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Chapter III.
THE CITY COUNCIL

Section 3.1. The City Council. The elective officers of the city shall consist of the mayor and six council members. The mayor and each council member shall be elected from the city at large. The term of office for each council member and mayor shall be two years and shall commence on the next regular council meeting following the election. The council shall exercise all of the legislative and policy-making powers of the city and shall provide for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed upon the city by law. (Reso. No. 9126, § 1.)

Section 3.1.1. The City Council Bulletin Board. The city council shall designate and maintain an official bulletin board, appropriately identified and centrally located.

Section 3.2. Terms of Office. The terms of three council members and the mayor shall expire in even years, and of the remaining three council members in odd years, counting from January 1961. When appointments are made to fill vacancies in the manner provided by section 2.14(a) of this Charter, appointees shall qualify for and assume the duties of office within ten days after appointment unless such time be extended for not more than sixty (60) days by the council. (Reso. No. 9126, § 1.)

Section 3.3. Organization of the Council. The council shall meet at the first regular meeting following each regular city election and do such acts as may be required for its organization and the conduct of its business. The council shall elect a mayor pro tempore who shall act as mayor during the absence or disability of the mayor and if a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor within twelve (12) months or less remaining in the term, the mayor pro tempore shall become mayor for the completion of the unexpired term. If a vacancy occurs with more than twelve months remaining in the term, the unexpired portion of the term shall be filled at a regular or special election to be held within ninety days. The council shall provide in the code for the prompt and temporary reconstitution of the council in the event that its membership is reduced to less than a quorum. (Reso. No. 9126, § 1.)

Section 3.4. The Mayor. (a) The mayor shall possess all powers and shall exercise all duties provided or required of him by law or by the council.

(b)    He shall be the presiding officer of the council.

(c)    He shall be a member of the council with all the powers and duties of that office.

(d)    He shall advise the council concerning the affairs of the city and make recommendations thereof.

(e)    In emergencies, he shall have the powers conferred by law upon peace offices and shall exercise such powers as chief executive officer to prevent disorder, to preserve the public peace and health, and to provide for the safety of persons and property.

(f)    He shall make all required appointments subject to prior approval of the council.

(g)    He shall not possess the veto power.

(h)    The mayor shall have a voice and vote in all the council’s proceedings. He shall be the official head of the city for all ceremonial purposes. He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or as may be imposed by the city council consistent with his office. (Reso. No. 9126, § l.)

Section 3.5. The Mayor Pro Tempore. The mayor pro tempore shall succeed to the office of mayor when a vacancy occurs in that office. He shall have and exercise the powers and duties of the mayor when the mayor is absent or unable to perform the duties of his office. When a doubt exists concerning the ability of the mayor to perform the duties of his office, the council shall, by resolution, determine whether the mayor pro tempore shall act in the place of the mayor. Such determination shall stand until the council determines that such disability or inability ceases.

Section 3.6. Meeting of the Council. (a) The council shall meet in the established council chambers or in such other place as may be established in the Code, and shall hold at least two regular meetings in each month. In the selection of its meeting place, consideration shall be given to the reasonable accommodation of the public.

(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, or of any two members of the council.

(c)    In the event the mayor declares in writing that a state of emergency exists, then at least 6-hours written notice shall be given designating the time and purpose of a special meeting. In all other events at least 24-hours written notice shall be given designating the time and purpose of a special meeting. Such notice shall be served personally on each member of the council or left at his usual place of residence or business by the city clerk or someone designated by him. A copy of such notice shall also be delivered at the place of business of each newspaper printed and published in the city, but this requirement shall not be jurisdictional to the holding of any such meeting; also, three copies of such notice shall be posed in public places, one of these being on the official bulletin board as designated by the council.

(d)    An affidavit of service of any notice required by this section shall be made a part of the journal of a special meeting.

(e)    No business shall be transacted at any special meeting of the council except that stated in the notice of the meeting.

(f)    All regular and special meetings of the council shall be public meetings and the public shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

(g)    After its agenda is otherwise completed, the council may recess to executive session from which the public may be excluded. No subjects may be considered at the executive session except those mentioned in the motion calling for the executive session, unless related to the main question, and no action may be taken on any matter discussed in the executive session until that matter is placed on the agenda unless otherwise provided for by law. Only those matters permissible under state law, or which are required by city Charter or ordinance to be confidential, may be considered in executive session.

(h)    Four members of the council shall be a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, any number less than a quorum may adjourn a meeting to a later date.

(i)    The council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a journal of all its proceedings. This journal of each meeting of the council shall be signed by the clerk and countersigned by the mayor. The vote upon all matters considered by the council shall be taken by “yes” or “no” votes which shall be entered upon record, except that, where the vote is unanimous, it shall be necessary only so to state.

(j)    The council may compel attendance at its meetings of any officers or employees of the city. It may punish for nonattendance in such manner as it may prescribe in the Code.

(k)    No member of the council may vote on any question upon which he has a substantial direct or indirect financial interest. Otherwise, each member of the council shall vote on each question before the council for determination, unless excused therefrom by the affirmative vote of all remaining members able to vote on the question. If a question is raised under this section at any council meeting, such question shall be determined before the main question shall be voted on, but the council members affected may not vote on such determination.

(l)    The affirmative vote of a majority, of the entire council shall be necessary to adopt any ordinance, resolution or motion.

(m)    Any and all official city business shall be conducted at a regular or special meeting held in the usual place designated for such meetings. (10-5-95; 10-7-80; 5-2-89)

Section 3.7. Powers of the Council to Appoint Citizen Boards. (a) The council may establish by ordinance, boards or commissions as in its judgment are required and may grant to them such powers and duties as are consistent with the provisions of this Charter.

(b)    There shall be a city planning and zoning commission which shall consist of a minimum of five members, who shall be appointed by the council. The commission shall elect its chairman from among the appointive members.

(1)    The term of the appointive members shall be three years. Any vacancy during the un-expired term of an appointive member shall be filled by the council for the remainder of the term.

(2)    The city planning and zoning commission shall have the authority to prepare and submit to the council for its approval a master plan for the physical development of the city, including the general location, character and extent of streets, bridges, parks, waterways, and other public ways, grounds and spaces, together with the general location of public buildings and other public property, public utilities, and the extent and location of any public housing or slum clearance projects. The commission shall recommend such modifications of said plan, from time to time, as it deems in the city’s interest.

(3)    It shall prepare and recommend to the council a comprehensive zoning ordinance, or propose amendments or revisions thereof, with such provisions as the commission shall deem necessary or desirable for the promotion of the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the inhabitants of the city, and shall exercise such functions with respect to land subdivisions, planning, and zoning as may be prescribed by ordinance not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter. (10-2-01; 10-5-95)

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The Valdez Municipal Code is current through Ordinance 12-10, passed January 7, 2013.

Disclaimer: The City Clerk's Office has the official version of the Valdez Municipal Code. Users should contact the City Clerk's Office for ordinances passed subsequent to the ordinance cited above.

City Website: http://www.ci.valdez.ak.us/
City Telephone: (907) 834-3408

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