Legislative Glossary

AdoptThe term adopt refers to the Council's acceptance of or agreement to a proposed ordinance, resolution, amendment or motion. Once an ordinance or resolution is adopted, the City Clerk assigns that ordinance or resolution the third part of its number.
AgendaThe proposed order and items of business to be considered at City Council meetings.
AmendmentAn amendment is a change to the language of an ordinance or resolution that either has been introduced but not acted on by the Council. An amendment to an ordinance or resolution that either has been introduced but not acted on is made by a member through a "motion to amend." An ordinance, if so amended, must be continued to a future Council meeting. A resolution, if so amended, may be acted upon in the same meeting in which it is amended
AppropriationA legal authorization granted by the City Council to make expenditures and incur obligations for specific purposes.
Checks and BalancesConstitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate
Consent AgendaThe consent agenda is a method for the expeditious handling of several routine items in one motion.
ContinueBy a motion adopted by a majority of the members, the Council may "continue," or postpone, any ordinance or resolution on the agenda to a future meeting. However, no ordinance or resolution may be continued from one Council term to another.
Government by the people both directly or indirectly
Judicial Review
The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or a government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
MotionA motion is a formal proposal by a member, in a meeting, that the Council take certain action
OrdinanceAn ordinance has the effect of local law in the city of Norfolk. The Charter of the city of Norfolk requires that certain actions be only by ordinance. Ordinances of general and permanent application are codified in the Code of the city of Norfolk
Public HearingA public hearing is the general public's opportunity to comment in favor of or against or even to voice questions concerning an item on the agenda. Any person may speak on an ordinance or resolution within the time constraints imposed by the Council's Rules of Procedure. Public hearings are required for some ordinances.
Regular AgendaThe regular agenda consists of public hearings, ordinances and resolutions; they are considered and voted on individually.
ResolutionA resolution is an action by the Council that generally does not have the effect of law. A resolution generally expresses the Council's will, intent or policy on a particular matter. Also, the Council generally appoints individuals to serve on authorities, boards and commissions by the adoption of a resolution
Withdraw or StrikeThe words "strike" or "withdraw" refer to the Council's action on an agenda item that removes it from the meeting's agenda and from further consideration by the Council at that meeting. However, items that are withdrawn may be reintroduced and considered by the Council at a future meeting
WardThe City of Norfolk is divided into five (5) single-member wards numbered one through five, and into two single-member superwards numbered six and seven. The boundaries of such wards and superwards are established by ordinance of the city council as provided by law.