Chapter 1 – Personal Matters

6.101 Affirmative Action

City government shall provide equal opportunity in employment for all persons; prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, marital status, height or weight; and promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a continuous affirmative action program in all departments of City government. The Mayor shall assure full implementation of this policy.

6.102 Employee Serving in Management

Management consists of elective officers and appointees as defined in Section 6.206. Rules shall be established by ordinance or resolution which permits any person holding employment covered by a bargaining unit or a civil service classification plan who is selected for an appointment to take a leave of absence from such covered employment for the period of the appointment.

6.103 Residency

An appointee (other than to a board or commission) or an employee of the City if not a resident at the time of appointment or hire, shall become a resident within one year thereafter and shall remain a resident while so employed. Violations of this requirement by an appointee or employee shall be grounds for dismissal from employment.

The continued employment of an employee employed before the effective date of this charter is not subject to this requirement, but compliance with the requirement shall be a condition to the promotion of any such employee.

Upon a specific finding that the interests of the City and its residents would be best served in a given case by granting relief from this section, five (5) members of the City Council, subject to the Mayoral veto contained in Section 3.112(f), may grant appropriate relief.

6.104 Local Officers’ Compensation Commission

Notwithstanding any other provision of this charter, the compensation of elective officers may be revised pursuant to law by the Local Officers’ Compensation Commission.

6.105 Vacancy

The position of any elective officer or appointee shall become vacant upon death, resignation, permanent disability, removal from City residence or, in the case of a Council member, removal from district residence, or dismissal from the position in any manner authorized by this charter.

6.106 Filling of Vacancies

If a vacancy occurs in any appointive position, it shall be filled by appointment (for the unexpired term, if any) in the matter provided for the original appointment.

6.107 Conflict of Interest

(a)    Except as otherwise required by law:

(1)    An elective officer, appointee, or employee who has a conflict between personal interest and the public interest as defined by law, this charter, or ordinance shall disclose fully to the City Attorney the nature of the conflict. Except as provided by law or ordinance, no elective officer, appointee, or employee of the City may participate in or act upon or vote upon any matter if a conflict exists.

(2)    Any elective officer, appointee, or employee who has a substantial financial interest, direct or indirect or by reason of ownership of a substantial amount of stock in any corporation, in any contract with the City or in the sale of any land, materials, supplies or services to the City or to a contractor supplying the City, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating as an elective officer, appointee, or employee in the making or performance of the contract or sale.

(3)    Violation of this subsection with the knowledge, express or implied, of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the City shall render the contract or sale voidable by the Mayor or the Council.

(b)    An elective City officer or an appointee who is a relative by blood or marriage within the second degree of an applicant for employment by the City, shall immediately be disqualified from, and shall not participate in any way in, the hiring process for that applicant.

If it is established upon complaint made by any City resident that, in the hiring of any person, this provision was violated, the employment of such person shall be a nullity, and such violation shall be cause for a recall or dismissal of the City officer or appointee involved. Further, a City officer or appointee violating this provision is subject to a fine of $500.00, or imprisonment of 90 days or both.

(c)    No elective officer shall hold any appointive position, which was created or the compensation for which was fixed or increased during his or her incumbency, until one year after such person’s leaving office.

6.108 Retirement Plans Continued

The retirement plans of the City existing when this charter takes effect, including the existing governing bodies for administering those plans, the benefit schedules for those plans, and the terms for accruing rights to and receiving benefits under those plans shall have ordinance status under this charter and shall, in all respects, continue in existence exactly as before unless changed in accordance with law or by ordinance.

6.109 Removal for Cause

Any appointee subject to removal for cause may be removed by the appointing authority for lack of qualifications, incompetency, neglect of duties, misconduct, conviction of a felony, or a violation of this charter or any job-related ordinance, rule or regulation. An appointee may not be removed under this subsection without an opportunity for a public hearing before the appointing authority. A copy of the charges shall be furnished at least 10 days in advance of the hearing.

Chapter 2 – Specific Powers and Miscellaneous Provisions

6.201 Enabling Legislation

The City may enact any ordinance authorized by law or necessary to carry out the provisions of any section of this charter.

6.202 Rents, Tolls, Excises and Taxes

The City may provide for the laying and collecting of rents, tolls, excises and taxes in accordance with the law.

6.203 Eminent Domain

The City has the power of eminent domain and, to the extent permitted by the law, may condemn private and public property located within or outside of the City for any public purpose.

6.204 Penalties

The City shall, by ordinance, provide punishment, to the extent permitted by law, for the violation of any provision of this charter or any ordinance.

6.205 Subsequent Grade Changes

Expenses for improvements related to subsequent grade changes in the grades of streets, alleys, public highways, pavements, sidewalks, or curbs, where the prior improvements were financed by special assessments, shall be charged to and paid by the City.

6.206 Definitions

As used in this charter:

(1)    “Director” means the administrative head of a department, notwithstanding that another title may, by this charter or ordinance, be given to the position.

(2)(a)    “Appointee” and “appointment” refer to persons either (i) serving on boards and commissions or (ii) holding upper level positions included in the management of City government and outside any civil service system or collective bargaining unit; and

(b)    “Employee” and “hiring” refer to persons holding positions in City government below the management level.

(3)    “Shall” is mandatory; “may” is discretionary.

Chapter 3 – Rule Making

6.301 Administrative Rules

Except for rules otherwise adopted pursuant to law, before adopting any rule governing dealings between the City and the public, or establishing hearing procedures for resolving matters in dispute, a City department or agency shall give notice of a deadline for comment by publication in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the City at least four (4) weeks in advance of the deadline.

The notice shall:

a.    contain the proposed rule or a statement of its substance;

b.    specify the elective officer, appointee or employee from whom additional information can be obtained; and

c.    specify the time, place and method for presentation of views by interested persons.

The department or agency shall give any interested person the opportunity to submit written recommendations and comments, copies of which shall be kept on file for 12 months and made available for public inspection.

No rule shall become effective until it has been published in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the City. All effective rules shall be printed in a book of City rules.

6.302 Emergency Rules

Notwithstanding the preceding section, in the case of an emergency declared in writing by the Mayor or the Council, a proposed rule may be given effect for a period not to exceed 60 days pending completion of the required procedure.

Chapter 4 – Initiative and Referendum

6.401 Initiative

A proposed ordinance may be submitted to the Council upon petitions signed by registered electors of the City. After submission, the Clerk shall promptly ascertain and certify the number of signers.

6.402 Duties of Council

If such certificate shows that the number of registered electors signing the petitions equals or exceeds 15% of the electors voting at the preceding City general election, the Council shall within 20 days thereafter:

(a)    adopt the ordinance without alteration (subject to the referendum provided by charter); or

(b)    call a special election to be held within 90 days; at the special election, the proposed ordinance shall be submitted without alteration to electoral vote.

6.403 Petitions

If the petitions are signed by registered electors equal to at least 5% but less than 15% of the electors voting at the preceding City general election and the proposed ordinance is not adopted without alteration by the City within 20 days, then the proposed ordinance, without alteration, shall be submitted by the Council to electoral vote at the next scheduled election in the City occurring at any time after 30 days from the date of the Clerk’s certificate.

6.404 Referendum

No ordinance, except an emergency ordinance, shall take effect before 10 days after adoption. If, within these 10 days, 100 registered electors of the City file with the Clerk a notice in writing of their intention to circulate a petition for referring the ordinance to the electors for their adoption or rejection, then the ordinance does not become effective until 30 days after its adoption. If, within these 30 days, petitions containing the number of signatures required by this charter are not filed in accordance with such written notice, the ordinance shall become effective upon the expiration of the 30 day period. If, within the 30 days, however, petitions protesting the ordinance signed by registered electors of the City equal in number to at least 10% of the electors voting at the preceding City general election are presented to the Council, the ordinance is suspended from taking effect. The Council shall immediately reconsider the ordinance. If the ordinance is not entirely repealed, the Council shall submit it to an electoral vote, either at the next scheduled election in the City or at a special election, and the ordinance shall not take effect unless approved by a majority of the registered electors voting thereon. These referendum provisions do not apply to:

(a)    an ordinance required, or exempted from referendum, by law or this charter;

(b)    an emergency ordinance; however, grant of a franchise may not be deemed an emergency ordinance.

6.405 Powers of Council

The Council may, of its own motion, submit to electoral vote for adoption or rejection at an election in the City a proposed ordinance or a proposition for the repeal or amendment of an ordinance.

6.406 Conflicting Provisions

If the provisions of two (2) or more ordinances approved at the same election are inconsistent, then the ordinance provision receiving the highest affirmative votes shall prevail.

6.407 Publication

Whenever an ordinance is required to be submitted to an electoral vote, the Council shall have the ordinance published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, once in each week for two (2) successive weeks immediately preceding the election.

6.408 State Law to Apply

The form of petition and the conduct of the electoral vote for initiative and referendum measures shall, as near as may be, be the same as that provided by law for exercise of initiative and referendum by State electors.

6.409 Effect of Vote

An ordinance approved by electoral vote shall not thereafter be repealed or amended for 18 months, except by electoral vote.

Chapter 5 – Franchises, Licenses and Permits; Municipal Utilities

6.501 Occupancy or Use by Private Concern

A person or firm may be granted permission to occupy or use a street, alley or public place within the City for public utility purposed only under a City franchise, license or permit. As used in this chapter, “franchise”, “license” and “permit” refer only to grants of permission for such public utility occupancy or use.

6.502 Limitations on Grant

No franchise shall be granted by the City for a longer period than 30 years. No license shall be granted by the Council for a longer period than one year.

6.503 Revocable Permits

The City also may by resolution grant a permit at any time, in or upon any street, alley, or public place but such permit shall be revocable by the City at its pleasure at any time.

6.504 Manner of Grant

Every franchise or modification thereof shall be granted by ordinance. A license or any modification thereof may be granted by resolution. Any such ordinance or resolution shall be become effective until all terms and conditions thereof have been accepted in writing by the grantee. Such acceptance shall be filed with the Clerk. Any non-compliance with this section shall automatically cancel such franchise or license granted.

6.505 Electoral Approval

No franchise which is not revocable at the will of the Council shall be granted or become operative until it has been referred to electoral vote and has received the approval of a majority of the registered electors voting thereon.

6.506 Expenses of Certain Special Elections

No franchise, license or permit shall be submitted to the electors at a special election, unless the expense of holding the election, as determined by the Council shall first be paid by the grantee to the Treasurer.

6.507 Exclusivity Prohibited

No person or firm shall ever be granted any exclusive franchise, license or permit.

6.508 Restrictions on Transfer

No franchise, granted by the City, shall ever be leased, assigned or otherwise transferred except in accordance with the express provisions of the franchise. All franchises granted by the City shall provide how, and in what manner, and under what conditions the franchise may be leased, assigned, or transferred. No dealing by the City, nor part performance by the lessee, assignee or transferee shall be deemed to operate as consent by the City.

6.509 Restriction on Modifications

No modification of any franchise or license shall be made, except in the manner and subject to all conditions provided by this charter for an original grant of a franchise or license.

6.510 Subordinate to Police Power

The grant of every franchise, license or permit shall be subject to the police power of the City, whether in terms reserved or not, to make all regulations which may be necessary to provide for the public health, safety and welfare of the people of the City.

6.511 Co-Occupancy

The City may, by resolution, require any person or firm holding a franchise from the City to allow the use of its tracks, poles, and wires by any other person or firm to which the City shall grant a franchise, subject to reasonable regulations and upon the payment of a reasonable rental therefor.

6.512 Compensation to City

No franchise, license or permit to use the streets, alleys or public places of the City shall be granted by the City without fair compensation to the City therefor. No such compensation by the grantee shall ever be in lieu of any other lawful taxation upon its property, income or activities. Where the franchise, license or permit fixes the rate to be charged for the service or the commodity furnished by the grantee, such rate shall be subject to review and change in such manner and form as provided in the franchise, license or permit.

6.513 Restrictions on Transfer of Municipality Owned Utilities

The City may make a contract to purchase, operate and maintain any public utility property for supplying heat, light, power or transportation to the City and its inhabitants. No such contract shall bind the City unless a proposition therefor receives the affirmative vote of 3/5 of the electors voting thereon at a regular or special election.

Chapter 6 – Separately Incorporated Bodies

6.601 Authorities or Other Agencies Separately Incorporated

Any authority or other agency that is separately incorporated by the City or by the City and other governmental bodies shall furnish to the City comprehensive accountings of its receipts and disbursements and all other financial statements concerning its assets and operations, in such detail, on such reporting forms, and at such intervals as the Council may require.

6.602 Conflicts Prohibited

No person shall serve on the governing body of any authority or agency referred to in Section 6.601 when a conflict of interest as defined in Section 6.107 of this charter exists.

Chapter 7 – Rules of Interpretation

6.701 Severability

If any provision of this charter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provision or applications of the charter.

6.702 Number or Gender

The singular form of a word includes the plural, the plural form of a word includes the singular, and the masculine gender includes the feminine gender and the neuter.

6.703 Tense

This charter is to be regarded as speaking in the present and continuously. Thus, for example, the phrase “as provided by law” will incorporate the provisions of law as they change from time to time.