For the purpose of all elections, the City shall be divided into seven wards. The City Council shall, once every 10 years, by ordinance establish compact and contiguous wards of approximately equal population. The City Council, for voting purposes, may by ordinance divide said wards into further voting wards.
[Amended 11-6-2012; 11-8-2016]
The City Council shall be composed of nine members, who shall hold office for a term of two years and until their successors are elected and qualified. The City Council shall serve as the Municipal Officers, and be composed of the nine Council members. A candidate for City Council shall be a resident of the City of Biddeford for at least six months prior to the date on/or before which nomination papers are to be filed. Councilors shall be elected by the registered voters of the City; two shall be elected at large, and one shall be elected from each of the seven wards in which they reside and which they seek to represent. The Councilors-Elect shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties at 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in December, following a biennial election, by the City Clerk or person authorized by law to administer oaths. They shall receive compensation at the rate of $100 per month, not to exceed $1,200 per year. No member of the City Council shall be employed by the City of Biddeford or Biddeford School Department as an employee or agent, or hold any office or employment, the compensation of which is payable by the City, during the term for which the Councilor was elected.
On the first Tuesday after the first Monday in December following the regular municipal election, or as soon thereafter as possible, the City Council shall elect one of its members as President of the Council for the entire term, and until a successor is elected and qualified. In case of the death, resignation or inability of the Mayor to serve, the President of the City Council shall perform the duties of the Mayor. In the temporary absence or disability of the President, the Council may select a President Pro Tempore from among its number and such person shall exercise all the powers of the President.
A vacancy in the membership of the City Council shall occur in the event of any of the following:
The death of a member;
The effective date of the resignation of a member;
The removal of a member from the ward from which the councilor was elected, except those elected at large;
The removal of a member from the City;
The conviction of a member of a felony while in office;
The employment of a member by the City of Biddeford or the Biddeford School Department as an employee or agent.
The City Council shall meet at the usual place for holding meetings at 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday in December following the regular municipal election, or as soon thereafter as possible. The City Council shall establish a regular place and time for holding its meetings, and shall meet regularly at least twice a month. The City Council may, in the absence of the Mayor and the President of the Council, choose a President Pro Tempore, who shall preside at the meetings of the Council.
Special meetings may be called by the Mayor, and in case of the Mayor's absence, disability, or refusal, may be called by a majority of the members of the City Council. Notice of such meeting shall be served in person, or left at the residence of each member of the City Council, at least 24 hours before the time for holding the special meeting, and the public shall be notified under the provisions in Article X, Section 3(a) of this Charter.
A majority of the members of the City Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
The City Council shall keep a record of its proceedings and shall determine its own rules of procedure and make lawful regulations for enforcing the same. The meetings of the City Council shall be open to the public. The City Council shall create an ordinance and establish procedures to allow the public to address the City Council at all City Council meetings. Said ordinance shall also establish procedures to allow any City Councilor (with concurrence of at least one other City Councilor) the authority to place any item on the agenda within 30 days. The City Council shall act only by ordinance, order, or resolve. All ordinances, orders and resolves, except orders or resolves making appropriations of money, shall be confined to one subject which shall be clearly expressed in the title. An appropriation, order or resolve shall be confined to the subject of appropriations only. No ordinance and no appropriation order or resolve shall be passed until it has been read on two separate days, except when the requirement of a second reading on a separate day has been dispensed with by the vote of 2/3 of the members present and voting. The yeas and nays shall be taken upon the passage of all ordinances and entered on the record of the proceedings of the City Council by the Clerk. The yeas and nays shall be taken on the passage of any order or resolve when called for by any member of the City Council. Every ordinance, order, and resolve shall require on the final passage the affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the City Council. No ordinance shall take effect until 30 days after its passage, except as herein otherwise provided for emergency ordinances.
The City Council may, by vote of 2/3 of the members present and voting, pass emergency ordinances, orders or resolves to take effect at the time indicated therein, but such emergency ordinances, orders or resolves shall contain a section in which the emergency is set forth and defined; provided, however, that the declaration of such emergency by the City Council shall be conclusive.
The City Council shall provide for an independent annual audit of all City accounts and may provide for such more frequent auditing, as it deems necessary.