Chapter 2.04


2.04.010    Form of government – Adoption by reference of federal and state law.

2.04.015    Powers.

2.04.021    Composition.

2.04.031    Eligibility of council members.

2.04.041    Term of office.

2.04.045    Council organization.

2.04.047    Prohibition regarding employment.

2.04.049    Quorum.

2.04.050    Repealed.

2.04.051    Compensation.

2.04.060    Repealed.

2.04.061    Vacancies.

2.04.065    Appointments.

2.04.070    Public meetings.

2.04.075    Public meeting notification.

2.04.080    Meetings.

2.04.090    Executive session.

2.04.100    Agenda and agenda packets.

2.04.110    Order of business.

2.04.115    Communications and appearance requests.

2.04.120    Audience participation.

2.04.150    Golden Heart Lifetime Achievement Award.

2.04.160    Council community grants.

*    For Charter provisions of the city council, see Charter Ch. 3.

2.04.010 Form of government – Adoption by reference of federal and state law.

The municipal government shall be known as the “council-manager government.” Pursuant to this code and subject only to the limitations imposed by the laws of the U.S. Government or the state, all powers of the city shall be vested in an elective council and mayor. They shall, among other things, enact local legislation, adopt budgets, determine policies and appoint the city manager, city clerk and city attorney. The city manager shall execute the laws and administer the government of the city. All applicable laws of the federal government or the state pertaining to home-rule municipalities are incorporated in this code as if fully set out herein. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005; Ord. 459 § 4, 1993; Ord. 194 § 1, 1976; 1978 code § 2.1)

2.04.015 Powers.

The city may exercise all legislative powers not prohibited by law or Charter. Such powers shall be liberally construed, in accordance with the provisions and intent of Article X, Section 1, of the Alaska Constitution. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005; Ord. 459 § 4, 1993; Ord. 194 § 1, 1976; 1978 code § 2.3. Formerly 2.04.030.)

2.04.021 Composition.

The city council is composed of one mayor and six council members who are elected at large. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.031 Eligibility of council members.

A person is eligible to be a council member, whether by election or by appointment to fill a vacancy, if the person:

A. Is registered to vote as required by the state of Alaska and is qualified to vote in the city; and

B. Has been a resident of the city or of territory annexed to the city, or shall have had a combination of residence in the city and in the annexed territory, for one continuous year immediately prior to the election. (Ord. 11-003 § 3, 2011; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005; Ord. 601 § 3, 2003; Ord. 472 § 3, 1994; Ord. 459 § 4, 1993; Ord. 230 §§ 1, 2, 1979; Ord. 194 § 1, 1976; 1978 code § 2.4. Formerly 2.04.040.)

2.04.041 Term of office.

The term of office of each council member shall be for three years and shall commence on the Monday following his or her election. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.045 Council organization.

The council shall meet and organize on the first Monday following each regular election. At such meeting, or within one week thereafter, the council shall elect from its membership a mayor pro tempore. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.047 Prohibition regarding employment.

A person who holds or has held an elective city office shall not be eligible for appointment to an office or for employment for which a salary is paid by the city until one year has elapsed following the term for which that person was elected or appointed. An exception may be made with the approval of five or more members of the council. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.049 Quorum.

All meetings of the council require a quorum. Four council members shall constitute a quorum of the council, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.050 Absences.

Repealed by Ord. 07-022. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005; Ord. 459 § 4, 1993; Ord. 194 § 1, 1976; 1978 code § 2.6)

2.04.051 Compensation.

A. Council member salaries shall be fixed by code and may be amended at any time except during the 60-day period immediately preceding a general city election;

B. Salary changes become effective on the first Monday immediately following the next general city election subsequent to the adoption of the salary change;

C. Elective or appointed city officials shall not be entitled to receive any other compensation or additional compensation from the city for any service to the city except as provided by this code;

1. Remunerations from federal, state or local government authorities for positions to which an appointed or elected official is appointed shall not be construed as compensation from the city for the purposes of this section;

D. Each council member shall receive $100.00 per regular meeting; and

E. Each council member shall receive $50.00 per special meeting.

F. A council member may decline compensation by completing the form required to decline compensation. (Ord. 14-020 § 3, 2014; Ord. 07-019 § 3, 2007; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005; Ord. 459 § 4, 1993; Ord. 194 § 1, 1976; 1978 code § 2.2. Formerly 2.04.020.)

2.04.060 Forms of legislation.

Repealed by Ord. 648. (Ord. 459 § 4, 1993; Ord. 194 § 1, 1976; 1978 code § 2.7)

2.04.061 Vacancies.

A council seat shall become vacant upon the occurrence of any of the following:

A. Expiration of the term of office;

B. Death of the incumbent;

C. Resignation approved by council;

D. A removal from office in the manner provided by law;

E. Ceasing to possess the qualifications of eligibility required by the city of Palmer Charter for election or appointment to office;

F. Final conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude or an offense involving a violation of an oath of office;

G. Judicial determination that the incumbent is of unsound mind;

H. A decision of a competent tribunal declaring the election of the incumbent void;

I. Failure to take an oath of office within 10 days of appointment or election to office or within such other time, not exceeding 20 days, as the council may fix;

J. Unless excused by the council, is physically absent from the city for 90 consecutive calendar days;

K. Is convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor described in AS 15.56;

L. Is convicted of a violation of AS 15.13;

M. If a member misses three consecutive regular meetings, unless excused by the council; or

N. No longer physically resides in the city. (Ord. 07-022 § 4, 2007; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.065 Appointments.

A. When a vacancy occurs, except in the case of recall, the clerk shall publish public notice of the vacancy and, for 14 days after the first publication, receive applications from persons interested in being appointed to the vacant seat. The council may review the applications and/or interview applicants in any reasonable public manner. Not later than 45 days after the seat is declared vacant, the council shall appoint from among the applicants a qualified person to fill the vacant seat;

B. If less than 30 days remain in a term, the council shall appoint, using the process described in subsection (A) of this section, a qualified person to fill the vacancy no later than the second regular meeting following the election;

C. If 31 or more days remain in the term and the notice of offices to be filled has already been advertised for the next regular election, the council shall appoint no later than the second regular meeting following the regular election. The clerk shall publish notice of the vacancy no later than 45 days prior to the first regular council meeting following the election and, for 14 days after the first publication, receive applications from persons interested in being appointed to the vacant seat. The council may review the applications and/or interview applicants in any reasonable public manner;

D. Persons appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the next regular election, at which time a successor shall be elected to fulfill the remainder of the unexpired term of office;

E. Notwithstanding subsection (A) of this section, if the council’s membership is reduced to fewer than four council members, then the remaining council members shall appoint as many qualified persons to the council as are necessary to once again constitute a quorum. The council shall utilize any procedure which is reasonable under the circumstances in making the appointments required by this subsection and shall make the appointments not later than seven days after the quorum was reduced to less than four members;

F. Appointees shall qualify for and assume the duties of office within 10 days after appointment, unless such time is extended by the council for not more than 30 days. (Ord. 11-003 § 4, 2011; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.070 Public meetings.

All meetings of the council, except for executive sessions, are open to the public and, with the exception of work sessions, shall be electronically recorded. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.075 Public meeting notification.

A. All public notices must include the date, time and place of a meeting and, if the meeting is by teleconference, the location of teleconferencing facilities that will be used.

B. Regular Meeting. Public meeting notification shall be by means of posting and/or publishing the agenda for a regular meeting five days prior to the meeting.

C. Special Meeting. Public meeting notification shall be by means of posting and/or publishing the agenda for a special meeting three days prior to the meeting.

D. Emergency Meeting. Public meeting notification shall be by means of posting and/or publishing the agenda with reasonableness related to the emergency.

E. Work Session. Public meeting notification shall be by means of posting and/or publishing the work session notice containing the topic of the work session three days prior to the session. (Ord. 09-018 § 3, 2009; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.080 Meetings.

A. Regular meetings of the council shall be held only on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the council chambers, unless otherwise designated by the council. At least two regular meetings shall be held in each month. A regular meeting may be canceled by the council; however, if no quorum exists or there is an emergency, it may be canceled by the mayor.

B. Special meetings of the council shall be held at the regular meeting place of the council. Special meetings shall be called by the city clerk on the written request of the mayor, of the city manager, or of any two members of the council.

C. Emergency meetings may be held and business may be legally transacted if all council members are present or if absent members have waived, in writing, the required notice; or, if there is a quorum of the council. Waiver of notice can be made before or after the meeting is held. A waiver of notice shall be made a part of the journal for the meeting. The clerk shall make reasonable attempts to notify all council members of the emergency meeting.

D. Attendance and participation at meetings by members of the public or by members of a governmental body may be by teleconferencing. Materials that are to be considered at the meeting shall be made available at teleconference locations if practicable. The vote at a meeting held by teleconference shall be taken by roll call.

E. No business shall be transacted at any special or emergency meeting except that which is specifically stated in the notice of the meeting.

F. The council shall adjourn not later than 11:00 p.m. and may not reconvene any earlier than 9:00 a.m. the next day. However, by two-thirds consent of the council members in attendance the meeting may be extended for up to one hour, at which time adjournment is mandatory.

G. If, after having been lawfully assembled in a properly designated location, the council determines that a condition exists which renders the location unsuitable, the council may recess the meeting and reconvene at a different location suitable to the needs of the council. The location to which the meeting shall be reconvened shall be made known publicly prior to recess and notices shall be posted at the place originally designated by the clerk. (Ord. 09-018 § 4, 2009; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.090 Executive session.

A. If permitted subjects are to be discussed at a meeting in executive session, the meeting must first be convened as a public meeting and the question of holding an executive session to discuss matters that come within the exceptions of subsection (B) of this section shall be determined by a majority vote of the council. The motion to convene in executive session must clearly and with specificity describe the subject of the proposed executive session without defeating the purpose of addressing the subject in private. Subjects may not be considered at the executive session except those mentioned in the motion calling for the executive session unless auxiliary to the main question. Action may not be taken at an executive session, except to give direction to an attorney or labor negotiator regarding the handling of a specified legal matter or pending labor negotiations.

B. Upon adoption of a motion stating the purpose for an executive session, the council in closed session may discuss:

1. Matters, the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an adverse effect upon the finances of the public entity;

2. Subjects that tend to prejudice the reputation and character of any person, provided the person may request a public discussion;

3. Matter which by law, municipal Charter, or ordinances are required to be confidential;

4. Matters involving consideration of government records that by law are not subject to public disclosure.

C. This section does not apply to quasi-judicial boards when holding a meeting solely to make a decision in an adjudicatory proceeding. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.100 Agenda and agenda packets.

A. The agenda for each meeting shall be prepared by the manager and the clerk after consultation with the mayor. The agenda shall include any discussion item requested in writing and signed by the mayor or two council members. The request shall be made to allow the timeframes of PMC 2.04.075.

B. The clerk shall attempt to notify each council member at least 48 hours prior to a regular meeting. Notification shall be by means of a packet including information on the time and place of meeting and the agenda. Whenever practicable, minutes of the previous meeting, financial statements, and other background material pertinent to the agenda shall be included in the packet. (Ord. 07-020 § 3, 2007; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.110 Order of business.

At every regular meeting of the city council the order of business shall be as follows:

A. Call to order;

B. Roll call;

C. Pledge of allegiance;

D. Approval of agenda:

1. Approval of consent agenda;

2. Minutes of previous meetings;

E. Communications and appearance requests;

F. Reports:

1. City manager’s report;

2. City clerk’s report;

3. Mayor’s report;

4. City attorney’s report;

G. Audience participation;

H. Public hearings;

I. Action memoranda;

J. Unfinished business;

K. New business;

L. Record of items placed on the table;

M. Audience participation;

N. Council comments;

O. Adjournment. (Ord. 11-006 § 3, 2011; Ord. 09-014 § 3, 2009; Ord. 06-002 § 3, 2006; Ord. 05-033 § 3, 2006; Ord. 05-020 § 3, 2005; Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.115 Communications and appearance requests.

A. A person wishing to speak before the council under the agenda item “communications and appearance requests” shall file an appearance request with the clerk specifying the topic on which the person intends to speak. The clerk shall place the appearance request on the next available regular meeting agenda.

B. The clerk shall not accept appearance requests involving:

1. Items that have other clearly defined channels of resolution by the administration;

2. Items scheduled for public hearing on an agenda;

3. Items upon which litigation involving the applicant or applicant’s representative is currently pending.

C. In lieu of appearance requests, the council shall accept brief written communications on any subject.

D. Persons who do not wish to speak before the council under communications and appearance requests, and who do not wish to submit written communications, may be heard under “audience participation,” which is scheduled for each regular meeting.

E. All presentations to the council shall be limited to five minutes, unless otherwise ordered by the council. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.120 Audience participation.

All presentations to the council shall be limited to three minutes per person, five minutes per group and also limited to a total time of not more than 30 minutes, unless the limitations are enumerable, in which case the mayor may set reasonable limits. (Ord. 648 § 3, 2005)

2.04.150 Golden Heart Lifetime Achievement Award.

The purpose of the Golden Heart Lifetime Achievement Award is to honor a member of the Palmer community that has exhibited kindness, passion, and the unwavering pioneering spirit of Palmer.

A. The council shall submit nominations on or before the second meeting of January and select a winner at the second meeting of January.

B. The mayor shall present the award to the selected award winner, the week of February 14th. (Ord. 13-013 § 3, 2013)

2.04.160 Council community grants.

The city of Palmer recognizes the valued contributions being provided through the volunteer efforts of community organizations, agencies, and individuals on behalf of its citizens. Community grant funding demonstrates council’s commitment to programs, services, projects and events (event) that are benefits to the community while at the same time recognizing the financial constraints impacting the city’s ability to provide funding.

A. This policy identifies the types of funding available through this grant process, establishes eligibility requirements, and outlines application and monitoring requirements.

B. Council shall retain the right to make the final decision on both the overall grant allocation and individual grants.

1. Preference will be given to organizations and groups that demonstrate Palmer community support and that propose programs, services, projects or events having the potential for positive economic and cultural impacts and that show evidence of efficient use of resources, sound business practices/accountability, and describe the organization’s or group’s knowledge, skills and self-reliance.

2. The board of economic development will review this grant policy at least every two years and forward any recommendations for updates or revisions to the policy to city council.

C. The aim of the community grant program is to provide modest levels of support and assistance to help foster and develop community programs, services, projects and events that enhance the greater Palmer community’s cultural and economic environment. The objective of this policy is to treat all organizations fairly and consistently while creating a minimal administrative process.

D. Each year, as part of its annual budget process, council will, through its annual operating budget, determine the amount of funds to be allocated to the community grant program.

E. The different types of grants eligible under the community grants program are:

1. In-kind contributions grants – based on the provision of municipal property/facilities, materials or resources to an applicant, and do not include the provision of cash funds to, or on behalf of, the applicant. While cash funds are not provided in relation to in-kind grants, it is recognized that such grants will involve either an expense or foregone revenue for the municipality.

2. Special events grant – defined as seed money funding for the start-up of a community program, service, project or event, or funds for a short-term undertaking to assist in developing a program, service, project or event that is of cultural, social, recreational or economic significance to the community. Special events grants are startup funds; therefore these grants are limited to funding for between one to five years.

3. Community event grant – defined as a recurring program, service, project or event that council has determined provides significant benefits to the broad community as a whole; therefore there is no limit to the number of times a community event grant application may be funded.

4. Organization grant – defined as a 501(c) organization in need of a one-time appropriation for administration expenses or project money to further mission of the organization.

F. An applicant organization must meet the following general criteria in order to be eligible for a Palmer council community grant:

1. Event must primarily benefit the community and residents of Palmer.

2. Event has city-wide significance and is expected to bring economic and/or public relations benefit to the city.

3. Grant applicants should be able to demonstrate active fundraising efforts to support the continuation of the program, project or service. The city grant should not be considered as the primary source of funding for the organization.

4. Funding requests can be defined as programs, services, projects, and events that economically benefit Palmer by supporting, sustaining, promoting, informing, educating, celebrating, preserving and/or providing access to the arts, culture, environment, heritage, recreation and/or health activities.

5. To qualify for funding, the group must demonstrate its commitment to all of the following principles:

a. Event is open – accessible – to all members of the community;

b. Event must take place within the Palmer city limits or within one mile of the city limits;

c. Event is effective in providing an economic benefit to Palmer;

d. Applicant is accountable through sound management and financial practices;

e. Individuals are not eligible.

6. Grants are awarded by the type of project, not the type of organization/agency.

7. The applicant/organization, within the current fiscal year, must spend grant funding on the sole purpose for which it was awarded.

8. Members of the board of economic development are available to provide mentoring assistance to all applicants, both while preparing an application and following a grant award.

9. All applications shall be submitted on the grant application form together with the following information and documentation:

a. An outline of the economic benefits the event provides to the community as well as how this supports council’s economic development strategic priorities;

b. The amount of financial or in-kind assistance required;

c. The degree in which the community benefits as a result of the grant;

d. A detailed proposed budget for the current project, detailing expenditures and anticipated revenues, including a list of all other grants and/or donations;

e. How applicant proposes to provide a post-event report with details on economic impact;

f. Applicants seeking funding for consecutive years will be required to provide a multi-year financial forecast (three to five years) for the event which should include estimated revenues and expenditures;

g. Completed application forms may be submitted to the city manager’s office at any time during a fiscal year.

10. The city manager will review grant applications and forward each application to the city council with a funding recommendation and comments. The manager’s comments on applications for in-kind nonfinancial assistance will include a report on the effect, if any, providing the in-kind assistance would have on the city’s ability to meet its regularly scheduled work responsibilities.

11. Council shall retain the right to make the final decision on both the overall grant allocation and individual grants.

12. Grant recipients will be notified in writing of the grant amount approved. (Ord. 14-043 § 3, 2015)