Chapter 1 – City Council

3.101 Local Legislature

A City Council of seven (7) members is hereby created. The Council is the legislative body of the City and possesses such other powers as may be provided by law or this charter.

3.102 District Representation; Term of Office

Each district of the City shall be represented by one Council member. The member from each district shall be nominated and elected by the electors of the district. To be eligible for the office of Council member for a district, a person must have been a resident of the District for one year immediately before the term commences.

{Charter amendment 2005 language change}

Each member of the council elected under this charter shall serve for four (4) years and until a successor qualifies. The Council shall be the sole judge of the election and qualifications of its members.

3.103 Beginning of Term

The term of each Council member begins at noon on the first business day after January 1st following the election.

3.104 Organizational Meeting

The first business of the first meeting in each new term of the Council shall be its organization. The meeting shall be held in the Council Chambers and shall be presided over by the City Clerk or a temporary presiding officer until the President and President Pro-Tem of the Council have been elected. The President of the Council shall preside at meetings of the Council. The President Pro-Tem shall perform the duties of the Council President during the absence or temporary disability of the Council president.

3.105 Meetings

The Council shall meet at such times as prescribed by ordinance or resolution, except that it shall meet regularly not less than once a week. The Mayor or two (2) members of the Council may call special meetings of the Council, upon at least 10 hours’ written notice to each member, served personally or left at the member’s place of residence. However, any special meeting at which all members of the Council are present or have given written consent shall be a legal meeting for all purposes, without such written notice.

3.106 Public Access; Rules

As provided by law, all meetings of the Council shall be public and any citizen may have access to the minutes and records thereof at all reasonable times.

The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings, in English.

3.107 Quorum

A majority of all Council members serving constitutes a quorum, but a lesser number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of an absent member in such manner and under such penalties as prescribed by ordinance.

3.108 Voting

Except as otherwise required by this charter, no action of the Council shall be effective unless adopted by a majority of Council members serving.

On all ordinances, and in all other matters on the demand of one or more members of the Council, a roll call vote shall be taken.

3.109 Council Action

The Council shall act for the City only by ordinance or resolution.

3.110 Compensation

Council membership is a part-time position.

A Council member may be paid by the City the sum of $100.00 for each official meeting of the Council attended by the member. However, no member of the Council shall receive more than $5,200.00 in any one year.

3.111 Appointment of Clerk

The Council shall appoint a City Clerk for an indefinite period. The Clerk is removable by vote of five (5) members of the council.

3.112 Ordinance Procedure

(a)    The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be read, “The City of Pontiac ordains”, but this clause may be omitted when the ordinances are published in a compilation.

(b)    Upon introduction, the Clerk shall distribute a copy to each Council member and to the Mayor, and shall file a reasonable number of copies in the office of the Clerk and such other public places as the Council may designate, and shall publish a summary of the proposed ordinance in a newspaper of general circulation in the City together with a notice of the time and place for consideration by the Council. Thereafter, the Council may amend and adopt the proposed ordinance without further pre-adoption publication.

(c)    The adoption of any ordinance by the Council shall require a majority of Council members serving.

(d)    The effective date of an ordinance shall be stated therein. The effective date shall not be less than 10 days from the date of adoption. NO ordinance may be adopted on the day it is introduced.

(e)    An emergency ordinance, which shall contain a statement of its urgency, must be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, property, health, safety or for the usual daily operation of a department. An emergency ordinance may be adopted on the day it is introduced, publication of a summary thereof before adoption is not required, and an emergency ordinance may be given immediate effect.

(f)    Every ordinance or resolution of the Council, except quasi-judicial acts of the Council, appointments by the Council, matters relating to the internal organization of the Council or of a ceremonial nature, or such action as may be expressly exempted from veto by other sections of this charter, shall be presented by the Clerk to the Mayor within four (4) business days after adjournment of the meeting at which the ordinance or resolution is adopted.

The Mayor, within seven (7) days of receipt of an ordinance or resolution, may return it to the Clerk with a veto and a written statement explaining the veto. However, with respect to an emergency ordinance, the Mayor shall notify the Council of a veto in any reasonable manner within 24 hours after the Mayor’s office receives written notice from the Clerk that the emergency ordinance has been adopted.

An ordinance or resolution vetoed by the Mayor can be reconsidered by the Council only at a meeting within one week after the receipt of the Mayor’s veto. Five Council members may adopt the ordinance or resolution over the Mayor’s veto.

(g)    An ordinance shall be published once after its adoption in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. Except for an emergency ordinance, such publication shall be before the ordinance’s effective date. The Clerk shall certify on the record of ordinances the date of publication shall be prima facie evidence that legal publication of an ordinance was made.

(h)    The Clerk shall maintain a record of all ordinances. After an ordinance is adopted, it shall be authenticated by the Clerk. The record and the authentication shall be done within one week after adoption of an ordinance, but failure to a record and authenticate an ordinance does not invalidate it or suspend its operation.

(i)    A repealed ordinance may not be revised, except by re-enactment of the whole or so much as is intended to be revived. When any section or part of section of an ordinance is amended, the whole section as amended shall be re-enacted.

(j)    Prosecution for violation of an ordinance of the City shall be commenced within two (2) years after the commission of the offense. This limitation only applies to violations penal in nature, and is not a limitation of the City’s right to forfeit and franchise, grant or license for violation of the terms and condition thereof.

(k)    A violation of an ordinance of the City shall be prosecuted as provided by law or ordinance.

3.113 Transfer of City Property; Contracts

The City may not sell, lease, exchange, or in any way dispose of any real property of the City or any property of the City, except such personalty as may have been defined by ordinances as a minor, without approval, after public notice and hearing, by resolution of the Council. Nor may the City enter into a contract if there is not a sufficient unencumbered appropriation available to discharge fully the City’s obligation thereunder, without approval by the Council.

3.114 City Hospital

The City, by ordinance shall, provide for the governance of the City hospital Section shall apply to appointees and employees of the hospital.

3.115 Staff

The Council may, within appropriations provided in the budget, appoint staff or contract for services. Staff or persons engaged pursuant to contract served at the pleasure of the Council.

3.116 Relations with Executive Branch

The council and each of its members may make inquiries of, or request information and records from, the Mayor, the appointees or the employees of the executive branch. However, neither the Council nor any member of thereof shall give any order or direction, neither publicly or privately, to any appointee or employee of the executive branch.

3.117 Investigative Powers

The council may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence in any matter pending before it. To enforce a subpoena or order for production of evidence or to impose any penalty prescribed for failure to obey a subpoena or order, the Council shall apply to the appropriate court.

3.118 Vacancies

A vacancy on the Council may be filled by appointment of a registered elector of the district affected by a majority of Council members remaining. The appointee serves out the unexpired term or until a successor is elected. However, the term of a member may not be extended by resignation and subsequent appointment.

3.119 Effect of Absences

Absence from five (5) consecutive regular meetings shall operate to vacate the seat of a member, unless the absence is excused by the Council by resolution setting forth the excuse and entered upon the journal.

3.120 Control of City Payroll

No compensation or salary shall be paid to appointees, members of boards or commissions, or employees of the City except as approved by the Council.

3.121 Bonds

The Council may require any appointee or employee to give a bond for the faithful performance of duty, in such amount as it may determine, and the premium thereof shall be paid by the City.

An appointee or employee, required by law, this charter, ordinance or resolution to give a bond, shall not enter upon or continue duties of the office or employment until such bond has been duly filed, and approved and recorded.

All bonds shall be approved by the Council and filed with the Clerk, except the bond of the Clerk, which shall be filed with the Treasurer.

All required bonds shall be surety company bonds.

Chapter 2 – City Clerk

3.201 Functions of Clerk

The City Clerk is responsible for:

a)    Registration of electors residing in the City and the conduct of elections in the City.

b)    Serving as clerk of the Council, giving required public notices, and keeping a record of all ordinances, resolutions and other proceeding.

c)    Maintaining a record of all existing and proposed rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the City.

d)    Certifying, under corporate seal, when requested, copies of all official papers and records of the City and making them available to the public as provided by law.

3.202 Chief Assistant Clerk

The Clerk may, with approval of Council, appoint a chief assistant who serves at the pleasure of the Clerk and performs the duties of the office in the absence or disability of the Clerk.

3.203 Voter Registration

The Clerk shall maintain reasonably accessible voter registration sites throughout the City on a year-round basis.

3.204 Other Duties of Clerk

The Clerk may administer oaths and take affidavits and exercise other powers and duties as provided by law, this charter, or ordinance.

Chapter 3 – Auditor

3.301 Authority to Establish Auditor

The Council may, by ordinance, provide for the office of Legislative Auditor and shall, by not less than five (5) affirmative votes appoint the Auditor for a term of not less than four (4) years. The Auditor may be removed by not less than five (5) Council members only for cause.