There are 7 primary Business Processes to document:
- Meeting Notices
- Legislative Meeting Minutes
- Publication of Weekly Minute Books
- Indexing and Publication of Annual Municipal Record Book
- Standing Committees Meeting Minutes
- Public Hearing Minutes
- Legislative Process (Ordinances and Resolutions)
The City Clerk's Office is responsible for recording minutes for Legislative and Standing Committee Meetings, as well as Public Hearings. Each of these sessions is recorded by an on-site Stenographer. Minutes are also recorded verbatim and transcribed for publication. These minutes are kept on file in the City Clerk's office and copies are made available upon request. The minutes are also kept in a common computer drive as "read-only' documents for electronic researching purposes.
To obtain minutes for the any of these session click here, or call and request a copy of the minutes that you want. Transcripts, Public Hearings, Committee Meetings, and Ordinances and Resolutions cost 25 cents per copy.
All proposed Ordinances and Resolutions are submitted to the City Clerk's Office for processing. The Clerk's Office is responsible for making sure that all proposed legislation is introduced by Council, assigned a bill number, placed in proper Committee, discussed at the Committee Meeting, and before Council for final action as deemed by Council.
All legislation receiving final approval is then signed by the Council President and City Clerk, and forwarded to the Mayor for signature of approval. The Mayor has ten days to act on the legislation. Once the Mayor approves the legislation, it is returned to the City Clerk's Office. The City Clerk's Office then records the legislation to the Municipal Record Book, issues a Resolution or Ordinance number, and forwards certified copies to the City Controller and respective department heads. All Ordinances, conditional use and historic preservation resolutions are published once in a newspaper of general circulation within the city.
The following narrative will describe the process by which legislation is introduced and passed. There are also various side processes generated by the legislative process, such as agenda preparation, and Files of Council. Since these processes are interrelated to the legislative process, they will be described in this portion.
§ Proposed Legislation Submitted To The City Clerk's Office - The Mayor's Office submits proposed legislation to the City Clerk's Office. It should be noted that the City Clerk's Office is in the process of setting requirements and guidelines for the standardization of all electronic documents submitted to the office. When this takes effect, all electronic copies of legislation will be submitted in a common form on disk or through e-mail.
The City Clerk's Office also receives original documents and one required copy. A brief summary agenda is submitted containing the titles of the proposed legislation. Council may also submit legislation that they generate on their own. All proposed legislation should be submitted no later than 12:00 noon Friday prior to the Legislative Meeting of Council, at which time this legislation is introduced. Final action on legislation also takes place at this meeting, which will be discussed later on in this section.
§ Proposed Legislation Introduced in Council - On Tuesday following the submission of the above-described legislation, Council conducts their Legislative Meeting. At this meeting proposed legislation is introduced by Council Members and referred to their respective committees. The legislation is given a bill number which is used as a reference for tracking prior to its final passage.
§ Creation of the Presentation of Papers - By law, the City Clerk's Office is required to post in a public place a summary of all legislation. This must be done within 24 hours after introduction.
§ Creation of Standing Committees Meeting Agenda - The agenda for Council's Standing Committees meeting is also generated from the electronic submission of legislation. The agenda is e-mailed to all departments and hard copies are made available to the general public.
§ Discussion and Preliminary Action - Eight days following the introduction of legislation, the bills are discussed and a preliminary vote is taken. This takes place at the Wednesday Standing Committees Meeting. The bills are either given an affirmative recommendation, a negative recommendation, or they may be held pending additional information, the scheduling of public hearings or for reports and recommendations from city departments.
The bills may also be tabled, which means that no action is taken. The tabled bills may be untabled by 5 votes of Council and discussed at a later date. Bills that receive preliminary action (either affirmative or negative recommendation) are given a file number as a second reference.
§ Creation of Files of Council - All bills that receive preliminary action are contained in a document called the Files of Council. The Files of Council contain the language of the legislation in its entirety. This document is used as an agenda for the Legislative Meeting, at which time the bills will be before Council for final action. Copies of these files are distributed to each Council office and are made available to the general public upon request.
Once legislation is passed each approved bill within the Files of Council is assigned a number and certified by the City Clerk. Full sets of certified Files Council are sent to the Mayor's Office, Law Department, City Controller, Department of City Planning, and the Finance Department.
§ Final Discussion and Final Action - Six days following the Standing Committee Meeting of Council, all bills that received preliminary action are before Council for a final vote. Bills are approved, defeated, tabled, or recommitted to the Standing Committees Meeting for further discussion. If the bills are passed, they are signed by the President of Council and the City Clerk, and forwarded to the Mayor for signature of approval.
§ Forwarding of Passed Bills to the Mayor - A letter containing titles of all bills that received final approval is sent to the Mayor along with the original bills. Upon receipt of the bills, the Mayor has ten days to take action. If the Mayor does not take action within that time, the bills are returned to the City Clerk for passage without his signature.
The Mayor also has the option to veto a bill. Vetoed legislation is returned to Council accompanied by a letter from the Mayor stating his objections. At the next Legislative Meeting Council may either sustain the veto or over ride it by a two-thirds majority.
§ Assigning of Ordinance and Resolution Numbers - The Mayor returns all legislation he approves to the City Clerk's Office. The legislation is reconciled with the letter sent to the Mayor (as described above) to assure that all bills are accounted for. The City Clerk's staff then puts the legislation in order by subject matter. The legislation is then assigned a Resolution or Ordinance number, which is verified with a master document containing numbers of all passed legislation. This is to assure that no bill receives duplicate numbers. These numbers are also typed onto the copies of the bills which are certified and sent to their respective departments.
§ Creation of Transmittal Letter - A reference sheet is created which sorts each piece of legislation according to respective city departments. A transmittal letter indicating passage of the legislation, along with certified copies of the legislation is then sent to the departments. These copies are sent in hard copy form because of the need for the City Clerk's signature on all certified copies. Once the departments receive these certified copies, they may implement the legislation.
§ Conversion of Legislation for Publication in the Municipal Record Book - All approved legislation is retrieved from the files of Council, assigned page numbers, and converted into proper form for publication in the Annual Municipal Record Book. This process is described in detail in the Indexing and Publication of the Municipal Record Book section of this document.
§ Storage of Legislation - All original legislation is filed in a vault located in the City Clerk's main office for storage and reference.
Production of Weekly Minute Books / Indexing and Production of Annual Municipal Record Book
For the purpose of continuity, and because of their interdependency, these processes will be combined. The minutes of the Legislative Meetings of Council are published in separate weekly minute books. Each Member of Council receives a copy of these minutes, which are approved at the next Legislative Meeting of Council. Additional copies of these books are on file in the City Clerk's Office for public reference and distribution.
These weekly minute books are then used to compile an index for the publication of the Annual Municipal Record book. This book is divided into two parts. The first part is called The Minutes of the Proceedings, which contains, verbatim, all dialogue from Council's Legislative Meetings. This dialogue is indexed by various categories for reference at the beginning of the book. The second part is called Ordinances and Resolutions, which contains all legislation passed in Council for that respective year.
Office of City Clerk
510 City-County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219