City of Plattsburgh, NY
Clinton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Common Council shall be the elective governing body of the City. It shall consist of the Mayor and one Councilor elected from each of the six wards in the City. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer, but shall have no vote except as provided in Charter § C4-3C.
All Councilors shall be electors of the City of Plattsburgh and shall have resided in their respective wards not less than 30 days before their election and during their term in office.
The boundaries of the wards of the City shall be described in the Administrative Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 21, City Boundaries.
Within six months after the official publication of every federal census, or special census pursuant to the General Municipal Law, the Common Council shall appoint a Districting Commission to review the existing ward boundaries and propose changes, if any, to bring them into accord with the principles of equity and representation in relation to population. The Districting Commission's structure, powers, duties and procedures of shall be set forth in the Administrative Code.[1] New Common Council districts and boundaries as of the date of enactment by the Common Council shall supersede previous Council districts and boundaries for all purposes of the next regular City election, including nominations. The new districts and boundaries shall supersede previous districts and boundaries for all other purposes as of the date on which all Council members elected at that regular City election take office.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 47, Election Districts.
Compensation for Councilors shall be established by local law, except that changes may not be effective during the term of office during which the change is approved.
The Council shall meet regularly at least once in every month at such times and places as the Council may prescribe by rule. The Council may meet in work or informational sessions at which no official action is taken, but notice of such meetings shall be given as required by the Open Meetings Law. Special meetings may be held on the call of the Mayor or, in the Mayor's absence, the Mayor pro tem, or three or more Council members and, whenever practicable, upon no less than 12 hours' notice to each member.
The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall provide for keeping a journal of its proceedings. This journal shall be a public record. Voting, except on procedural motions and the receipt of reports and correspondence, shall be by roll call and the ayes and nays and abstentions shall be recorded in the journal. An abstention or an absence is not counted as a vote. Four Council members, including the Mayor as a member thereof, shall constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the Council. No action of the Council, except as otherwise provided in the preceding sentence and in § C2-10, Filling vacancies of Mayor, Councilor; appointive officers, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of four or more members of the Council, or a greater number if required by state law.
All powers of the City shall be vested in the Common Council, except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter and the Council shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the City by law. The Council shall have, but not be limited to, the following powers and duties:
A. 
To enact, amend or rescind all local laws, ordinances and resolutions.
B. 
To establish, alter, consolidate or abolish City departments, offices, agencies, boards or commissions, provided however, the City shall guarantee that the following services shall be available to its citizens: public safety; public works infrastructure (including water, sewer, sanitation, power, streets and sidewalks); planning and development; public records; public parks and recreation; public library. The Common Council may provide additional services as deemed necessary. In lieu of providing any of these services through City departments, offices, or agencies, the Common Council may:
(1) 
Arrange with other governments, public agencies, or private businesses to provide any one or more of these services; or
(2) 
Find that any such service is available to the public at reasonable cost through private sources and, therefore, not necessary to provide as a public service.
C. 
To confirm Mayoral appointments of City officers, department heads and assistant department heads by three affirmative votes, except as may be provided otherwise in this Charter.
D. 
To enact legislation over the disapproval of the Mayor as provided by this Charter.
E. 
To adopt the annual budget, to appropriate moneys and levy taxes.
F. 
To provide for an annual independent audit and other audits as may be necessary.
G. 
To prepare a five-year plan to guide the growth and development of the City. The plan shall include revenue and expenditure trends and projections, goals and plans for improving the efficiency of City government, desirable public projects and programs, and such other matters as may assist the Mayor and the Council in managing the City. The plan shall be adopted by resolution and shall be revised annually to include year five and reflect such changes as may be appropriate. The plan shall be adopted and modified by June 1 of each year.
H. 
To authorize the Mayor, or a designated City officer, to enter into contracts and execute deeds.
I. 
To make investigations into the affairs of the City and the conduct of any City department, office, or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of evidence. Failure or refusal to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the Council shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days or both.
J. 
To establish the salaries, salary schedules and fringe benefits of all officers and employees of the City.
A. 
Appointments and removals. Neither the Common Council nor any of its members shall in any manner control or demand the appointment or removal of any City administrative officer or employee whom the Mayor or any subordinate of the Mayor is empowered to appoint, but the Council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the Mayor anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.
B. 
Interference with administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries, and investigations under § C3-8I, individual Council members shall deal with City officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the Mayor solely through the Mayor, and individual Council members shall not give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.
The Council shall act by local law, ordinance or resolution.
A. 
Local laws shall be adopted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
B. 
Ordinances shall be adopted pursuant to the following procedures.
(1) 
Form. Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced, in writing, and in the form required for final adoption. No ordinance shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title. The enacting clause shall be "The City of Plattsburgh hereby ordains." Any ordinance which repeals or amends an existing ordinance or part of the City Code shall set out in full the ordinance, sections or subsections to be repealed or amended, and shall indicate matters to be omitted by enclosing it in brackets or by strikeout type and shall indicate new matters by underscoring or by italics.
(2) 
Procedure. Any member at any regular or special meeting of the Council may introduce an ordinance. Upon introduction of any ordinance, the City Clerk shall distribute a copy to each Council member and file a copy in the office of the City Clerk and include the ordinance, or a summary thereof, on the agenda for the Council meeting when it will be considered. An ordinance shall not be voted on until 10 days after introduction. A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is not required. The Council may adopt the ordinance with or without amendment or reject it, but if it is amended as to any matter of substance, the Council may not adopt it until the ordinance or its amended sections have been subjected to all the procedures herein before required in the case of a newly introduced ordinance. An ordinance is not adopted until approved by the Mayor, or until his or her disapproval or veto is overridden by a vote of the Council.
(3) 
Notice and effective date. As soon as practicable after adoption, the Clerk shall have the ordinance and a notice of its adoption published. As used in this section, the term "publish" means to print one time in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the City, and, if available, in a website: (1) the ordinance or a brief summary thereof, and (2) the places where copies of it have been filed and are available for public inspection and purchase. An adopted ordinance shall become effective immediately upon publication or at any later date specified therein.
(4) 
Filing. Adopted ordinances and proof of publication shall be filed with the City Clerk and promptly codified in the City Code.
C. 
The Common Council may act by resolution.
A. 
Every ordinance or resolution of the Common Council, except for the adoption of Council rules, appointment of Council officers and the adoption of the annual City budget and implementing ordinances and resolutions, shall be subject to approval or veto by the Mayor before it becomes effective.
B. 
If the Mayor is in attendance at a meeting where the Council passes an ordinance or resolution, he or she shall approve it, veto it or state his or her intention to defer a decision on approval or disapproval of the measure. If the Mayor does not state his or her approval, veto or deferral of a decision, the measure shall be conclusively presumed to have been approved.
C. 
If the Mayor defers a decision on approval or disapproval, or is not in attendance at the meeting where the measure passed, within three business days of such meeting, the City Clerk shall deliver a copy to the Mayor. Within five business days of receipt of the measure, the Mayor shall file his written approval or veto with the City Clerk, or the measure shall be deemed adopted. The measure may be delivered to the Mayor by electronic mail addressed to the Mayor's City of Plattsburgh e-mail address. The Mayor may file his approval or veto by electronic mail addressed to the City Clerk's City of Plattsburgh's e-mail address.
D. 
If a measure is vetoed at a Council meeting, it may not be reconsidered at that meeting, but may be reconsidered at a Council meeting held within 30 days. If upon reconsideration the measure receives four affirmative votes, it shall be adopted.
E. 
The Mayor shall have the power to veto a local law. The procedure for approving or vetoing a local law shall be as set forth in the Municipal Home Rule Law.
It shall be the duty of the City Clerk to maintain the journal of Council proceedings. Such proceedings shall be made available to the public in a timely fashion. At the end of the year, the proceedings shall be indexed.
Official notices and other legal notices which may be required by law shall be published in such newspaper(s) as may be from time to time designated by the Common Council as official newspaper(s) of the City of Plattsburgh.