ARTICLE V. OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.

Sec. 500. Election, Appointment and Removal of Officers and Department Heads.

(a) Election; Appointment. The City Attorney shall be elected by the voters of the City. The City Manager and City Clerk shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the City Council and shall be in the Unclassified Service. In addition, there shall be in the Unclassified Service a private secretary for the City Manager, City Attorney and the Mayor and Council who shall be appointed by the respective officers for whom they serve. All other officers and department heads of the City and the Assistant City Manager shall be appointed by the City Manager subject to the approval of the City Council. The City Attorney shall also appoint Assistant or Deputy City Attorneys as may be authorized by the Council, who shall be in the Unclassified Service. The City Clerk may also appoint Assistant or Deputy City Clerks as may be authorized by the Council subject to the approval of the Council who shall be in the Unclassified Service. It is further provided the City Council may, by ordinance, place Assistant and Deputy Department Heads, Assistants to the City Manager and new management level positions in the Unclassified Service by a four-fifths vote of the Council.

(b) Removal. Officers and employees in the Unclassified Service appointed by the City Council may be removed by them at any time by a majority vote of the members of the Council, and such officers and department heads in the Unclassified Service appointed by the City Manager or City Attorney, respectively, may be removed by him or her at any time and, in the case of appointees in the Unclassified Service, the order of the City Council, the City Attorney, or the City Manager affecting said removal shall be final and conclusive. The position of said officers and employees shall be declared vacant if said officer or employee is convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude. Any appointee or employee in the Unclassified Service so removed by the City Manager, the City Attorney or City Clerk may, however, within five (5) days after receipt of a notice of dismissal, demand a written statement of the reason for such dismissal, a copy of which shall be forthwith filed with the City Council. Upon receipt of such written statement so furnished by the City Manager, the City Attorney or City Clerk to the City Council, the Council shall fix a time and place for a public hearing, at which hearing the Council shall have authority to investigate the facts set forth in said written communication from the City Manager, the City Attorney or City Clerk containing the reason for said dismissal, and determine the truth or falsity of said facts. Council shall report its findings and recommendations made as a result of such hearing, and cause a copy of said findings to be delivered to the City Manager, the City Attorney or City Clerk and file the original with the City Clerk. The dismissed appointee or employee in such cases shall have the right to file with the Council a written reply or answer to any charges filed by the City Manager, the City Attorney or the City Clerk. All written documents, including the City Manager’s, the City Attorney’s or the City Clerk’s written reasons for such dismissal, and the reply of the dismissed appointee or employee, the findings and decisions of the Council, and any documentary evidence used at the hearing shall be filed with the proper office of the City as public records, open for inspection at any time. Nothing herein contained, however, shall be construed as in any way limiting the authority and power of the City Manager, the City Attorney or the City Clerk to remove any appointee or employee in the Unclassified Service of the City, so appointed or employed, and all such removals shall be final and conclusive.

(c) No Fiscal Impacts. Except as expressly provided in Section 503, nothing in this Section 500 shall be construed to limit the budgetary authority of the City Council as respects the officers and employees under the supervision of the City Attorney.

Sec. 501. Administrative Departments.

The City Council may by ordinance not inconsistent with this Charter provide for the creation of additional departments and the assignment of general functions to such added departments, and may also abolish specific functions performed and the department performing such abolished functions.

The City Manager shall be responsible for the organizational structure of all departments subject to the City Manager’s direction, including their divisions, sections, crews and other necessary unit components and shall assign duties, delegate administrative powers, and provide staff for the departments for which the City Manager is responsible.

The City Council shall control by budget the number and compensation of all positions, unless otherwise mandated by this Charter. Each department so created shall be headed by an officer designated as department head who shall be appointed by the City Manager, subject to the approval of the City Council.

Sec. 502. City Clerk; Powers and Duties.

The City Clerk shall have power and be required to:

(a) Attend all meetings of the City Council and be responsible for the recording and maintaining of a full and true record of all of the proceedings of the City Council in books that shall bear appropriate titles and be devoted to such purpose;

(b) Maintain separate books, in which shall be recorded respectively all ordinances and resolutions, with the certificate of the Clerk annexed to each thereof stating the same to be the original or a correct copy, and as to an ordinance requiring publication, stating that the same has been published or posted in accordance with this Charter; keep all books properly indexed and open to public inspection when not in actual use;

(c) Maintain a record of all written contracts and official bonds;

(d) Be the custodian of the seal of the City;

(e) Administer oaths or affirmations, take affidavits and depositions pertaining to the affairs and business of the City and certify copies of official records;

(f) Have charge of all City elections.

Sec. 503. City Attorney: Election, Powers and Duties.

(a) Designation as Officer. The City Attorney shall be an officer of the City, in addition to any other officers designated pursuant to this Charter. Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, it is the intent of the voters that the City Attorney shall be sufficiently independent of the City Council and other city officials to advise the City while also acting in the best interests of the public.

(b) Powers of the City Attorney. The City Attorney shall:

(1) Represent and advise the City Council and all city officers in all matters of law pertaining to their offices and advise all boards, commissions, and other agencies of the City on legal matters referred to him or her, and render written legal opinions when the same are requested in writing by the Mayor or a member of the Council or the City Manager or any other officer, board or commission of the City;

(2) Represent and appear for the City and any city officer or employee, or former City officer or employee, in any or all actions and proceedings in which the City or any such officer or employee in or by reasons of his or her official capacity, is concerned or is a party;

(3) Attend all regular meetings of the City Council and give his or her opinion in writing whenever requested to do so by the City Council or by any of the boards or officers of the City;

(4) Approve the form of all contracts made by and all bonds given to the City, endorsing approval thereon in writing.

(5) Prepare any and all proposed ordinances or resolutions for the City, and amendments thereto;

(6) Prosecute, if so directed by ordinance of the City Council, all offenses against the ordinances of the City and for such offenses against the laws of the State as may be required by law, and shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the District Attorney of the County of San Diego to prosecute persons charged with or guilty of the violation of the State laws occurring within the City limits of the City of Chula Vista for offenses constituting misdemeanors;

(7) Whenever a cause of action exists in favor of the City, exercise discretion as to when to commence or maintain legal proceedings, subject to the approval or ratification by the City Council, when the basis for such action is within the knowledge of the City Attorney, or, he or she shall commence or maintain legal proceedings as directed by the City Council; and

(8) Surrender to his or her successor all books, papers, files and documents pertaining to the City’s affairs.

The Council may empower the City Attorney, at his or her request, to employ special legal counsel, and he or she shall have the power to appoint appraisers, engineers and other technical and expert services necessary for the handling of any pending or proposed litigation, proceeding or other legal matter. Upon the City Attorney’s recommendation and the approval of the Council, when he or she has a conflict of interest in litigation involving another office of the City in his official capacity, such other officer may retain special legal counsel at City expense. Nothing in this Section 503 shall be construed to prevent the City Attorney from giving confidential advice to the City when otherwise allowed by law.

(c) Election; Compensation of City Attorney. The City Attorney shall be nominated and elected in the same manner and at the same election as the Mayor, except as otherwise provided in this section. The annual salary of the elected City Attorney shall be equivalent to the salary of a Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California. The City Attorney shall also receive reimbursement on the order of the Council for Council-authorized travel and other expenses when on official duty out of the City. The City Council may also provide, by resolution, for the payment of an allowance of a sum certain per month, as reimbursement for additional demands and expenses made upon and incurred by the City Attorney. The City Attorney’s salary may not be reduced during the City Attorney’s term of office, except as part of a general reduction of salaries of all City officers and employees in the same amount or proportion. In addition, the City Attorney shall be entitled to such benefits as are granted to other management employees of the City, as established by the City Council from time to time. The City Attorney shall be in the Unclassified Service.

(d) Qualifications of City Attorney. No person shall be eligible for or continue to hold the Office of City Attorney, either by election or appointment, unless he or she is a citizen of the United States, a qualified elector, and a California resident, licensed to practice law in all courts of the State of California and so licensed for at least seven years preceding his or her assumption of office following election under this charter.

(e) Term of Office of the City Attorney. The City Attorney shall be elected to a nominal term of four years and shall commence on the first Tuesday of December of the year of the election, and shall continue until a successor qualifies. The City Attorney shall be subject to the same limits on terms of service as are applicable to the Mayor and City Council under Section 300(C).

(f) Vacancy, Filling of. Upon the declaration of vacancy in the Office of the City Attorney, the Office of the City Attorney shall be filled by appointment by the majority vote of the members of the Council; provided, that if the Council shall fail to fill a vacancy by appointment within sixty days after such office shall become vacant, or if the unexpired term of the City Attorney shall exceed 24 months at the time of the appointment, the City Council shall cause a special election to be held to fill such vacancy, as provided in Section 303.C.2. An appointee or the person elected to the Office of City Attorney for the balance of an unexpired term shall hold office until the next general election for the Office of the City Attorney.

(g) Vacancy, What Constitutes. The Office of City Attorney shall be declared vacant by the Council when the person elected or appointed thereto fails to qualify within ten days after his or her term is to begin, dies, resigns, ceases to be a resident of the State or absents himself or herself continuously from the State for a period of more than thirty days without permission from the Council, absents himself or herself from any seven consecutive regular meetings except on account of own illness or when absent from the City by permission of the Council, is convicted of a felony, is judicially determined to be an incompetent, is permanently so disabled as to be unable to perform the duties of his or her office, forfeits his or her office under any provision of this Charter, or is removed from office by judicial procedure. A finding of disability shall require the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Council after considering competent medical evidence bearing on the physical or mental capability of the City Attorney.

Sec. 503.1 Office of Legislative Counsel; Duties.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, the Council may establish by ordinance the office of Legislative Counsel, as described in this section.

(a) Legislative Counsel may be selected by the Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council, on terms and conditions prescribed by Council. Appointment or dismissal of the Legislative Counsel shall be approved by a majority vote of the Council.

(b) Legislative Counsel may advise the Council regarding its legislative duties. Legislative Counsel shall neither oppose nor urge enactment of any legislation.

(c) Legislative Counsel may also advise the Council regarding conflicts of interest involving the City Attorney, and whether the hiring of special counsel is therefore warranted. If the Council approves the hiring of special counsel, Legislative Counsel may assist the Council in the selection and appointment of special counsel.

(d) Legislative Counsel may further advise the Council or the City’s Board of Ethics concerning the City’s Code of Ethics and alleged violations thereof and further may advise the City’s Charter Review Commission. Legislative Counsel may also provide such other assistance to the Board of Ethics in investigating or assisting the Board in the conduct of hearings, including the hiring of special counsel to the Board.

(e) The Council may further provide by ordinance that the advice of the Legislative Counsel on the matters set forth in this section 503.1 shall be in lieu of that of the City Attorney. The Counsel may additionally or alternatively provide by ordinance for the prevention or resolution of conflicts and/or disputes between the City Attorney and Legislative Counsel.

Sec. 504. Director of Finance; Powers and Duties.

There shall be a Finance Department headed by a Director of Finance, who shall have power and be required to:

(a) Have charge of the administration of the financial affairs of the City under the direction of the City Manager;

(b) Compile the budget expense and income estimates for the City Manager;

(c) Supervise and be responsible for the disbursement of all monies and have control over all expenditures to insure that budget appropriations are not exceeded; audit all purchase orders before issuance; audit and approve before payment all bills, invoices, payrolls, or demands against the City government and with the advice of the City Attorney, when necessary, determine the regularity, legality and correctness of such claims, demands or charges;

(d) Maintain a general accounting system for the City government and each of its offices, departments and agencies;

(e) Keep separate accounts for the items of appropriation contained in the City budget, each of which accounts shall show the amount of the appropriation, the amounts paid therefrom, the unpaid obligations against it and the unencumbered balance, require reports of the receipts and disbursements from each receiving and expending agency of the City government to be made daily or at such intervals as deemed expedient;

(f) Submit to the City Council through the City Manager a quarterly statement of all receipts and disbursements in sufficient detail to show the exact financial condition of the City; as of the end of each fiscal year and within one hundred and twenty days thereafter, submit to the City Council a summary statement of receipts and disbursements by departments and funds, including opening and closing fund balances in the treasury, and cause said statement to be published once in the official newspaper;

(g) Collect all taxes, assessments, license fees and other revenues of the City, or for whose collection the City is responsible, and receive all taxes or other money receivable by the City from the County, State or Federal government; or from any court or from any office, department or agency of the City;

(h) Have custody of all public funds belonging to or under the control of the City or any office, department or agency of the City government and deposit all funds in such depository as may be designated by resolution of the City Council, or if no such resolution be adopted, by the City Manager, and in compliance with all the provisions of the State Constitution and the laws of the State governing the handling, depositing and securing of public funds; and

(i) Supervise the keeping of current inventories of all property of the City by all City departments, offices and agencies.

Sec. 505. Duties of Officers and Employees.

The City Council, by ordinance, may assign additional functions or duties to offices, departments or agencies established by this Charter, but may not discontinue or assign to any other office, department or agency any function or duty assigned by this Charter to a particular office, department or agency.

Where the positions are not incompatible, the City Council may combine in one person the powers and duties of two or more offices created or provided for in the Charter. No office provided in this Charter to be filled by appointment by the City Manager may be combined with an office provided in this Charter to be filled by appointment by the City Council.

However, the City Council may transfer or consolidate functions of the City government to or with appropriate functions of the State or County government, or may make use of such functions of the State or County government. In such case, the provisions of this Charter providing for the function of the City government so transferred or consolidated are suspended, and shall be covered by ordinance or resolution establishing such transfer or consolidation. Any such transfer or consolidation may be repealed in like manner.

Sec 506. Administering Oaths.

Each department head or deputy shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations on connection with any official business pertaining to that department.

Sec. 507. Department Heads; Appointment Powers.

Each department head and appointive officer shall have the power to appoint and remove such deputies, assistants, subordinates and employees as are provided for by the City Council for their department or office, subject to the civil service provisions, or as provided by ordinance of the Council as authorized by Section 500(a) of this Charter, and subject to prior approval of the City Manager.

Sec. 508. Illegal Contracts; Financial Interest.

No member of the City Council, department head or other officer of the City (except a member of any board or commission), shall be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract, sale or transaction to which the City is a party.

No member of any board or commission shall be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract, sale or transaction to which the City is a party and which comes before the board or commission of which such person is a member, for approval or other official action or which pertains to the department, office or agency of the City with which such board or commission is connected.

Any contract, sale or transaction, in which there shall be such an interest, as specified in this section, shall become void at the election of the City, when so declared by resolution of the City Council.

No member of the City Council, department head or other officer of the City, or member of any board or commission shall be deemed to be financially interested, within the meaning of the foregoing provisions, in any contract made with a corporation where the only interest in the corporation is that of a stockholder and the stock so owned shall amount to less than three percent (3%) of all of the stock of such corporation issued and outstanding.

If any member of the City Council, department head or other officer of the City, or member of a board or commission shall be financially interested as aforesaid, upon conviction thereof, shall forfeit the office in addition to any other penalty which may be imposed for such violation of this Charter.

Sec. 509. Acceptance of Other Office.

Any elective officer of the City who shall accept or retain any salaried public office, except as provided in this Charter, shall be deemed thereby to have vacated said office under City government.

Sec. 510. Nepotism.

The City Council shall not appoint to a salaried position under the City government any person who is a relative by blood or marriage within the third degree of any one or more members of such City Council, provided that such prohibition shall not apply to persons who achieved permanent salaried status prior to the date upon which any such relative became elected or appointed to such City Council.

No department head or other officer having appointive power shall appoint to a salaried position under the City government any person who is a relative by such appointing authority within the third degree by blood or marriage, provided that such prohibition shall not apply to persons who achieved permanent salaried position prior to the effective date of such appointing authority assuming such position, and provided the City Manager approved in writing such appointment.

Sec. 511. Official Bonds.

The City Council shall fix by ordinance or resolution the amounts and terms of the official bonds of all officials or employees who are required by ordinance to give such bonds. All bonds shall be executed by responsible corporate surety, shall be approved as to form by the City Attorney, and shall be filed with the City Clerk. Premiums on official bonds shall be said by the City.

There shall be no personal liability upon, or any right to recover against, a superior officer, or his or her bond, for any wrongful act or omission of a subordinate, unless such superior officer was a part to, or conspired in, such wrongful act or omission.

Sec. 512. Oath of Office.

Each member of the City Council and of every board and commission and each officer, department head and full-time employee, before beginning the duties of the office, shall take, subscribe to and file with the City Clerk the following oath or affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I will, in all respects, observe the provisions of this Charter and the ordinances of the City of Chula Vista; that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of (here inserting the name of office) according to the best of my ability; and that I do not advocate the overthrow of the government of the United States by force or violence.”