Article 5. Meetings

§1-501   Falls City Code   §1-503

Article 5. Meetings
Meetings, as used in this Article
shall mean all regular, special, or called meetings, formal or
informal, of a public body for the purposes of briefing, discussion
of public business, formation of tentative policy, or the taking of
any action. (Ref. 84-1409(2) RS Neb.)
§1-502 MEETINGS; PUBLIC BODY DEFINED. Public Body as used in
this Article shall mean:
A. The Governing Body of the Municipality,
B. All independent boards, commissions, bureaus, committees,
councils, subunits, or any other bodies, now or hereafter
created by Constitution, statute, ordinance or otherwise
pursuant to law, and
C. Advisory committees of the bodies listed above.
This Article shall not apply to subcommittees of such bodies unless
a quorum of the public body attends a subcommittee meeting or
unless such subcommittees are holding hearings, making policy or
taking formal action on behalf of their parent body. (Ref. 84-
1409(1) RS Neb.)
§1-503 MEETINGS; PUBLIC. All public meetings as defined by law
shall be held in a Municipal public building which shall be open to
attendance by the public. All meetings shall be held in the public
building in which the Governing Body usually holds such meetings
unless the publicized notice hereinafter required shall designate
some other public building or other specified place. The advance
publicized notice of all public convened meetings shall be
simultaneously transmitted to all members of the Governing Body and
to the public by a method designated by the Governing Body or by
the Mayor if the Governing Body has not designated a method. Such
notice shall contain the time and specific place for each meeting
and either an enumeration of the agenda subjects known at the time
of the notice, or a statement that such an agenda kept continually
current shall be readily available for public inspection at the
office of the Municipal Clerk. Except for items of an emergency
nature, the agenda shall not be enlarged later than (a) twenty-four
(24) hours before the scheduled commencement of the meeting or (b)
forty-eight (48) hours before the scheduled commencement of a
meeting of the Governing Body scheduled outside the corporate
limits of the Municipality. The Governing Body shall have the
right to modify the agenda to include items of an emergency nature
only, at such public meetings. The minutes of the Municipal Clerk
shall include the record of the manner and advance time by which
the advance publicized notice was given, a statement of how the
availability of an agenda of the then known subjects was
communicated, the time and specific place of the meetings, and the
names of each member of the Governing Body present or absent at
each convened meeting. The minutes of the Governing Body shall be
a public record open to inspection by the public upon request at
any reasonable time at the office of the Municipal Clerk. Any
official action on any question or motion duly moved and seconded
shall be taken only by roll call vote of the Governing Body in open
session. The record of the Municipal Clerk shall show how each
member voted, or that the member was absent and did not vote. (Ref.
84-1408, 84-1409, 84-1411, 84-1413 RS Neb.)
§1-504 MEETINGS; CLOSED SESSIONS. (1) Any public body may hold
a closed session by the affirmative vote of a majority of its
voting members if a closed session is clearly necessary for the
protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless
injury to the reputation of an individual and if such individual
has not requested a public meeting. Closed sessions may be held
for, but shall not be limited to, such reasons as:
(a) Strategy sessions with respect to collective bargaining,
real estate purchases, pending litigation or litigation which
is imminent as evidenced by communication of a claim or threat
of litigation to or by the public body;
(b) Discussion regarding deployment of security personnel or
(c) Investigative proceedings regarding allegations of
criminal misconduct; or
(d) Evaluation of the job performance of a person when
necessary to prevent needless injury to the reputation of a
person and if such person has not requested a public meeting.
Nothing in this section shall permit a closed meeting for
discussion of the appointment or election of a new member to any
public body.
(2) The vote to hold a closed session shall be taken in open
session. The vote of each member on the question of holding a
closed session, the reason for the closed session, and the time
when the closed session commenced and concluded shall be recorded
in the minutes. The public body holding such a closed session shall
restrict its consideration to matters during the closed portions to
only those purposes set forth in the minutes as the reason for the
closed session. The meeting shall be reconvened in open session
before any formal action may be taken. For purposes of this
section, formal action shall mean a collective decision or a
collective commitment or promise to make a decision on any
question, motion, proposal, resolution, order, or ordinance or
formation of a position or policy but shall not include negotiating
guidance given by members of the public body to legal counsel or
other negotiators in closed sessions authorized under subdivision
(a) of this section.
(3) Any member of the public body shall have the right to
challenge the continuation of a closed session if the member
determines that the session has exceeded the reason stated in the
original motion to hold a closed session or if the member contends
that the closed session is neither clearly necessary for (a) the
protection of the public interest or (b) the prevention of needless
injury to the reputation of an individual. Such challenge shall be
overruled only by a majority vote of the members of the public
body. Such challenge and its disposition shall be recorded in the
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require
that any meeting be closed to the public. No person or public body
shall fail to invite a portion of its members to a meeting and no
public body shall designate itself a subcommittee of the whole body
for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of this Article. No
closed session, informal meeting, chance meeting, social gathering,
or electronic communication shall be used for the purpose of
circumventing the provisions of this Article.
(5) The provisions of this Article shall not apply to chance
meetings, or to attendance at or travel to conventions or workshops
of members of a public body at which there is no meeting of the
body then intentionally convened and there is no vote or other
action taken regarding any matter over which the public body has
supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power. (Ref. 84-
1410 RS Neb.) Amended by Ord. 95-104.
§1-505 MEETINGS; EMERGENCY MEETINGS. When it is necessary to
hold an emergency meeting without reasonable advance public notice,
the nature of the emergency shall be stated in the minutes and any
formal action taken in such meeting shall pertain only to the
emergency. Such emergency meetings may be held by means of
electronic or telecommunication equipment. The provisions of
section 1-508 of this Article shall be complied with in conducting
emergency meetings. Complete minutes of such emergency meetings
specifying the nature of the emergency and any formal action taken
at the meeting shall be made available to the public by no later
than the end of the next regular business day. (Ref. 84-1411 RS
§1-506 MEETINGS; MINUTES. Each public body shall keep minutes
of all meetings showing the time, place, members present and
absent, and the substance of all matters discussed.
The minutes shall be public records and open to public
inspection during normal business hours.
Minutes shall be written and available for inspection within
ten (10) working days, or prior to the next convened meeting,
whichever occurs earlier. (Ref. 84-1412, 84-1413 RS Neb.)
§1-507 MEETINGS; VOTES. Any action taken on any question or
motion duly moved and seconded shall be by roll call vote of the
public body in open session, and the record shall state how each
member voted, or if the member was absent or not voting. The
requirements of a roll call or viva voce vote shall be satisfied by
the Municipality utilizing an electronic voting device which allows
the yeas and nays of each member of the Governing Body to be
readily seen by the public.
The vote to elect leadership within a public body may be taken
by secret ballot, but the total number of votes for each candidate
shall be recorded in the minutes. (Ref. 17-616, 84-1413 RS Neb.)
§1-508 MEETINGS; NOTICE TO NEWS MEDIA. The Municipal Clerk,
Secretary, or other designee of the Governing Body shall maintain
a list of the news media requesting notification of meetings and
shall make reasonable efforts to provide advance notification to
them of the time and place of each meeting, and the subjects to be
discussed at that meeting. (Ref. 84-1411 RS Neb.)
provisions of this Article, the public shall have the right to
attend and the right to speak at meetings of public bodies and all
or any part of a meeting of a public body, except for closed
meetings called pursuant to section 1-504, may be videotaped,
televised, photographed, broadcast, or recorded by any person in
attendance by means of a tape recorder, camera, video equipment, or
any other means of pictorial or sonic reproduction or in writing.
It shall not be a violation of this section for any public
body to make and enforce reasonable rules and regulations regarding
the conduct of persons attending, speaking at, videotaping,
televising, photographing, broadcasting, or recording its meetings.
A body is not required to allow citizens to speak at each meeting,
nor may it forbid public participation at all meetings. No public
body shall require members of the public to identify themselves as
a condition for admission to the meeting. The body may, however,
require any member of the public desiring to address the body to
identify him self or herself. No public body shall for the purpose
of circumventing the provisions of this Article hold a meeting in
a place known by the body to be too small to accommodate the
anticipated audience. No public body shall be deemed in violation
of this section if it holds its meeting in its traditional meeting
place which is located in this State. An agency which contracts
with Municipalities outside the State of Nebraska may hold meetings
of any committee outside the State of Nebraska if such meetings are
held only in such contracting Municipalities. Final action on any
agenda item shall only be taken by the agency at a meeting in the
State of Nebraska, which meeting shall comply with sections 84-1408
to 84-1414 Neb. The public body shall, upon request, make a
reasonable effort to accommodate the public’s right to hear the
discussion and testimony presented at the meeting. Public bodies
shall make available at the meeting, for examination and copying by
members of the public, at least one (1) copy of all reproducible
written material to be discussed at an open meeting. (Ref. 84-1412
RS Neb.)
§1-510 MEETINGS; ORDER OF BUSINESS. All meetings of the Council
shall be called to order by the presiding officer at the time set
for the meeting, whereupon the Clerk shall call the roll of Council
members, and if there is a quorum present, the Council
shall proceed to business in the following order:
1. Reading of the Minutes of the last Meeting.
2. Presentation of Petitions and other Communications.
3. Reports of Officers.
4. Reports of Standing Committees.
5. Reports of Special Committees.
6. Unfinished Business of the Preceding Meetings
7. Introduction of Resolutions and Ordinances and
proceedings for, or toward the passage, and adoption of
8. Special Business.
9. Miscellaneous Business.
10. Presentation of and action upon claims against and of the
11. Adjournment.
§1-511 MEETINGS; RULES OF CONDUCT. The business and proceedings
of the meeting of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with
the following rules:
1. The presiding officer may refer back to any order of
business after passing it, if there is no objection from any
council member.
2. The presiding officer shall preserve order at all
meetings and when any Council member is called to order he shall
be seated until the point is decided. All questions of order shall
be decided by the presiding officer, subject to appeal to the
Council. In such appeal, a Council member shall state briefly
what in his opinion the ruling should have been and upon this
appeal being seconded, the question of the appeal shall be put by
the presiding officer.
3. When a question is being put by the presiding officer, no
Council member shall leave the Council Chambers.
4. Upon request of any Council member, any motion or
resolution shall be reduced to writing before being acted upon.
5. Every Council member shall vote on each question put by
the presiding officer unless excused from doing so by a majority
of the Council present.
6. No motion shall be put or discussed until it has been
7. The minutes of the meeting shall show the Council member
who offered or introduced a motion, resolution, or ordinance and
the Council member seconding the same.
8. The “yeas” and “nays” upon any question shall be taken
and entered on the minutes on request of any Council member.
9. The Council may reprimand or censure any of its members
for improper behavior as Council members.
10. Any resolution, ordinance, or motion may be withdrawn by
its introducer or mover with consent of the Council member
seconding same, before same is voted upon.
11. Motions to reconsider may only be made by a Council
member who voted with the majority.
12. The presiding officer may reasonably limit the time
during which any person not a member of the Council may
address a Council meeting.
13. The presiding officer may express his opinion on any
subject being discussed or debated by the Council.
14. The rules may be suspended on the affirmative vote of
five (5) members of the Council.
§1-512 MEETINGS; ORGANIZATIONAL. The newly elected Council
shall convene at the regular place of meeting in the City on the
first (1st) regular meeting in December of each year in which a
Municipal election is held immediately after the prior Council
adjourns and proceed to organize themselves for the ensuing year.
The Mayor elected for the new municipal year shall call the meeting
to order. The Council shall then proceed to examine the
credentials of its members and other elective officers of the City
to see that each has been duly and properly elected, and to see
that such oaths and bonds have been given as are required. After
ascertaining that all members are duly qualified, the Council shall
then elect one of its own body who shall be styled as “President of
the Council.” The Mayor shall then nominate his candidates for
appointive offices. He shall then proceed with the regular order
of business. It is hereby made the duty of each and every member
of the Council, or his successor in office, and to each officer
elected to any office, to qualify prior to the first (1st) regular
meeting in December following his election. All appointive officers
shall qualify within two (2) weeks following their appointments.
Qualification for each officer who is not required to give bond
shall consist in his subscribing and taking an oath to support the
Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of
Nebraska, the laws of the Municipality and to perform faithfully
and impartially the duties of his office, said oath to be filed in
the office of the Municipal Clerk. Each officer who is required to
give a bond shall file the required bond in the office of the
Municipal Clerk with sufficient sureties, conditioned on the
faithful discharge of the duties of his office, with the oath
endorsed thereon.

§1-513 MEETINGS; TIME.Regular meetings of the City Council shall be held at the City Council Chamber in the City Hall commencing at seven o’clock (7:00) P.M. on the first Monday of each month and at six o’clock (6:00) P.M. on the third Monday of each month. Special meetings may be held at said chambers whenever called by the Mayor or any three (3) Council members. A majority of all the members elected to the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, except as otherwise required by law, but a lesser number may adjourn, from time to time, and compel the attendance of absent members.  An affirmative vote of not less than one-half (1/2) of the elected members shall be required for the transaction of any business. (Ref. 17-105, 17-106 RS Neb.) (Ord. #2013-100)

§1-514 MEETINGS; AGENDA. All requests for items to be placed on
the agenda of a regular Council meeting for action by the Governing
Body shall be made to the City Clerk’s office by five P.M. (5:00)
on the Thursday preceding the meeting.
§1-515 MEETINGS; CLAIMS. All claims on which action is
requested at a meeting of a Public Body of the Municipality shall
be submitted to the City Clerk’s office during regular business
hours at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting.
of an organization created under the Interlocal Cooperation Act or
the Municipal Cooperative Financing Act or the governing body of a
risk management pool or advisory committee organized in accordance
with the Intergovernmental Risk Management Act may be held by means
of video conferencing if:
(a) Reasonable advance publicized notice is given;
(b) Reasonable arrangements are made to accommodate the
public’s right to attend, hear, and speak at the meeting, including
seating, recordation by audio or visual recording devices, and a
reasonable opportunity for input such as public comment or
questions to at least the same extent as would be provided if video
conferencing was not used;
(c) At least one copy of all documents being considered
is available to the public at each site of the video conference;
(d) At least one member of the governing body or
advisory committee is present at each site of the video conference;
(e) No more than one-half of the governing body’s or
advisory committee’s meetings in a calendar year are held by video
Video conferencing shall not be used to circumvent any of
the public government purposes established in this article.
(2) For purposes of this section, video conferencing
shall mean conducting a meeting involving participants at two or
more locations through the use of audio-video equipment which
allows participants at each location to hear and see each meeting
participant at each other location, including public input.
Interaction between meeting participants shall be possible at all
meeting locations. (Ref. 84-1409, 84-1411 RS Neb.) (Ord. #97-109)