0270.00 Ordinance and Resolution

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
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270.00, Ordinance and Resolution


  • City of Portland, Administrative Rule 7.01, Drafting Manual for Ordinances, Resolutions, and Reports


  • Council Report: A formal communication from City Bureaus/Offices to Council, which provides information, transmits other documents, and/or makes recommendations. Reports are commonly used to approve bids and the completion of contracts, make appointments to boards or commissions, make recommendations, and more.
  • Ordinance: A formal document, which carries the binding force of law and is passed by the Council in accordance with rules set forth in the City Charter. Two kinds of ordinances, emergency and non-emergency, appear on the Agenda. Emergency ordinances, designated in the Agenda by an asterisk preceding the agenda number, require a unanimous vote with at least four (4) Council members present to vote. Non-emergency ordinances come before Council twice and go into effect thirty (30) days after passage by Council. Public testimony is generally taken only at the first reading and the vote is taken at the second reading. Only three (3) votes are needed for approval.
  • Resolution: A formal document, which establishes Council policy or directs certain administrative actions. It requires only one reading and approval by three (3) Council members.


1. Because all requests and transactions requiring City Council approval will be developed and submitted through an ordinance or resolution, the Chief’s Office must approve Police Bureau-specific council reports and any associated documentation before materials are submitted for Council consideration.

2. The Fiscal Services Division staffs the Chief’s Office on council reports and associated documentation, in accordance with Administrative Rule 7.01, Drafting Manual for Ordinances, Resolutions, and Reports.

3. Responsibility Unit Managers must consult with Fiscal Services Division about when an ordinance or resolution is required. Generally, anything that represents a financial risk or potential liability to the City should go before Council. Examples range to include, but are not limited to: grants, memorandum of understanding or agreement amendments, contracts or contractual amendments, intergovernmental agreements or agreement amendments, procurement requests, updates to city code, and gift transactions.

4. Responsibility Unit Managers must follow the Fiscal Services Division’s direction with regard to preparation necessities including coordination with other City Bureaus/Offices (e.g. City Attorney’s Office, Office of Finance and Management, Auditor’s Office), formatting, submission deadlines, Council Meeting attendance, and presentation.

5. It generally takes four (4) weeks to develop a council report and any associated documentation, obtain the Chief’s Office approval, and submit materials for official action, therefore advanced planning and cooperation is of utmost importance.


  • Originating Directive Effective: 09/06/01
  • First Revision Effective: 06/01/15
  • Next Review Date: 06/01/17
  • Review By: Fiscal Services Division

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