1. Authority. These rules are adopted by the Township Board of Blackman Charter Township pursuant to the provisions of Section 42.7 (f) of the Compiled Laws of Michigan.
2.1. Regular schedule. The township board shall meet on the third Monday of each month in regular session. If any regularly scheduled meeting that falls on one of the following holidays (New Years Day, President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day), the regular meeting shall be held on the next secular day that is not a holiday.
2.2. Special meetings. The charter township board shall meet in special session at the call of the township clerk upon the written request of the supervisor or two members of the township board. Notice of special meetings shall be given to each township board member at least 24 hours in advance of the special meeting. Such notice shall be served personally, left at the member’s usual place of residence, or placed in the board members township mailbox by the township Clerk or the clerk’s designee. If placed in the board members mailbox the Clerk or the Clerk's designee shall alert the board member of the notice via telephone or e-mail. The notice shall also contain the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
2.3. Place of meeting. Regularly scheduled meetings shall be held in the township hall. Whenever the regular meeting place of the township board shall appear to be inadequate to accommodate all of the public expected to attend, the supervisor and clerk may change the meeting to a larger facility located in the township. A notice of such change shall be prominently posted on the door of the regular meeting place. The clerk shall also give notice of such change in the place of meeting in a newspaper if time permits.
2.4. Time of meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings shall begin at 6 o’clock in the evening unless the board shall by majority vote in session set a different starting time. The township board shall not begin considering any matter on the agenda not yet under consideration by the hour of 10:15 P.M. except by unanimous consent of the board members present. Matters on the agenda and not yet acted upon at the time of adjournment will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting or special meeting if one is called.
2.5. Change in schedule. Changes in the regular schedule shall not be made except upon the approval of a majority of the board members in session. In the event the board shall meet and a quorum is not present, the board, upon the action of a majority of those present, may adjourn the meeting to another day provided that proper notice to members and public is given.
3. Public notice of meetings. The township clerk shall be responsible for providing the proper notice for all meetings of the township board. Such notification shall include but not necessarily be limited to the following:
3.1. Regular meetings. The clerk shall post or publish a notice within 10 days after the first meeting of the township board in each calendar year, indicating the dates, times, and places of the board’s regular meeting schedule. The clerk shall also post the schedule and schedule changes on the township webpage if one is in use.
3.2. Schedule change. Whenever the board shall change its regular schedule of meetings, the clerk shall post or publish a notice of the change within 3 days following the meeting in which the change was made.
3.3. Emergency meetings. If the board shall reschedule a meeting under the provisions of Rule 2.5 or call a special meeting under Rule 2.2, the clerk shall post a notice of such change immediately and no meeting except emergency meetings shall be held until the notice shall have been posted at least 18 hours. An emergency meeting shall be held only upon the call of the Supervisor or upon the consent of two-thirds of the members and only if; a delay would threaten severe and imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
3.4. Notification to media and others. The clerk shall notify, without charge, any newspaper, radio, or television station of such meeting schedule, schedule changes, or special meetings, whenever such newspaper, radio or television station shall have filed with the clerk, a written request for such notice. The clerk shall also notify other individuals or organizations of the regular meeting schedule, changes in the schedule, or special meetings, but only upon their written request and agreement to pay the township for printing and postage expenses. The clerk shall mail all such notices pursuant to this rule by first-class mail.
4. Quorum, attendance, call of the township board.
4.1. Quorum. Four members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the township board.
4.4.1.Upon the absence of the township clerk or township treasurer, their respectively named deputies may act in the place of the respective elected officers but shall not be included for the purpose of constituting a quorum of the board. The respective deputies, when serving in this capacity, shall not make or second motions or vote on matters before the board.
4.2. Attendance. No member of the township board may absent herself or himself from any Board Meeting without first having notified each Board Member via email. This should be done as soon as the requirement to miss a meeting is known, in any case not later than 48 hours before the meeting is scheduled. In the event of an emergency, the Board Member should notify the Board as soon as practical. Failure to properly notify all township board members will result in a notation in the minutes that the absence is unexcused.
4.3. Call of the township board. The township board, by majority vote, but in no case less than 2 members of the township board members present, whether those present constitute a quorum or not, may order a call of the board. Upon such vote, the board may empower the sergeant-at-arms to be dispatched for the purpose of bringing before the board all such township board members who are absent without leave and without sufficient excuse.
5. Regular meeting agenda. The township clerk shall prepare the agenda of business for all regularly scheduled township board meetings. Any other board member or representative of township committees, boards or commissions desiring to place a matter on the agenda shall notify the clerk of such item by noon on the Wednesday preceding the next regular meeting. All supporting documents pertaining to such agenda item shall also be given to the Clerk along with the notice. The order of such items on the agenda shall be the same as they were received by the clerk and be placed under the heading of "Pending Business," "Previous Business" or "New Business" as appropriate. Items that the clerk does not receive by the stated deadline shall not be considered by the board except upon the majority consent of the members present.
5.1. Special meeting agenda. Whenever the board shall be called into a special meeting, the matters to be considered shall be stated in the call of the meeting. No other matters shall be considered except when all members are present and a majority of the board concurs.
5.2. Distribution of agenda and materials. Upon completion of the agenda, or no later than Thursday Evening, the clerk shall immediately distribute copies of the agenda together with copies of reports, explanations, etc., that relate to the business matters coming to the board but The clerk may distribute such materials by personal delivery or by placement in the board members township mailbox.
5.3. Order of business.
5.3.1 The regular board meeting agenda shall be arranged in the following order of business.
1. Call to order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll call
4. Approval of minutes
5. Changes to the Agenda
6. Brief public hearing
7. Consent Agenda
8. Pending business–
Public Safety Committee report–
Parks & Recreation Committee report
9. Previous business
10. New Business-- Payment of Bills
11. Extended public comment
12. Adjourn at the call of the chair
5.3.2 The working session agenda shall be arranged in the following order of business.
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Brief public comments
4. Executive session
5. Issues for action
6. Issues for discussion
7. Proposed agenda for Monday
8. Changes to the agenda
9. Approval of agenda for Monday Meting
10. Extended Public Comment
11. Adjourn at the call of the chair
6. Conduct of meetings
6.1. Chairperson. The township supervisor shall moderate and chair all meetings of the township board. In the absence of the supervisor, the clerk is to assume the chair to open the meeting and during the selection of a member, by voice vote, to moderate the meeting. The selected chairperson pro tempore shall assume the duties of the chair.
6.2. Board members wishing to speak. They shall first obtain the approval of the chair and each person who speaks shall address the chair. Other persons at the meeting shall not speak unless recognized by the chair. No member shall speak a second time on any motion until all members have had the opportunity to speak once.
6.3. Disorderly conduct at meetings. The supervisor may call to order any person who is being disorderly by speaking or otherwise disrupting the proceedings, by failing to be germane, by speaking longer than the allotted time, or by speaking vulgarities. Such person shall thereupon be seated until the supervisor shall have determined whether the person is in order. If a person so engaged in presentation shall be called out of order, he or she shall not be permitted to continue to speak at the same meeting except on special leave by the township board. If the person shall continue to be disorderly and disrupt the meeting, the supervisor may order the sergeant-at- arms to remove the person from the meeting. No person shall be removed from a public meeting except for an actual breach of the peace committed at the meeting.
7. Record of meetings
7.1. Clerk responsibility. The township clerk or deputy clerk shall be responsible for maintaining the official record and minutes of each meeting of the board. The minutes shall include all the actions of the board with respect to motions. The record shall include the name of the maker, supporter and the vote of each member of the board on all final actions. The clerk shall maintain in the office of the clerk copies of each resolution and ordinance or other matter acted upon by the board. The official minutes, however, may refer to those matters by an identifying number and title descriptive of the ordinance, resolution, or other matter.
7.2. Record of discussion. The clerk shall not be responsible for maintaining a written record or summary written record of the discussion or comments of the board members nor of comments made by members of the public.
7.3. Request for remarks to be included. Any member of the board may request to have his or her comments printed as part of the record. Comments to be included, as part of the official record shall be provided to the clerk in writing by the member.
7.4. Public access to meeting records. The clerk shall make available to members of the public the records and minutes of board meetings in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Minutes prepared by the clerk, but not approved by the board, shall be available for public inspection not more than 8 business days following the meeting. Minutes approved by the board shall be available within 5 business days of the meeting at which they were approved. The clerk shall also promptly send copies of minutes to persons who have subscribed and paid the fee therefore as determined by the clerk.
7.5. Publication of minutes. The clerk shall be responsible for the preparation and publication of a summary of the minutes in the Jackson Citizen Patriot, a newspaper of general circulation, within 10 days after a meeting of the board. The supervisor shall approve and sign the summary prior to publication.
8.1. Appointment. Annually, within 30 days of the organization of the board, the supervisor shall appoint members of the board to standing committees as listed under Rule 8.3.
8.2. Committee chair. The person first listed on the roster of each committee shall be the committee chair. In the absence of the committee chair at any committee meeting, the person next listed shall assume the chair.
8.3. Committee Members, duties and responsibilities.
8.3.1. Finance & Compensation Committee (Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer)
• Develop budgets, recommend salary adjustments, other items as necessary
8.3.2. Public Safety Committee (Any three board members)
• Recommend P.S. budget, recommendations on P.S. activities
8.3.3. Planning Commission (one board member and four qualified citizens)
• As provided by ordinance and adopted by-laws
8.3.4. Parks and Recreation Committee (one board member and three qualified citizens)
• Propose rules and fees, develop programs
8.3.5. Election Commission (Clerk and two Trustees)
• As provided by law
Each committee shall thoroughly investigate any matters referred to it by the supervisor or the board and shall report, in writing, its findings to the board without undue delay. Upon the motion of any board member, and approval of a majority of the board, the board may discharge a committee from further consideration of any matter.
8.4. Other Boards and Committees.
8.5. Appointment. Annually, within 30 days of the organization of the board, the supervisor shall appoint members of the board to other standing committees as listed under Rule 8.7.
8.6. Committee chair. The person first listed on the roster of each committee shall be the committee chair. In the absence of the committee chair at any committee meeting, the person next listed shall assume the chair.
8.7. Committee Members, duties and responsibilities.
8.7.1. Region II Planning Commission(two qualified citizens)
• As provided by law, rules or other directives
8.7.2. Zoning Board of Appeals (one board member and four qualified citizens)
• As provided by ordinance
8.7.3. Board of review (three qualified citizens)
• As provided by law
8.7.4. Board of Canvassers (two qualified Republicans and two qualified Democrats)
• As provided by law
8.7.5. Electrical Board (five qualified citizens)
• As provided by law
8.7.6. Sewer Board of Review (three qualified citizens)
• As provided by law
8.7.7. Construction Board of Appeals (three qualified citizens)
• As provided by law
Each committee shall thoroughly investigate any matters referred to it in the normal course of business and make the necessary determinations or decisions as prescribed by law.
8.8. Committee meetings. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. Meetings of committees shall be open to members of the public within the provisions of the Open Meetings Act. Each committee shall maintain a written record of its meetings and shall deliver such record to the township clerk. The township clerk shall maintain a separate file for each committee. The record of each committee shall include at least the following: the date and place of the meeting, members attending, and any final recommendations that the committee has approved. Such meeting record shall constitute a public record within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act, and shall be made available to any person as required by that act. No committee shall sit during a session of the township board unless the board grants it leave to do so.
8.9. Committee of the whole. Whenever the board shall meet in "working meetings," the board shall meet as a committee of the whole and the supervisor shall preside. In the absence of the supervisor, the chairperson pro tem-pore shall preside. Meetings of the committee of the whole shall conform to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act with respect to public notice except when the board shall devolve into a committee of the whole at one of its regular meetings. The rules of the township board shall be observed in meetings of the committee of the whole as far as they are applicable, except with respect to limiting debate, moving to vote immediately, and taking a roll call vote. Ordinances referred to the committee of the whole, unless otherwise ordered by the committee, shall be read aloud by the township clerk and then considered and adopted by sections. All amendments shall be offered in writing and read aloud by the clerk. Whenever the committee of the whole shall have completed its deliberations, a member shall move that the committee rise and report to the township board. The motion to rise is always in order and shall be decided without debate. Motions recommending action by the township board shall take precedence in the same order as analogous motions in the township board. A motion to reconsider any matter of substance acted upon by the committee of the whole and made by a member of the voting majority shall always be in order.
8.10. Special Committees
8.10.1. Purpose and Scope. From time to time, the Supervisor and/or Board may find it necessary to appoint Special Committees of varied/limited duration and with a specific topic.
8.10.2. Appointment. The Supervisor, with advice of the Board, shall appoint members to the Special Committee. These Special Committees may or may not have Board Members among their members. The Chairman shall be named, members assigned, topic assigned and time frame for reporting back to the Board shall be established immediately.
9. Executive (Closed) sessions
9.1. Procedure. The township board may meet in executive session, closed to the public, upon the motion of any member and concurrence of 5 members. The votes shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which the decision to hold an executive session was made. The motion must include the reason for the Executive session.
9.2. Purposes. The township board shall hold executive sessions only for the following purposes:
• To consider the dismissal, suspension, or disciplining of a public officer, employee, staff member, or individual; or to hear complaints or charges against such a person, but only when the subject of the proposed action or charges requests the meeting to be closed.
• To consider strategy connected with the negotiation of collective bargaining agreement.
• To consider the purchase or lease of real property prior to the time that an option to lease or purchase such real property is secured.
• To consult with the township attorney regarding trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending legislation but only when an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the township’s litigating or settlement position.
• To review the specific contents of an application for employment to a township office and the applicant requests that the application remain confidential. Whenever the board shall meet to interview an applicant, it shall be in open session.
9.3. Minutes. At each executive session, the clerk shall keep a separate record. This record of minutes shall not be disclosed to the public except upon court order. The clerk may destroy said minutes after one year and one day have passed following the date at which the board approved the minutes of the meeting. Board approval is automatically assumed when the Board approves the minutes of the meeting in which the Executive Session occurred.
10. Motions and resolutions
10.1. Statement by chair, written motions, and resolutions. No motion or resolution shall be adopted until the motion or resolution is stated by the person chairing the meeting. All motions except procedural motions and resolutions may be required to be in writing upon the demand of any member. A request to recess for the purpose of writing out a motion or resolution shall be in order. Each written motion or resolution in writing shall be read by the township clerk before being debated.
10.2. Order of motions. Whenever a question is under debate, no motion shall be received except a motion to:
• fix the time to adjourn
• clear the floor
• vote immediately (call the question)
• lay on the table
• postpone to a certain time
• commit or recommit
These motions shall take precedence in the order in which they are
These motions and their order presented above conform to the general standards of parliamentary procedure. The order of precedence refers to the fact that the chair shall honor first that motion that is higher listed. Thus, for example, if one member has moved to amend a resolution, another member may move to recommit the resolution to committee. The chair is bound by these rules to first call the question on recommitting. If the motion to recommit fails, the board may then consider the move to amend. The motion to amend, however, would die if the motion to recommit were approved.
10.3. Nondebatable motions. The motion to adjourn, to clear the floor, to recess, to lay on the table, to vote immediately, and all questions relating to the priority of business, shall be ordered and voted upon without debate.
10.4. Rules on procedural motions. A decision to lay on the table shall carry with it all questions to which it is attached, except in the case of laying an appeal on the chair.
10.4.1. A motion to vote immediately may be limited by the mover to one or more questions preceding the main question itself. A roll call vote may be demanded on the question to vote immediately. Whenever the question to vote immediately is ordered, any questions, order, or appeal from the decision of the chair shall be decided without debate. If the board rejects a motion to vote immediately, the consideration of the matter shall be resumed as
if no motion therefore had been made.
10.4.2. A motion to reconsider shall be in order on any question the board has decided, but no question shall be reconsidered more than once. The motion to reconsider shall be in order, however, on the same day as the vote to be reconsidered was taken and in the next regular meeting following. The motion to reconsider shall be moved only by a member who voted with the majority on the motion to be reconsidered. A motion to reconsider a motion to amend shall not be in order if the main question has been voted upon. If the board has adopted the question of reconsideration, however, motions to amend shall be in order. A vote to postpone indefinitely shall not be reconsidered. It shall not be in order to take from the table a motion to reconsider, nor shall the vote whereby any motion to reconsider was laid on the table be reconsidered.
10.4.3. A motion to clear the floor may be made by the chair at any time the chair believes that procedural matters have become sufficiently confused. If the motion to clear the floor is adopted, it shall clear the floor completely of all procedural motions and have the same effect as if all such matters have been withdrawn. The motion shall not be subject to debate nor, if adopted, to a motion to reconsider.
10.4.4. A motion to suspend the rules temporarily may be made at any time. By majority vote, the board may temporarily suspend the rules to facilitate the accomplishment of any legal objective of the board in a legal manner.
10.4.5. Any member of the board may appeal from any decision of the chair. On all appeals, the question shall be “Shall the decision of the chair stand as the judgment of the township board?” Appeals shall be debatable except when the township board is under the order to vote immediately or the decision appealed from relates to the priority of business. Any such appeal may be laid on the table, but it shall not carry with it the matter before the township board at the time such appeal is taken.
10.4.6. Any member of the township board may call for a division of any pending question. The question shall be divided if it contains propositions so distinct that, one being removed, a substantive proposition still remains.
Whenever the chair puts a question to the members, every member present shall vote on all questions decided by the township board. No member present shall abstain from voting "yes" or "no," unless excused upon the unanimous consent of the other board members present.
11.1. The vote on any pending final measure shall be taken in such a way that the record can show how each member voted. The manner shall be by a record roll call vote unless the chairperson concludes that all members are in agreement in which case he / she may state, “Without objection the chair shall direct the clerk to enter a unanimous affirmative (or negative)
roll call vote. Is there objection? Hearing none, the clerk will enter a unanimous affirmative (or negative) roll call vote.”
11.2. When a record roll call vote is demanded on a question and after the chair has stated the question, the township clerk is directed to call the roll; no member of the township board is entitled to speak on the question, nor shall any motion be in order until such roll call is completed and the result announced.
12. Parliamentary authority
The Supervisor or their designee shall act as Parliamentarian and shall govern all questions of procedure that are not otherwise provided by these rules or by state law.
13. Introduction and consideration of ordinances
13.1. Review by township attorney. Each ordinance, before being introduced, shall be approved as to form by the township attorney.
13.2. Introduction. Any township board member may introduce an ordinance at any regular meeting of the township board in the regular order of business.
13.3. Order for consideration. The regular order for consideration of proposed ordinances shall be:
• Introduction, first reading by title, and reference to the appropriate committee as determined by the supervisor.
• Written report by the clerk considering the ordinance and placement on the agenda under pending business – adoption of ordinances.
• Final reading and vote. The final reading shall be in full unless otherwise ordered by a majority of those members present.
13.4. Form. Each ordinance introduced shall be in writing. Any ordinance proposing to amend an existing ordinance shall contain those sections proposed for amendment in full. Proposed deletion of words and phrases shall be shown with lines drawn through them. Proposed addition of words shall be shown in capital letters or boldface type. Each proposed ordinance shall have endorsed thereon the name of the board member(s) introducing it. On each page of a proposed ordinance, each line shall be consecutively numbered. After the ordinance has been adopted, the line numbers shall be removed. The township clerk shall be responsible for reproducing proposed ordinances, after they have been introduced, in quantity sufficient to meet demand for copies.
13.5. Review. The township supervisor shall refer all proposed ordinances to an appropriate board member or committee. The member or committee shall review the proposal and make its written recommendation to the board. Any ordinance reported without recommendation shall automatically lie on the table until ordered removed by the board.
13.6. Review by committee of the whole. The township board meeting as the committee of the whole may consider each proposed ordinance and the committee’s written recommendation thereon. When the report of the committee is presented to the township board, the board shall order the matter placed on the agenda under adoption of ordinances. The board shall then determine whether to order the clerk to publish the proposed ordinance, to set dates for one or more public hearings, and to order the clerk to publish public notice of the hearing(s).
13.7. Final adoption. Following the last public hearing on a proposed ordinance, a motion to amend shall be in order. Adoption of such amendments shall require a majority of the members present and voting. On the final adoption of all proposed ordinances, the votes shall be taken on a record call of the roll. No motion shall be declared adopted without an affirmative vote of 4 members.
13.8. Publication and effective date. No ordinance shall become effective until 30 days following the publication of the ordinance unless the board shall declare by majority vote that the ordinance shall have immediate effect on publication of the ordinance.
13.9. Record of ordinances. Following the publication of any new ordinance or a revision thereof, the township clerk shall comply with the provisions of MCLA 41.192 with respect to the recording of such ordinances.
14. Introduction and adoption of administrative resolutions
14.1. Definition. Any action regarding the operation or matters concerning the administration of township government or containing statements of policy applicable to internal operations of the township and which is not adopted as an ordinance shall be declared an administrative resolution.
14.2. Introduction. Any board member may introduce an administrative resolution at any regular or special meeting of the township board in the regular order of business.
14.3. Order for consideration. The regular order for consideration of proposed administrative resolutions shall be:
• Introduction, first reading by title, and reference to the appropriate member or committee as determined by the supervisor.
• Written report by the member or committee considering the administrative resolution and placement on the agenda under pending business – adoption of resolutions.
• Final reading and vote. The final reading shall be in full unless otherwise ordered by a majority of those members present.
14.4 Form. Each administrative resolution shall conform to the form required for the introduction and adoption of ordinances.
14.5. Member or Committee review. The township supervisor shall refer all proposed administrative resolutions to an appropriate board member or committee. The committee shall review the proposal and invite the affected department(s) of the township to comment and state any objections they may have. In the committee’s written report to the board shall be included a summary of objections made to the committee. Any administrative resolution reported without recommendation shall automatically lie on the table until ordered removed by the board.
14.6. Board consideration and vote. The township board may consider the committee recommendation and proceed to adopt the administrative resolution, or it may refer the matter to the committee of the whole where further comment and objections may be heard. When the committee rises, it shall make its report to the township board. The board may then vote on final adoption. A motion to amend the administrative resolution shall be in order at any time prior to final adoption. On the final adoption of all proposed administrative resolutions, the vote shall be taken on a record call of the roll. No motion shall be declared adopted without an affirmative vote of the majority of members present.
14.7. Notification and effective date. Upon the final adoption of an administrative resolution, the township clerk shall notify each township department head of the board action. Such notification shall be by title or summary. The clerk shall have available a copy of the full administrative resolution.
14.8. Record of administrative resolutions. The clerk shall keep a paper copy of each administrative resolution of the board in a separate file or book with appropriate subcategory by subject covered. The record of each administrative resolution shall provide the date of adoption, the record vote of each board member by name; and any amendments thereto adopted by the board. The clerk shall develop a system of numbering and titling such administrative resolutions and an index of matters included in the total of such resolutions.