There are five types of City Council actions that occur during a regular council session:
Motions - A motion is used to indicate majority action on a procedural matter, such as to approve / disapprove a report or recommendation.
Resolutions - Passage of a resolution indicates the council's policy on a certain matter, or it may direct a certain type of action to occur. It requires only one reading.
Ordinances - An ordinance or an amendment to an ordinance is a formal and binding type of council legislation. A roll call of the council records the council's action on all ordinances. Ordinances require two readings before they become law unless they are presented as an emergency.
Referrals - When council is not able to take definite action on a matter or when further study is required, the matter may be referred to the city manager or the city attorney for investigation, study, and a later report or action. It could also be referred to the Planning Commission for further recommendation.
Deferrals - The council may defer action until a future date on any item, either to gather further information or to arrange a date more convenient to all concerned parties.