Notice of Public Hearing for Amended Rules of Order

Notice of Public Hearing for Amended Rules of Order

March 6, 2006

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

On Amended Rules of Order AND POSSIBLE ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE FIRE COMMISSION ON March 23, 2006 .

Amended Rules of Order are attached.

Tania Bauer
Secretary

RULES OF ORDER
To be Adopted March 23, 2006

CHAPTER I PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Rule 1. Open Meeting Policy

It is the policy of the San Francisco Fire Commission to conduct all official business through open and public meetings consistent with the Ralph M. Brown Act and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance.

Rule 2. Public Participation Policy

It is the policy of the San Francisco Fire Commission to encourage and permit public comment on matters within the Commission's jurisdiction.

Rule 3. Public Comment

3.1. General Public Comment. The Fire Commission shall include general public comment as an agenda item at each regular meeting of the Commission. During general public comment, each member of the public may address the Commission on matters within the Commission's jurisdiction. Each member of the public may address the Commission once during general public comment, for up to three minutes. The Commission will apply this time limit uniformly to members of the public, although the Commission will extend additional time as an accommodation to a member of the public with a disability that impairs his or her ability to speak. The President or the Commission may limit the total general public comment to 30 minutes and may limit the time allocated to each speaker depending on the number of speakers during general public comment and the number and anticipated duration of agenda items. At the conclusion of such comments, the Commission may not lawfully take action to approve or disapprove a new proposal that is not on the agenda but may refer the proposal to a city official for review.

3.2. Public Comment on Agenda Items. The Commission will provide for public comment on each item on the agenda, whether scheduled for discussion or action. Public comment on action items on the agenda will take place before the Commission takes action. Persons addressing the Commission on an agenda item shall confine their remarks to the agenda item before the Commission. For each agenda item, each member of the public may address the Commission once, for up to three minutes. The Commission will apply this time limit uniformly to members of the public, although the Commission will extend additional time as an accommodation to a member of the public with a disability that impairs his or her ability to speak. The President or the Commission may limit the public comment on an agenda item to less than three minutes per speaker, based on the nature of the agenda item, the number of anticipated speakers for that item, and the number and anticipated duration of other agenda items.

3.3. Speaker Identification. Individuals making public comment may be requested, but not required, to identify themselves.

3.4 Designated Public Comment Area. Members of the public wishing to address the Commission must speak from the public comment area designated by the Commission Secretary. This area is near the front of the Commission Room on the Commission's right side and the audience's left. A microphone is located in the designated public comment area.

3.5 Addressing the Commission. Individuals wishing to speak during public comment must approach the public comment area on the side of the room where the designated public comment area is located. Speakers should form a line starting at the second row of chairs next to the designated public comment area. No one may interfere with another person who is addressing the Commission or in line to address the Commission. Individuals in line to address the Commission must remain behind the second row of chairs until it is their turn to make public comment, and only then may they approach the microphone to speak. Individuals should speak clearly into the microphone.

3.6 Speaker Conduct. The Commission will not tolerate disruptive or inappropriate conduct during public comment. Speakers who use profanity or who engage in yelling, screaming, name-calling, or other disruptive or inappropriate behavior will be directed to cease any such conduct and may be required to leave the meeting room.

3.7 Audience Activity. Although the Commission welcomes public comment, persons in the audience shall not vocally express support or opposition to statements by Commissioners or persons testifying. Thus, applause and booing are prohibited. Persons shall not bring signs into the chamber, although small signs or buttons may be worn on clothing. The Commission may request that persons refrain from other conduct that causes unreasonable distractions during the meeting.

3.8 Comment, Not Debate. During public comment, remarks from speakers shall be addressed to the Commission as a whole and not to individual Commission members, Fire Department personnel or the audience. Commissioners, Fire Department personnel, and other speakers are not required to respond to questions from a speaker. Commission members shall not enter into debate or discussion with speakers during public comment, although Commissioners may question speakers to obtain clarification. The President or the Commission may request a city official to investigate an issue raised during public comment and later report to a committee or to the Commission. The lack of a response by the Commissioners to public comment does not necessarily constitute agreement with or support of comments made during public comment.

3.9 Conduct During Commission Meetings. The President or Presiding Officer shall order removed from the meeting room any person who commits the following acts:

3.9.1 Disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior toward the Commission or any member thereof, or any member of the Department, tending to interrupt the due and orderly course of said meeting;

3.9.2 A breach of the peace, boisterous conduct or violent disturbance, tending to interrupt the due and orderly course of said meeting;

3.9.3 Disobedience of any lawful order of the presiding officer, which shall include an order to be seated or to refrain from addressing the Commission; or

3.9.4 Any other unlawful interference with the due and orderly course of said meeting.

3.10 Approaching Commissioners or the Fire Chief During Proceedings. Members of the public may not approach the Commissioners or the Chief of the Department during Commission proceedings. If a member of the public wishes to make an inquiry or provide correspondence or other materials to the Commission or the Chief, he or she shall present the inquiry or materials to the Commission Secretary before or after the meeting, during a break in the meeting, or after requesting and receiving permission to do so during public comment.

3.11 Recording Commission Proceedings. Members of the public may record Commission meetings. Anyone filming or taping the proceeding may position his or her equipment at the front of the Commission room. Once the recording device is started, however, the member of the public should return to his or her seat or a standing area in the room. Alternatively, a member of the public filming or taping the proceeding may stand with his or her recording equipment, as long as he or she stands behind the second row of chairs in the Commission room. No person may intentionally block or impede a member of the public's recording of the proceeding.

Rule 4. Written Communications

San Franciscans are encouraged to write to the Fire Commission concerning issues within the Commission's jurisdiction. The Secretary shall list the following written communications in the next agenda: (1) written communications from members of the public addressed directly to the Fire Commission; (2) commendations and letters of recognition received by the Chief of Department, if the Commission becomes aware of such communications; and (3) any disciplinary charges filed by the Chief of Department. Communications shall also be kept and made available pursuant to the requirements of the Sunshine Ordinance.

Chapter II Meeting Times and Organization

Rule 5. Meeting Times and Location

The Fire Commission shall hold regular meetings in the Commission Room at Fire Department headquarters, 698 Second Street, San Francisco, at 6:00 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. The Commission shall not meet during the week after Thanksgiving, and shall not meet between December 24th and December 31st. Special meetings may be called at any time by the President of the Commission or by majority vote of the Commission members as specified in Section 67.6 of the Sunshine Ordinance.

Rule 6. Special Meetings and Closed Sessions

The Fire Commission may hold a special meeting at the call of the presiding officer or upon majority vote of the members. Special meetings may be held at the Commission Room, or at an alternate location, provided that a call and notice are provided as required by Section 67.6 of the Sunshine Ordinance. The Fire Commission may meet in closed session during a regular or special meeting only as specified in Sections 67.8 to 67.14 of the Sunshine Ordinance. The Secretary of the Commission shall post the action required to be reported after a closed session pursuant to the requirements of Administrative Code Section 67.12.

Rule 7. Commission President

The President shall call Commission meetings to order, preside at all meetings of the Commission and perform all other duties necessary or incidental to the office. The President may create committees to perform such advisory functions as he/she shall determine, and may appoint and remove members from such committees at his/her pleasure.

Rule 8. Commission Vice-President

In the absence or inability of the President to act, the Vice-President shall take the place and perform the duties of the President.

Rule 9. Voting

Pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section 4.104, every official act of the Fire Commission shall be adopted by majority vote of the members, except that matters of procedure may be adopted by majority vote of the members present at a meeting, so long as the members present constitute a quorum; Commission business shall be conducted only when a quorum is present. The term quorum shall mean a majority of the members of the Commission.

Rule 10. Order of Business

Meetings of the Fire Commission shall proceed as set forth in an official agenda issued by the Secretary of the Commission, except that the presiding officer may call items out of order for any reasonable purpose.

Rule 11. Secretary of the Commission

The Secretary of the Commission shall call the roll at each Commission meeting, call each item on the agenda, and call and record all Commission votes by member. The Secretary shall assist the presiding officer as necessary to assure that meetings are orderly. The Secretary shall maintain a file of all written communications received by the Commission.

Rule 12. Commission Agenda

The Secretary of the Commission shall post an agenda before each meeting as required by Section 67.7 of the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance. Each agenda shall specify the time and place of the meeting and contain a meaningful description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed.

Rule 13. Commission Action

No action or discussion shall be taken on any item not appearing on the posted agenda, except as permitted under the exceptions set forth in Administrative Code Section 67.7.

Rule 14. Minutes

The Secretary shall prepare minutes of each meeting and present them for approval at the following meeting. The Secretary shall prepare and post the minutes in compliance with the timelines and other regulations set forth in Administrative Code Section 67.16.