Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Law and Legal Advice > General Law and Legal Advice
Reload this Page >

How to get an ordinance up for a vote by city council

How to get an ordinance up for a vote by city council

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-15-18, 03:51 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 349
How to get an ordinance up for a vote by city council

Hello,

Recently our small town city council decided to place a weight restriction ordinance to not allow school buses on side streets of our community. This will essentially force kids from 3 different school districts at common spots along the busiest intersections of the community. This was done with the city residents not aware. After it happened we became aware and posted to our small towns public facebook group where a large portion of the community is in opposition.

There was a council meeting last week where many residence showed up but the council would not re-vote the issue. There is a single council member in opposition to this. He asked the question during the meeting but the mayor and auditor were to loud and brushed him off. I have asked him how to do this but he doesn't know and we cannot ask the remaining council we don't think to catch wind of what our intent is.

The citizens want to understand what the process is to force a re-vote on this and why i am here. I am assuming this is different all over the place but I don't know.

Any guidance here would be great on how to get this resolved.

Thanks.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-15-18, 03:57 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,189
Talk to your elected officials, not just local but state too. Around 30 yrs ago when I lived in fla they passed a law saying kids that lived less than 3 miles [?] from school couldn't take the bus. That meant a lot of the kids in the grade school my sons went to had to walk - along a divided highway with no lights or sidewalk. Fortunately we found out before it was implemented and were able to get that law changed before it went into effect. Someone also started a petition that I signed.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-18, 04:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 349
Thanks for the quick reply.

When you say state official can you elaborate a bit perhaps on this as I am not very familiar. Maybe someone at a county level or something? Oddly enough we have some points of contact with gov of the state but not sure i need to go there? sounds like your situation was as shady as ours. Unfortunately we did not catch ours early enough.
 
  #4  
Old 03-15-18, 04:01 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,121
Unless this ordinance was voted on in a closed door meeting I serious doubt it was done secretly. I assume it went through the normal bureaucratic process but nobody noticed or paid attention until it was all over. Getting it changed after the fact could be more difficult than having addressed it before it was approved.

Start by talking to your local government. Whoever is manning the office during the day should be able to tell you the process in your town for bringing a motion. In my town it generally needs to be done about a month in advance to allow it to be added to the agenda which is typed up and made available to the council members two weeks before the monthly meeting.

First I would research why the ordinance was enacted. It may have been to keep heavy delivery or construction traffic off the side streets. The council might be very open to amending the ordinance to exempt school busses.
 
  #5  
Old 03-15-18, 04:12 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,189
If I remember correctly the school board officials, county commissioners and state representatives were contacted.
 
  #6  
Old 03-15-18, 04:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 349
Sorry if i came across as saying it was not done legally. I am assuming it was done legally.

Unfortunately there are 6 folks on our local gov. 5 elected and our auditor. I talked with mayor about this and he did not have an answer for me and got very defensive about it and why he was not in agreement with the idea so i made it no where with him. I talked also with the one council member who is in opposition but he also does not know and was given a similar run around by the mayor.

The ordinance was done as the council believes the buses are causing damage to our roadways. There are no big trucks coming in to the side streets as there is only one way in and out essentially and goes in a U shaped loop back to the main roads. I would say the worst offender and begs another question is our snowplow. I would venture to guess this will exceed the weight limit as well. Will this machine be allowed on our roads i wonder?
 
  #7  
Old 03-15-18, 04:14 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 673
ND State School Superintendent........

https://www.nd.gov/dpi/about/superintendent/
 
  #8  
Old 03-15-18, 04:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 349
@marksr we had the school super independent at the meeting in fact and he did very well in his explanation. The proposed changes were enacted in fact by the school last year. near exact what the city will force on us. The school quickly realized the issues of safety and after 2 days of those stops changed it back. he made the council well aware of this but the auditor and mayor would not re vote the issue.
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-18, 04:24 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 673
The ordinance was done as the council believes the buses are causing damage to our roadways. There are no big trucks coming in to the side streets as there is only one way in and out essentially and goes in a U shaped loop back to the main roads. I would say the worst offender and begs another question is our snowplow. I would venture to guess this will exceed the weight limit as well. Will this machine be allowed on our roads i wonder?
Do garbage trucks go down those streets? Those garbage trucks are MUCH heavier than a school bus.
 
  #10  
Old 03-15-18, 05:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 349
@Dixie2012 you are correct as is the snow plowed loaded with sand. I mentioned this to the councilmen in opposition and he is now questioning the mechanism in how they are going to enforce this. What other way could they though?
 
  #11  
Old 03-15-18, 05:44 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 883
Recently our small town city council decided to place a weight restriction ordinance
to not allow school buses on side streets of our community.
Interesting, so this is a school-bus restriction, masquerading as a weight restriction?

If I were you, I'd seek out 3 sorts of people.

First, a former councilmember or government staffer who knows the borough rules about passing laws. Every local government seems to have somebody like this, they're the equivalent of that little league coach who understands the infield-fly-rule. Every City Council/local council seems to have a "parlimentarian", the person who's read the manual, and knows the rules. Finding somebody like this who's retired can also be quite helpful

Second, you want to contact the local party committee people, not the County/City wide people, but the volunteers who are outside the polls on election day. You want them because, they (A) have a good rolodex of contacts, and (B) when the next primary/special election rolls around, they can have your poster and petition with them at each of the local polling places.

Third, you probably want an attorney, you might see if there is a local public interest law association, or the County Bar association may have a list of attorneys who accept pro-bono work.
Local
 
  #12  
Old 03-18-18, 12:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: US
Posts: 349
@Hal_S yes that is the sound of it. Seems like the only way i will find out for sure is possibly contacting the city attorney directly and maybe he knows.

Also, i appreciate some of the additional information. Unfortunately in such a small community we are missing these champions and little league coaches of the groups that I know.

The attorney option I think there is a school 90 min away from here that churns out some attorneys that maybe could on for some pro-bono work as you mention. I am not sure how to approach this as I am not clear why i would need an attorney. Can you give me some detail there perhaps so i know what to ask?
 
  #13  
Old 03-18-18, 12:33 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 673
I am not sure how to approach this as I am not clear why i would need an attorney.

The reason you need an attorney is you have an issue that the counsel wont address with you. An attorney can probably tell you within 15 minutes what avenues, if any, you have here. They will usually meet with you & answer that question in an initial consultation with out any fees involved. From there, you know what options you have. Then you can make an informed decision on where to go from there.

Another reason you need an attorney is because, without an attorney, your gonna still be right where you are a year from now without any resolution. You can meddle with them all you want. Call them every day, write letters, talk to others in the community from now own, but until you can give them a reason to address the situation, kids are still going to be walking in the dark to a bus stop. An attorney can & WILL make them take your requests seriously & get answers... possibly a positive resolution on your behalf.
 
  #14  
Old 03-18-18, 02:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,094
A towns attorney is paid by the town to represent them. Not sure that s/he would be the best to advise on possible action against the town. Some searching should turn up on who specialized in local government and will be very familiar with typical town government and maybe specifically your town. The will know the rules by which those board members must govern.

Bud
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes