CHAPTER III. GOVERNMENT

1 Powers of City to be exercised by City Council; Mayor and Councilmen to be elected; City Manager to execute and administer laws; qualifications of Councilmen.

The municipal government provided for by this Chapter shall be known as the "Council-Manager" government. All powers of the City shall be vested in the Council to consist of the Mayor and eight (8) other members to be elected by the qualified electors of the City of Phoenix as follows:

(A)    The Mayor shall be elected from the City at large, pursuant to the election procedure (primary and general elections) specified in ordinances which are adopted according to law.

(B)    The eight other Council Members shall be elected from eight geographic districts within the City of Phoenix. Each district shall be substantially equal in population. Electors in each district shall vote only for the Council candidates nominated from the district in which the electors reside.

(C)    Each candidate for one of the eight Council seats shall at the time of his nomination and during his tenure maintain his permanent residence within the district from which he is nominated.

(D)    No candidate for the eight Council seats may run for more than one district in any regular election.

(E)    The Members of the Council shall be qualified electors of the City of Phoenix and shall hold no other public office for which they shall receive compensation except that of a notary public, a member of the school board or member of the National Guard or Naval or Military Reserve; if a Councilman shall cease to possess any of these qualifications or violate any provisions of this Chapter or shall be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude his office shall immediately become vacant.

The Council shall enact local legislation, adopt budgets, determine policies, and appoint the City Manager, who shall execute the laws and administer the government of the City. All powers of the City shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by the Charter, or if the manner has not been prescribed, then in such manner as may be prescribed by ordinance.

(Election of 12-1-1982; election of 11-1-1983)

2 The City Manager.

A.    The City Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the City. He shall be responsible to the Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the City; the City Manager shall be chosen by the Council solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to his actual experience in, or his knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of his office as set forth in this Charter;

The Manager need not when appointed be a resident of the City or State, except as may be otherwise provided by law, but must be a citizen of the United States. He shall, upon his appointment, become a resident of the City;

No Member of the Council shall, during the time for which he was elected or for one (1) year thereafter be eligible to hold the position of City Manager.

The Council shall appoint the City Manager for an indefinite term and may remove him without cause by the affirmative vote of two thirds of its members: provided, that for incompetence, malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of duty the City Manager may be removed by the affirmative vote of a majority of its members. At least thirty (30) days before the passage of a resolution for such removal, the Council shall by a majority vote of its members adopt a preliminary resolution of intention, and, if the removal is for cause, said resolution shall state the reason for removal. In either case the City Manager may within ten (10) days reply in writing and may request a public hearing which shall be held not earlier than twenty (20) days nor later than thirty (30) days from the passage of the aforesaid preliminary resolution. After such public hearing, if one be requested, and after full consideration, but not earlier than thirty (30) days after the passage of the preliminary resolution, the Council may adopt a final resolution of removal. By the preliminary resolution the Council may suspend the Manager from duty. If the removal is for cause the Council shall cause to be paid him any salary due him to the date of the preliminary resolution and suspension. Otherwise, the Manager shall be paid forthwith upon his removal without cause his salary for the next three (3) calendar months following the adoption of the preliminary resolution of removal.

The action of the Council in suspending or removing the Manager shall be final and conclusive on everyone, it being the intention of this Charter to vest all authority and fix all responsibility for such suspension and removal in the Council.

The Manager shall receive a salary to be fixed by ordinance.

To perform his duties during the temporary absence or disability of both the Manager and Assistant Manager, the Manager shall designate by letter filed with the City Clerk, a qualified administrative officer of the City. In the event of failure of the Manager to make such designation, the Council may by resolution appoint an officer of the City to perform the duties of the Manager until the Manager or Assistant Manager is able to perform those duties. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the City Manager the Council shall fill the same within sixty days after the vacancy occurs. The City Manager shall have the right to appoint his personal secretary and the assistant City Manager, neither of whom shall be subject to the civil service of the City of Phoenix.

The position of Assistant City Manager is hereby elevated to the "Office of Assistant City Manager" and he shall be the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Phoenix. While the City Manager is exercising the prerogatives of his office, the Assistant City Manager shall perform such functions and have such duties and responsibilities as the City Manager may designate. In the absence of the City Manager, or when the City Manager is unable to perform the prerogatives of his office, or when the office of City Manager is vacant, the Assistant City Manager shall ascend to all of the powers and duties of the City Manager as set forth in this Charter.

B.    Powers and duties of the City Manager. The City Manager shall have the following powers and duties:

(1)    He shall appoint and when he deems it necessary for the good of the service, suspend or remove all City employees and appointive administrative officers except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter. He may authorize any administrative officer who is subject to his direction and supervision to exercise these powers with respect to subordinates in that officer’s department, office, or agency.

(2)    He shall direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices, and agencies of the City, except as otherwise provided by this Charter or by law.

(3)    He shall attend all Council meetings, unless excused by the City Council, and if excused shall be represented by someone designated by him. He shall have the right to take part in discussion but may not vote.

(4)    He shall, subject to the legislative and emergency powers of the Mayor and City Council, see that all ordinances, provisions of this Charter, and acts of the Council are faithfully executed, through enforcement by him or by officers subject to his direction and supervision. He may, however, at his sole discretion, enter into agreements to authorize private entities to enforce civil ordinances regulating conduct on transit vehicles, property, and facilities.

(5)    He shall prepare and submit the proposed annual budget and the capital improvement program to the City Council.

(6)    He shall first submit to the Council and thereafter make available to the public a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the City as of the end of each fiscal year.

(7)    He shall make such other reports as the Council may require concerning the operations of the City departments, offices, and agencies which are subject to his direction and supervision.

(8)    He shall keep the Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the City and make recommendations to the Council concerning the affairs of the City.

(9)    He shall perform such other duties as are specified in this Charter or required by the Council.

(Election of 11-4-1975; election of 3-12-2013, eff. 6-17-2013)

3 Creation, etc., of offices, etc.; department heads generally; divisions of departments; appointment of members of agencies, etc.

Upon recommendation of the City Manager the Council by ordinance may create, change and abolish offices, departments or agencies, boards and commissions, except the Civil Service Board and the Phoenix City Employees’ Retirement System and the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreational Board.

At the head of each department there shall be a director who shall be an officer of the City and shall have supervision and control of the department subject to the City Manager. Two or more departments may be headed by the same individual. The Manager may head one or more departments and directors of departments may also serve as chiefs of divisions. The work of each department may be distributed among such divisions thereof as may be established by ordinance upon the recommendation of the City Manager. Pending the passage of an ordinance or ordinances distributing the work of departments under the supervision and control of the Manager among specific division thereof, the Manager may establish temporary divisions. The appointment of all of the officers of the City shall devolve upon the City Manager. The Council shall appoint the members of all agencies, boards and commissions of the City created by the Charter or by ordinance.

4 Council and Councilmen to deal with City officers and employees through the City Manager.

Neither the Council nor any of its Members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the City Manager or by any of his subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the City. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Council and its Members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the City Manager and neither the Council nor any Member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the City Manager, either publicly or privately.

Any Member of the Council violating the provisions of this section, or offering a resolution or ordinance in violation of this section, shall be removed from office as in this Charter elsewhere provided.

5 Absence of Mayor; vacancy in office of Mayor; vacancy of the Member of Council; special terms; removal of Council Member.

A.    During the absence or disability of the Mayor or when the office of Mayor is vacant, the Vice-Mayor shall act as Mayor pro tempore.

B.    Vacancies in City of Phoenix elective offices shall be filled as follows:

(1)    If a vacancy occurs 365 days or more prior to the end of the term, there shall be a special election held to fill the unexpired portion of the term subject to the following provisions:

a.    There shall be a period of 10 days from the date the vacancy occurs during which any person desiring to run for the vacant office must declare as a candidate for the office and, in the case of a Council Member desiring to run for the office of Mayor, if necessary, resign the office of Council Member.

b.    The Council shall within 10 days of the expiration of the period provided in subparagraph (a) of this paragraph or if any vacancies occur during this period, within 10 days of the expiration of the period provided in subparagraph (a) for the last vacancy, call a special election to fill the vacancy or vacancies to be held not less than 120 days from the date it is called.

c.    Candidates for vacant positions shall be entitled to circulate nomination petitions for the office as soon as the vacancies occur.

d.    The procedure for nomination and election shall be the same as for the regular Mayor and Council election to the extent possible.

e.    The Council shall, not less than 12 days nor more than 15 days from the date any vacancy occurs under the provision of this paragraph, appoint, in the manner provided in paragraph (2)(b) through (h) of this subsection, a person to fill the vacant office for a term ending the first business day after the canvass of votes is completed following the election of a candidate to fill the unexpired term of the office, provided that if the office to be filled is that of Mayor, the Council Member selected to serve during the interim until a new Mayor is elected shall serve as Mayor Pro Tempore and shall continue to serve as a district Council Member.

(2)    If a vacancy occurs less than 365 days prior to the end of the term but not less than 90 days prior to the next regular Mayor and Council election, the vacancy shall be filled by Council appointment as follows:

a.    The Council shall, within 10 days of a vacancy occurring, select a person to serve the unexpired portion of the term in which the vacancy exists.

b.    In the case of a vacancy in the office of Mayor the Council shall select one of the remaining Members of the Council to serve as Mayor for the remainder of the term.

c.    A vacancy in the office of Council Member shall be filled by a qualified elector residing in the district in which the vacancy exists.

d.    When selecting a new mayor, all Council Members present may participate and vote for any candidate for mayor.

e.    Vacancies in City of Phoenix elective offices shall be filled at public meetings and all votes shall be taken publicly.

f.    A majority of the total number of Council positions shall constitute a quorum for purposes of filling a vacancy in a City of Phoenix elective office, provided that if less than a majority of the authorized positions on the Council are filled, all Council positions that are filled at that time shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of filling Council vacancies until a majority of the authorized Council positions are filled.

g.    Any Council Member may nominate a candidate to fill any vacancy with no second required. Candidates shall be voted upon individually in the order in which they were nominated. The first candidate receiving an affirmative majority of the votes of the Council Members present shall be selected to fill the vacancy.

h.    If after the end of the ten (10) day period provided in subparagraph (a) of this subparagraph, the vacancy remains unfilled, the Council shall meet each day for the purpose of filling the vacancy until the vacancy is filled, provided that if the vacancy remains unfilled 90 days before the regular Mayor and Council election at which the office in which the vacancy exists is to be voted upon, the provision of paragraph (3) of this subsection shall become applicable.

(3)    If a vacancy occurs less than 90 days prior to the regular Mayor and Council election at which the office in which the vacancy exists is to be voted upon, the Council may leave the office vacant or may at any time prior to the expiration of the term fill the vacancy by appointment as provided in paragraph (2)(b) through (h) of this subsection.

C.    Such vacancy shall exist, except under the recall provisions of this Charter, when an elective officer fails to qualify within thirty (30) days after commencement of his term, dies, resigns, removes from the City, absents himself continuously for thirty (30) days from the duties of his office without the consent of the Council, is convicted of violating any of the provisions of this Charter, or of a felony, or is judicially declared a lunatic or incompetent as defined by statute.

(Election of 10-1-1991; election of 10-5-1993)

6 Mayor and Members of Council to continue until successors qualify; dates of elections; terms of Mayor and Council Members; limitation of terms.

A.    The Mayor and Council Members all shall serve until their successors have been elected and have qualified as hereinafter provided.

B.    The Mayor and Council Election shall be held on the first Tuesday in October and the Runoff Election shall be held on the Fourth Tuesday of November of every odd-numbered year.

C.    In 1991 the Mayor and Council Members from Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 shall be elected for terms of four years and Council Members from Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 shall be elected for terms of two years, thereafter the Mayor and all Council Members shall be elected for terms of four years.

D.    No person shall serve as Mayor for more than two four year terms or as Council Member for more than three consecutive four year terms. This shall not prohibit a person who has served three consecutive four year terms as a Council Member from serving as Mayor nor shall it prohibit a person who has served two four year terms as Mayor from serving as a Council Member, nor shall service of any term or terms of less than four years by election or appointment prohibit a person from serving two four year terms as Mayor and three consecutive four year terms as a Council Member.

E.    The term of the Mayor and Council Members shall commence at 10:00 o’clock A.M., on the first business day in January following their election.

(Election of 10-3-1989; Election of 11-6-2001)

7 Salary of Mayor stipulated; contingent fund.

The salary of the Mayor shall be six thousand dollars per year, payable in semi-monthly installments. In addition to his salary, the Mayor shall have a contingent fund of two thousand dollars ($2000.00) in each year payable as he may require the same, on his own warrants, out of any funds in the City Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, and may expend the same as such Mayor, at his discretion.

Section 7 provides for the salary of the Mayor to be fifteen thousand dollars per year, effective January, 1974.

(Election of 11-13-1973)

Editor’s noteSee the editor’s note following ch. 3, § 12.

8 [Reserved.]

Editor’s noteSection 8 was repealed at the election of November 5, 1985.

9 Salaries generally.

A.    The salaries applicable to all positions in the classified and unclassified civil service may be fixed, increased, decreased or modified by the Council only upon recommendation of the City Manager; provided, that the Council alone at the time it finally adopts the annual budget may fix, increase, decrease or modify the salaries applicable to any position in the classified or unclassified civil service, except the salaries of the Mayor and Members of the City Council, and except for those previously established by a duly executed and approved Memorandum of Understanding which does not exceed three years in duration.

B.    No officer or employee shall be allowed any fees, perquisites, emoluments, rewards or compensation aside from the salary as fixed by law. All fees in connection with official duties shall be paid into the City Treasury daily.

(Election of 11-3-1981)

10 Interpretation of words "Commissioner" and "Council."

Whenever in the Charter, the words "Commissioner" or "Council" are used, it shall mean the elected Mayor and Councilmen of the City.

11 [Reserved.]

Editor’s noteSection 11 was repealed at the election of November 5, 1985.

12 Mayor and Council Salary and Benefits; Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected City Officials.

(a)    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Charter, the salaries for elected City officials shall be set in conformity with this Charter provision.

(b)    There is hereby established a Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected City Officials.

(c)    The Commission shall be composed of a Chairman plus six (6) members who shall be appointed, from private citizens residing within the City, by the City Council for a term not to exceed three months, the first Commission to take office no earlier than January 1, 2005 and no later than March 31, 2005, and new appointments to be made every two (2) years thereafter, said members to take office on January 1 of each of said two-year periods.

(1)    Any vacancies in the membership shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made for the balance of the term of the vacancy so filled.

(2)    The Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses. The City shall provide the Commission with such staff as is necessary to perform its functions and shall provide record-keeping or other facilities as needed.

(d)    The Commission shall, during its term, conduct a review of the rates of pay of elected City officials. Such review by the Commission shall be made for the purpose of determining and recommending pay levels appropriate to the duties and responsibilities of the positions covered by such review. The Commission may hold public hearings to aid in its work.

(e)    The Commission shall submit to the City Clerk, no later than May 1, 2005 and on May 1st of every second year thereafter, a report of the results of each review conducted by the Commission together with its recommendations.

(f)    The recommendations of the Commission as to salaries shall be certified by it to the City Clerk and the City Council shall submit to the qualified electors at the next regular municipal election the question, "Shall the recommendation of the Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected City Officials of $ ____________ per annum for the Mayor, and $ ____________ per annum for each Councilman be accepted? YES ____________ NO ____________." Such recommendations, if accepted by the electors, shall become effective at the beginning of the next regular Council term.

(g)    In the event the Commission recommends no change in salaries for the elected officials, it shall file such recommendation of no change with the City Clerk and no question shall be submitted to the electorate.

(h)    In addition to the salary established pursuant to this section, the Mayor and Council shall be entitled to receive their choice of any one of the benefit packages offered by the City. "Benefit package" does not include retirement benefits under Chapter 24 of this Charter.

(Election of 11-13-1973; election of 9-9-2003, eff. 10-1-2003; election of 3-8-2005, eff. 3-22-2005)

Editor’s noteBy election dated November 1, 1983, the following was adopted by the electorate:

"Shall the recommendation of the Citizens’ Commission of Salaries for Elected City Officials of $37,500 per annum for the Mayor, and $18,000 per annum for each Councilman be accepted?"

By election dated October 3, 1995, the following was adopted by the electorate:

"Shall the recommendation of the Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected City Officials of $34,000 per annum for each Councilman be accepted?"

By election dated September 7, 1999, the following was adopted by the electorate:

"Shall the recommendation of the Citizens’ Commission of Salaries for Elected City Officials of $56,000 per annum for the Mayor, and $36,000 per annum for each Councilman be accepted?"

By election dated September 9, 2003, the following was adopted by the electorate:

"Shall the recommendation of the Citizens’ Commission of Salaries for Elected City Officials of $62,800 per annum for the Mayor, and $51,500 per annum for each Councilman be accepted?"

By election dated September 13, 2005, the following was adopted by the electorate:

"Shall the recommendation of the Citizens’ Commission of Salaries for Elected City Officials of $88,000 per annum for the Mayor, and $61,600 per annum for each Councilman be accepted?"