× PUBLIC NOTICE: City Hall and all public buildings will be closed to the public until further notice due to the Coronavirus Emergency. More Info

Terminology Used in City Council

1st Item(s) of Business - is an item scheduled by the Mayor and with the consent of the City Council and listed on the Council's calendar at the beginning of the meeting, taken up out of the order designated by the Council's Rules.

Appropriation - is an amount of money that is being recommended to be applied to a certain account and for a specified purpose.

Chairman's Order - is a request that emanates from any general discussion that takes place at Standing Committee or Ad Hoc Committee meetings.

Chairman's Ordinance - is an ordinance that is proposed as a result of any general discussion that takes place at Standing Committee or Ad Hoc Committee meetings.

Communication - is correspondence received by the City Clerk from any person(s) or entity except the City Manager.

Communications of the City Manager - is the calendar containing the transmittals from the City Manager to the City Council containing the correspondence from various Department Heads and/or Boards or Commissions that contain requests, updates, reports, informational correspondence and/or appointments. These may be informational and/or items that require City Council action as the municipality's "Board of Directors".

Discussion Item - is a heading under which topics may be spoken about by the City Council or its Standing or Ad Hoc Committees. These topics should fall under the general purview of the body where no actual item appears on the pending list.

Finance Items - certain communications concerning the general financial health of the City and it's municipal budget are routinely referred to the Standing Committee on Finance where they may be held and considered in conjunction with general discussions by the full Council.

Hearing - is a designated period during a City Council or Standing Committee or Ad-Hoc Committee meeting during which public testimony is taken. Advertisement in a paper of general circulation is usually made so the public is afforded an opportunity to be heard.

Hearings and Orders - public and private utilities petition the City to be allowed to open the streets and sidewalk areas for installation of conduits and wiring and for construction of other appurtenances. The public is invited to attend the hearing and to be heard in favor or in opposition to the utility's request. The subsequent approval, and any conditions thereto, are included in the Order.

Loan Order - a recommendation from the City Manager that involves the borrowing of funds for a specifically stated purpose. Approval is a two-step process that includes public advertisement.

Order - are action items that are the result of the vote of City Council and state the will of the body subsequent to full consideration.

Ordinance Committee Hearing - certain petitions require advertised public hearings when the Council sits as the Standing Committee on Ordinances. Proponents and Opponents are given an opportunity to be heard.

Ordinances - is the organized collection of municipal laws. These local laws state how municipal departments and Boards and Commission are organized and set forth fees, fines and other significant citations. Approval of the General Ordinances and any amendments thereto, from time to time, require City Council action. Proposed new general ordinances and any changes proposed thereto require advertisement and a public hearing prior to final adoption and then additional advertisement subsequent to being made final.

Pending List - is the list of items to be considered by a Standing or Ad Hoc Committee referred or recommitted from the City Council.

Petition - is a written request that any person or persons may file concerning any topic under the general purview of the City of Worcester. A petition requires at least one signature unless it is a request for private street maintenance in which case at least 2/3 of the abutting property owners must sign.

Proclamation - is an official written decree or designation issued only by the Mayor designating a day, week, month or year for in recognition of a particular person, cause, organization or event.

Quorum - the City Council or a Standing or Ad-Hoc Committee reaches a quorum when at least 50% of the elected or appointed members of that legislative body is present to conduct business.

Recess - during a meeting, the Chair may declare a time-out during which no formal business is conducted, announcing either the duration of the recess or the date, time and place for reconvening.

Recess to Finance or Ordinance Committee - the Council may sit or may convene and act on finance or ordinance items previously referred to the respective committees.

Recommit - is a referral of an item that returns it from whence it came; either to the City Manager, a Standing or Ad Hoc Committee or a Board or Commission.

Reconsideration - is a written or verbal request that may be made by any member or members of the City Council requesting that a previously voted item be taken up again. A request for reconsideration, if filed subsequent to adjournment, appears on the next City Council calendar. and may only be filed with the City Clerk within forty-eight hours of said item first being voted.

Refer - is the simple action of transferring an item that is being considered by the Council to another body such as a Standing Committee or a Board or Commission, a Department Head, or the City Manager.

Report - is the conveyance by which Boards, Commissions, Standing and Ad Hoc Committees report their recommendations to the full City Council concerning items that were referred to them for consideration.

Resolution - is a formal decree or City Council designation recognizing a person(s), organization or event of significance.

Roll Call - is an individual call by the Chair on any item being considered by the City Council expressed in yeas and nays.

Simple Majority - requires the affirmative vote of six members of the City Council regardless of the number of members present or absent.

Standing Committee - are the sub-committees of the City Council appointed by Mayor whose obligation and responsibility is to consider specific topics under their jurisdiction.

Tabled Item - calendar items that are placed on the table and held indefinitely. These items appear weekly at the end of the calendar.

Tabled Under Privilege - an item on the calendar may be held for one week by any individual member of City Council. After one week when the matter is taken up for a vote, if 4 or more Councillors object to the taking of a vote, the matter shall be further postponed for not less than an additional 5 days.

Voice Vote - is the collective call by the Chair on any item being considered by the City Council expressed in yeas and nays.

City of Worcester
Customer Service Line
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Contact Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram Icons
ALERTWorcester Logo  Smart911 Logo
City of Worcester Seal Image Worcester Public Schools Seal Image Worcester Public Library Logo
Home | Login | Disclaimer | Site Map

© 2020 Copyright City of Worcester, MA. All Rights Reserved.

Official City of Worcester, MA Website WorcesterMA.gov