800-09
CITY COUNCIL REQUESTS FOR STAFF ASSISTANCE

POLICY & PROCEDURE

Subject:

CITY COUNCIL REQUESTS FOR STAFF ASSISTANCE

Index: LEGISLATIVE

Number: 800-09

Effective Date

8/6/2007

Supersedes

8/1/1985

Page

1 of 2

Staff Contact

Jay Covington

Approved By

Toni Nelson

1.0 PURPOSE:

To establish policy and procedures by which requests from the City Council for staff assistance should receive the prior review and approval of the Mayor's office. This policy will assure that:

1)    requests from Council are addressed in a timely and thorough manner;

2)    matters referred are transmitted to the appropriate department(s) for a response, and;

3)    Council requests are appropriately incorporated into the ongoing daily work program.

2.0 ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:

All departments/divisions.

3.0 REFERENCES:

RCW 35A.12.

4.0 POLICY:

4.1    The Mayor, or the Chief Administrative Officer on behalf of the Mayor, shall have the exclusive responsibility for directing the activities of the Administrative staff of the City.

4.2    All substantial requests by City Councilmembers for staff assistance shall be transmitted to the Mayor's office for review, approval, and transmittal to the appropriate department/division for action.

4.2.1    Questions or requests of a simple nature that do not require the dedication of staff time or research may be posed directly to a City department head.

4.3    All requests for assistance from the City Council shall be addressed at the earliest possible date.

5.0 DEFINITIONS:

5.1    Substantial Request: A request by a Councilmember or Council committee for staff assistance requiring research and/or a technical analysis which is not previously scheduled in the normal work program of the department.

6.0 PROCEDURES:

6.1    City Councilmembers shall refer substantial requests for assistance to the Mayor’s office for review, approval, and transmittal to the appropriate department(s) for response.

6.1.1    Upon receipt of a request from the Mayor’s office, the department head shall estimate the time required to respond or comply with the request for assistance. Under normal circumstances, every effort shall be made to respond within five working days.

6.1.1.1    If it is anticipated that a response will not be forthcoming within five working days, the Mayor or Chief Administrative Officer will provide the Councilmember an estimate of the time required to respond to the request and the reason for the delay.

6.2    All responses to substantial requests from the Council shall be in writing. Responses should be sent to the Mayor’s office to assure that the content fully addresses the intent of the request and that the information provided is consistent with input from other sources.

6.3    The Mayor’s office shall be responsible for the distribution of responses to Council requests.

6.3.1    All written responses to questions or requests for assistance shall be distributed to the entire Council.

6.3.2    Verbal responses shall be conveyed, when deemed appropriate by the Mayor, at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting as part of the Administrative Report. Provided; however, that the Administration shall comply with any City Council request to provide a written response to a question or request for assistance.

6.4    Administrative staff who may be contacted directly by a Councilmember with a substantial request for assistance should advise the Councilmember of the applicability of this policy and recommend that he/she contact the Mayor’s office for assistance.