All legislative powers of the County shall be vested in the County Council.
The County Council shall consist of seven (7) Council members. One (1) Council member shall be nominated and elected, in a partisan election, by the voters in each of the seven (7) Council districts.
To be eligible to hold a position of Council member, a person must be:
A registered voter in St. Charles County at the time of filing; and
A resident of the County for the twenty-four (24) months preceding the general election; and
A resident of the district at the time of filing, for the twelve (12) months preceding the general election and during the entire term of office; and
At least twenty-one (21) years of age.
Council members shall be elected by the registered voters of the respective districts for a four (4) year term or until a successor is duly elected and qualified. The Council members from even-numbered districts shall be elected at the November 3, 1992, election and every four (4) years hereafter. At the November 3, 1992, election Council members from odd-numbered districts shall be elected and serve for initial two (2) year terms. Beginning in 1994, Council members from odd-numbered districts shall be elected every four (4) years to serve for four (4) year terms. The terms of Council members shall begin the first (1st) day of January after their election.
The County Council shall have the power, pursuant to and in conformity with applicable law, and without limiting the generality of the powers vested in the County by this Charter, to:
Exercise all legislative powers now or hereafter conferred upon Counties, County Courts, County Commissions, County Governing Bodies and County Officers by applicable law, and to determine and make provision for any matter of County Government not otherwise provided for herein, including any matter involved in the transition to the form of Government provided by this Charter; and
Exercise and perform any and all powers of a non-legislative nature which it may possess and any and all other duties which it may need to or be required to perform by applicable law; and
Approve or disapprove, within fifteen (15) days after notice is filed with the Registrar, the appointment of all directors, commissioners, and heads of departments as well as members, boards or commissions who are appointed by the County Executive; and
If not approved or disapproved within fifteen (15) days, the appointment is deemed approved; and
Disapprove, within thirty (30) days after notice is filed with the Registrar, orders of the Executive that create, consolidate, abolish or reorganize departments; and
Limit the number of deputies, assistants and employees in each office, department, board and commission; set the compensation of members of boards and commissions and of all County Officers and employees, whether or not this Charter fixes any such compensation. The compensation of the elective officers shall be fixed at least nine (9) months prior to the election of such officers and shall not be increased or diminished during their term of office; and
Establish a pension and retirement plan, including death benefits, for employees of the County and the spouses and minor children of deceased employees; and
Create, organize, consolidate, and abolish departments, divisions, bureaus, commissions, boards and offices, and transfer functions and duties from one department to another, but only upon recommendation of the County Executive, except as specified elsewhere in this Charter; and
Employ financial, research, legal, technical or other advisors, consultants, or lobbyists as deemed advisable; and
Call elections to submit to the voters propositions for the issuance of bonds of the County incurring indebtedness to provide funds for purposes authorized by applicable law; call elections for any lawful purpose; establish election procedures not inconsistent with applicable law; and
Appropriate money for the payment of debts and expenses of the County for any public purpose; adopt an annual budget in accordance with the terms of this Charter; and
Correct errors in assessment records and tax records and compromise taxes as provided by applicable law; and
Assess, levy, equalize, remit, and collect all taxes now or hereafter authorized for counties by the Constitution or by applicable law and prescribe a method or system to facilitate the assessment, calculation, extension and collection of taxes including the design of books and forms and the purchase and installation of necessary mechanical devices; and to contract with Cities, Towns, or Villages to assess, equalize, remit, and collect their taxes; and
Establish and collect fees for licenses, permits, inspections and services performed by County Officers and employees; require all fees to be accounted for and paid into the County Treasury; and
Within the unincorporated area of the County, license, tax, and regulate all businesses, occupations, professions, vocations, activities, or things whatsoever set forth and enumerated by the Constitution or by applicable law; and within the incorporated areas of the County, license and tax all businesses, occupations, professions, vocations, activities, or things whatsoever set forth and enumerated by the Constitution or by applicable law, and to regulate those businesses, occupations, professions, vocations, activities, or things with the consent of the Governing Body of the affected City, Town or Village. Nothing in this Charter shall preempt the power of any local government to license, tax, and regulate in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law; and
Establish uniform procedures governing purchases of and contracts for property and services, all of which shall be based upon bidding procedures established by ordinance; and
Acquire in the name of the County by condemnation, purchase, gift, donation or otherwise, real and personal property, in fee simple title, or any estate or interest therein; exercise all the rights and powers of eminent domain and, upon condemnation and payment therefor, cause the fee simple title to such property to vest in the County; acquire by eminent domain such property or rights in property, together with any grants and privileges in excess of that actually to be occupied by the public improvement, or used in connection therewith, as may be reasonably necessary to effectuate the purpose intended and cause the fee simple title to such property or the control of the use thereof to be vested in the County; and
Rent or lease County properties and rent or lease other property for County use; and
Dispose of any real property owned by the County, including, but not limited to, property acquired by condemnation as excess property, to the highest and best bidder by open and public competition unless made to a former or abutting owner or to the United States or any of its agencies or to the State or any of its political subdivisions; and authorize County Officers to dispose of personal property upon terms advantageous to the County; and
Borrow money in anticipation of the collection of taxes and revenues for the current calendar year but not in excess of ninety percent (90%) of the estimated collectible taxes and revenues for such year yet uncollected; determine the amount and terms of such loans, and authorize the County Executive to execute and issue negotiable instruments of the County for all money borrowed to the lenders thereof as evidence of such loans and of the terms of the County's obligation to repay the same; and
Take and hold property in trust and provide for the administration thereof; and
Grant franchises or permits in the name of the County for periods not longer than twenty (20) years; and
Acquire, establish, construct, equip, improve, extend, repair, maintain, manage, and operate public hospitals, health centers, institutions, clinics and correctional facilities; and
Acquire, establish and provide for the planning, development, construction, maintenance and operation of a system of parks, parkways, recreation, conservation, forest, scenic and historic sites and facilities; and to propose and establish reasonable charges for the use of the facilities therein; and
Establish, open, locate, relocate, and vacate public easements, rights-of-way, streets, alleys, public roads, highways and bridges; construct, reconstruct, maintain and repair County highways, streets, roads, sidewalks, bridges and culverts; and when so determined by the Council, to levy the cost thereof as a special assessment on all lots or pieces of ground abutting such improvements in proportion to some reasonable standard relating thereto; and
Provide for the location, relocation and establishment of County highways and bridges into and through County and other public parks, areas, reservations and institutions, and for connecting such highways with the County highway system; and construct and maintain such highways and bridges; and
Adopt by reference, with or without modification, codes, standards, or regulations prepared by a national technical trade or service association, the State, or any of its agencies, or the United States or any of its agencies, relating to traffic, building, planning, electrical installations, fire prevention, food products, air and water pollution, and all other subjects which the County has power to regulate, provided that a copy of every such Code, standard or regulation as adopted and in effect shall be kept in the Registrar's office and open to public inspection; and
Provide for the collection and disposal of wastes generated in the unincorporated areas of the County and cooperate and contract with other jurisdictions situated in the County to the extent such authority is granted to such jurisdictions by applicable law; and
Cooperate or join by contract or otherwise with any City, County, State or political subdivision or agency thereof, or with the United States or any agency thereof, for the planning, development, construction, acquisition or operation of any public improvement or facility, or for a common service; and accept, in the name of the County, gifts, devises, bequests, and grants-in-aid from any City, County, State or political subdivision or agency thereof, or from the United States or any agency thereof; and
Exercise legislative power pertaining to public health and welfare, Police and traffic, building construction, and planning and zoning, in the part of the County outside incorporated Cities, Towns, and Villages, and on such other subjects as may be authorized by the Constitution or by applicable law; and
Make such rules and regulations as may be necessary or proper to establish and carry into effect the provisions of this Charter and provide for their enforcement; and
Establish procedures for the conduct of investigations by the Council or any of its committees of any question or matter on which the Council may by applicable law take action, including, but not by way of limitation, the power to issue subpoenas for witnesses and subpoenas duces tecum for books, records and documents; provide penalties for the failure to answer any subpoena or subpoena duces tecum; provide for the service of said subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum by any officer charged with the service of process; subpoena witnesses and order the production of books and papers relating to any subject matter within its jurisdiction. The Council may call upon the appropriate officer to execute its process and to arrest any person refusing to obey such subpoena or order. Each day a person shall refuse to obey such subpoena or order shall be a separate offense; and
Provide for disaster planning and civil defense as required by applicable law or deemed appropriate for the County; and
Provide for a County-wide Master Plan for the development of the County. This Plan shall set forth policy regarding the social, governmental, economic and physical development of the County. It will include recommendations for the most desirable use of land within the County for residential, recreational, agricultural, commercial, industrial and other purposes; for the most desirable density of population in the several parts of the County; for a system of principal thoroughfares, highways, streets and other public ways; for airports, parks, playgrounds and other public open spaces; for the general location, relocation and improvement of public buildings; for the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals for water, sewerage, light, power, transit and other purposes, whether publicly or privately owned; for adequate drainage facilities and control; and for such other matters as may be beneficial to the County. The County-wide Master Plan shall contain a statement of the objectives, standards and principles sought to be embodied therein. The Plan shall be based on studies of physical, social, economic and governmental conditions and trends. It shall be designed to assure the coordinated development of the County and to promote the general welfare and prosperity of its people. For the purpose of providing a complete source of information to residents of the County, appendices dealing with topics for which the County exerts no jurisdictional authority such as education, city growth boundaries, etc., may be included in the County-wide Master Plan. The County shall publish these appendices only if developed by the organizations that exercise the jurisdictional authority for the applicable area(s). The County shall provide written notice of the development of a new or amended master plan to any political subdivision of the state known to be operational within the County and invite their submission of an appendix. Such appendices shall not contain direction affecting the operation or provision of County services. The Plan and the elements thereof approved by the County Council shall be printed and made available upon request at a cost fixed by the County Council. The County Council shall, from time to time, review the County-wide Master Plan in order to assure that the Plan conforms to the existing goals and policies of St. Charles County. This initial review shall occur by December 31, 1996; later reviews shall occur by June 30, 2003, and thereafter not less frequently than once every five (5) years; and
Establish a County Municipal Court with jurisdiction to hear and determine cases involving violations of this Charter and ordinances of the County, as provided by applicable law; and
Make all necessary and proper provisions for carrying into execution the foregoing powers directly or by and through County officers and employees; provide for any matter involved in the transition from the preceding form of government to this Charter.
Bills and resolutions shall be introduced by a member or members of the County Council or by the County Council as a whole. Each shall be in written or printed form, and shall be read aloud in its entirety the first time, or if more than two (2) pages in length, the first reading may be by title only if written copies are made available to the public through the Registrar's office at least thirty-six (36) hours prior to the time scheduled for the first reading. Before passage and thereafter, the bill may be referred to by title for the second reading and final passage. The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be "BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF SAINT CHARLES COUNTY, MISSOURI."
An affirmative vote of a majority of the County Council shall be necessary to pass any bill or resolution. No final vote by the County Council shall be taken until the expiration of at least ten (10) calendar days from the time that such bill was first introduced. A bill which has been introduced may be amended after introduction and prior to its final passage, but any amendment must be germane to the original purpose of the bill. No section or sections of any ordinance shall be amended unless the section or sections amended shall be set forth in full as amended. Upon the final passage of any bill or any resolution, and on any other question, the yeas or nays of each member shall be entered on the journal of the County Council. All bills, ordinances, resolutions, orders, journals and proceedings of the County Council shall be public records, and available for public inspection.
The County Council shall specify the effective date of each ordinance, which may be any time after the approval by the County Executive.
No ordinance providing a penalty for violation shall be effective sooner than thirty (30) days after publication of the title of same, and the location for where the ordinance may be viewed in its entirety at a location within the County, in a legal publication, or in a newspaper of general circulation in St. Charles County; publication of the ordinance in full on the web site of the County and posting of the ordinance in full in six (6) public places.
All ordinances containing a penal provision shall specify whether the enforcement shall be the responsibility of the County Counselor or the Prosecuting Attorney.
All bills passed by the County Council shall within three (3) working days, be presented to the County Executive. If the County Executive approves the bill and signs it, the ordinance shall be deemed enacted.
If not so approved and signed, the bill shall be returned with objections to the County Council. The Council shall enter the objections on its journal and proceed to take a vote to override it within thirty (30) days after the veto. No bill shall be revived or reenacted by mere reference to the title, but the same shall be set forth at length.
In the case of bills appropriating money, the County Executive may veto one (1) or more items or portions of items while approving other portions, in which case the approved items or portions shall take effect and items or portions vetoed shall be reconsidered separately.
After such reconsideration, two-thirds (2/3) of the Council members of the County Council may pass the ordinance over the objection of the County Executive. It shall be in this form: "Shall the bill pass, the objections of the County Executive notwithstanding?" Two-thirds (2/3) of the entire County Council shall be required to override a veto. In all such cases, the "yeas" and "nays" of each member shall be recorded in the journal of the County Council.
Any bill not returned by the County Executive within ten (10) working days after it shall have been so presented shall be deemed approved, as if signed.
To meet a public emergency affecting the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and welfare, the Council may adopt emergency ordinances. An emergency bill shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances. It shall be plainly designated as an emergency bill and shall contain in the body of the bill a declaration that an emergency exists. It shall set forth the facts in clear and specific terms to support the declaration. If at least two-thirds (2/3) of all Council members vote in the affirmative, the ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its enactment. But, if there is only a majority vote in the affirmative, it shall take effect immediately after it is signed by the County Executive.
The annual salary of the members of the County Council for the years 1993 and 1994 shall be set at six thousand dollars ($6,000.00), payable in twelve (12) monthly installments. For two (2) year terms beginning after December 13, 1994, the salary may be set by the preceding Council and must be set at least nine (9) months prior to the start of the applicable two (2) year period. The annual salary of the members of the County Council will be set by ordinance, which shall also provide for the schedule on which such salary is paid. No ordinance increasing such salary shall become effective until the date of commencement of the terms of Council members elected at the next regular election. The members of the County Council shall not be required to devote full time to the Council. The members of the County Council shall not receive an expense allowance; however, they shall be reimbursed by the County for their lawful, actual, and necessary expenses, as defined by ordinance, incurred in the performance of their legally required duties of office. Expenses must be supported by invoices, receipts or other evidence showing the nature and purpose of the expenses. The Council shall annually determine the maximum expenses for which any member may be reimbursed in the ensuing term.
The County Council shall, at its first (1st) meeting in January each year, elect from among its Council members, officers of the Council who shall have the titles of Chair and Vice-Chair of the Council. Each shall serve at the pleasure of the Council.
The Chair shall preside at meetings of the Council; have a voice and vote on all questions before it; and have authority to.
The Vice-Chair shall perform these functions in the Chair's absence.
Meetings. The Council shall meet regularly at such times and places as the Council may prescribe by rule. Special meetings may be held on the call of the Chair or of five (5) or more Council members. These shall be called on no less than twenty-four (24) hours' notice to each Council member. Emergency meetings may be held as provided by the Missouri Open Meeting Law in effect at the time. All meetings shall be open to the public except as prescribed by applicable law.
Quorum. A majority of the Council shall constitute a quorum for its business.
Rules and Journal. The County Council shall determine its own rules and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings. This journal shall be a public record.
The office of a Council member shall become vacant upon the member's death, resignation, removal from office or forfeiture of office in any manner authorized by applicable law.
A Council member shall forfeit that office if he:
Does not meet the eligibility requirements for office; or
Violates any prohibition of this Charter; or
Is convicted of a felony; or
A vacancy on the County Council shall be filled by the County Executive subject to approval by the Council. The person selected shall be a member of the same political party as the previous occupant (if so affiliated). He shall hold office until January first (1st), following the next general election at which a successor shall be elected for the unexpired or full term as the case may be.
Following each decennial census, there shall be a Redistricting Commission consisting of six (6) members. Six (6) members shall be nominated by each of the Chairmen of the two (2) political parties which received the most votes for Governor at the last gubernatorial election. The County Executive shall select three (3) names from each list to serve on the Commission. The Redistricting Commission may require agencies of County Government to provide technical assistance. This Redistricting Commission shall have a budget as provided by the County Council.
The duties of the Redistricting Commission are to establish seven (7) districts that shall be compact, of contiguous territory, and shall not vary more than five percent (5%) from the average population for all County Council districts, according to figures available from the most recent decennial census.
Starting in 2001 and every ten (10) years thereafter, the Redistricting Commission shall meet when the data from the preceding year's decennial census becomes available, but no later than June first (1st), to initiate its duties. It shall complete its duties before December thirty-first (31st) of that same year. By September fifteenth (15th) and upon twenty (20) days' published notice, the Redistricting Commission shall present its redistricting plan to the County Council which shall have ten (10) days after presentation to vote approval or disapproval by vote of the majority of Council members. If the County Council fails to approve this initial plan, it shall return the plan to the Redistricting Commission with the objections of individual members of the Council. The meeting at which the presentation is made to the County Council shall be a public hearing in which the public may participate. If the initial plan is not approved, a second (2nd) plan shall be submitted by November thirtieth (30th) with the same procedure, but disapproval shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the County Council. Disapproval of the second (2nd) submission shall cause the Redistricting Commission to file a petition in its name by December thirty-first (31st) with the Circuit Court of St. Charles County to determine if the second (2nd) plan meets the requirements of Paragraph 2.1102.
Council districts in 1992 and until 2001 shall be established as shown and described in Appendix A of this Charter.
Holding Other Office. Except where authorized by applicable law, no Council member shall hold any other elected public office during the term for which the member was elected to the Council. No Council member shall hold any other County office or employment with the County during the terms for which the member was elected to the Council.
No former Council member shall hold any compensated appointive office or employment with the County until one (1) year after the expiration of the term for which the member was elected to the Council. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prohibit the Council from selecting any current or former Council member to represent the County on the governing boards of any regional or other intergovernmental agency.
Appointments and Removals. Except for the Auditor, neither the County Council nor any of its Council members shall in any manner control or demand the appointment or removal of any County administrative officer, elected or appointed, or any County employee. The Council may express its views and freely discuss with the County Executive anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.
Interference With Administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations, the County Council shall deal with County officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the County Executive solely through the County Executive. Neither the Council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.