Amended existing Charter Sec. 318 & 320 - Pittsburgh Open Government Amendment

Open government = better government!

Amended existing Charter Sec. 318 & 320

Article 3
Legislative Branch

Article 3, Sections 318 and 320(a) are amended as follows in order to render them consistent with Article 6 as amended, additions being underlined and deletions with a line through them:



The added language more explicitly identifies what a "declaration of urgent need" entails; requires Internet posting for notices of proposed legislation; and restarts public notice and comment if substantively amended.

Council shall not take final action on any legislation until a minimum of seven days has elapsed from the date of its introduction, unless council finds and declares that an urgent reason exists requiring earlier final action and, at such time, identifies said reason and explains its justification.  Council shall give public notice of the introduction of legislation within twenty-four hours after it is introduced.  Notice shall consist of posting the proposed legislation or its title with an accurate abstract in a conspicuous public place readily observable by citizens entering the building occupied by council; posting the proposed legislation, or its title with an accurate abstract and a link to its complete text, in the notices section of the City website; having a link to the position in the notices section from a brief and succinct descriptive reference that is prominently visible upon accessing the main webpage; entering the bill into the process for individualized notification as established under Sec. 607(c); and also by posting in the office of the city clerk.  A substantive amendment of legislation before Council shall, for the purposes of public notice and comment, be equivalent to a new introduction.


Council shall grant a public hearing to residents of the City:


The changes make Section 320 explicitly consistent with Section 609(d) and clarify who can sign.  All possible types of vote are added to remove any ambiguity of what is intended by "shall not vote (on)."

a.       On pending legislation, if they deliver a petition requesting a public hearing to the city clerk no later than three days, after notice of the introduction of the proposed legislation or after a substantive amendment, signed by at least twenty-five qualified electors who reside in the City residents of age 18 years or older, which includes a statement that all petitioners intend to attend the public hearing.  Council shall not vote on to enact, amend, postpone, table, refer, or withdraw the proposed legislation until a public hearing is held in response to a properly submitted petition.