CHAPTER 2: FORM OF GOVERNMENT

Section 2.01, Form Of Government.  
The form of government established by this Charter is the “Weak Mayor - Strong Council - Administrator Plan”. Except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter, all powers of the City are vested in the Council. The City Administrator is the head of the administrative branch of the City government and is responsible to the Council for the proper administration of all City affairs.

Section 2.02, Boards And Commissions.  
The Council may establish, alter and abolish such boards and commissions as may be necessary to carry on the business of the City.

Section 2.03, Council Composition And Elections. 
The Council is composed of nine individuals - a Mayor and eight Council Members, all of whom must be qualified electors. The Mayor and two Council Members shall be elected at large, and six Council Members shall be elected by wards. Each ward Council Member must be a resident of the ward from which the Council Member is elected. The Mayor and the Council Members shall serve for a term of four years and until a successor is elected and qualifies.

Section 2.04, Incompatible Offices.  
Neither the Mayor nor a Council Member may be appointed City Administrator, nor may the Mayor or a Council Member hold any paid municipal office or employment under the City. Until one year after expiration of the term as Mayor or Council Member, no former Mayor or Council Member may be appointed to any paid office or employment under the City which was created or the compensation for which was increased during the term as Mayor or Council Member.

Section 2.05, Vacancies.  
An elective office becomes vacant when the person elected or appointed to the office dies before taking office or fails to qualify, or the incumbent dies, resigns in writing filed with the City Administrator, is convicted of a felony, ceases to reside in the City, is adjudged incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, or misses six consecutive official  Council meetings without good cause. In each such case, the Council may, by resolution of a majority vote of five Council Members, or four Council Members and the Mayor or Assistant Mayor in the event of a tie, declare the vacancy to exist and may appoint an eligible person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the un-expired term.

Section 2.06, The Mayor. 
The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the Council and shall not have a vote, except when there is a tie vote by the Council Members, then the Mayor shall vote in order to break ties. Every ordinance or resolution passed by the Council shall, before it takes effect, be presented to the Mayor for approval. If the Mayor approves it, the Mayor shall sign the same, but if it is not approved, it shall be returned to the Clerk within 10 days marked “vetoed”. Upon the return of any ordinance or resolution by the Mayor, the vote shall be deemed to have been reconsidered, and the question shall again be put to a vote of the Council. If the Council shall pass the vetoed ordinance or resolution by a vote of at least six Council Members, it shall have the same effect as if approved by the Mayor. The vote on the vetoed ordinance or resolution shall be by ayes and nays and it shall be entered by the Clerk. If an ordinance or resolution is not deposited with the Clerk by the Mayor within 10 days after it was presented to the Mayor, it shall have the same effect as if approved by the Mayor. The Mayor shall be recognized as head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for the purpose of serving civil process, and by the Governor for purposes of martial law, but shall have no administrative duties. The Council shall choose from its members an Assistant Mayor who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Council. The Assistant Mayor shall preside at meetings in the Mayor’s absence and shall act as Mayor in case of the Mayor’s disability or absence from the City.

Section 2.07, Salaries, Wages, And Compensation.  
The Mayor and Council Members shall receive such compensation as is fixed by the Council in accordance with law. The City Administrator and all subordinate officers and employees of the City shall receive such salaries or wages and other compensation as may be fixed by the Council.

Section 2.08, Investigation Of City Affairs.  
The Council may make investigations into the affairs of the City and the conduct of any City department, office or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence.  The Council shall provide for an audit of the City’s accounts at least once a year. At any time, the Council may provide for an examination or audit of the accounts of any City officer or agency and it may provide for any survey or research study of any subject of municipal concern.

Section 2.09, Interference With Administration.  
Except for the purpose of inquiry and investigation under Section 2.08, the Council, the Mayor and Council Members shall deal with and control City administrative officers and employees under the jurisdiction of the City Administrator solely through the City Administrator and shall not give orders to any subordinate of the City Administrator either publicly or privately.