Village Council and the public must maintain decorum at meetings

Recently, there has been concern about unruly part i c i p a t i o n by some residents who attend Pinecrest Village Council meetings. So, Village lawmakers unanimously approved a “Rules of Decorum for Council Meetings” ordinance on first reading during the regular Council meeting on June 10.

Although the Village Council is governed by Robert’s Rules, the Council has moved forward with enacting an ordinance that clearly delineates conduct that is acceptable and unacceptable during meetings. Most municipalities in Miami-Dade County have adopted similar ordinances that ensure proper conduct by both councilmembers and the public. This ordinance will ensure that each member of the public has a fair and equal opportunity to be heard. Additionally, it will set forth rules such as not delaying or disrupting Council proceedings by engaging in disorderly conduct or by the use of loud, threatening or abusive language.

People addressing the Village Council will be required to do so in an orderly manner and not make profane or impertinent remarks to any councilmember. The Council has the right to set time limits on remarks made by those addressing it and the presiding officer may grant additional time, if needed.

Members of the audience also will be held to the same standard that disallows disorderly or boisterous outbursts, including threatening or abusive language, whistling, stamping of feet or any other act that impedes or disrupts an orderly meeting.

All Village employees are subject to the same rules as the public and the Council. The mayor will be responsible for maintaining order and decorum at all Council meetings. Enforcement of decorum will start with a warning. If the person who received the warning continues to behave inappropriately, the mayor may ask the person to leave the meeting. If the person does not leave voluntarily, the sergeant- at-arms may remove that person.

The second and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for July 8.


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