City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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§ C13-1 General provisions.

A. 
Short title. This Article may be known and cited as the "Optional City Government Law." (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 1)
B. 
Definitions. As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CITY
Includes any city of the second or third class as classified in the Constitution.
CHARTER
Includes all provisions of local or special law applicable to the city. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 2)
COMMISSIONER OF ELECTIONS
Includes those officers who have similar powers and duties in counties where no commissioners of election are appointed.
GENERAL CITY ELECTION
An election at which the final selection is made of a city officer.
C. 
Applicability. Any city which shall adopt, in the manner hereinafter prescribed, one of the methods of government provided in this Article shall thereafter be governed by the provisions hereof. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 3)
D. 
Saving clause. The adoption by a city of a plan of government under the provisions of this Article shall not affect the validity of any proceeding or matter pending at the time of such adoption, which shall have been duly taken or begun by the city or its proper department or officer, but the same may be continued and completed as though originally begun under any prior proceedings taken in conformity with the provisions of this Article. The adoption by a city of any plan of government under this Article shall not affect any action or proceeding duly begun by or against the city and pending at the time of the adoption of such plan. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 1)
E. 
When Article to take effect. This Article shall take effect on July 15,1914. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 126)
F. 
Existing legislative powers continued. None of the legislative powers of a city shall be abridged or impaired by the provisions of this Article, but all such legislative powers are hereby devolved upon and shall be possessed and exercised by such body as shall be the legislative body of the city under the provisions hereof. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 4)
G. 
Existing corporate powers continued. The existing corporate powers of a city shall not be construed to have been abridged or impaired by the provisions of this Article, but the same shall be exercised as herein provided. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 5)
H. 
Duties, liabilities unaffected, Nothing in this Article shall be construed to in any way impair or affect any duty or liability now imposed by law upon a city. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 6)
I. 
Existing regulations continued. All ordinances, resolutions, orders or other regulations of a city, or any authorized body or official thereof, existing at the time the provisions of this Article shall become applicable to the city and, not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, shall continue in full force and effect until repealed, modified or otherwise superseded. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 7)
J. 
Existing laws continued. Except insofar as any of its provisions shall be inconsistent with this Article, the Charter of the city and all special or general laws applicable thereto shall continue in full force and effect, until and unless superseded by the passing of ordinances regulating the matters therein provided for, but to the extent that any provisions thereof shall be inconsistent with this Article, the same are hereby superseded. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 8)[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Former Sec. 8.11, which immediately followed this section (Laws of 1914, Chapter 444, § 9), was omitted during codification.
K. 
Referendum provisions not affected. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as superseding or repealing any provision of law requiring any matter to be submitted to the vote of the electors or taxpayers, or permitting the City Council to so submit any matter or question. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 10)[2]
[2]:
Editor's Note: Former Secs. 8.13 through 8.25 (Laws of 1914, Chapter 444, §§ 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26), respectively, which immediately followed this section, were omitted during codification.

§ C13-2 Provisions applicable to each form.

A. 
Applicability. Unless otherwise especially provided, the sections contained in this Charter shall apply to the plans of government defined in this Article as Plans A, B, C, D, E, F and G. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 35)
B. 
Except as in this section especially regulated, the legislative powers of the Council of the city may be exercised as provided by ordinance or rule adopted by it.
(1) 
Each member of the Council shall have the right to vote on any question coming before it; a majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the Council shall be necessary to adopt any motion, resolution or ordinance.
(2) 
Regular meetings of the Council shall be held weekly at a time and place fixed by ordinance; special meetings may be called by any member on three days' notice, specifying the object of the meeting. All legislative sessions shall be open to the public, and every matter coming before the Council for disposition shall be put to a vote whereon the ayes and nays shall be called and recorded. A full and accurate journal of the proceedings of the Council shall be kept and shall be open to the inspection of any elector of the city.
(3) 
The Council shall appoint a City Clerk, who shall have such powers and perform such duties as the Council may from time to time prescribe, in addition to such duties as may be prescribed by law; the City Clerk shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the Council. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 36)
C. 
Effect upon provisions of existing law of adoption of ordinance regulating subject matter thereof. Until superseded as herein provided, all provisions of law regulating the exercise of the powers and the performance of the duties of officers and employees of any city shall continue in full force and effect. The Council under any one of the plans of government defined in this Article as Plan A, B, C, D, E or F shall have power, subject to the provisions of this Article, to confer by ordinance upon any officer or employee of the city any powers or to impose upon any such officer or employee any duties, theretofore conferred or imposed upon any officer or employee by provision of law, and such powers or duties shall thereupon devolve upon or be discharged by such officer or employee upon whom the same shall have been so conferred or imposed; but the provisions of law regulating the exercise of such powers or the performance of such duties shall, subject to being superseded as herein provided, continue in force and apply to the exercise or performance thereof by the officer or employee upon whom such powers or duties are conferred or imposed, and whenever by any such ordinance all the powers and duties of any appointive officer or employee of the city are conferred or imposed upon one or more other officers or employees, such ordinance may abolish the office or employment held by the officer or employee whose powers and duties shall have ceased, and thereupon the term of office or employment of such officer or employee shall expire. The Council under any one of the plans of government defined in this Article as Plan A, B, C, D, E or F shall, subject to the provisions of this Article, have power to regulate by ordinance the exercise of any power and the performance of any duty by any officer or employee of the city; and upon the passing of any such ordinance, every provision of the Charter or of the Second Class Cities Law, applicable to such city, regulating the matters or any of them provided for in such ordinance shall cease to have any force or effect in such city. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to authorize the repeal or superseding of any provisions of law regulating the manner in which, or the conditions subject to which, franchises may be granted, or city real estate leased or sold, or municipal indebtedness incurred in any city, except to the extent of transferring powers or duties relating thereto to officers or employees of the city; and nothing herein contained shall be deemed to authorize the repeal or superseding of any provision of law requiring any matter to be submitted to the vote of the electors or taxpayers. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 37)
D. 
Terms of members of Council. The terms of office of Mayor and members of the Council under Plan A, B, C, D, E or F, shall be four years; provided, however, that the terms of the members, other than the Mayor, composing the Council first to be elected hereunder shall be as follows: if the number of the Council be a number equally divisible by two, the terms of the 1/2 receiving the highest number of votes shall be four years, and the terms of the remaining 1/2 shall be two years; should the number of the Councilmen be a number not equally divisible by two, then the terms of the 1/2 receiving the lowest number of votes, plus the Councilman receiving the next highest number of votes shall be two years, and the terms of the remaining Councilmen shall be four years. The salary of a Mayor or of a Councilman shall not be increased during his term of office. Commencing with the general election to be held in November 1979, an additional Councilman shall be elected in the place and stead of the Mayor for a four-year term to take office on January 1, 1980, and an elected Mayor with executive powers shall also be elected for a four-year term at the general election to be held in November 1979, to take office on January 1, 1980, for a four-year term. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 38; L.L. No. 2-1952, § 1; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 2)
E. 
Vacancies. If, under Plan A, B, C, D, E or F, a vacancy exists or occurs in the Office of Mayor or Councilman, the Council shall appoint a qualified person to fill such vacancy until the first day of January following the next general city election, at which a successor shall be elected for the full unexpired term. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 39)
F. 
Penalties for misconduct. The members of the Council shall be subject to all the penalties for nonperformance or malfeasance in office imposed upon common councils, aldermen or councilmen, under the Charter or the general laws of the state. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 40)
G. 
Qualifications and disabilities of Mayor and Councilmen; conflict of interest. No person shall be eligible to the Office of Mayor or Councilman who shall not, at the time of his nomination, be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the city. The acceptance by the Mayor or any member of the Council of any other civil office shall operate to vacate his office as Mayor or Councilman. Neither the Mayor nor any Councilman shall be or become, in any way, directly or indirectly, interested in any contract to which the city is a party; a violation hereof shall render any such contract absolutely void. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 41)
H. 
Powers of investigation. The Council, or the Mayor, shall have the power to inquire into any matter relating to the affairs of the city, to compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers material to any such inquiry, to administer oaths to witnesses and to examine them and such books and papers. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 42)
I. 
Assessment of property for purposes of general taxation and local improvements. The Council, under Plans A, B and C, shall succeed to all the powers and shall perform all the duties with the like result in law of the Board of Assessors, or other official or officials of the city performing like functions; but the Council may, in its discretion, provide by ordinance for the appointment of an Assessor or Assessors, and in such event such Assessor or Assessors shall succeed to such powers and perform such duties in place of the Council. Under Plans D, E and F, the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council, shall appoint an Assessor or Assessors. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 43)
J. 
Judicial officers. The City Judge or Judges and Justices of the Peace and other judicial officers, if any within the city, shall continue to be elected as heretofore, but if, by the Charter or by general law, such Judge or Judges are appointive, they shall continue to be appointed by the Council elected under Plans A, B and C or by the Mayor elected under Plans D, E and F and for such terms as are now fixed. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 44)
K. 
Board of Education. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as affecting the provisions of the Charter, or the general law, relating to Boards of Education, their powers and duties and the control of the schools and the funds pertaining thereto. Boards of Education shall continue to be elected or appointed within the city as provided by law. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 45)
L. 
Compliance with civil service. All appointments, promotions, removals and changes in status in the civil service of the city shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Law. The legislative employees of the city shall be the City Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms of the Council. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 46)[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Former Sec. 8.43 (Laws of 1914, Chapter 444, § 47), which immediately followed this section, was omitted during codification.
M. 
Administration of pension and other special funds. Where the administration of pension, or other special funds, not essential to the ordinary functions of city government, is entrusted by the Charter to a definitely constituted body, such funds shall continue to be so administered. Where the administration is committed to city officers, they shall continue to be administered by officers performing like functions, if they exist, or, if not, by the Council. The Council shall have power to create special funds and to fix rules for their administration. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 48)[2]
[2]:
Editor's Note: Former Sec. 8.45 (Laws of 1914, Chapter 444 § 49), which immediately followed this section, was omitted during codification.
N. 
Access to records of city offices. The Mayor, and any Councilman, shall have access to all records, books, documents and other papers in any city department or office, at any time. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 50)
O. 
General powers of Mayor. In addition to the powers conferred upon the Mayor under either Plan A, B, C, D, E or F, the Mayor shall have the custody of the Seal of the city and shall authenticate the acts of the Council and all instruments and papers authorized so to be authenticated; in cases where the Mayor is authorized by law to sit with the Supervisors as a Commissioner of Charities, he shall continue so to act. In addition, the Mayor shall possess and exercise such other powers and perform such duties as are now conferred or imposed by law upon the Mayor of the city, if not inconsistent with the provisions of this Article. The Mayor shall have charge of all civic functions, celebrations, receptions and courtesies, shall sign all contracts of every kind and nature to which the city is a party and shall perform such other ministerial functions as the Council may from time to time direct. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 51)

§ C13-3 Government under Plan C.

A. 
Method. The method of city government provided for in this Charter is defined in this Article as Plan C. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 85; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)
B. 
Application of division. Upon the adoption of Plan C by a city in the method prescribed by this Article, such plan shall be exercised as in this Article provided, except as amended herewith in its application to the City of Schenectady. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 86; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)
C. 
Legislative powers vested in Council. All the legislative powers of the city, however conferred upon or possessed by it, are hereby vested in a board to be known as the "Council of the City of Schenectady." Such Council shall be composed of seven Councilmen to be elected at large, one of which shall be designated by said body as President of the City Council at each organizational meeting. It shall be for all purposes the City Council of the city. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 87; 11-7-1978 by Intro. L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)
D. 
Salaries of members of Council. Salaries of the members of the City Council shall be set in the annual operating budget. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 88; L.L. No. 1-1952, § 1; L.L. No. 2-1963, § 1; Int. L.L. No. 5-1967, § 1; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1; 12-12-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1988, § 1)
E. 
Powers and duties of President of the City Council. The President of the City Council shall preside at all meetings of the Council. He shall have no power of veto but shall have the same power as a Councilman to vote upon all matters coming before the Council. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 89; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)
F. 
Administrative and executive powers of Mayor; compensation. The administrative and executive powers of the city, including the power of appointment of officers and employees, are vested in the elected Mayor with executive powers; he shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the Council by ordinance or local law. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 90; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Local Law No. 5-1979, adopted 10-9-1979, provides as follows: "Section 1. In accordance with Section 90 by the Optional City Government Law, as amended by L.L. No. 4-1978, the base salary for the Mayor is set at $26,180.00 a year beginning January 1, 1980. Any salary adjustments granted from time to time to appointed officers and employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements are to apply to the salary of the Mayor."
G. 
Absence or disability of the elected Mayor with executive powers. The elected Mayor with executive powers shall designate in writing any officer of the city to serve without additional salary as Mayor with executive powers pro tem during his absence or disability for a period not to exceed 90 consecutive days. He shall also designate in writing a city officer to serve at his pleasure and without additional salary as an alternate to his first designee as Mayor with executive powers pro tem if the latter is unable to serve because of his absence or disablement. Such designee of the elected Mayor with executive powers shall be administrative head of the city and shall have authority to sign bonds on behalf of the city but shall not have veto powers over legislation passed by the Council, the authority to hire and fire employees or the authority to perform marriage ceremonies. During the absence or disability of the Mayor, the ceremonial functions of this office shall be performed by the President of the City Council. (3-11-1980 by L.L. No. 2-1980, §§ 1, 2)
H. 
General duties of elected Mayor with executive powers. The elected Mayor with executive powers shall:
(1) 
Be the administrative head of the city government.
(2) 
See that within the city the laws of the state and the ordinances, resolutions and bylaws of the Council are faithfully executed.
(3) 
Attend all meetings of the Council and recommend for adoption such measures as he shall deem expedient.
(4) 
Make reports to the Council from time to time upon the affairs of the city, keep the Council fully advised of the city's financial condition and its future financial needs.
(5) 
Prepare and submit to the Council a tentative budget for the next fiscal year.
(6) 
He shall be the official head of the city for service of civil process and under the military law and for all ceremonial purposes. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 91; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)
I. 
Approval by elected Mayor with executive powers. Every ordinance or resolution of the City Council shall be presented to the elected Mayor with executive powers before it shall be of any force or effect. If he approves it, he shall sign it, but if he disapproves, he shall return it with his objections to the City Clerk who shall lay it before the Council at its next meeting. The Council shall enter the objections upon its journal and proceed to reconsider the ordinance or resolution so disapproved. If upon such reconsideration one more council vote beyond that normally required to approve an ordinance or resolution shall vote in favor of such ordinance or resolution, the same shall become of force. If any ordinance or resolution is not returned by the Mayor disapproved by him within 10 days after its presentation to him, it shall be of force. The Mayor shall hold a public hearing no less than three days after adoption of a local law. (11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1; 1-23-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989, § 1)
J. 
Appointment of officers and employees. Such city officers as the Council shall determine are necessary for the proper administration of the city shall be appointed by the elected Mayor with executive powers, except any employee or officer of the off-track betting commission, other than the Commissioners, and except any officer of the Schenectady Environmental Conservation Commission, and any such officer or employee may be removed by the elected Mayor with executive powers, except any employees or officers of the off-track betting commission, other than the Commissioners, and except any officer of the Schenectady Environmental Conservation Commission; but the elected Mayor, with executive powers, shall report each such appointment and removal to the Council at the next meeting thereof following any such appointment or removal. (L. 1914, Ch. 444, § 92; 6-21-1971 by L.L. No. 6-1971, § 1; 1-14-1972 by L.L. No. 3-1972, § 1; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978,§ 1)
K. 
Powers, duties of other officers. The officers and employees of the city shall perform such duties as may be required of them by the elected Mayor with executive powers, under general regulations of the Council. (L.1914, Ch. 444, § 93; 11-7-1978 by L.L. No. 4-1978, § 1)