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Article 2: The Council

Sec. 1. Powers of the council.

All powers of the city, not in conflict with the constitution and subject to the limitations of this charter, shall be vested in the council, who shall enact appropriate legislation and do and perform any and all acts and things which may be necessary and proper to carry out these powers or any of the provisions of this charter.

Sec. 2. Number; selection.

The council shall consist of a mayor and six (6) councilmen elected from the city at large.

Sec. 3. Terms of mayor and council members.

The terms of the mayor and each member of the council shall commence at the first regular meeting of the council following the date set for the general election, even if no such general election is held, and shall be for four consecutive years thereafter, or until his or her successor is duly elected and inducted into office.  The mayor and three members of the council shall be elected in the year 2000, and three members of the council shall be elected two years thereafter.

Sec. 4. Qualifications.

The mayor and councilmen shall be qualified electors of the city and shall hold no other public office which in any way conflicts with the office of mayor or councilman, and shall have resided in said city, or in an area annexed to said city, for one (1) year next preceding the date of such election or appointment. If the mayor or a councilman shall cease to possess any of these qualifications or shall be convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, his office shall immediately become vacant.  The council, as provided by ordinance, shall be the judge of the election and the qualifications of its members and for such purpose shall have power to subpoena witnesses and require the production of records, but the decision of the council in any such case shall be subject to review by the courts.

Sec. 5. Limitations on filing for election.

Any incumbent mayor or councilman, who is not in the final year of the term being served, shall resign from office before offering himself for nomination or election to any salaried local, state or federal office. An incumbent mayor or councilman, in the final year of a term being served, may offer himself for nomination or election to any salaried local, state or federal office, without resignation from office. To be eligible to run for the office of mayor, an incumbent councilman who is not in the final year of the term being served, shall resign his office upon offering himself for nomination, or ninety (90) days prior to the primary election, whichever occurs first. "Offer for nomination or election" means either filing a nomination paper required by law to run for public office or making a formal public declaration of candidacy. Resignations required by this section shall be in writing, filed with the city clerk and shall be effective upon filing.

Sec. 6. Duties of the mayor.

  1. The mayor shall be a voting member of the council and shall attend and preside at meetings of the council; represent and appoint members of the council to represent the council in intergovernmental relationships; present an annual state of the city message; appoint the members of council committees, provided that all such appointments shall be subject to the approval of the council; assign agenda items to committees; and perform other duties specified by the council and allowed by law. 
  2. The mayor shall be recognized as head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of martial law, but shall have no regular administrative duties.

  3. The mayor shall govern the city by proclamation during times of riot, civil insurrection, major disaster and times of great public danger.

Sec. 7. Vice Mayor.

The council shall designate one of its members as vice mayor, who shall serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the council. The vice mayor shall perform the duties of the mayor during his absence or disability.

Sec. 8. Salaries of mayor and councilmen.

The monthly salary of the mayor shall be three thousand dollars ($3,000.00), and of the councilmen shall be one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00), until changed by ordinance, but shall not be increased during the current term of mayor and councilmen enacting such ordinance.

Sec. 9. Induction of mayor and council into office.

Each newly elected mayor and member of the council shall be inducted into office at the beginning of the first regular meeting of the council following the date set for the general election, even if no general election is held.

Sec. 10. Vacancies in council and office of mayor.

The council, by majority vote of its remaining members, shall within thirty-one (31) days, fill the vacancy in its own membership including the office of mayor, by appointing a person to serve until the office is filled by election. If a vacancy in either the office of mayor or councilman occurs less than thirty (30) days prior to the final date for filing nomination petitions for the primary election, the council shall appoint by majority vote a person to serve the remainder of the unexpired term. If a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor more than thirty (30) days prior to the final date for filing nomination petitions for the primary election, the vacancy shall be filled for a four (4) year term at the next regular primary election and general election, if necessary, as provided in this charter. If a vacancy occurs in the office of councilman more than thirty (30) days prior to the final date for filing nomination petitions, the unexpired term shall be filled at the next regular primary election and general election, if necessary, as provided in this charter. In any primary election or general election, if necessary, as provided in this charter, when more than three (3) vacancies exist in the office of councilman, and have to be filled at said election, the three (3) candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected for four (4) year terms as provided in article 2, section 4 of this charter and the candidate or candidates equal in number to the vacancies to be filled receiving the next greatest number of votes in descending order shall be elected for the unexpired term or terms.

Sec. 11. Council meetings; open to public.

The council shall meet regularly at such times and at such places as may be prescribed by its rules, but not less frequently than two (2) times each month. All meetings of the council to conduct official business shall be open to the public in a manner consistent with state law.

Sec. 12. Special meetings.

Special meetings may be called by the mayor or four (4) members of the council, with reasonable notice given to all members of the council.

Sec. 13. Rules of procedure; record.

The council shall determine its own rules and order of business subject to the provisions of this charter. It shall keep a record of its proceedings and the record shall be open to public inspection during regular office hours.

Sec. 14. Quorum; ayes and nays.

A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day or from time to time.  The vote on any question shall be by ayes and nays and shall be entered in the record. At the request of any member of the council, a roll call vote shall be taken.

Sec. 15. Consideration of petitions.

Any citizen of the city may appear before the council at any regular meeting and present a written petition; such petition shall be acted upon by the council, in the regular course of business, within thirty (30) days.

Sec. 16.  Appointments, removals and interactions with city employees.

  1. Neither the council, any of its members, nor any member of an appointed public body shall control or demand the appointment or removal of city employees subject to the direction and supervision of any officer of the city. 
  2. The council and its members may interact with such employees for the purpose of inquiries.  However, neither the council, any of its members, nor any member of an appointed public body shall give orders to any such employees, either publicly or privately.

  3. This section does not apply to city employees whose primary duties are to directly serve the mayor or members of the council.

The council, at a public meeting, may express its views and fully and freely discuss with any officer of the city anything pertaining to city affairs or the interests of the city.

Sec. 17. Conduct of council as to powers authorized by charter when no procedure established by law.

Whenever, by any provisions of this charter, it is prescribed that any power, duty or procedure shall or may be exercised, performed or adopted in the manner established by any law of this state, and there be no procedure established by law therefor, then the council may prescribe the procedure.

Sec. 18. Limitation of terms.

No mayor shall serve more than three consecutive elected terms as mayor and no councilman shall serve more than three consecutive elected terms as councilman.