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A resolution differs from an ordinance in several ways. A resolution is non-legislative action, is less formal than an ordinance, and deals with matters of a special or temporary character, usually relating to a statement of policy regarding the administrative business of the city. Examples of resolutions recently before the council include a performance contract, a property easement, and endorsing a preservation application.
An ordinance sets out a permanent law that continues in force until the ordinance is repealed. Two readings are required before an ordinance can be finally approved. The first reading occurs when the proposed ordinance is introduced. Staff would generally review the ordinance, provide background, and reason(s) for recommendation. City Council would then generally express their support or opposition, then may move to introduce the ordinance. At a second meeting, staff would bring the ordinance back to council for consideration of adoption.
Appropriation ordinances provide the legal authority under which the municipality allocates money to specific spending activities.