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Resolutions


A resolution is a less formal mechanism for dealing with matters of a special or temporary character. While an ordinance, and to a large extent a municipal order, involves a distinctly legislative act, a resolution is simply an expression of the opinion, will or policy of the legislative body on some matter of ministerial business which has come before the body. Resolutions need not be in any particular form and there are no statutory requirements specifying the manner of adoption. Resolutions are normally brought before the legislative body by motion and are approved by voice vote. Resolutions have no binding effect on the city's citizens or, for that matter, on the legislative body. Resolutions are commonly used to:
  1. Honor a group or individual.
  2. Take a formal position as a body on an issue, such as a resolution in support of the enactment of a particular law by Congress or the state legislature.
  3. To authorize a study of an issue which will be the basis for later legislative action.
  4. To indicate the legislative body's intent to take some official action at a future time.
  5. To approve a bid or contract. 
Resolutions are, in terms of their legal significance, the equivalent of a motion that has been made and approved. In fact, many times an action accomplished by written resolution could be done just as well by a motion and vote that is recorded in the minutes of the legislative body's meeting. A written resolution does, however, provide a more formal record of an expression of the legislative body's opinion which is often useful if it is to be conveyed to outside parties.

NOTE: At times, a resolution may be required in conjunction with a grant or participation in a government program. The legislative body should consult the terms of the grant or program to determine the requirements for such a resolution.