Article VII. General Provisions

Section 7-01. Legal Process.

Legal process against the City shall be served upon the mayor or in the mayor's absence upon the presiding officer of the council.

Section 7-02. Conflict of Interest.

A. No City official, officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, shall, directly or indirectly, seek or accept from or provide or offer to any individual, partnership, association or corporation, or other business entity or representative thereof, doing or seeking to do business with the City, any loans (except with banking or other financial institutions), services, payments, excessive entertainment and travel, vacation or pleasure trips, any gift of more than nominal value, or gifts of money in any amount. This provision shall not prohibit any official, officer or employee of the City who is a candidate for public office from accepting campaign contributions and services permitted by law in connection with any such campaign.

B. Any City officer, official or employee, whether paid or unpaid, who has a substantial financial interest, direct or indirect or by reason of ownership of stock in any corporation, in any contract with the City or in the sale of any land, material, supplies or services to the City or to a contractor or subcontractor supplying the City shall make known that interest and shall be prohibited from voting or otherwise participating in the capacity of a City officer or employee in the making of such sale or in the making or performance of such contract.

C. Any City officer, official or employee who willfully conceals such a substantial financial interest or who willfully violates the requirements of this section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit the office or position. Violation of this section 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 void.

Section 7-03. Code of Ethics.

The proper operation of the municipal government provided by this charter requires that officers, officials and employees of the City be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that decisions and policy be made in the best interest of the people, the community and the government; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government. In furtherance of these goals, the first council elected under the provisions of this charter, within six (6) months after taking office, shall begin preparation of and, not later than one (1) year after taking office, shall adopt by ordinance a code of ethics that shall apply to all officers, officials and employees of the City, whether elected or appointed, paid or unpaid. The code shall be administered by a board created by the council with qualifications, terms of office, duties and powers provided by ordinance. Members of the board shall be appointed by the council and shall receive no compensation for service. Decisions of the board shall be appealable to the courts.

Section 7-04. Amending or Repealing the Charter.

A. Proposals to amend or repeal this charter may be made both by the council and by petition signed by not less than twenty-five (25) percent of the total number of registered voters of the City eligible to have participated in the last citywide regular or special election. A petition shall contain the full text of the proposed amendment or amendments.

B. The procedures and time limits for filing such a petition and for determining its sufficiency and correctness shall be the same as provided for in Section 6-01 (Initiative and Referendum). Within ten (10) days after a petition has been certified as sufficient and correct, the council shall cause the amendment or amendments being proposed to be published in the official journal of the City.

C. Proposals by the council to amend or repeal this charter shall be submitted for ratification to the qualified electors of the City, preferably in an election already scheduled for other purposes, otherwise in a special election called by the council. Proposals by petition to amend or repeal this charter shall be submitted for ratification to the qualified electors of the City at the next citywide regular or special election already scheduled for other purposes occurring not sooner than ninety (90) days after final determination of a petition's sufficiency and correctness. The results shall be determined by a majority vote of the electors voting on any particular proposal.

D. Proposals by the council and by petition may be submitted to the voters at the same election and voters may, at their option, accept or reject any or all such proposals. Should conflicting proposals be approved at the same election, the one receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.

E. No amendment or repeal shall shorten the term for which any official was elected or reduce the salary of office for that term.

Section 7-05. Personnel Administration.

A. Prior to being effective, any proposed system of personnel administration shall be submitted by the mayor to the council for approval and adoption in an administrative code.

B. No employee holding a City position at the time this charter takes full effect, who was serving in that same or comparable position at the time of its adoption, shall be subject to competitive tests as a condition of continuance in the same position. In all other respects, such employee shall be subject to any personnel system adopted in accordance with the provisions of this charter.

C. The following shall not be members of the classified personnel system of the City:

(1) All elected City officials.
(2) The mayor's secretary and any assistants to the mayor.
(3) Persons employed on a temporary or contractual basis.
(4) The city attorney and any assistant city attorneys.
(5) Heads of departments created by or under this charter or continued in accordance with the provisions of this charter.
(6) Any employee appointed directly by the council.

Section 7-06. Employee Representation.

A. Nothing in this charter shall prohibit the council from contracting with an employee organization with respect to compensation, hours, grievances, working conditions, or other conditions of employment in a manner not inconsistent with this charter or any system of personnel administration adopted by the council.

B. In the absence of applicable state or federal law, the council, prior to recognizing any bargaining agent or agents, shall adopt an ordinance specifying the procedure to be followed by an employee organization or organizations seeking recognition as the bargaining agent or agents, the issues that are and are not subject to negotiation and the procedure to be followed in the event of an impasse in negotiations. If a general law exists defining such practices, the council may comply with the provisions of the law.

C. Upon the recommendation of the mayor, the council, by ordinance, may recognize a bargaining agent or agents.

D. All negotiations by the City with a recognized bargaining agent shall be by the mayor or the mayor's designee. Final approval of any labor contracts with City employees shall be by ordinance.

Section 7-07. Bonding of Officers.

The director of administration and such other City officers or employees as the council may designate shall give bond in the amount and with the surety prescribed by the council. The premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the City.

Section 7-08. Oath of Office.

All elected officials of the City shall take the oath of office before entering upon the duties of their offices. The oath may be administered by any person qualified by law to do so.

Section 7-09. Boards and Commissions.

A. The mayor may appoint boards and commissions to provide advice regarding the operations of City services or other activities. No such board or commission shall exercise any administrative or legislative responsibility. This provision shall not apply to a board or commission created by ordinance or in accordance with general state law.

B. A member of an advisory board or commission shall receive no compensation for service and shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor.

C. Members of all existing boards and commissions shall complete their terms of office, except as may be provided by action of the council.

Section 7-10. Council Confirmation of Mayoral Appointments.

The mayor shall submit the names of all appointees requiring council confirmation to the council for its review and consideration not later than the next regular meeting held after appointment. The council shall act on the matter of confirmation not later than the second regular meeting held after receipt from the mayor of notification of appointment. Should the council fail to act within the prescribed time, confirmation shall be deemed to have been given.

Section 7-11. Reconstitution of Government.

In the event of war or public disaster that incapacitates the mayor and/or a majority of the council, the remaining members of the government may act on an emergency basis and shall appoint such other officials as are necessary to reconstitute a government for the City. It shall be the intent of this section that these emergency powers shall subsist only so long as an emergency exists and that regularly constituted elections shall be held as soon as it is judicially determined that conditions permit their being held.