Hermiston Council Chooses Not to Rescind Business License Vote

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The Hermiston City Council tackled an issue Monday night that originally came up at its March 25 meeting – repealing the recently-passed ordinance requiring Hermiston businesses to pay for a business license in order to operate inside city limits.

In January, the council approved Ordinance 2352 requiring business licenses for all businesses operating in Hermiston. The ordinance went into effect on Feb. 22. Businesses, however, won’t have to pay a fee until January 2025 because the council has yet to agree on the cost of the license.

At the council’s March 25 meeting, Councilor Jackie Linton made a motion to rescind Ordinance 2352. That motion did not get a second as Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith wanted staff to research the issue first.

“This is something new to us,” he said.

Smith said subsequent research by city staff found that, under the Robert’s Rules of Order, a motion to rescind cannot be used to undo something that has already gone into effect.

Smith, however, said the council could make a motion to direct staff to draft a new ordinance to repeal Ordinance 2352 which would then be taken up at a future meeting.

Linton then made the motion to direct staff to do just that, but there was no second and so the motion failed.

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