The Official City of Norfolk Nebraska Home Page The Official City of Norfolk Nebraska Home Page

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309 N 5th St, Norfolk, NE 68701
Phone: (402) 844-2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Council Meeting Information

Regular Meetings (City Code Section 2-16)
                            (State Statute 84-1408 to 84-8414)

The city council shall hold its regular meetings on the 1st and 3rd Mondays each and every month at a time to be established by resolution of the mayor and city council.  If the day fixed for any regular meeting of the Council falls upon any day designated by law as a legal or national holiday, the meeting shall be held at the same hour on the next succeeding day not a holiday.  Regular meetings of the Council are held in the council chambers provided that the council may adjourn any meeting to such other place as it may deem necessary, desirable, or convenient for holding of its meeting, provided further that, if such meeting is adjourned to some other place, notice of the place the meeting is being held should be affixed to the door of the council chambers.

Resolution No. 2008-55, adopted December 1, 2008, states "the city council's regular meetings held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each and every month shall start at the hour of 5:30 pm."

Notice of Council meetings is published the Friday preceding the meeting date. (State Statute Section 84-1411)

A majority of Council members must be present to constitute a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of the absent members. Quorum - Section 2-18.

Special Meetings (Code reference Section 2-16.1)

The mayor shall call special meetings of the Council whenever, in his/her opinion, the public business may require it or at the express request of any five (5) members of the Council. Whenever a special meeting shall be called, a notice in writing signed by the mayor or president of the council shall be delivered to each member, either in person or by notice left at or mailed to their place of residence, stating the day and hour of the special meeting, provided that such notice may be waived in writing either at, before, or after such meeting by any member of the council and the attendance of any member of the council at such special meeting shall be deemed to be a waiver of any such notice.

Special meetings must be advertised, ideally 24 hours prior to the meeting.

Emergency Meetings (Nebraska Statutes Section 84-1411)

When necessary to hold an emergency meeting without reasonable advance public notice, the nature of the emergency should be so stated in the minutes and any formal action taken in such meeting shall pertain to the emergency. Reasonable effort should be made to notify the media of the meeting by taking notices to the local radio stations, the Norfolk Daily News, and the posting the notice in three (3) public places, i.e. library, auditorium bulletin board, and city council chambers building.

Executive Sessions

From time to time a closed "executive session" is scheduled under the administrative reports section of the agenda. According to Section 84-1410, a public body by an affirmative vote of a majority of its voting members may hold a closed session generally for two reasons: (1) Protection of the public interest; or (2) Protection 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:

  • Strategy sessions with respect to collective bargaining, real estate purchases, or litigation
  • Discussion regarding deployment of security personnel or devices
  • Investigative proceeding regarding allegations of criminal misconduct
  • 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

The vote to hold a closed session must be made in open session. Before any formal action may be taken by the governing body, the meeting must be reconvened into open session.

Open Meetings Act

Open Meetings Act (State Statute 84-1411). Meetings of public body; notice; contents; when available; right to modify; duties concerning notice; emergency meeting without notice; recorded.

  1. 84-1411 Meetings of public body; notice; contents; when available; right to modify; duties concerning notice; videoconferencing or telephone conferencing authorized; emergency meeting without notice; appearance before public body. (1) Each public body shall give reasonable advance publicized notice of the time and place of each meeting by a method designated by each public body and recorded in its minutes. Such notice shall be transmitted to all members of the public body and to the public. Such notice shall contain an agenda of subjects known at the time of the publicized notice or a statement that the agenda, which shall be kept continually current, shall be readily available for public inspection at the principal office of the public body during normal business hours. Agenda items shall be sufficiently descriptive to give the public reasonable notice of the matters to be considered at the meeting. Except for items of an emergency nature, the agenda shall not be altered later than (a) twenty-four hours before the scheduled commencement of the meeting or (b) forty-eight hours before the scheduled commencement of a meeting of a city council or village board scheduled outside the corporate limits of the municipality. The public body shall have the right to modify the agenda to include items of an emergency nature only at such public meeting.

    (2) A meeting of a state agency, state board, state commission, state council, or state committee, of an advisory committee of any such state entity, of an organization created under the Interlocal Cooperation Act, the Joint Public Agency Act, or the Municipal Cooperative Financing Act, of the governing body of a public power district having a chartered territory of more than fifty counties in this state, or of the governing body of a risk management pool or its advisory committees organized in accordance with the Intergovernmental Risk Management Act may be held by means of videoconferencing or, in the case of the Judicial Resources Commission in those cases specified in section 24-1204, by telephone conference, 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 videoconferencing or telephone conferencing was not used;

    (c) At least one copy of all documents being considered is available to the public at each site of the videoconference or telephone conference;

    (d) At least one member of the state entity, advisory committee, or governing body is present at each site of the videoconference or telephone conference; and

    (e) No more than one-half of the state entity's, advisory committee's, or governing body's meetings in a calendar year are held by videoconference or telephone conference.

    Videoconferencing, telephone conferencing, or conferencing by other electronic communication shall not be used to circumvent any of the public government purposes established in the Open Meetings Act.

    (3) A meeting of the governing body of an entity formed under the Interlocal Cooperation Act, the Joint Public Agency Act, or the Municipal Cooperative Financing Act or of the governing body of a risk management pool or its advisory committees organized in accordance with the Intergovernmental Risk Management Act may be held by telephone conference call if:

    (a) The territory represented by the member public agencies of the entity or pool covers more than one county;

    (b) Reasonable advance publicized notice is given which identifies each telephone conference location at which a member of the entity's or pool's governing body will be present;

    (c) All telephone conference meeting sites identified in the notice are located within public buildings used by members of the entity or pool or at a place which will accommodate the anticipated audience;

    (d) Reasonable arrangements are made to accommodate the public's right to attend, hear, and speak at the meeting, including seating, recordation by audio 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 a telephone conference call was not used;

    (e) At least one copy of all documents being considered is available to the public at each site of the telephone conference call;

    (f) At least one member of the governing body of the entity or pool is present at each site of the telephone conference call identified in the public notice;

    (g) The telephone conference call lasts no more than one hour; and

    (h) No more than one-half of the entity's or pool's meetings in a calendar year are held by telephone conference call.

    Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the participation of consultants, members of the press, and other nonmembers of the governing body at sites not identified in the public notice. Telephone conference calls, emails, faxes, or other electronic communication shall not be used to circumvent any of the public government purposes established in the Open Meetings Act.

    (4) The secretary or other designee of each public 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.

    (5) 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 subsection (4) of this section 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.

    (6) A public body may allow a member of the public or any other witness other than a member of the public body to appear before the public body by means of video or telecommunications equipment.