Chapter 1 – Mayor

4.101 The Mayor

The Mayor is the chief executive of the City and as provided by this charter, is in charge of and is accountable for the executive branch of the City government. The Mayor shall serve a four (4) year term, commencing on the first business day after January 1st following the election. To be eligible for Mayor, a person must have been a resident of the City for one year immediately before the term commences.

4.102 Duties of the Mayor

The Mayor possesses all powers inherent in being the chief operating officer of the executive branch, including:

a)    Seeing that laws and ordinances are faithfully executed;

b)    Presenting the proposed annual budget and a state of the City address;

c)    Supervising expenditures of all sums appropriated to and the attainment of all objectives established for departments of the executive branch.

4.103 Deputy Mayor

The Mayor shall appoint, with the approval of the Council, a Deputy Mayor who serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and performs the duties of the office during the absence or temporary disability of the Mayor.

4.104 Council Attendance

The Mayor or the Deputy Mayor shall attend all meetings of the Council and respond to questions from Council members and citizens, make reports and present proposals.

4.105 Staff of the Office of Mayor

The Mayor may, within appropriations provided in the budget, appoint such assistants and secretaries to the staff of the offices of Mayor as may be reasonably necessary, all of whom serve at the pleasure of the Mayor.

4.106 Appointment of Directors; Failure to Act on Appointments

Except as otherwise required by law or this charter, the Mayor shall appoint for each department of the executive branch a director who serves at the pleasure of the Mayor as head of the department. Each appointment is subject to approval by the council.

If a mayoral appointment is not disapproved by the Council within 30 days, the appointment is effective.

4.107 Appointment of Chief Assistants

Except as otherwise required by law of this charter, a department director may, with the consent of the Mayor, appoint a chief assistant, who serves at the pleasure of the department director.

4.108 Duties of Directors

Each department director shall:

1.    Consistent with law, this charter, ordinance and any labor agreement, hire, promote, supervise, discipline, and remove employees of the department.

2.    Assign duties to the employees of the department and supervise the performance of these duties and the attainment of the objectives of the department.

4.109 Boards and Commissions

Except as otherwise required by law or this charter, the term of members on all boards and commissions in City government is four (4) years and members of boards and commissions are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. Reappointment of a person to the same board of commission for an additional consecutive term is subject to approval by the Council. Except as otherwise required by law or this charter, all boards and commissions are advisory.

4.110 Succession to Office

If a vacancy occurs in the office of Mayor, the Council president shall succeed to the office until a new Mayor is elected. If the vacancy occurs more than one year before the next regular City general election to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

If a dispute arises concerning whether a vacancy in the office of Mayor has occurred, any four (4) members of the Council may petition the appropriate court for a determination of this fact question.

Chapter 2 – Law Department

4.201 Law Department

A law department is created in the executive branch of City government.

4.202 Duties of City Attorney

The director of the law department must be an attorney licensed to practice in Michigan and shall be called the “City Attorney.” The City Attorney is responsible for:

a)    Supervising the conduct of all the legal business of the City and its departments;

b)    Drafting all ordinance proposals and approving them as to form;

c)    Preparing such leases, deeds, contracts or other papers as may be required by the Mayor, Council or any department;

d)    Furnishing written legal opinions when requested by the Mayor, the Council or any department;

e)    Instituting and conducting, on behalf of the People, all cases arising from the provisions of this charter or ordinances and, when authorized by law, cases under the state law;

f)    Defending all actions or proceedings against the City;

g)    Prosecuting all civil actions to which the City is a party or in which the City has an interest, when directed to do so by the Mayor; notice of any such action shall immediately be given to the City Council;

h)    Representing any elective officer or appointee of the City in any action or proceeding.

4.203 Settlements

No civil litigations of the City may be settled without the consent of the Council.

4.204 Option of City Council

Notwithstanding the above, the Council may engage independent legal counsel on a temporary basis where the Council is seeking enforcement of a Council subpoena or order, suing or being sued by any City agency or officer, or defending against any action or proceedings involving the Council’s official duties. Further, the Council may obtain the option or advice of independent legal counsel in any matter pending before it.

Chapter 3 – Finance Department

4.301 Finance Department

A Finance Department is created in the executive branch of City government.

The Finance Director shall have direct supervision over the finance department and the administration of the financial affairs of the City, including the keeping of accounts and financial records, the collection of taxes, special assessments and other revenue, and such other duties as may be prescribed by ordinance.

4.302 Treasurer

The Finance Director, with the consent of the Mayor, shall appoint a City Treasurer, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Finance Director. The Treasurer shall perform all the duties required of treasurers by law, this charter or ordinance.

4.303 Purchasing Division

A division of Purchasing is created in the finance department. The Finance Director shall, with the consent of the Mayor, appoint a Purchasing Agent who serves at the pleasure of the Finance Director.

4.304 Centralized Purchasing; Competitive Bidding

All purchases and contracts of departments and agencies of the City shall be made through the division of purchasing, except as may otherwise be provided by ordinance. All purchases and contracts for procurement which exceed a dollar amount fixed by ordinance shall be made only pursuant to competitive bidding as prescribed by ordinance. The City may contract only with persons or firms that are equal opportunity employers and observe the principles set forth in Section 6.101 of this charter.

4.305 Restrictions on Purchases

No purchases shall be made, except on a requisition by the head of a department, countersigned by the Finance Director and approved by the Purchasing Agent. No purchases shall be made in excess of appropriations.

4.306 Duties of Purchasing Agent

The duties of the Purchasing Agent and rules and regulations relative thereto shall be as provided by law, this charter or ordinance.

4.307 Assessment Division

A division of Assessment is created in the Finance Department. The Mayor, with the approval of the Council, shall appoint a City Assessor for a term of six (6) years. If such mayoral appointment is not disapproved by the Council within 30 days, the appointment is effective. The City Assessor may be removed by the Mayor for cause only.

4.308 Assessor’s Duties

The City Assessor’s powers and duties shall be as provided by law, this charter or ordinance.

Chapter 4 – Police Department

4.401 Police Department

A Police Department is created in the executive branch of City government. The Chief of Police is the head of the Police Department.

4.402 Powers and Duties

The Chief of Police and police officers of the department possess powers conferred by law.

4.403 Powers and Duties of Police Chief

The Chief of Police is responsible for the public peace and order and the enforcement of the criminal laws of Michigan and ordinances of the City. Other departments of the City may be given concurrent enforcement jurisdiction for ordinances which cover technical fields of municipal operations. The Chief of Police shall define the duties of police officers and prescribe rules relative to the performance thereof.

4.404 Probationary Employment

Every person hired by the police department shall be first hired as a probationary member, for a period not to exceed 18 months.

4.405 Police Trial Board

A Police Trial Board is hereby created. It shall consist of 15 members appointed by the Mayor. The Mayor shall endeavor to make the Trial Board as representative of the entire City as reasonably possible. The members of the Trial Board shall serve without compensation. Each member shall serve a staggered three (3) year term. The first appointments after the effective date of this charter to the Trial Board may be for varying terms less than the length prescribed in order that thereafter not more than 1/3 of the terms shall expire in any year.

4.406 Case Panels

A panel of the Trial Board consisting of five (5) members chosen at random by lot shall serve as the Trial Board in a given case to hear and determine a complaint against an accused member or members of the department.

4.407 Rules and Regulations

The Trial Board shall adopt rules and regulations relative to the conduct of proceedings before the Trial Board and Case Panels thereof.

4.408 Citizen Complaints

A complaint by a citizen against a member of the Police Department shall be made to the Chief of Police. However, if the citizen is dissatisfied with the disposition of the complaint made by the Chief of Police or if no disposition is made within 10 days, the citizen may make a complaint to the Trial Board.

4.409 Commencement of Proceedings

Proceedings before the Trial Board shall be instituted by a formal complaint, under oath. The complaint shall contain sufficient information so that both the Board and the accused member may be informed of the nature of the offense. A copy of the complaint shall be served on the accused member and the trial shall be commenced, before a Trial Board Panel selected as provided in 4.406, within 10 days after the filing of such complaint. Upon such filing, the accused may be immediately suspended by the Chief of Police. Any such suspension shall be without pay but, if acquitted of the charge, the accused shall suffer no loss of pay for the period of suspension.

4.410 Taking of Proofs and Decision

A trial board panel shall hear the evidence and may determine judgment and pronounce penalties under its rules and regulation. A trial board panel 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, a trial board panel shall apply to the appropriate court. A trial board panel’s decision shall be final. A trial board panel, on any case brought before it for determination, shall make a stenographic record of all proceedings.

4.411 Proceedings to Be Public

Proceedings before the Trial Board and case panels shall be public and an accused employee and any person who has filed a complaint shall be given reasonable advance notice of the time and place of any proceedings and copies of decisions.

Chapter 5 – Fire Department

4.501 Fire Department

A Fire Department is created in the executive branch of City government. The Fire Chief is the head of the fire department and serves under the supervision of the Mayor.

4.502 Retention of Fire Department Civil Service

The civil service system for firemen created by approval of the electors of Pontiac pursuant to 1935 PA 78, shall continue after the effective date of the new charter.

4.503 Emergency Power

The Fire Chief or the person of the department in charge at any fire may cause any building to be razed or destroyed, when necessary, in order to arrest the progress of a fire, and no action shall be maintained against any person or against the City therefor.

4.504 *Powers of Fire Chief

The Fire Chief possesses all powers conferred by law, this charter or ordinance, provided, however, that the Fire Chief shall assign firemen to actual duty for emergency medical services on a daily basis, in accordance with their qualifications, in addition to firemen assigned to actual duty for fire suppression on a daily basis, in a total number on each shift for all duties which is not less than one (1) fireman for every 2,000 residents of the City of Pontiac.

(*As amended November 2, 1982)

Chapter 6 – Remainder of the Executive Branch

4.601 Other Departments

Other departments, not created by this charter, for performance of executive and administrative functions may be created in the executive branch by ordinance, consistent with Sections 4.106-4.109 of this charter.

4.602 Assignment of Administrative Functions

Responsibility for performance of all executive administrative functions shall be assigned by ordinance to departments of the executive branch.

4.603 Initial Continuation of Departments

All departments existing under the old charter or by ordinance performing executive or administrative functions shall continue to exist, unless reorganized, consolidated, or abolished by ordinance. Provisions for such departments are hereby modified, if necessary, to comply with Sections 4.106-4.109 of this charter.

Chapter 7 – Arts Commission

4.701 Arts Commission

An Arts Commission whose membership and term thereof shall be determined by ordinance shall be created. The Commission shall act as an advisory body to the Mayor and the Council and as an advocate for the arts and aesthetics in all aspects of city life. It shall advise and support cultural institutions and groups interested in cultural activities. It shall encourage, develop and support a wide variety of programs which reflect the cultural needs and experiences of all citizens and shall encourage participations by all citizens in cultural activities carried on in the City.