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Rules of Decorum

Rules of Procedure Town Board Meetings

The procedures governing Town of Pompey Board meetings are procedures of reason and common sense. They should be applied consistently with other rules that govern public meetings, such as Robert’s Rules of Order. These procedures are designed to provide guidance to the elected officials and public at Town Board meetings.


The procedural rules are not intended to be an exhaustive guide to proper conduct. The rules are intended, however, to state basic standards that should govern their conduct; and to provide guidance to assist them in establishing and maintaining high standards of professional and personal conduct.


  1. The Supervisor or Deputy Supervisor shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall preserve order and decorum in debate.

  2. No one can speak twice to the same issue until everyone else wishing to speak has spoken to it once.

  3. All remarks must be directed to the Chair. Remarks must be courteous in language and deportment, and “should avoid personal comments and cannot question a member’s motives.”¹

  4. The Supervisor, immediately following the opening of every regular meeting of the Board, shall proceed to the regular order of Town business.

  5. Public hearings: It shall be the duty of the Supervisor to preside at all general or special business hearings, to recognize speakers, to instruct all persons addressing the Board to state their names, addresses and organization, if any, and to request those in favor of the proposal before the Board to speak first and those in opposition to speak last. Speakers shall sign in and complete their remarks within 5 minutes.

  6. Public comment: The public shall be allowed to speak during a public comment period of the meeting, or at such other times as the Board shall allow. The presiding officer should recognize speakers. The presiding officer may limit the time allowed for members of the public to speak.

  7. Anyone speaking to the Town Board shall address their remarks to the Town Board, not to other members of the audience in the form of a debate. Comments must be related to legitimate Town business. Speakers should give their name, address and organization, if any.

  8. Every resolution or motion must be seconded before being put to a vote; and all resolutions or motions shall be recorded in their entirety in the official minutes of the Town Board.

  9. The Supervisor may offer or second a resolution or a motion and need not relinquish the chair for such purpose.

  10. When a question is under debate, no other motion shall be entertained unless for: (a) an adjournment; (b) recess; (c) for said question to lay on the table; (d) to postpone; (e) to refer to a committee or (f) to amend; and motions (a) through (f) are neither amendable nor debatable.

  11. No motion shall be made to offer amendment to an amendment already before the Board on a proposition.

  12. A majority vote of all the members of the Board shall be required to suspend these rules of order. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

  13. If the above stated rules are or become at any time in conflict with the statutory law, the statutory law shall take precedence.

  14. While Town Board is in session no one is allowed behind the dais except the Town Board members, Town Attorney, Town Clerk and Highway Superintendent.


¹ Robert’s Rules of Order, Part I, Article VII, Section 43 Dated: July 20, 2009


Adopted at August 3, 2009, Town Board meeting. Readopted at January 4, 2010, Town Board meeting. Readopted January 3, 2011, Town Board meeting. Readopted January 2, 2012, Town Board meeting. Readopted January 7, 2013, Town Board meeting. Revised July 1, 2013, Town Board meeting.

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