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Rules of Order for the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB)

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ADOPTED: May 28, 2013

EFFECTIVE: June 1, 2013

Purpose

These rules are guidelines to facilitate the EAB meetings, and are in accordance with Policy Statement 150, General Rules of Order for Town of Cary Boards and Commissions and Other Groups Appointed by the Town Council of the Town of Cary.

Council Liaison Role

The EAB’s Council Liaison follows Policy Statement 150.  The Council Liaison attends EAB meetings as available and serves as a conduit for communication between the EAB and Council. The EAB shall allow the Council Liaison a minimum of five minutes at each regular meeting to make comments about Town issues applicable to the EAB. The Council Liaison is encouraged to prepare comments in advance of the meeting to maximize the limited meeting time.

Staff Liason Role

The EAB’s Staff Liaison follows Policy Statement 150. The Staff Liaison attends EAB meetings and serves as a conduit for communication between the EAB, staff and Council. The Staff Liaison also serves as a resource for the EAB. The EAB shall allow the Staff Liaison a minimum of five minutes at each regular meeting to make comments about Town issues applicable to the EAB. The Staff Liaison is encouraged to prepare comments in advance of the meeting to maximize the limited meeting time.

Staff Administrative Support Role

Town staff shall assign a staff member to carry out the administrative responsibilities of the EAB, including, but not limited to, attending regular meetings and preparing minutes.

Alternate Member

The EAB will have one alternate member who shall attend and participate in all meetings. The alternate member shall be counted for quorum purposes and allowed to vote only when filling in for a regular member.

Teen Liason

The EAB shall have a Teen Liaison selected by the Staff Liaison to the Teen Council. The Teen Liaison shall participate in all meetings and offer a teen perspective. The Teen Liaison shall not be counted for quorum purposes and shall not vote on issues.

Meetings

Regular Meetings:  The town clerk shall work with the Staff Liaison to receive the EAB’s input about the preferred dates, times and locations of their regular meetings, and shall use this input to prepare a calendar year EAB regular meeting schedule. The Town Council shall adopt this meeting schedule.

Regular meetings shall be a maximum of two hours. Members may extend the meeting for an additional 30 minutes by agreement of a majority of the members present. All regular meetings are open to the public.

Special Meetings and Work Sessions:  All special meetings and work sessions shall comply with state law requirements. The Staff Liaison and Chair shall work together to call for special meetings and work sessions when necessary to conduct the EAB’s business.  The Staff Liaison shall provide details about the special meeting or work session to the members and town clerk at least five business days before the meeting.  The town clerk shall issue appropriate notice of all special meetings and work sessions according to state law. All special meetings and work sessions are open to the public.

Canceling Meetings:  The Staff Liaison and Chair shall work together to cancel any meeting if there is no business for the board, or if the Staff Liaison knows in advance that a quorum cannot attend a meeting. When the Staff Liaison and Chair cancel a meeting, the Staff Liaison shall advise the members and town clerk by phone or email as soon as possible.  The town clerk shall post a notice canceling the meeting.

As a courtesy, any members who cannot attend a meeting shall notify the Staff Liaison as soon as possible and preferably before 10 a.m. on the meeting day.

Electronic Participation In Eab Meetings

The Town has a conference call system that allows up to 20 individuals to electronically participate in EAB meetings. The Staff Liaison and town clerk shall decide what meetings are feasible for electronic participation. Among other things, factors may include location, structure and format of meeting and available technology.

The town clerk shall set up all conference calls. The Town staff providing administrative support to the EAB shall ensure there is a telephone in the meeting room anytime anyone is electronically participating and shall be in the meeting room at least 15 minutes before the start time. Each person electronically participating shall call the designated number 15 minutes before the meeting start time and announce their presence to the Town staff. Anyone calling in after the meeting has begun shall announce their presence; however, the EAB shall not stop the meeting or recap any business that the individual missed. All persons electronically participating shall abide by etiquette guidelines provided by the town clerk to minimize meeting disruptions.

As the first item of business at regular meetings, the Chair shall call for a roll call and shall announce the names of the board members physically present to determine a quorum. The Chair shall then invite members who are electronically participating to introduce themselves. For the benefit of those electronically participating, any vote that does not receive unanimous approval shall be by roll call to ensure all participants fully understand how each member voted on any item.

Members, Council Liaison and Teen Liaison:

Each Member, the Council Liaison and the Teen Liaison may electronically participate in EAB meetings according to Policy 150. The town clerk shall reserve 4 of the 20 conference call slots for EAB members, the Council Liaison and the Teen Liaison. In order to electronically participate in an EAB meeting, these individuals shall make a request, preferably in writing, to the Staff Liaison at least two business days prior to the meeting to allow time to determine that a quorum will be physically present at the meeting. The Staff Liaison shall provide the town clerk the names and email addresses of the individuals who wish to electronically participate at least one business day before the meeting. The town clerk shall approve or deny these requests based on eligibility requirements in Policy 150. The town clerk shall follow up with these individuals to let them know if the request is approved or denied. If more than 4 individuals request to electronically participate in a particular meeting, this shall be allowed if a quorum will still be physically present and if the general public has not taken the remaining 16 conference call slots. Requests shall be considered in the order the Staff Liaison receives them. The town clerk shall email the conference call information to the individuals approved to electronically participate. At that time, the town clerk shall release any of the unused 4 conference call slots to the general public.

General Public:

The town clerk shall serve as the point of contact for members of the public who want to electronically participate in EAB meetings. The town clerk shall set aside 16 of the 20 conference call slots for the public’s use. The public must contact the town clerk by Noon on the day of the meeting to reserve a slot and to receive the call-in information. The town clerk shall maintain a waiting list if necessary and shall assign unused EAB slots to persons on the waiting list on a first come/first serve basis.

Agenda

The Town Clerk shall provide the Staff Liaison an agenda template to use for all agenda. This template shall include the following information for the public:

  • The Staff Liaison’s name and contact information;
  • An ADA statement addressing auxiliary aids and services; and
  • Instructions to electronically participate.

Any member may request to place an item on the agenda.  The Staff Liaison and Chair will work together to prepare an agenda prior to every meeting. Town staff shall post the agenda with links to all supplemental agenda materials, and the draft minutes of the previous month on the Town’s website at least five business days before the meeting.  Members shall adopt the agenda at the meeting after the Chair gives members an opportunity to suggest amendments. Adopting or amending the agenda requires a majority vote of the members physically present at the meeting.

Quorum

A quorum is defined as more than half of the total membership. The alternate member shall not be counted towards a quorum unless that member is filling in for a regular member. Any member electronically participating in the meeting shall not be counted for quorum purposes.

If a quorum is not present by the designated meeting start time, then the Chair shall wait 15 minutes for late arrivals.  If a quorum is not present, then no meeting shall occur. The Chair and Staff Liaison shall make the decision to reschedule the meeting if necessary.

Public Comment At Eab Meetings

The EAB shall provide a time at their regular meetings to hear from members of the public. Speakers shall have up to three minutes each to make comments. The EAB may establish a time limit for the public comment portion of meetings, and this time limit may vary at the Chair’s discretion based on the length of the meeting. The Chair shall ensure this time is used wisely and is fairly administered. Members of the public who physically attend the meeting shall be permitted to speak first, and those who electronically attend the meeting shall be permitted to speak second. The EAB shall hear these comments and typically not respond to them. Anyone who arrives after the public comment portion of the agenda is closed shall not be permitted to speak.

The EAB shall generally not provide time at special meetings to hear from members of the public.

Action By The Board

The EAB shall make recommendations by motion and vote or by consensus.  Motions shall be adopted by a majority of the members physically present. All Members physically present at the meeting are expected to vote on all motions, unless recused by the Membership for reasons outlined in the Conflict of Interest Guidelines. Any member who is physically present at the meeting and is not recused who fails to vote shall be counted as voting in favor of the motion.

Minutes

EAB minutes shall include:

  • Date, time and location of meeting;
  • Names of members physically present;
  • Names of members electronically participating;
  • Number of members of the public physically present;
  • Number of members of the public electronically participating;
  • Names of members absent (those not physically present and those not electronically participating);
  • A statement that a quorum is physically present for the meeting;
  • A summary of what transpired at the meeting (minutes shall not be verbatim and generally shall not attribute specific comments to specific members);
  • All recommendations, including those made by motion and vote and those made by consensus;
  • The actual vote of each member on all motions on all votes that are not unanimous;
  • All materials and handouts provided at the meeting; and
  • Adjourn time.

Appointment Of Committees

The EAB may vote to establish committees from its Membership whenever necessary to facilitate the EAB’s business,with the understanding that committee’s are self-sustaining and not supported by staff, other than meeting the legal requirements (i.e., posting notice of meeting, etc.). The Chair shall designate committee chairs or delegate the decision to the committee. Committees shall abide by the general committee operating procedures provided by the town clerk. All committee meetings are open to the public.

Amendment Of The Rules

These rules may be amended at any regular meeting that includes amendment of the rules as one of the stated purposes of the meeting, so long as the amendment is consistent with the Town charter, bylaws, policy statement 150, general law, and generally accepted principles of parliamentary procedure.  Amendments may be initiated by any member or the Staff Liaison and shall require approval of a majority of the members physically present at the meeting. 

Conflicts With These Rules Of Order

To the extent not provided for in these rules and to the extent it does not conflict with North Carolina law or with the spirit of these rules of order, the board shall refer to other applicable policies regarding rules for Town of Cary Boards and Commissions to answer unresolved procedural questions. Any action taken by the Cary Town Council that supersedes these rules of order shall take precedence.  Boards and commissions bylaws (Policy Statement 150), North Carolina state laws, and federal laws take precedence whenever conflicts arise with these rules of order.