Article 9 General Provisions

Section 9.10 Severability and Construction.

The provisions of this Charter are severable. If any provision should be declared to be unconstitutional or inapplicable, it shall not affect the constitutionality or applicability of any other provision of this Charter.

Section 9.20 Purchasing, Contracts, Claims, and Bonds.

The County Council shall by ordinance establish procedures for purchasing supplies, services, materials and equipment, the awarding of contracts, the processing of claims, and the sale or refunding of bonds. The ordinance shall provide when bids shall be required and how invitations for bids shall be advertised.

All purchases, contracts and bonds subject to bid procedures shall be advertised and, unless all bids are rejected, shall be awarded on the basis of sealed bidding to the lowest responsible bidder.

Section 9.30 Franchises.

All franchises granted by the County Council shall be for fixed term not to exceed twenty-five (25) years and no exclusive franchise shall be granted for the use of any street, road or public place. All franchises shall be subject to the power of eminent domain and the right of the Council or the people acting for themselves through the initiative or referendum to repeal, amend or modify the franchise in the interest of the public; and every ordinance granting a franchise shall contain a reservation of these rights. In any proceeding under eminent domain the franchise itself shall have no value.

Section 9.40 Public Disclosure.

Public disclosure of financial interest of elected public officials shall be governed by general law.

Section 9.50 Oath of Office and Bonds.

An oath or affirmation to support the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Washington and the Charter and ordinances of Whatcom County and to perform faithfully, impartially, and honestly the duties of office, shall be made by each elected officer before entering upon the duties of office.

A surety bond shall be required for all elected officers and such County employees as may be designated by ordinance. Bonds shall be in the form and amount required by ordinance and the cost borne by the County. (Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Section 9.60 Information Management.

The County Executive shall establish procedures for maintaining a modern, efficient system for processing, maintaining and disposing of information and records; shall maintain a means to store and maintain, in retrievable manner, all County records which should not be destroyed and which are not necessary for the current operation of County government; and shall provide needed services for all branches of County government in a way that shall be deemed desirable for the efficient operation of the County government.

These procedures shall be in compliance with general law and shall affect all departments of the County, elective or appointed. (Amended by Ord. 2005-075 Exh. A).

Statements expressing individual views and concerns on various sections of the charter may be found in the minutes of the Whatcom County Board of Freeholders. Copies of the minutes are available in the Bellingham Public Library and the Whatcom County Rural Library Headquarters.