City of Oneonta, NY
Otsego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ C-14 City officers designated generally.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Officers of the City. The officers of the City shall be elected or appointed. Elected officers include the Mayor, Common Council Members and City Judge. Appointed officers include the City Manager, the City Prosecutor, half-time City Judge, City Health Officer, Director of Finance, City Clerk, Assessor, City Engineer, City Attorney, and all Deputy Clerks and Deputy Directors of Finance.
B. 
Officers on Boards and Commissions. The appointed officers of the City shall also include the members of the following boards and commissions: Civil Service Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Public Service, Board of Assessment and Review, and Zoning and Housing Board of Appeals.

§ C-15 Mayor.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
General powers and duties.
(1) 
The Mayor is the City of Oneonta's Chief Elected Officer, and is the only officer elected by the entire City electorate. The Mayor serves as the head of City government for all official and ceremonial purposes and presides at all meetings of the Common Council, serving as its chair.
(2) 
As the Common Council's chair, the Mayor is an integral part of setting legislative priorities, sets the agenda for Common Council meetings, leads the Common Council in strategic planning, and guides and advises the City Manager in fulfilling Common Council priorities and instructions.
(3) 
The Mayor is also charged with a number of other leadership roles and functions and powers conferred by this charter or the general laws of the state, not inconsistent with this charter.
(4) 
The Mayor shall:
(a) 
Serve as the head of City government for all official and ceremonial purposes, preside over the Common Council, and have and exercise all the powers conferred by this Charter or by the general laws of the state, not inconsistent with this Charter.
(b) 
Serve as the Chief Elected Official who shall formulate the Common Council agenda and propose policy consistent with the general welfare of the city and its residents.
(c) 
Sign, on behalf of the City, all contracts made by it, and cause the seal of the City to be affixed thereto.
(d) 
Sign all deeds, local laws, resolutions, and ordinances to be executed as an act of the City, and sign appointments made to City offices by the Common Council.
(e) 
Have the power, at any time, to examine the books, papers, and accounts of any board, commission, department, office, or agency of the City; administer oaths to witnesses; and issue subpoenas to compel the appearance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and other evidence.
(f) 
Have the power to establish all committees of the Common Council and appoint their members and chairs.
(g) 
Communicate a general statement of the affairs of the City in relation to its finances, government, and improvement, to the Common Council as soon after the start of the fiscal year and as often thereafter as s/he considers expedient with such recommendations as the Mayor deems proper.
(h) 
Shall serve as primary liaison in matters concerning state and federal governmental entities.
(i) 
During an emergency, the Mayor will serve as the point of contact with both federal and state officials, and the media and public. Emergency decisions regarding public safety, when necessary, shall be made by the City Manager in consultation with the Mayor who represents the needs of the people of the City and the directions of the Council.
B. 
Appointments.
(1) 
City officers. The Mayor shall appoint, with confirmation by the Common Council, the City Attorney, and the City Health Officer. The mayor shall appoint the City Prosecutor, and one half-time City Court Judge consistent with New York State law.
(2) 
Members of boards and commissions. Except as otherwise provided for in this Charter, or by general law, local law, or ordinance, the Mayor shall appoint, subject to approval by the Common Council, City residents as members of all boards and commissions. Membership of each board or commission shall, whenever possible, be drawn from more than one political party.
(3) 
Appointment of Common Council Members to boards and commissions. The Mayor may appoint a Common Council Member to each board or commission, who shall be an ex-officio member, who shall have no vote, and who shall act as a liaison to the Common Council.
C. 
Removal of board and commission members. The Mayor may remove a mayoral appointee to any board or commission, and shall notify the Common Council of such removal.
D. 
Citizen advisory boards and other ad hoc groups. The Mayor may create and dissolve citizen advisory boards, commissions, and other ad hoc groups with Common Council approval. The Mayor may appoint residents of the City to such boards and, commissions, with the approval of the Common Council. The Mayor may appoint residents of the City or nonresidents to such ad hoc groups that may serve the interest of the City.
E. 
City of Oneonta Housing Authority. The Mayor shall appoint the members of the City of Oneonta Housing Authority.

§ C-16 City Manager.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Appointment, term, compensation, qualifications. The Common Council and the Mayor shall conduct the search and oversee the hiring and appointment of the City Manager, who shall be competent to execute the duties of the position. The City Manager shall serve at the pleasure of the Common Council and the Common Council shall fix the compensation annually. The City Manager shall be qualified by possessing a master's degree in public administration and at least three years' successful experience in a responsible executive position in government administration, or any equivalent training or combination of experience and training in municipal government. After an initial six-month probationary period, the City Manager's performance shall be evaluated by the Common Council and the Mayor and on an annual basis thereafter.
B. 
Residency. The City Manager need not be a resident of the City of Oneonta or the State of New York at the time of appointment. After appointment the City Manager may reside outside the City on a temporary basis pursuant to the terms of a resolution of the Common Council.
C. 
Powers and duties. The City Manager:
(1) 
Shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the City, and shall be responsible to the Common Council and the Mayor for the administration of all City affairs placed in the City Manager's charge by or under this charter, or by other applicable law.
(2) 
Shall have the primary responsibility for the daily administration of the City, including the supervision of all employees, coordination and delivery of services, and oversight of fiscal management.
(3) 
Shall appoint all department heads, officers, and employees of the City with the approval of the Common Council, except as provided otherwise in this Charter or by applicable law.
(4) 
Shall assure the Mayor that the policies and directives adopted by the Common Council are properly executed.
(5) 
Shall serve as the liaison between the heads of all departments and agencies of City government, and the Mayor and Common Council.
(6) 
May suspend or remove any employee of the City as authorized by state law or pursuant to the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
(7) 
May suspend or remove any officer that s/he appoints as authorized by state law or pursuant to the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
(8) 
Shall attend all meetings of the Common Council and may participate in discussion of any matter before the Common Council, but may not vote.
(9) 
Shall make reports as requested by the Common Council and/or the Mayor concerning the operations of the City departments, offices, and agencies.
(10) 
Shall participate in the collective bargaining process as a member of the management team in City negotiations with collective bargaining units.
(11) 
Shall lead the annual planning and budgeting process, including the preparation of a full draft budget that is presented to the Common Council.
(12) 
Shall serve, in concert with the Mayor, as liaison for the City with local and county entities. Shall facilitate effective communication and the free exchange of ideas between the departments and other agencies of City government and the general public.
(13) 
May prescribe and enforce rules and regulations for the efficient management of City government consistent with this Charter and other applicable law.
(14) 
Shall administer the annual performance evaluation review process for all heads of City departments.
(15) 
Shall perform such other duties as required by this Charter or other applicable law, or as directed by the Common Council and the Mayor.
D. 
Acting City Manager.
(1) 
The City Manager shall designate a department head to serve as Acting City Manager in event of the extended absence or disability of the City Manager. This appointment of the Acting City Manager shall occur within 30 days of the appointment of the City Manager. The appointment of the Acting City Manager shall be subject to the Common Council approval. The Acting City Manager shall have and exercise all the powers and discharge all the duties and be subject to all the provisions of law applicable to the office of City Manager.
(2) 
In the event that no Acting City Manager is selected pursuant to the process outlined in the paragraph above, the Common Council shall appoint an appropriate individual to serve in such capacity.
E. 
Suspension and removal. The Common Council may suspend the City Manager by enactment of a resolution approved by the majority of the Common Council which shall set forth the reasons for suspension and proposed removal. A notice of such resolution shall be provided immediately to the City Manager. The City Manager shall continue to receive full salary until the effective date of a final resolution of removal.

§ C-17 Boards and commissions.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Advisory role. All boards and commissions shall be advisory except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the City Code or state law.
B. 
Current boards and commissions. As of the effective date of this Charter, the following boards and commissions will exist in the City: Parks and Recreation Commission, Airport Commission, Board of Public Service, Environmental Board, Board of Examining Electricians, City of Oneonta Planning Commission, Zoning and Housing Board of Appeals, Examining Board of Plumbers, Commission on Community Relations and Human Rights, Americans with Disabilities Committee and Board of Assessment and Review.
C. 
Terms of office. The term of office of members of boards and commissions shall be three years except as otherwise provided by this Charter or other applicable law. No member of a board or commission shall serve more than three consecutive terms of office.

§ C-18 Eligibility to hold City offices.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
All persons elected or appointed as a City officer must be a resident of the City. A Common Council member must be a registered voter of the ward for which he or she is elected. The Common Council may appoint a nonresident of the City to an appointive City office pursuant to a resolution of exemption or a resolution that sets a time frame for the appointee to establish residency in the City. Whenever any officer of the City, other than one serving under a resolution of exemption, shall cease to be a resident of the City or of the ward for which such person was elected or appointed, that office shall thereupon become vacant. No person shall serve in more than one City officer position at any one time.

§ C-19 Succession to office during disaster.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
Mayor. If, as a result of a disaster, as defined by § 20 of the Executive Law of the State of New York, the office of Mayor becomes vacant, or the Mayor by reason of disability or absence from the City shall be prevented from attending to the duties of the office of Mayor, and the Acting Mayor as the designated Common Council Member, is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of Mayor or shall be absent from the City, the Common Council, or if vacancies have reduced its membership to less than a majority, then a majority of the remaining members of the Common Council shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy until such time as the Mayor or Acting Mayor as designated Council Member is able to assume the duties of the office of Mayor.
B. 
Other elective office. If a vacancy shall occur in any other elective office of the City, in the event of such disaster, the Common Council, or if vacancies have reduced its membership to less than a majority, then a majority of the remaining members of the Common Council shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy until the incumbent is able to assume the duties of the office.
C. 
City Manager.
(1) 
If, as a result of a disaster, as defined by § 20 of the Executive Law of the State of New York, the office of City Manager becomes vacant, or the City Manager by reason of disability or absence from the City shall be prevented from attending to the duties of the office of City Manager, and the Acting City Manager is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of City Manager or shall be absent from the City, the Common Council, or if vacancies have reduced its membership to less than a majority, then a majority of the remaining members of the Common Council shall appoint a Department Head to fill such vacancy until such time as the City Manager or Acting City Manager is able to assume the duties of the office of City Manager.
(2) 
In the event that no Department Head is selected pursuant to the process outlined in the paragraph above, the Common Council shall appoint an appropriate individual to serve in such capacity.
D. 
Other City Offices. If any City officer except the Mayor or Council Member shall, from sickness, absence, suspension from office by the Common Council, or from any other cause, be unable to discharge the duties of office, the City Manager shall appoint a suitable person to discharge such duties during such disability, unless otherwise prohibited by law. The person so appointed shall have and exercise all the powers and discharge all the duties and be subject to all the provisions of law applicable to such officer, and shall receive such salary as shall be fixed by the Common Council.

§ C-20 Terms of office of appointive City officers.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
The term of office of each appointive officer shall be one year except as otherwise provided by this Charter or other applicable law. An appointive officer may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by the appointment of a successor pursuant to this Charter or as permitted by other applicable law.

§ C-21 Compensation of city officers and boards and commissions.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
A. 
The members of City boards and commissions shall receive no compensation for their services.
B. 
The Common Council shall have the power to fix and change annual salaries or other compensations of all officers of the City subject to statutory limitations.

§ C-22 Commencement and expiration of terms of office.

The term of office of each officer appointed by the Mayor for a full term shall, other than as herein provided, commence on the 15th day of January of the year in which the appointment is required to be made.

§ C-23 Filling vacancy in office.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
If a vacancy shall occur in any elective office of the City, other than by expiration of term, the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council shall appoint, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, a person to fill such vacancy until the next general election. If a vacancy shall occur in any elective office of the City, by the expiration of term, as in the case of a tie vote, the Mayor, with the approval of the Common Council, shall appoint, except as otherwise provided in the Charter, a person to fill such vacancy until the next general election. If the vacancy shall occur in the office of Mayor, it shall be filled by Common Council appointment. A vacancy occurring in an appointive office of the City, other than by expiration of term, shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term in the same manner as an appointment for a full term.

§ C-24 Official oaths required of all City officers.

Each officer of the City shall, before assuming the duties of office, take and file in the office of the City Clerk the official oath in accordance with Article 13 of the New York State Constitution and Section 10 of the Public Officers Law. Each Mayor, Clerk, Council Member, and City Judge shall file a certificate of election or appointment with the City Clerk, and take and subscribe the constitutional oath before assuming the duties of office.

§ C-25 Official bond of City officers and employees.

Officers and employees as determined by the Common Council shall, prior to performing the duties of their respective positions, execute and file an official bond in accordance with the General Construction Law and the Public Officers Law and for omission to do so shall be subject to the penalties and liabilities prescribed by statute. Other than as provided in this Charter, the penal sum named in such bond, or the sum specified in any such undertaking as the maximum amount of liability thereon, shall be fixed by the Common Council. The City shall pay the premiums, if any, upon said bonds. Any department or agency of the City may procure, with the approval of the Common Council, a blanket undertaking from any duly authorized corporate surety covering officers, clerks, and employees pursuant to Section 11 of the Public Officers Law.

§ C-26 Liability for unauthorized expenditures and other misconduct.

No officer of the City or other person shall have power or authority to make any purchase on behalf of, or on the credit of, the City or to contract any debts or liabilities against the City, unless authorized to do so by, or in pursuance of, the provisions of this Charter or general law, and no account, claim, or demand of any kind shall be allowed or paid unless so authorized.

§ C-27 Time of meeting of all boards and commissions.

[Amended 6-7-2016 by L.L. No. 1-2016]
Boards and commissions shall set their meeting schedules at the start of each calendar year and submit them to the City Clerk for publication and notification. All meetings of the various boards and commissions shall be held at such times as may be agreed upon by majority vote of its members, but in no case shall any such meeting commence sooner than 4:00 p.m., or after 8:00 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, except for special meetings which may be called as provided in this Charter. The established meeting time can only be changed by a majority vote of the board or commission members.

§ C-28 Annual reports of boards and commissions.

The Chair of every board and commission shall file an annual report with the Common Council on or before the 31st day of December in each year.