject different from that under con-
sideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.

Rule 24. When a matter has been especially assigned to be taken
up at a fixed hour or at a certain stage of proceedings, such matter
shall, at the time appointed or at anytime subsequent thereto, during
the same or succeeding meetings, be in order upon the call of any
member, and take precedence of all other business.

Rule 25. When an order or resolution relates to a subject which
may properly be examined and reported upon by an existing committee
of the city council, such order or resolution shall, upon presentation, be
referred to such committee. When a motion is made to refer any
subject, and different committees are proposed, the motion shall be put
in the following order :

A standing committee of the council.
A special committee of the council.
A joint standing committee.
A joint special committee.

Rule 26. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order, provided
business of a nature to be recorded on the journal has been transacted
since a motion to adjourn was rejected; and such motion shall be
decided without debate.

Rule 27. Debate on a call for the previous question, or on a motion
to close debate at a specified time, or on a motion to lay on the table or
take from the table, shall not exceed ten minutes, and no member shall
speak more than three minutes. In such debate, however, the merits
of the main question shall not be discussed.

Rule 28. Any member may require the division of a question when
the sense will admit of it ; and any member may move at any time for
the suspension of any rule or rules.



86 MUNICIPAL REGISTER.

PREVIOUS QUESTION.

Rule 29. When the previous question is ordered, the vote shali be
taken upon all pending amendments, and finally upon the main
question.

Rule 30. All incidental questions of order arising after a motion is
made for the previous question shall be decided without debate, except
on an appeal; and on such an appeal, no member shall be allowed to
speak more than once without leave of the council.

Rule 31. The previous question shall be put in the following
form : " Shall the main question be now putt " and all debate upon the
main question shall be suspended until the previous question has been
decided.

APPEAL.

Rule 32. No appeal from the decision of the president shall be
entertained unless it is seconded ; and no other business shall be in
order till the question on the appeal has been decided. The question
shall be put as follows: "Shall the decision of the chair stand as the
judgment of the council 1 " And it shall be deemed to be decided in the
affirmative unless a majority of the votes given are to the contrary.

VOTING.

Rule 33. If the president is unable to decide or if any member
doubts a vote, the president shall cause a rising vote to be taken on the
question, without further debate. The president shall appoint two tell-
ers for each division of the council as fixed by him, who shall agree
on a count and report the result aloud to him.

Rule 34. A motion that any pending vote shall be taken by yeas
and nays shall be in order at any time, and no debate shall be allowed
thereon, but it shall be passed by the assent of one-fifth of the members
present. Every member present shall answer to his name, unless
excused before the vote is taken.

Rule 35. After the announcement of a vote not taken by yeas and
nays, any member may move for a verification thereof by yeas and
nays, and on such motion a debate of the original question not exceed-
ing five minutes shall be permitted ; and the yeas and nays shall be
taken, provided one-fifth of the members voting shall so require.

RECONSIDERATION.

Rule 36. When a vote has been passed, any member may move a
reconsideration thereof at the same meeting, either immediately after
the announcement of such vote or whenever motions are in order ; or
if any member who is not shown by a yea and nay vote to have voted
against the prevailing side shall give notice to the clerk, before ten



RULES OF THE COMMON" COUNCIL. 87

o'clock A.M. of the next day but one following that on which a meeting
was held (except the final meeting of the year, or that preceding any
adjournment for over two weeks), of his intention so to do, he may
move a reconsideration at the next meeting at which said motion is
reached in the order of proceedings.

Rule 37. Debate on motions to reconsider shall be limited to thirty
minutes, and no member shall speak more than five minutes. When-
ever a matter has been especially assigned, a notice, as above specified,
to reconsider any vote affecting it shall be considered whenever such
special assignment takes effect.

Rule 38. When a motion for reconsideration has been decided, that
decision shall not be reconsidered, and no question shall be twice
reconsidered unless it has been amended after the reconsideration ; nor
shall any reconsideration be had upon either of the following motions :

To adjourn.

The previous question.

To lay on the table.

To take from the table.

To close debate at a specified time.

RESCINDING VOTES.

Rule 39. After a vote has been refused a reconsideration, it shall not
be rescinded unless two-thirds of the whole number of the members of
the common council vote in the affirmative.

ELECTIONS.

Rule 40. All officers receiving any compensation from the city of
Boston, who ai'e elected by the city council, shall be chosen in this
branch by ballot. In all elections by ballot the number of blanks cast
shall be reported. Ballots cast for ineligible persons shall be counted
and reported, but ontyfor the purpose of ascertaining the whole number
of ballots cast. If the person chosen is ineligible the ballot shall be
void, and a new ballot be taken.

seats of members.
Rule 41. No person except a member of the council shall be per-
mitted to occupy the seat of any member while the council is in session.
The seats of the members of the council shall be numbered, and shall
be determined, in the presence of the council, by drawing the names of
members and the number of the seats simultaneously ; and each mem-
ber shall be entitled for the year to the seat bearing the number so



88 MUNICIPAL REGISTER.

drawn against his name, and shall not change it except by the permis-
sion of the president.

SPECTATORS.

Rule 42. The city messenger shall allow no person upon the floor
of the council chamber or in either of the anterooms, except members
of the city government and reportei's, without the permission of the
president; and while the council is in session, no person except mem-
bers of the city government and reporters shall be allowed in either of
the anterooms on the easterly side. The president shall order such ac-
commodations on the floor for reporters and spectators as he shall deem
proper ; provided, hoivever, that no spectators shall be seated behind the
members of the council.

Rule 43. The council chamber shall be used for meetings of the
council only, unless by special vote of the common council; pro-
vided, that during the summer recess the president may allow the
chamber to be used for public purposes, in all cases importing his ac-
tion to the council at its next meeting. The anteroom and large com-
mittee-room on the east shall be subject to the same rules, except that
the president may allow committee-meetings to be held therein at times
when the council is not in session. The clerk's room shall be assigned
to the clerk of the common council for occupancy and use. The ante-
room between the council chamber and the clerk's room shall be used
during the meetings of the council to give access to the seats on the
floor, and for such other purposes as the president may direct ; provided,
that smoking there shall not be allowed on the part of visitors. The
general care and supervision of these rooms are hereby intrusted to the
city messenger, subject to the direction of the president ; but no expen-
diture of money shall be made except by direct vote of the common

council.

REFRESHMENTS and carriage-hire.

Rule 44. No bill for refreshments or carriage-hire shall be incurred
by any member of the common council, except in the discharge of offi-
cial duty. All such bills shall be presented within three months of the
date of incurring the same, and shall be charged to the contingent fund
of the common council. Before presentation to the city auditor the city
messenger shall cause such bills to be duly certified to by the members
incurring them, and they shall be audited by the committee on con-
tingent expenses, as provided in Rule 10.

No member of any special committee shall incur any bill for refresh-
ments or carriage-hire after the expiration of the four weeks allowed in
Rule 14, or such further time, not exceeding four weeks, as the council
may allow the committee for a report.

No member of a committee or sub-committee shall incur any bill for



JOINT RULES OF THE CITY COUNCIL. 89

refreshments until he has received from the clerk of committees a
voucher, certifying that he has responded to a call for a meeting of such
committee or sub-committee : and the said clerk shall obtain and verify
all such refreshment bills in accordance with the vouchers so furnished.

Whenever a committee vote to use carriages in transacting their busi-
ness, the chairman shall designate the number of carriages to be en-
gaged ; provided, however, that sub-committees shall be allowed the use
of but one carriage in the performance of the duty assigned them.

All carriages shall be hired through the city messenger, who shall
obtain and verify the bills within twenty days from the date when they
were incurred, and the clerk of committees shall furnish to the city
messenger a coj>y of the vote, in each case, authorizing the use of such
carriages. When the common council is in session at eleven P.M., the
city messenger is directed to provide carriages to convey members and
officials to their respective homes, if they so desire. The president is
hereby authorized to incur bills for refreshments or carriage-hire while
in the discharge of his official duties. The prices paid for all carriages
hired under this rule shall be in conformity with the rates established by
the board of police.

The city auditor shall report in print to the common council every
three months the bills and expenditures from the contingent fund and
the amount remaining unexpended.

PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICE.

Rule 45. The rule's of parliamentary practice as contained in Cush-
ing's "Law and Practice of Legislative Assemblies" shall govern this
council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are
not inconsistent with these rules or the joint rules of the city council.

REPEAL.

Rule 46. The foregoing rules shall not be altered, amended, sus-
pended, or repealed, at any time, except by the votes of two-thirds of
the members of the common council present and voting thereon.



JOINT RULES AND ORDERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL.



JOINT STANDING COMMITTEES.

Rule 1. There shall be appointed at the commencement of the
municipal year the following joint standing committees, the members
of which shall be appointed by the respective branches in such manner
as they may determine. Said committees shall respectively examine,
as often as they deem necessary, the accounts of public moneys re-



90 MUNICIPAL REGISTER.

ceived and expended by the several departments. To the said com-
mittees severally shall be referred all estimates and applications for
appropriations of, and orders for expenditures by, the respective de-
partments. Each of said committees to consist of three aldermen and
five councilmen, namely :

1. A committee on the Assessing Department.

2. A committee on the Auditing Department.

3. A committee on the Building Department.

4 A committee on the City Clerk Department.

5. A committee on the City Messenger Department.

6. A committee on the Clerk of Committees Department.

7. A committee on the Collecting Department.

8. A committee on the Election Department.

9. A committee on the Engineering Department.

10. A committee on the Fire Department.

11. A committee on the Health Department.

12. A committee on the Hospital Department.

13. A committee on the Inspection of Vessels and Ballast Department.

14. A committee on the Institutions Department.

15. A committee on the Lamp Department.

16. A committee on the Law Department.

17. A committee on the Library Department.

18. A committee on the Market Department.

19. A committee on the Mount Hope Cemetery Department.

20. A committee on the Overseeing of the Poor Department.

21. A committee on the Park Department.

22. A committee on the Public Buildings Department.

23. A committee on the Public Grounds Department.

24. A committee on the Registry Department.

25. A committee on the Sealing of Weights and Measures Depart-
ment.

26. A committee on the Street Department.

27. A committee on the Street Laying Out Department.

28. A committee on the Treasury Department.

29. A committee on the Water Department.

There shall also be appointed annually, in like manner, the following
joint standing committees to perform the duties assigned them :

1. A committee on Appropriations, to consist of the chairman and
seven members of the board of aldermen, and the president and seven
members of the common council, to whom shall be referred the esti-
mates of the departments prepared annually, and any suggestions
thereon from his honor the mayor. They shall report an order appro-



JOINT RULES OF THE CITY COUNCIL. 91

priating such sums as the) 7 deem necessary for the lawful public uses.
and setting forth in detail, as far as convenient, the purposes.

2. A committee on Claims, to consist of three aldermen and five
councilmen, to whom shall be referred all claims against the city
arising from the act or neglect of any of its departments. They
shall report monthly the number and nature of the claims awarded or
approved by them, and the amount of money awarded or paid in settle-
ment thereof.

3. A committee on the Contingent Expenses of the City Council, to
consist of three aldermen and five councilmen, to whom shall be re-
ferred all matters involving expenditures from any appropriation for
such purposes. They shall examine all bills and vouchers for expendi-
tures chargeable to such appropriation, and, if the same are correctly
certified to, shall authenticate them, if correct, by the signature of their
chairman, and send the same to the city auditor on or before the
twenty-fifth day of each month, to be paid as the bills of the several
departments are paid.

4. A committee on Finance, to consist of five members of the board
of aldermen, and the president and six other members of the common
council, to whom shall be referred all applications for expenditures
which involve a loan, or a transfer of any part of an appropriation
named in the general appropriation order, or from the reserved fund, as
provided in Rule 17.

5. A committee on Legislative Matters, to consist of three aldennen
and five councilmen, who shall, unless otherwise ordered, appear
before committees of the general court and represent the interests of the
city; provided, said committee shall not, unless directed so to do by the
city council, oppose any legislation petitioned for by the preceding city
council. It shall report in print to the city council all bills, resolves,
and petitions presented to the legislature affecting the city of Boston or
any department thereof. Such printed report shall be made at the next
meeting of either branch after such application is made, or earlier, at
the discretion of said committee.

6. A committee on Ordinances, to consist of the members of the
Committee on Law Department, to whom shall be referred all ordi-
nances introduced in either branch, or transmitted to them by vote of
any standing committee. Unless specially instructed, they shall pass
upon the question of the form and legality of the ordinance so re-
ferred, they may append an order that such ordinance " ought not
to pass," and give their reasons therefor, or report such ordinance in a
new draft. Such reports shall be made in not over two weeks from the
meeting at which the reference was ordered, or the ordinance received
from a committee.



92 MUNICIPAL REGISTER.

7. A committee on Police, to consist of three aldermen and five
councilmen, to whom shall be referred all matters relating to the police
department.

8. A committee on Printing, to consist of three aldermen and five
councilmen, who shall have the charge of all printing, advertising, or
publishing ordered by or for the city council, or either branch, as one
of its contingent or incidental expenses, and the supply of all stationery
or binding for the same purpose. The committee shall fix the number
of copies to be printed of any document printed as above, the minimum,
however, to be six hundred ; and they shall have the right to make rules
and regulations for the care, custody, and distribution of all documents,
books, pamphlets, and majis by the city messenger.

9. A committee on Public Lands, to consist of three aldermen and
five councilmen, to whom shall be referred all matters relating to public
lands.

10. A committee on Schools and School-houses, to consist of three
aldermen and five councilmen, to whom shall be referred matters relat-
ing to the public schools, and requests of the school committee for
additional school accommodations.

JOINT SPECIAL COMMITTEES.

Rule 2. Every joint special committee ordered by the city council
shall, unless otherwise provided in the order, be appointed in the man-
ner provided in Rule 1.

JOINT COMMITTEES.

Rule 3. The member of the board of aldermen first named on every
joint committee shall be its chairman ; and, in case of his resignation or
inability, the other members of the same board in the order designated
by the chairman of the board, and after them the members of the com-
mon council in the order named, shall act as chairman. The chairman
shall call meetings of the committee at his discretion, or at the written
request of a majority of the members.

Rule 4. Every joint committee shall cause records of their proceed-
ings to be kept in books provided for that purpose ; and at every meet-
ing of a committee the records of the previous meeting shall be i - ead,
unless otherwise ordered by the committee. In all such meetings of



Online LibraryBoston (Mass.)Municipal register : containing rules and orders of the City Council, the city charter and recent ordinances, and a list of the officers of the City of Boston, for .. (Volume 1896) → online text (page 2 of 24)