The Common Council meets on the 2nd & 4th Mondays of each month. To place an item on the Council's agenda, it must be filed in the Office of the City Clerk, Room 455, County-City Building by 12 Noon on the Wednesday prior to the 2nd and 4th Monday.
The Council is authorized by Indiana state law to act on two (2) types of legislation, namely: resolutions and ordinances.
- Resolutions are limited to matters relating to internal affairs or operations & are heard at one Council meeting.
- Ordinances address all matters which are of a general and permanent nature. Ordinances address topics in the South Bend Municipal Code; establish fees & charges; regulate conduct; establish penalties; and are required for the passage of budgets, the setting of salaries, and zoning changes.
Each proposed ordinance must have 3 separate readings by the City Clerk. After the 1st reading, a proposed ordinance may be referred to a Council Standing Committee for public hearing, where a formal review & recommendation is made. At a subsequent Council meeting, a public hearing is held by the Committee of the Whole after the Bill's 2nd reading. Formal presentations in favor & or in opposition to a Bill, are not subject to a time limit. Members of the public may speak for a maximum of 5 minutes in favor or in opposition to a Bill, with those in favor speaking first. A person's name & address must be given for the record. The public portion in opposition is limited to the time spent in favor of the Bill or 30 minutes, whichever is greater. A 5 minute rebuttal period follows the remonstrance. The public hearing is then closed & the Council debates the Bill. Motions on the Bill are made with a formal recommendation to the full Council. A majority of the Council (5 votes) is required for the passage of most ordinances.
Council Meetings Order of Business:
- Pledge to the flag
- Roll call
- Report from Subcommittee on Minutes
- Special business
- Reports of City Offices
- Committee of the Whole
- Bills receiving 3rd reading (title only), motion by the Council
- Bills receiving first reading
- Unfinished business
- New business
- Privilege of the Floor - members of the public may speak on items NOT on the agenda for 3 minutes