Charter City of Battle Creek

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1 Charter City of Battle Creek

2 PREAMBLE We, the people of the City of Battle Creek, Michigan, in order to secure the benefits of efficient self-government and to promote our common welfare, do hereby enact and establish this Charter. 2

3 CHAPTER 1: INCORPORATION AND POWERS Section 1.1. Incorporation The Municipal corporation now existing and known as the "City of Battle Creek," as its limits now are or may hereafter be established, shall be and continue a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Michigan, and shall be known by the name of "City of Battle Creek." Section 1.2. Boundaries. The City shall embrace the territory constituting the City of Battle Creek, on the effective date of this Charter as described in Exhibit A attached hereto and made a part hereof by this reference, together with such annexations thereto and less such detachments therefrom as may be made from time to time. Upon annexation or detachment of territory, the boundaries shall be deemed thereby changed without amendment of this Section. Section 1.3. Powers The City of Battle Creek is hereby vested with and may exercise any and all powers which cities are now, or may hereafter be, required or permitted to exercise or to provide for in their charters as fully and completely as though said powers were specifically enumerated herein, except for such limitations and restrictions as are provided in this Charter, and no enumeration of particular powers in this Charter shall be held to be exclusive. CHAPTER 2: COMMISSION Section 2.1. Powers There is hereby created a City Commission which shall have full authority, except as otherwise provided herein or by general law, to exercise all of the powers conferred upon the City, to adopt all ordinances, resolutions or other measures relating to its Municipal concerns, and to otherwise govern its affairs. Section 2.2. Composition The City Commission shall be composed of nine (9) members, except as hereinafter provided in Section 2.5. If all the Commissioners are elected at large, the terms and elections shall be as set forth in Section 2.4, except each April there shall be elected five City Commissioners, plus such number as may be necessary to fill vacancies as hereinafter mentioned. They shall be elected from one general ballot or list and each elector may vote for as many candidates as there are offices to be filled. The persons receiving the four highest numbers of votes shall be deemed elected for terms of two years. The fifth and any remaining 3

4 offices shall be filled by those persons having the next highest number or numbers of votes for terms of one year each. (Amended August 7, 1984) Section 2.3. Qualifications No person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed to the office of At-Large City Commissioner unless that person is a registered elector in the City or any annexed area. No person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed to the office of Ward City Commissioner unless that person is a registered elector in the City or any annexed area and resides in the ward for which that person is a candidate. The office of Ward City Commissioner shall be deemed vacant if the Ward City Commissioner removes his residence from the ward during his term of office. (Amended April 1, 1985) Section 2.4. Election and Terms On the first Monday of April in each year, there shall be an election of City Commissioners as may be necessary to fill vacancies as hereinafter mentioned. Terms shall be for a period of two (2) years, except that in the election to be held in April, 1985, the five (5) Ward Commissioners shall be elected for one (l) year and the four At-Large Commissioners shall be elected for terms of two (2) years. Thereafter five (5) Ward Commissioners shall be elected for terms of two (2) years in the even numbered years and the four At-Large Commissioners shall be elected for terms of two (2) years in the odd-numbered years. For At-Large Commissioners there shall be one general At-Large ballot or list for At- Large candidates and each elector may vote for as many candidates as there are offices to be filled. For Ward Commissioners there shall be a Ward list and each elector may vote for one candidate from his ward. No member of the City Commission shall, during his term of office, hold any other office or employment unless otherwise provided in this Charter. (Amended August 7, 1984) (EDITOR'S NOTE: Section 2.4 was further amended by Ordinance 24-90, passed August 28, 1990, which comprises Section of these Codified Ordinances.) Section 2.5. Annexed Area Representation. (A) Any single area annexed to the City of Battle Creek at one time and by means of a popular vote thereon, having a population of 3,500 or more on the date of said election, shall be entitled to elect an additional member to the City Commission for a period of not less than three nor more than four years as provided in this Section. Said additional member shall have all of the rights, powers and duties of a duly elected City Commissioner and shall receive the same compensation. Said population shall be determined by the existing City Commission on a basis of such evidence as may be available including the last previous Federal census, school censuses, tax records, election records, or a special census conducted for the purpose, and its decision shall be final. A special election in the annexed area shall be called and conducted by the City Commission as soon as it is reasonably practicable after the 4

5 effective date of the annexation. At this election prior registration records may be used if available. Subject to the provisions of this Section, the election chapter of this Charter and the State election laws shall be followed. The annexed area representative to be elected shall have been a resident of the area for at least two (2) years prior to the date of election and nominations shall be made by petition as provided in the election chapter hereof for City Commissioners. If only one person is nominated within the time limited, the City Commission shall declare such person an additional member of the City Commission and cancel the election. Said additional member shall hold office from the Tuesday following the canvass of the election of the declaration above provided to the Tuesday following the canvass of the regular April Municipal election which is conducted more than one year thereafter, at which election said additional membership shall again be voted upon for a full two-year term. At the end of the full two-year term so provided, said additional membership shall expire. Only registered electors residing within the annexed area shall be entitled to vote upon the additional membership. In filling any vacancy in such additional membership, the remaining members of the City Commission shall be limited to the selection of a person having qualifications to be a candidate for such membership. In performing the mandates of this Section, the City Commission shall act promptly and in good faith and for failure thereof, mandamus shall lie. (Amended April 1, 1985) (B) In the event of annexation to the City of Battle Creek of an entire township having a population in excess of 18,000 people at the effective date of said annexation, and in the further event the regular membership of the Commission has not increased to fourteen (14) members elected at large as hereinafter provided, the foregoing election procedure for providing annexed area representation for said annexed township shall be inapplicable, and in lieu thereof each individual serving as Township Officer and/or Trustee immediately prior to said effective date shall serve as a member of the City Commission for a period of two (2) years or until such time as his term as Township Officer or Trustee would otherwise have ended through expiration, death, resignation, or removal, whichever first occurs. Said former Township Officers and Trustees, but not their replacements, if any, while serving as City Commissioners, shall receive compensation equivalent to the compensation which they would otherwise have received as Township Officers and Trustees. The terms of City Commissioners elected at large in the second regular Municipal election following said annexation of an entire township having a population in excess of 18,000 people shall be one (1) year each. At the time of the first regular Municipal election occurring not less than two (2) years from such an annexation of an entire township having a population in excess of 18,000 people and thereafter, the Commission shall again be composed of nine (9) members elected as set forth in Section 2.2 or 2.4, whichever is appropriate. In the event of a conflict between this Section and Section 2.4, this Section shall prevail. (Amended August 7, 1984) 5

6 (C) City Commissioners who have become Commissioners by operation of Section 2.5(B) and whose terms expire between regular City elections by the operation of Section 2.5(B) shall have their terms extended for the period of time necessary for their terms to expire at the next regular City election following their expiration under the operation of Section 2.5(B). This paragraph shall apply to former Battle Creek Township Trustees and Officers and any future Township Trustees and Officers who have become City Commissioners by operation of this Section. The compensation of such Township Officers and Trustees which shall have been continued after they became City Commissioners by operation of this Section shall terminate at the time that their township offices would have terminated but for the annexation and thereafter they shall receive compensation pursuant to this Charter. (Amended November 6, 1984) Section 2.6. Vacancies. A vacancy occurring in the City Commission shall be filled within 30 days by a majority vote of the remaining Commissioners, the appointee to hold office until Tuesday following the next regular City election; provided, that no appointment shall be made within 60 days prior to any regular City election; and provided further that, if a vacancy occurs more than 60 days next preceding a regular City election in the office of a Commissioner whose term is not then expiring, a successor shall be elected at such election for the remainder of the unexpired term, but such vacancies occurring after such date shall be filled by Commission appointment. A vacancy shall be deemed to occur upon death, resignation, recall, conviction for a felony or for a violation of the next following Section hereof, upon a finding of mental incompetence by a court having jurisdiction thereof, or failure to qualify within 7 days after notice of election has been either handed to him, or sent to him by registered or certified mail. Section 2.7. Interest No member of the City Commission, or other officer of the City, shall be interested directly or indirectly, beyond a trivial extent, in the profits of any contract, job or work or in the sale to or by the City of any land, materials, supplies or services, other than official services. Any member of the City Commission, or other officer of the City, violating this provision shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $500, be imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the court, and shall forfeit his office. The prohibitions of this Section shall not apply if the City Commission shall declare upon its records by a unanimous vote of the members thereof, other than the member so interested, that the best interests of the City are served notwithstanding said personal interest. Section 2.8. Restriction 6

7 Neither the City Commission nor any of its members shall dictate the appointment of any person to office or employment by the City Manager, or in any manner interfere with him in his control over the administrative service. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Commission and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the City Manager and neither the Commission nor any member thereof shall give orders to any of the subordinates of the City Manager. Section 2.9 Organization and Procedure The City Commission shall meet at 7:30 p.m. on the Tuesday night following the canvass after each annual Municipal election at which time they shall be sworn and assume the duties of their office. They may establish rules of procedure and policy which shall be made public, they shall meet in public session at least twice each month at such times as may be prescribed by the rules, and a public journal of every session of their proceedings shall be kept by the Clerk in the English language. Special meetings may be called by the Mayor, Manager, or any three Commissioners on reasonable notice, the time and manner of which shall be defined in the Commission rules. The City Commission shall select from its members a Mayor and a Vice-Mayor, who shall act in the Mayor's absence or disability, and whose terms shall expire at the next annual organization meeting of the Commission. The Mayor shall preside, be recognized as executive head of the City for ceremonial purposes, and have a voice and a vote in the proceedings. A majority of the members elect shall constitute a quorum, but a majority of the members elect shall be required to adopt an ordinance, and the vote thereon shall be recorded (Amended November 2, 1993) Section 2.10 Compensation. Each member of the City Commission shall be compensated at the rate of $20 per regular or special meeting attended, but not to exceed $1,200 per year. The Mayor shall receive the sum of $50 per month in addition to his compensation as Commissioner. (EDITOR'S NOTE: On October 14, 1997, the Local Officers Compensation Commission of the City voted to increase compensation of City Commissioners to $75.00 per Commission meeting attended, and of the Mayor to $75.00 per Commission meeting attended plus $ per month salary. Provision was also made for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, including mileage expense of 31 per mile, to the Mayor and City Commissioners for expenses incurred in the course of City business and accounted for to the City.) Section Appointments The City Commission shall appoint a City Manager, Constable and City Attorney, who shall serve at the pleasure of a majority of the membership 7

8 of the City Commission. The City members of the County Board of Supervisors shall be residents of the City, shall be appointed by and shall serve at the pleasure of a majority of the membership of the City Commission, except that the Mayor and City Assessor shall be representatives by virtue of their offices. All such supervisors shall be entitled to retain compensation received in such capacity. Section Public Sessions and Public Records All sessions of the City Commission and all records of the City shall be public. CHAPTER 3: ELECTIONS Section 3.1. Wards and Precincts The City of Battle Creek shall constitute five (5) wards. Wards shall be established by the City Commission including all City territory containing as near equal population in each ward as is practical and which contain contiguous and compact areas not less than ninety (90) days prior to the regular City election, and shall remain as established until such time as the population estimates for any of the five wards, based upon the latest Federal decennial census or any special census, discloses an imbalance of more than ten (10%) percent. Until the Commission shall otherwise ordain, the election precincts shall continue as now established. The inhabitants of the City having the qualifications of electors under the Constitution and general laws of the State shall be the electors therein. (Amended August 7, 1984) Section 3.2. Elections A non-partisan regular City election shall be held on the first Monday in April in each year. Special elections shall be held when called by resolution of the Commission at least fifty (50) days in advance of such election, or when required by this Charter or the general laws of the State. Such resolution shall set forth the purpose of the election. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Section 3.2 was amended by Ordinance 24-90, passed August 28, 1990, which comprises Section of these Codified Ordinances.) Section 3.3. Nominating Petitions. Candidates for the offices of At-Large City Commissioner and Ward City Commissioner shall be nominated by petition. Nominating petitions on official blanks, circulated not more than seventy-five (75) days prior to the election, signed by not less than one hundred (100) nor more than one hundred fifty (150) registered electors of the City for the office of At- Large Commissioner, and not less than fifty (50) nor more than seventyfive (75) registered electors for the office of Ward Commissioner, shall 8

9 be filed with the City Clerk not later than 12:00 noon on the fifth Thursday prior to the date of the City election. No elector shall sign petitions of more than the number of candidates for At-Large City Commissioner to be elected. No elector shall sign the petition of more than one Ward Commissioner, which petition must be for the ward where the signing elector resides. Official blank petitions shall be prepared by the City Clerk and shall be furnished by the Clerk upon receipt of written consent of the candidate in whose behalf petitions are requested, if that candidate has the qualifications herein required. (Amended April 1, 1985) Section 3.4. Approval of Petitions The City Clerk shall accept for filing only such nominating petitions for qualified candidates as are on official blanks and contain the required number of signatures. He shall forthwith determine the sufficiency of the signatures on each petition filed and, if he finds any petition does not contain the required number of legal signatures of registered electors, he shall forthwith notify the candidate, who may file an amended petition not later than the Tuesday noon following the day for filing the original petition. Petitions which are found by the City Clerk to contain the required number of signatures of registered electors for qualified candidates shall be marked "Approved" with the date thereof. Any candidate may withdraw by filing a signed statement to such effect not later than the Tuesday noon following the day for filing the original petition. Section 3.5. Notice Notice of the time and places of holding any election, and of the officers to be elected and the propositions to be voted upon shall, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, be given by the City Clerk at least ten (10) days before such election by publishing a copy thereof at least twice in a newspaper published or circulated in this City and, if deemed advisable by the City Commission, by posting in two or more conspicuous places in each election precinct, said first publication or posting to be made at least ten (10) days before such election. In case of a special election, the notice shall set forth the purpose of such special election as fully as is required in the resolution or petition calling for same. Section 3.6. Election Procedure The general election laws of the State shall apply to and control, as near as may be, all procedure relating to elections, except as such laws relate to political parties or partisan procedure or require more than one publication of notice and except as otherwise provided in this Charter. 9

10 In any circumstance where the application of said laws may be uncertain, the Election Commission shall construe the same and prescribe the procedure. Section 3.7 Election Commission and Board of Canvassers The Election Commission and Board of Canvassers for City Election purposes shall be composed of the City Clerk as Chairman, the City Attorney and City Assessor. The Election Commission shall appoint the inspectors of election and prescribe the procedure to be followed. The City Commission shall fix the rate of compensation for inspectors. The Board of Canvassers shall meet at 9:30 a.m. on the first Thursday after each election and publicly canvass the returns, determine the vote upon all offices and questions, and declare what persons have been elected and whether the questions were approved or rejected. Section 3.8. Tie Vote If at any Municipal election there shall be no choice between candidates by reason of two (2) or more having received an equal number of votes, then the City Commission shall proceed to determine the election of such candidates by lot in the same manner, as near as may be, as shall be provided by the general election laws of the State. Section 3.9. Voting Hours The polls for all elections shall be open from seven (7) a.m. to eight (8) p.m. Section Recall Any elective officer may be removed by the qualified electors of the City at the time and in the manner provided by general law. CHAPTER 4: LEGISLATION Section 4.1 Legislative Power The legislative power of the City is fixed exclusively in the City Commission, except as otherwise provided by law. All official action of the City Commission shall be by ordinance, resolution or motion. Section 4.2. Prior Legislation Preserved All ordinances, resolutions and rules of the City Commission and of each administrative agency of the City which are in force on the effective date of this Charter, to the extent that they are consistent with the provisions of this Charter, shall continue in full force until repealed. 10

11 All such ordinances, resolutions and rules may be amended by the City Commission and shall continue in effect as amended. Section 4.3. Ordinance Enactment. (A) Form. Each proposed ordinance shall be introduced in written or printed form. The enacting clause on all ordinances passed by the City Commission shall be "The City of Battle Creek Ordains". Each ordinance shall be identified by a number and a short title. (B) Enactment and Effective Date. Ordinances may be enacted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the City Commission. No ordinance shall be adopted at the same meeting at which it is introduced but may be adopted at any following regular meeting. All ordinances shall take effect ten (10) days from the date of their enactment. (C) Emergency Ordinances. Ordinances immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, morals, safety, or welfare maybe enacted on the date of their introduction and given immediate effect or earlier effect than ten (10) days after their enactment upon receiving five affirmative votes of the City Commission. (D) Amendments. Any ordinance previously offered may be modified or amended at any following regular meeting and the ordinance as so modified or amended may be forthwith adopted, providing that said modification or amendment does not substantially or materially change said ordinance as first introduced. In the event any ordinance is substantially or materially modified or amended then said ordinance may not be adopted at the same meeting but may be adopted at any following regular meeting. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, any ordinance may be amended only by an ordinance passed in the manner provided in this Section and no such ordinance shall be amended by reference to its title only, but the Section or sub-section amended shall be enacted in full. (E) Traffic and Parking Regulations. In any ordinance regulating traffic, parking and one-way streets it may be provided that subject to adequate standards to be set forth therein, the details of regulating parking, traffic control and one-way streets may be promulgated by the City Manager without formality of amendment in the manner above provided to the ordinance. (F) Repeal of Ordinances. An ordinance may be repealed only by an ordinance passed in the manner provided in this Section except that the ordinance to be repealed may be referred to by its short title and number only. 11

12 Section 4.4. Publication Within five (5) days after the enactment of an ordinance the same shall be published by one of the following methods: (A) Said ordinance shall be printed in full in any newspaper published or circulated in the City of Battle Creek, or (B) Said ordinance shall be posted in the office of the City Clerk and in two (2) other public places in the City of Battle Creek. In case an ordinance is posted rather than printed, a notice of the enactment of the ordinance giving the subject thereof and the place where the copies have been posted, and where copies may be obtained at reasonable cost, shall be printed once in one (1) newspaper published or circulated in the City. Section 4.5. Ordinance Record All ordinances shall be recorded by the City Clerk in a book to be called "The Ordinance Book," and it shall be the duty of the Clerk to authenticate such record by his official signature but the failure of the Clerk to do so shall not invalidate it or suspend its operation. Section 4.6. Codification The City Commission shall, by resolution, within two (2) years from the date this Charter is adopted by the electors and every ten (10) years thereafter wholly or partially codify and recodify the ordinances of the City into one or more ordinances in loose-leaf or pamphlet form, and may provide for a reasonable charge for copies thereof. Each such codification or recodification may omit such ordinance material as is out of date and no longer needed, may eliminate inconsistencies between existing ordinance provisions, and may substitute comparable ordinance provisions for existing provisions, without the necessity of formal repeal, amendment or original enactment. Section 4.7. Enactment of Codes by Reference Subject to the provisions of this Section, there may be adopted as a City ordinance or code, by reference thereto in an adopting ordinance, the provisions, in whole or part, of (A) Any Michigan statute, or (B) Any detailed technical regulations promulgated or enacted by: (1) Any state or Federal agency, or (2) By any municipal corporation, or (3) By any organization or association which has developed a recognized standard code or set of such technical regulations. Such adopting ordinance shall clearly identify, and state the purpose of the provisions or regulations so adopted. Copies of such ordinance, code, or amendment thereto shall be available for free inspection and for purchase at reasonable cost at the office of the City Clerk. 12

13 Section 4.8. Penalties The City Commission may provide in ordinances adopted by it for the punishment of violations thereof. Such punishment may be a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or both, in the discretion of the court. Imprisonment for violations of ordinances may be in the City or County jail. Section 4.9. Time Limit for Prosecution of Ordinance Violations No prosecution for the violation of an ordinance shall be commenced after the expiration of two (2) years after the commission of the offense. Section 4.10 Initiative and Referendum An ordinance may be initiated by petition to which all signatures shall be obtained within thirty (30) days before the date of filing. A referendum on an ordinance enacted by the City Commission may be had by a petition signed within thirty (30) days after the enactment of the ordinance. A petition for an initiated ordinance or for a referendum shall be in the form and manner hereinafter provided. An initiatory petition may not be filed, the purpose of which is to enact an ordinance for the repeal of an ordinance previously enacted. Section 4.11 Signatures Required An initiatory or a referendum petition shall be signed by registered electors of the City not less in number than ten (10) per cent of the registered electors of the City as of the date of the last regular City election prior to the filing of the petition. Section 4.12 Form of Petition. An initiatory or referendum petition shall be addressed to the City Commission. No such petition need be on one (1) paper, but may be the aggregate of two (2) or more petition papers identical as to contents. A referendum petition shall clearly identify the ordinance or part thereof and ordinance number it proposes to have repealed. An initiatory petition shall set forth in full the ordinance it proposes to initiate and no petition shall propose to initiate more than one (1) ordinance. Before being circulated for signatures, the petition shall be approved as to its form by the City Attorney. Section Signing and Circulation of Petition 13

14 Each signer shall sign his name, and shall place thereon, after his name, his place of residence by street and number or put other customary designation and the date of his signing said petition. To each petition paper there shall be attached a sworn affidavit by the circulator thereof, stating the number of signers thereof and that each signature thereon is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be, and that it was made in the presence of the affiant. Such petition shall be filed with the Clerk. Section Canvass by Clerk Upon the filing with the Clerk of any initiatory or referendum petition, the Clerk shall canvass the signatures thereon to determine whether said petition contains a sufficient number of signatures of registered electors of the City. Any signatures obtained more than thirty (30) days before the filing of such petition with the Clerk shall not be counted. The Clerk shall complete said canvass within fifteen (15) days from the filing of said petition. If the petition does not contain a sufficient number of signatures of registered electors of the City, the Clerk shall notify forthwith the person filing such petition and ten (10) days from such notification shall be allowed for filing of supplemental petition papers. When a petition with sufficient signatures is filed within the time allowed and is in compliance with the provisions of this Charter, the Clerk shall present the petition to the City Commission at its next regular meeting. Section Commission Procedure on Initiatory and Referendum Petitions Upon receiving an initiatory or referendum petition from the Clerk, the Commission shall, within thirty (30) days, either: (A) If it be an initiatory petition, enact the ordinance as submitted in the petition; (B) If it be a referendum petition, repeal the ordinance or part thereof to which the petition refers; or (C) In either case, determine to submit the proposal to the electors. Section Submission to Electors Should the Commission decide to submit the proposal to the electors, it shall be submitted at the next election held in the City for any other purpose, or, in the discretion of the Commission, at a special election called for that specific purpose. In the case of an initiatory petition, if no election is to be held in the City for any other purpose within one hundred and fifty (150) days from the time the petition is presented to the Commission and the Commission does not adopt the ordinance, then the Commission shall call a special election within sixty days from such time for the submission of the initiative proposal. The result shall be determined by a majority vote of the electors voting thereon, except in cases where otherwise required by the general laws of the State of Michigan. 14

15 If two (2) or more ordinances adopted at the same election shall have conflicting provisions, the provisions in the ordinance receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall govern. Section Limitation on Amendment or Repeal of Initiatory or Referendum Ordinances An ordinance adopted by the electorate through initiatory proceedings may not be amended or repealed for a period of two years after the date of the election at which it was adopted, and an ordinance repealed by the electorate may not be re-enacted for a period of two (2) years after the date of the election at which it was repealed. Any ordinance may be adopted, amended or repealed at any time by appropriate referendum or initiatory procedure in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this chapter or if submitted to the electorate by the Commission on its own motion. CHAPTER 5: ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Section 5.1 City Manager A City Manager shall be appointed by a majority of the membership of the City Commission to hold office for an indefinite term and at the pleasure of said majority of the City Commission. He shall be the chief administrative officer of the City government. The Commission may designate a qualified person to perform the duties of Manager during his absence, disability, or during a vacancy in the office. Section 5.2. Manager s Qualifications The Manager shall be chosen solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications, with special reference to his training, ability, and actual experience in municipal administration. He need not be a resident of the City or State at the time of his appointment. No member of the City Commission shall be eligible for appointment as Manager until two (2) years after the termination of his service on the Commission. Section 5.3. Manager s General Powers and Duties The powers and duties of the City Manager shall include the following: (A) To supervise and control the administrative affairs of the City and all departments thereof and to seek quality, economy and efficiency therein. (B) To fully advise the Commission regarding the policies, affairs, and financial condition and needs of the City, with the right to take part in all discussions relating thereto. 15

16 (C) To recommend an annual budget or budgets to the City Commission and to carry out the policies, budgets, and directives of the Commission. (D) To preserve the public peace, health, and safety of persons and property and see to the enforcement of the ordinances of this City, this Charter, and general law. (E) To install a system of centralized purchasing, control expenditures, and superintend all operating units and contracts of the City. (F) To appoint and remove, subject to the provisions of this Charter or the administrative code adopted pursuant hereto, all officers and employees of the City, all appointments to be on a basis of fitness, training and experience and for indefinite terms. (G) To perform such other functions and have such other powers as may be established by general law, this Charter, any ordinance or resolution of this City, or as may be required of or accorded to him by the Commission. Section 5.4. Appointments The Manager shall appoint and may remove a City Clerk, Treasurer, Assessor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Public Works Director, Comptroller, Parks and Recreation Director, Airport Manager, Planning Director, and such other officers and heads of departments as may be deemed necessary. The powers and duties of these officers and heads of departments shall be as prescribed by State law, this Charter, the ordinances of the City, or the directions of the Manager. He may delegate appropriate functions and powers to them and they may redelegate the same to deputies of their choice within the administrative service. The compensation of the City Manager and all other officers and employees shall be fixed by the City Commission. City officers shall have the qualification of being registered electors of the City or shall become registered as an elector within sixty days after appointment unless expressly exempted by the City Commission. Section 5.5. Administrative Code The administrative service shall be divided into such departments, divisions, and bureaus as may be provided by ordinance, to be known as the "Administrative Code" to be adopted within one (1) year following the adoption of this Charter. Pending the passage of such Code, the Manager may establish temporary regulations. Said Code may be amended from time to time and may provide for the consolidation or abolition of departments or the functions of officers including those mentioned in Section 4 of this chapter unless contrary to general law. Each officer or department head shall, subject to the approval of the Manager, have supervision and control of his department and shall have power to prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct thereof, not inconsistent with this Charter or said Administrative Code. 16

17 Section 5.6 City Personnel The City Manager shall be Personnel Director with authority to delegate the duties of said office. All City employment shall be based upon fair and impartial principles with fitness, ability, training and experience the major considerations. There shall be no discrimination on account of color, politics or religion. No City official or employee may solicit political contributions from Municipal employees and they shall not engage in Municipal political activities on City property or on City time. The Administrative Code shall be based on the best generally accepted provisions of personnel programs in business, industry and government, and shall include the following subjects: classification of City employees pay scales, probationary period, order of layoffs, procedure for suspension or removal, employment procedures, hours of work, vacation, sick leave, and any other pertinent data relating to employees. A Personnel Advisory Board may be appointed by the City Manager with the approval of the City Commission to make investigations and recommendations to the City Manager. Decisions of the City Manager on these matters, however, shall be deemed final. Section 5.7 Retirement System The City Commission may, by ordinance, provide for and maintain a retirement benefit system on an actuarial basis for the administrative officers and employees of the City, either by means of its own plan, or in an insurance company of recognized standing, or by means of any plan now or hereafter legally authorized with the State or Federal governments, or by any combination thereof, and may provide for contributions thereto by said officers, employees and the City; provided, that any new plan shall not be less beneficial to policemen and firemen than the one in effect for policemen and firemen on the day this Charter goes into effect; and provided further, that the benefits paid to any retired employees as of the day preceding the effective date of any such plan shall be continued and may or may not be assumed by any new retirement system. The City Attorney and the judges and their staffs may be included in such system. The "Policemen and Firemen s Retirement Fund," Chapter XLVII of the previous Battle Creek Charter, shall be continued until any new plan, as above mentioned, is placed in effect. (April 2, 1962) Section 5.8. Salaries, Wages and Fringe Benefits The City Commission shall fix by resolution the salary or rate of compensation of all officers and employees of the City, except their own. The City Commission may also provide other fringe benefits, including insurance covering life, hospital, health, surgical, accident, medical or 17

18 similar risks of life and the City may pay all or such portions of the cost thereof or premiums therefor as the City Commission may determine. Such programs may extend to the immediate families and dependents of City officials and employees. Section 5.9. City Attorney A City Attorney shall be appointed by the City Commission on a full-time or part-time basis and he may appoint such deputy City Attorneys on a full-time or part-time basis as may be authorized by the City Commission. The City Attorney shall act as legal advisor to and attorney and counsel for the City and all of its officers and department heads, including the City Commission and City Manager, in matters relating to their official duties. He shall give written opinions to any official or department when requested in writing to do so or as may be directed by this Charter, by the City Commission, or by the City Manager. His duties shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (A) He shall conduct all cases in court whenever the City is a party thereto, or interested therein, except as special counsel may be engaged by the City Commission. (B) He shall prepare or pass upon all contracts, bonds, ordinances and other instruments of a legal nature in which the City is concerned. (C) He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or by the City Commission. He may delegate his duties and powers to one or more deputies if they have been provided for, but he shall remain responsible for their acts. CHAPTER 6: MUNICIPAL COURT Section 6.1. Establishment A "Municipal Court of the City of Battle Creek", pursuant to Act 269, P.A as amended, is hereby established and continued in full force and effect subject to the provisions hereof, and the provisions of said Act, as hereafter amended, are hereby adopted. The judges, clerk, process servers and other employees of the present Court and all records, journals, dockets, process, judgments, commitments, rules, bonds, and other procedures shall continue to serve and be in full force and effect hereunder. Section 6.2. Jurisdiction The Municipal Court of the City of Battle Creek shall have original jurisdiction in all civil actions wherein the debt or damages claimed does not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100), and concurrent jurisdiction in all civil actions wherein the debt or damages claimed does not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000), and shall have original jurisdiction in all actions of replevin wherein the value of the 18

19 property involved does not exceed the sum of one hundred dollars ($100), and concurrent jurisdiction in all such actions wherein the value of the property involved does not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000). Section 6.3 Election of Judges. (A) At the general Municipal election in the year 1965 and every six (6) years thereafter there shall be elected one (1) Municipal Judge who shall be known as the presiding judge, whose term of office shall begin on the 4th day of July following his election to office, and who shall hold office for six (6) years. (B) At the general Municipal election in 1961 and every six (6) years thereafter there shall be elected one (1) Associate Municipal Judge whose term of office shall begin on the 4th day of July following his election to office and who shall hold office for six (6) years. (C) The City Commission may by ordinance provide that the existing parttime Associate Municipal Judge shall serve full time and may provide for additional Associate Municipal Judges on a part-time or full-time basis, said additional Judges to be appointed and elected, take office, and serve terms as provided in said ordinance, subject to the statutes of this State. Section 6.4. Qualifications The Judges of said Court shall possess the qualifications prescribed by Act 269 of Public Acts of 1933 of the State of Michigan, as amended and shall possess such other qualifications as are prescribed in this Charter for City Commissioners. Section 6.5. Fees Collected for City All provisions of the general laws of the State of Michigan in relation to fees chargeable in civil proceedings shall apply to said Court and shall be collected for the use and benefit of the City of Battle Creek. Section 6.6. Salaries. (A) The Municipal Judge and each Associate Municipal Judge shall each be paid such salary as shall be fixed by the City Commission by resolution adopted at least sixty (60) days prior to the general Municipal election at which a Municipal Judge or an Associate Municipal Judge is to be elected. In the event the City Commission fails to adopt such a resolution within the time herein limited, the salary being paid to the then incumbent Municipal Judge or Associate Municipal Judge, as the case may be, shall be paid to the Municipal Judge or each Associate Municipal Judge, as the case may be, who is elected at such general Municipal election. The salaries of existing Judges shall be continued to the end of existing terms. 19

20 (B) The salary of the Municipal Judge and the salary of each Associate Municipal Judge shall not be increased or decreased during the term for which any such Judge is elected, or, in the case of vacancy, appointed. (C) The compensation for such Judges shall be in lieu of all fees, costs and charges to which said Judges shall otherwise be entitled, except fees for the performance of marriage ceremonies and for administering oaths in matters not connected with suits or proceedings in the Municipal Court of the City of Battle Creek. (D) Except as herein otherwise provided, the Municipal Judge shall be required to devote his entire time to the duties of his office. The Associate Municipal Judge shall hear all cases in which the Municipal Judge is disqualified, and shall hold court in the absence or disability of the Municipal Judge. Section 6.7. Juries The selection of juries in civil and criminal cases may be made in accordance with the methods and procedures of Act 179 of Public Acts of 1951 of the State of Michigan, as amended, (M.S.A (1)) or any other statutes which may be applicable thereto. Section 6.8. Process Servers The present incumbent process servers shall continue and the qualifications, appointment, tenure and powers of other process servers shall be governed by said Act 269, P.A. 1933, as amended. Section 6.9. Conciliation Division There is hereby created a Conciliation Division of the Municipal Court of the City of Battle Creek which shall have the jurisdiction and powers provided for in Act 269 of Public Acts of 1933 of the State of Michigan, as now or hereafter amended. Section City Control. The City Commission shall have power and authority by ordinance or resolution to regulate the office hours of said Court and to make all other necessary and proper rules for the regulation of the Municipal Court of the City of Battle Creek which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter and the general laws of this State. The rulemaking powers contained in said Act 269, P.A. 1933, as amended, for the control of the proceedings of said Court shall be promulgated by the Judges thereof. Section Bonds 20

21 The Municipal Judge and each Associate Municipal Judge, in addition to any security required by law to be given for the performance of his official duties, shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, give a bond to the City in a penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) in accordance with the provisions of Sec hereof, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties and for payment to the City of Battle Creek of all moneys collected or received by such Judge which by the provisions of the general laws of the State or of this Charter he shall be required to pay into the Treasury of the City. Section Causes Saved All civil and criminal causes pending and all rights and liabilities existing, acquired or incurred at the time this Charter takes effect, and all suits and prosecutions for the recovery or enforcing of fines, penalties or forfeitures imposed by the previous Charter and ordinances of the City of Battle Creek to punish offenders for the violation thereof which are pending before the Municipal Court when this Charter takes effect are hereby saved, and such proceedings shall be consummated in the Municipal Court of the City of Battle Creek. It is the intention that this amendment shall not be construed to alter, affect or abate any pending prosecution and all prosecutions pending on the effective date of this Charter, and all prosecutions instituted after the effective date of this Charter for offenses committed prior to the effective date of this Charter, may be continued or instituted in said Court. CHAPTER 7: FINANCES, BUDGETS, CONTRACTS Section 7.1. Fiscal Year The fiscal and budget year of the City shall begin on July 1. Section 7.2. Financial Control The Comptroller shall have charge of the administration of the financial affairs of the City, including the supervision of the offices of Assessor and Treasurer, but subject to the general supervision of the City Manager. He shall provide for a system of accounts which shall conform to such uniform system as may be required by law. He shall maintain such accounting control over the finances of the City, make such reports, and perform such other duties as may be required by this Charter, by ordinances, or by the City Manager. As Comptroller he shall audit and approve all liquidated claims against the City and shall pay the same on duly certified vouchers. Section 7.3. Budget Preparation 21

22 At such time as may be fixed by the City Manager, each officer or department head shall submit to the Comptroller an itemized estimate of the expenditures for the next fiscal year for the activities under his control. The Comptroller shall prepare and submit to the Manager a preliminary budget for the next fiscal year in such detail and with such supporting schedules as the City Manager may require. After review and revision by the City Manager, he shall submit the proposed budget to the City Commission (April 6, 1970) Section 7.4. Budget Hearing and Adoption A public hearing on the budget shall be held thereon before its final adoption by the City Commission at such time and place as the Commission may direct, and notice thereof shall be published at least one week in advance by the City Clerk. Said notice shall include the time and place of the hearing and shall state the place where a copy of such budget is available for the public inspection. Thereafter, but not later than June 30 of each year, the City Commission shall, by resolution or ordinance as required by law, adopt a budget for the ensuing fiscal year, make appropriations therefor, and, after realistic consideration of probable other revenues, determine and declare the amount of money necessary to be raised by property taxation, which amounts shall not be greater than otherwise limited in this Charter or by general law. (April 6, 1970) Section 7.5. Budget Bonds Any capital improvement items contained in the budget, upon the vote of not less than five City Commissioners, may be financed by the issuance of bonds as a part of the budget system, provided that the amount of such bonds together with the taxes levied for the same year shall not exceed the limit of taxation authorized by law. Section 7.6. Transfer of Appropriations After the budget has been adopted, no money shall be drawn from the treasury of the City, nor shall any obligation for the expenditure of money be incurred, except pursuant to a budget appropriation. The Commission may transfer any unencumbered appropriation balance or any portion thereof from one department, fund, or agency, to another. The Commission may take additional appropriations during the fiscal year for emergency purposes or for unanticipated and urgently needed purposes, provided, such appropriations shall not exceed the amount by which actual or anticipated revenues of the year are exceeding the revenues as estimated in the budget, or expenses are proving less than anticipated, or a combination thereof. The Commission may make additional appropriations from any available and unencumbered funds, although not budgeted, to relieve an emergency substantially endangering the public health, peace or safety. 22

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