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Bylaws (Adopted December 15, 2006)


These bylaws were originally adopted by the Council of Cities, formerly named Council of Mayors of the Cities of San Mateo County, on the second day of December, 1966 and amended several times thereafter. The last prior revision was adopted in December 1999.

For the purpose of providing for the orderly conduct of the affairs of the existing San Mateo County Council of Cities, there are hereby adopted the following procedural Bylaws.


The name of the organization shall be the “San Mateo County Council of Cities,” and may be referred to as the “Council of Cities,” successor to the Council of Mayors of the Cities of San Mateo County.

ARTICLE II – Purposes

Section 1. The Council of Cities shall have as its principal purpose the promotion of a spirit of cooperation among the cities of the San Mateo County and enhancement of the public health, safety and welfare.

Section 2. In addition, the Council of Cities shall have the following purposes:

(a) To provide a forum for the elected officials for the discussion and dissemination of information of county wide or area wide interest and to make recommendations
thereon for the guidance of the officials of the Federal Government, the State Government, the County Government, cities and other agencies;
(b) To make recommendations for guidance to the various cities in San Mateo County for the purpose of establishing and promoting coordination of efforts where
deemed desirable to the inhabitants of the County;
(c) To make recommendations for appointments, or to make appointments where appropriate, or required by law, to various commission, boards, groups, agencies
or entities deemed in the public welfare by the Council of Cities.

Section 3. The Council of Cities is an informal organization and shall not have the authority to enter into contracts or to create obligations binding on either itself or its membership other than those obligations expressly provided by Federal, State or Local laws and then only when formally approved in accordance with law.

Section 4. The Council of Cities shall not participate in or endorse any political activity involving any individual candidate for public office or otherwise prohibited by law.

The selection of officers within Article IV herein shall not be considered a political activity subject to this section.

ARTICLE III – Membership

Section 1. Each city in San Mateo County which subscribes to the purposes of the organization shall be eligible for membership.

(a) Participating member. Participating members are all of the Mayors and Council members of the Cities of San Mateo County.

(b) Voting members. The Mayor of each member city in San Mateo County shall be the voting member and shall be entitled to one vote. In the absence of the Mayor,the chairperson of the organization must receive written notification authorizing a council member as the designated alternate to vote on behalf of the city. The designated alternate may be different from the alternate designated for the City Selection Committee proceedings.

Section 2. Any City may terminate its participation at any time by giving written notice to the secretary/treasurer reflecting formal action by the city council.

ARTICLE IV – Officers

Section 1. The offices of the organization shall consist of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary/treasurer.

Section 2. The chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary/treasurer shall be mayors or councilmembers and shall be elected by the membership at the December meeting to serve for a term of twelve (12) months commencing on January 1st.

Section 3. Any councilmember or mayor interested in serving as an officer may express his or her interest and qualifications in writing to the Secretary of the City Selection Committee, who will immediately circulate the letter of interest to member cities. The candidate should take into consideration the timing of the various city council meetings.

Section 4. Nominations for officers of the organization shall be made from the floor at the December meeting. All nominations and seconds shall be made by voting members only.

Section 5. An election for each office, beginning with that of chairperson, shall be immediately after all nominations for that office have been closed. Voting for contested offices shall be by ballot, collected and counted by the secretary/treasurer in the presence of two non-candidates selected by the chairperson.

Section 6. The chairperson shall preside at all meetings, may call special meetings and must call special meetings when requested by a majority of the member cities.

Section 7. The vice-chairperson shall perform the duties of the chairperson in the
absence of the chairperson.

Section 8. All officers shall serve without compensation.

Section 9. The chairperson, vice-chairperson or secretary/treasurer may be removed from office at any time by the affirmative vote of a majority of the member cities.

ARTICLE V -Committees

Section 1. Standing Committees.
(a) Program Committee. The chair shall appoint a program committee to develop timely and informative programs for the monthly meetings and shall operate as follows:

(i) The committee may consist of three or fewer members;

(ii) Mayors and council members shall be eligible to serve on the committee.

b). Special Committees.

(i) The organization may from time to time establish one or more special committees. The chairperson of the organization shall make all appointments to each special committee and shall designate the chairperson thereof.
(ii) Mayors and council members are eligible to serve on special committees.

ARTICLE VI – Meetings

Section 1. Regular meetings of the Council of Cities shall be held on the fourth Friday of each month except when necessary to avoid conflict with holiday periods. The Mayor and city council of each member city shall be given at least ten (10) days notice of the time and place of each meeting, together with an agenda of the matters to be considered including any election to be conducted or appointment to be made.

Section 2. Meeting shall be held throughout the county and shall to the greatest extent practicable include venues in the northern, central and southern parts of the county.

Section 3. Any meeting may be canceled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the member cities.

ARTICLE VII – Conduct of Business

Section 1. A quorum is required for any business of the Council of Cities requiring a vote and shall consist of voting members of a majority of the member cities.

Section 2. Prior to taking any action and except as provided in Article VII, Section 4, sufficient time should be allowed for member cities to agendize and discuss at their respective city council meetings matters which will be coming before the organization.

Section 3. Members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, other elected officials, city staff members, guests and media representatives are welcome to attend any regular or specially called meeting of the Council of Cities. Appointed representatives of the Council of Cities or City Selection Committee who have reports should request placement on the agenda. A report from a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors shall be placed on the agenda of each meeting and a member shall be recognized at each meeting of the organization. Voting members and other individuals may address the members when recognized by the chairperson.

Section 4. The Council of Cities shall not act on any item not previously posted on the agenda (i.e., endorse, nominate, appoint, support, or pass any resolution of support, or motion in connection therewith) unless permission to so act has been received by two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present with a minimum of eleven (11) votes. In the event such approval is not obtained, the matter must be included in the minutes of the meeting and added to the agenda at the next regular meeting.

Section 5. Voting on issues or appointment of city representative to boards, commission, committees and agencies shall be done in the following manner:

(a) All contested voting shall be done by written ballot, which shall include the name of each person casting the ballot, the city represented and how that person voted;

(b) After all votes have been counted, the chair will announce the results of the vote. Those votes shall be included in the minutes of the meeting. The ballots shall remain with the secretary/treasurer and available for review.

Section 6. Except as provided herein, or by the affirmative vote of the majority of the votes of the member cities, Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, shall constitute the parliamentary authority for the Council of Cities.


Section 1. There shall be no regular dues payable by any member city.

Section 2. No member shall receive compensation or reimbursement from the organization for regular expenses incurred in attending any meeting or other function.

Section 3. Operating expenses of the organization, may be assessed by a majority of the votes of the member cities and are due and payable within 45 days for the City to be current for the purpose of determining voting membership.

Section 4. Any expenditure of the organization in excess of $100.00 must be approved by a majority of the votes of the member cities present.

ARTICLE IX – Amendments

These bylaws or any amendments thereto shall be in effect when adopted by the affirmation vote of 2/3 of the member cities.

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