The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Procedures for Adopting Ordinances

Reference Number: MTAS-162
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: November 30, 2016
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Ordinances and Codes
Ordinances are the legislative enactments of municipal governing bodies. Codes are comprehensive ordinances, such as building, plumbing, and electrical regulations. A code of ordinances is a compilation (codification) of all city ordinances.

Procedures for Adopting Ordinances
Charters usually spell out the procedures for adopting ordinances, including the number of readings required. If the charter is silent, ordinances need to be read only once. The general law mayor-aldermanic charter requires two considerations of an ordinance.  T.C.A. § 6-2-102. The general law city manager- commission charter calls for two readings, and a city may establish by ordinance a procedure to read only the caption instead of the entire ordinance.  T.C.A. § 6-20-215. The modified city manager-council charter requires two readings. T.C.A. § 6-32-202.

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