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Town Council Meeting Procedures
Meetings of the Holly Springs Town Council should be likened to a business meeting of a large corporation which has as a bottom line, not profits, but the public service and preservation of a public trust. While the Holly Springs Town Council strives to foster a non-intimidating and welcoming atmosphere for the public audience, it also strives to maintain a sense of business and meeting decorum in which it can work effectively for the good of the Town as a whole.
Under the charter, the mayor is the presiding officer, and in the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tempore. Neither general statutes nor the charter provide for a presiding officer in the absence of both the mayor and the mayor pro tempore. Local custom, however, would permit the council to select a chair pro tempore from the quorum of four remaining members present for this purpose.
The Town of Holly Springs Charter states that the mayor shall have the right to vote only when there is an equal division on any question or matter before the council.
Four members of the council are necessary for a quorum. While the Mayor is counted in determining the number of members that equal a quorum of the council, the mayor does not need to be present in order to establish a quorum (i.e. any four members of the council constitute a quorum.) Each council member is asked to notify the mayor if he or she will be absent, whenever such notice is possible. Absences are not deemed “excused” or “unexcused” unless a member has initially arrived for the meeting and then leaves after it is called to order.
Prior to discussion of each item on the agenda, the presiding officer may call upon the town manager or such other appropriate person for the purpose of background presentation of the business to be discussed. Such presentation is not necessary for action to be taken, however. Presentations generally are given for the benefit of the audience, since key points and full explanation of each item is included in agenda packets.
It is adopted procedure of the Holly Springs Town Council that discussion on an item may be held at any point during the item. Council members are free to ask questions or provide comments at any time, however, it is most appropriate to await the mayor’s invitation to speak. The practice of the council has been to discuss an item on the agenda prior to a motions being made. Persons other than the mayor and council members may enter into discussion on a matter only by ruling of the chair. As with all rulings by the chair, this decision may be overridden by a majority of the council.
Public Participation in Agenda Items
Town Council meetings are open to the public, but the public has no expressed right to participate in council deliberations. Recognizing, however, that they are conducting the business of the public, members of the Holly Springs Town Council may allow citizens who wish to speak on matters on the agenda to do so. Citizens should sign up with the town clerk at the beginning of the meeting and will be recognized when the council reaches that item on the agenda.
Citizens addressing the agenda topic will be asked to limit comments to three minutes each. If several citizens are registered to speak, the mayor or other presiding officer for the meeting will ask that citizens with similar concerns designate a single spokesman to convey those concerns, or the mayor will ask that citizens who have heard their concerns expressed by previous speakers simply abstain from repeating the same issues. The council may, at its discretion, respond to questions and comments.
Citizens who wish to speak on matters not on the agenda may sign up with the town clerk at the beginning of the meeting to be recognized during public comment.
Public Comment Period
The Council strongly discourages public comment regarding a matter which recently has been, or which soon will be, before the council as a public hearing item. Public comment time is not intended to substitute for public hearings.
Public comments generally are not acted upon at the time they are presented. After hearing comments, the Council may dispose of it as follows (receiving the comment does not imply approval, agreement, or consent):
Consideration at the current or a future regular meeting of the Council; or
Referral to staff, another board or committee for study and report; or
Referral to the Town Manager for investigation and report; or
Simply received and acknowledged by the council
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P.O. Box 8
128 South Main St.
Holly Springs, NC 27540