Legislative Process

By §32 of the Charter of the City of Mount Vernon,  the City Council, on behalf of the voters, by legislative process,  is responsible for the enactment of ordinances not inconsistent with law, for the government of the City and the management of its business, for the preservation of good order, peace and health, for the safety and welfare of its inhabitants and the protection and security of their property and its authority, except as otherwise provided in this chapter or by law, is legislative only.

There are five citizens who are elected by the citizens of the City of Mount Vernon to serve a term of four years each, unless, in case of early vacancy, elected to  complete a term to the office of City Councilperson. Section 33 of the Charter: at their Annual Meeting, the City Council  elects from among its members a President of the City Council who presides at all meetings and discharges other duties as may be defined by ordinance of the City Council as well as participates as a voting     member of the Mount Vernon Board of Estimate and Contract.

Council Committees: The Mount Vernon City Charter, (Section 36 - Powers) permits The City Council to determine the rules of its own proceedings. In doing so the City Council, by historical practice, has established four(4) Council Committees entitled Finance and Planning, Legislation and Public Works, Public Safety and Codes and Human Resources. Each Committee is administered by a Councilperson who is designated as a Committee Chair and a different Councilperson who is designated as a Co-Chair. The City Council President is a de facto member of each committee.

Subject Matter: All subject matter that is to be considered by the City Council is first assigned to one of the four Council Committees by the Referral process.

Referrals Conference:  A Referrals Conference, which is facilitated by the Office of the City Clerk, and assisted by the Legislative Assistant to the City Council may also include members of the Mount Vernon Law Department. Through the referrals conference process, at the direction of the City Council President, or at the initiative of any City Council Person, referrals are directed to subject matter Committees of the City Council.  

Office of the City Clerk: The Office of the Mount Vernon City Clerk receives all Referrals for City Council consideration. 

Proposed Enactments: Upon the initiative of the City Council, at the direction of the Mayor, Comptroller or by referendum of the citizens, proposed enactments in the form of Public Law, Ordinances or Resolutions are prepared by the City’s Law Department or brought to the floor by any City Councilperson upon his/her own initiative upon motion seconded by a different Councilperson at a duly convened City Council Meeting. 

Working Meeting of the City Council: During the Working Meeting of the Mount Vernon City Council, usually held on the Monday evening (or Tuesday if there has been a superseding Monday holiday) before a regular city council meeting, referrals are brought before the City Council as a Committee of the Whole for the purpose of determining whether any of the referrals should be placed on the AGENDA for the next Regular or Special City Council Meeting as:

AGENDA (A):  Listed for a vote upon MOTION of the Committee Chair and SECONDED by the Committee Co-Chair.

 Any referrals that are not placed on the AGENDA are designated by the appropriate Committee Chair as:

    CALLED FOR (C): More Information Needed, 

INFORMATION (I): Filed for Council Members to know 

HELD (H): Delayed for further discussion

AGENDA/PENDING (A/P): Listed for a vote, upon motion, pending additional information needed by Committee Chair

Regular Meeting of the Mount Vernon City Council: There are two Regular Meetings of the Mount Vernon City Council on the Second and Fourth Wednesdays of each month. For Holiday schedule see §35 of Municipal Code. During the summer months of July and August, the council only meets on the second Wednesday, unless a Special Meeting is called by the City Council President. Each meeting has an AGENDA that is determined at the Working Committee of the Whole of the City Council on the Monday before each regular meeting (or Tuesday if there has been a superseding Monday holiday). The Agenda is thereafter posted to the Website and updated with any “ADD-ONs” that are submitted to the City Clerk’s Office prior to the Regular Meeting.

Special Meeting of the Mount Vernon City Council:  A Special Meeting of the Mount Vernon City Council may be scheduled upon six hours' notice to the public by the City Council President.