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Operating Procedures

Operating Procedures for the South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (SWRMPO)

Download complete MPO Operating Procedures Here

Download 2008 MPO Planning Roles and Responsibilities

Preamble

 The responsibility for cooperative decision-making regarding transportation issues rests with the South Western Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (SWRMPO).  The SWRMPO is composed of the chief elected officials of the cities of Norwalk and Stamford and the towns of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Weston, Westport and Wilton.  Each municipality is entitled to one vote The Norwalk, Stamford and Westport Transit Districts are also members, and they share one vote equally.  The Chairman of the South Western Regional Planning Agency is a non-voting member.  The SWRMPO is responsible for annually reviewing and endorsing the transportation plans and programs for the South Western Region.

 The South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) is the designated Transportation Planning Agency for the South Western Region and is responsible for carrying out all major planning functions outlined by the federal government.  The planning function performed by SWRPA is done in cooperation with the SWRMPO; the Connecticut Department of Transportation; the Federal Highway Administration; the Federal Transit Administration; and, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

 The SWRMPO is supported by the Transportation Technical Advisory Group (TTAG), which is composed of the South Western Region's municipal planners, traffic engineers, transit districts and SWRPA's transportation planner.  The TTAG reviews and evaluates proposals before they are submitted to the SWRMPO.

Article I.    Meetings of the SWRMPO

A.                Any official actions taken by the SWRMPO shall be by vote.

B.                 Quorum.

For the conduct of business of the SWRMPO, five-ninths of the total voting membership shall constitute a quorum.

C.                 Action of the SWRMPO shall be by a majority vote of the members voting, except where these Operating Procedures or any applicable local, state or federal law, regulation or order requires a greater percentage of affirmative votes.

D.                Telephonic voting and participation shall be permitted. Conduct of the meeting will occur in a designated public place. Notice of the meeting will meet FOIA requirements, SWRMPO Operating Procedures, and MPO public involvement process noticing requirements. All materials made available to the MPO will be made available to persons attending the meeting. Non-MPO members who plan to speak at a meeting, including invited guests, are to submit copies of testimony and handouts 24 hours before the meeting to enable MPO members to review the materials in advance. When telephonic meetings are held a roll call vote will be conducted, so the vote of each official voting member can be acknowledged and recorded. The record of votes will be available within 48 hours of meetings for all meetings.

E.                 Each Chief Elected Official or official voting representative shall have one vote.

F.                  The Norwalk Transit District, the Greater Stamford Transit District and the Westport Transit District shall have equal shares of one vote, i.e., 1/3 vote each.

G.                As a matter of right, any voting member of the SWRMPO may request and obtain a separate vote on any particular plan, project, or program referred to the SWRMPO for consideration and action.

H.                There shall be a minimum of six meetings of the SWRMPO each year.

I.          Special meetings and emergency meetings may be called as needed by the Chairperson. Such meeting agenda shall be prepared by the Chairperson.

J.          All meetings of the SWRMPO shall comply with the requirements of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and all applicable local, state and federal laws, regulations and orders, and the SWRMPO Operating Procedures.

 K.        The SWMRPO shall operate under the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order except where such rules are in conflict with any applicable local, state or federal law, regulation or order, or the SWRMPO Operating Procedures.

L.         Written notice of regular meeting: the agenda and supporting documents shall be mailed or emailed to each member of the SWRMPO at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting, Meeting agendas will be posted on the SWRPA web site on the date that such agenda is mailed

M.        Written notice of special or emergency meeting.   The agenda and supporting documents shall be made available to the members at least 3 days prior to the meeting, except that an emergency meeting may be called without such notice when all members sign a waiver of the call of meeting.  In all cases, not less than 24 hours notice shall be given.  Meeting agenda shall be posted at the site of the meeting and on the SWRPA website at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

N.        Consent agenda: The SWRMPO may use a consent agenda to facilitate the conduct of business at any regular meeting.  Items may be placed on the consent agenda solely at the discretion of the Chairman and must be so noted on the meeting agenda. When the consent agenda is called, SWRMPO members shall have the opportunity to request that any item on the consent agenda be removed from the consent agenda and opened for discussion.         

O.        Public participation: Opportunity for public comment will be provided during all regular or special meetings and such opportunity will be marked on each meeting agenda as "Public Involvement."  Individual speakers are limited to three minutes. Individual speakers may be granted additional time, at the discretion of the Chairperson, to address issues of particular importance to the SWRMPO.  In cases where multiple persons representing a single organization indicate an interest in speaking on behalf of such organization, the Chairperson may request that those persons consolidate their statements and limit the organization's comments to five minutes.

 Article II.   Official Voting and Non-Voting Representatives

A.                As a matter of right, any voting member of the SWRMPO may designate an "official voting representative" to cast his/her vote.

B.                 The designation of an "official voting representative" must be presented to the Chairperson of the SWRMPO, in writing, by the voting member of the SWRMPO, prior to the meeting of the SWRMPO.  The length of the appointment shall be specified in writing.

C.        Non-voting membership shall be extended to the Chairperson of the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA), and to contiguous Metropolitan Planning Organizations that provide reciprocal non-voting membership to the SWRMPO. Requests for non-voting membership by others shall be considered and acted upon by the SWRMPO.

 Article III.  Officers

A.                    Officers of the SWRMPO shall include a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, who shall serve for a term of two years.  In the event that a vacancy occurs in any office, a successor shall be elected at the next meeting of the SWRMPO to serve out the unexpired term.

B.                     Method of Selection.

At the last meeting of the SWRMPO in odd - numbered calendar years, nominations for Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall be made from the floor by voting members of the SWRMPO. Once nominations are closed the Chairperson shall call separate votes to elect a new Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. Election to each office shall be by a simple majority of the members - or their official voting representatives - present and voting.

C.                     Chairperson.

The Chairperson of the SWRMPO shall be a Chief Elected Official of the SWRMPO.   The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the SWRMPO.  In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall preside. When so directed by the SWRMPO, the Chairperson shall sign all reports, plans, programs, and resolutions, which have been adopted by the SWRMPO. The Chairperson shall communicate SWRMPO policies, programs and recommendations to others as appropriate or necessary. A report on such communications shall be provided at the next SWRMPO meeting.

D.                 Vice Chairperson.

In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall assume the powers and duties of the Chairperson.

Article IV - Special Committees

 A.        The Chairman shall have the authority to establish special committees as necessary.  All special committees shall be temporary and will exist to further a specifically stated purpose and for a defined period of time.  Special committees also may be established over the Chairman's objection by a 2/3 vote of the MPO.

 Article V.        TTAG Voting Procedures and Official Representatives

A.     Any actions taken by the TTAG shall be by vote.

B.     Action of the TTAG shall be by majority vote of the members voting.

C.     Telephonic voting and participation shall be permitted. Conduct of the meeting will occur in a designated public place. Notice of the meeting will meet FOIA requirements, SWRMPO Operating Procedures, and MPO public involvement process noticing requirements. All materials made available to the TTAG will be made available to persons attending the meeting. Non-TTAG members who plan to speak at a meeting, including invited guests, are to submit copies of testimony and handouts 24 hours before the meeting to enable TTAG members to review the materials in advance. When telephonic meetings are held a roll call vote will be conducted, so the vote of each official voting member can be acknowledged and recorded. The record of votes will be available within 48 hours of meetings for all meetings.

D.     Each municipality shall have one vote. Votes shall not be split, and all votes shall be recorded.

E.                 Each Transit District in the South Western Region shall have an equal share of one vote.

F.                  The voting member of the SWRMPO shall designate, in writing, the official voting representative and alternates to the TTAG.

G.                The TTAG shall operate under the latest editions of Robert's Rules of Order except where such rules are in conflict with any applicable local, state or federal law, regulation or order, or the SWRMPO Operating Procedures.

H.        All meetings of the TTAG shall comply with the requirements of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and all applicable local, state and federal laws, regulations and orders, and the SWRMPO Operating Procedures.

 I.          Opportunity for public comment will be provided during all regular or special meetings and such opportunity will be marked on each meeting agenda as "Public Involvement."  Speakers are limited to three minutes.

J.          Non-voting membership shall be extended to contiguous Metropolitan Planning Organizations technical advisory committees that provide reciprocal non-voting membership to the SWRMPO. Requests for non-voting membership by others shall be considered and acted upon by the SWRMPO.

Article VI.      Amendments

A.                The SWRMPO Operating Procedures may be amended at any meeting by a 2/3 vote of the SWRMPO present and voting.  Any amendment may be presented for disposition by such vote of the SWRMPO at any such meeting thereof, provided that not less than ten (10) days written notice of the proposal to effect such amendment has been given to each member of the SWRMPO and publicly noticed in accordance with the SWRMPO's adopted procedures provided there is no conflict with any applicable local, state and federal law, regulation or order.

B.                  Amendments to SWRMPO Operating Procedures shall take effect immediately.

Article VII.     SWRMPO Address

A.        The South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) offices shall be the official business address for the SWRMPO.

 

Other Approved Resolutions Regarding Operating Procedures:

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