City of Plattsburgh, NY
Clinton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Creation of departments. The Common Council may establish City departments, offices, or agencies in addition to those created by this Charter and may prescribe the functions of all departments, offices, and agencies.
B. 
Direction by Mayor. All departments, offices, and agencies under the direction and supervision of the Mayor shall be administered by an officer appointed by and subject to the direction and supervision of the Mayor. With the consent of Council, the Mayor may serve as the head of one or more such departments, offices, or agencies or may appoint one person as the head of two or more of them.
C. 
Unless otherwise prescribed by state law or this Charter, the term of office of department heads shall commence on the first day of February following commencement of the Mayor's term in office and shall end on January 31st following the expiration of the Mayor's term in office.
D. 
Civil service status. The civil service status and rights of all City employees and their beneficiaries, including, but not limited to, those with respect to retirement and social security, shall not be affected by this Charter. Nothing contained in this Charter shall affect the term of office of any City officer or member of any board or commission who shall have been elected or appointed prior to the effective date of this Charter. The Common Council may change the civil service status of City positions after the effective date of this Charter in accordance with Civil Service Law.
E. 
Managerial authority and duty. Department heads shall have the following authority and duties and such others as may be delegated by the Mayor:
(1) 
Evaluate and recommend prospective appointees to department positions.
(2) 
Supervise, evaluate, authorize or initiate disciplinary proceedings against department employees.
(3) 
Make work assignments.
(4) 
Advise on collective bargaining demands and responses.
(5) 
At the direction of the Mayor, serve as a management representative in collective bargaining negotiations.
(6) 
Approve department purchases of goods and services under the City's purchasing policy.
(7) 
Prepare the annual department budget and long-range plans for the department.
(8) 
Formulate and recommend for Council approval new or revised departmental policies.
The City shall have the following Boards and Commissions whose members and officers shall be appointed as set forth in this Charter, the Administrative Code or state law.
A. 
Zoning Board of Appeals.
B. 
Planning Board.
C. 
Board of Assessment Review.
D. 
Plattsburgh Public Library.
E. 
Districting Commission.
[Amended 8-17-2017 by L.L. No. 4-2017; 11-16-2017 by L.L. No. 7-2017]
Each City department shall be managed by a department head and such assistant department heads or deputies whose positions have been established by the Common Council. The function, organization, powers and duties of a department shall be defined in this Charter or the Administrative Code.
A. 
City Clerk.
B. 
Law.
C. 
City Court.
D. 
Finance.
E. 
Police.
F. 
Fire.
G. 
Public Works.
H. 
Municipal Lighting Department.
I. 
Environmental Services.
J. 
Community Development.
K. 
Assessor.[1]
[1]
Note: In the event the City enters a contract with Clinton County pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 1537, such that the County provides assessment services for and on behalf of the City with a designated assessor, an Assessor Department within the City shall not be required. During the term of the aforementioned contract, there shall be no department head or related position in the Assessor Department.
L. 
Codes Enforcement.
A. 
Appointment. There shall be a City Clerk who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Common Council. The City Clerk shall be directly responsible to the Mayor.
B. 
Powers and duties. The City Clerk shall have the following powers and duties and such others as are delegated by state law, including, without limitation, the powers delegated to Town Clerks under the Town Law, this Charter and the Administrative Code. The City Clerk:
(1) 
Shall act as registrar of vital statistics of the City.
(2) 
Shall have custody and control of the journal of Common Council proceedings, laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, resolutions, contracts, agreements, deeds and other instruments the City is a party to.
(3) 
Receive and file the minutes of the proceedings of City boards and commissions.
(4) 
Maintain the official Administrative Code.
(5) 
File local laws and publish required notices and documents.
(6) 
Act as the City's Freedom of Information Law officer.
(7) 
Issue licenses and permits and collect authorized fees.
(8) 
Maintain a log of notices of claim and legal process served upon the City, and forthwith transmit copies of such documents to the corporation counsel and City Chamberlain.
A. 
Establishment; qualifications, appointment, term. There shall be a Department of Law headed by a corporation counsel who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Common Council. He or she shall have been admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New York for not less than five years prior to appointment. Unless otherwise prescribed by state law, the corporation counsel's term shall commence on the first day of February following commencement of the Mayor's term in office and shall end on January 31st following the expiration of the Mayor's term in office. The corporation counsel may be compensated on a salaried or hourly rate basis, or a combination thereof. The corporation counsel may engage in the private practice of law so long as it does not conflict with his or her duties and such practice is not conducted on City premises.
B. 
Powers and duties. The corporation counsel shall serve as chief legal adviser to the Mayor, the Common Council and all City departments, offices and boards, and shall represent the City in all legal proceedings, and shall perform any other duties prescribed by state law, this Charter and local law or ordinance. The corporation counsel may bring such actions and proceedings as are authorized by the Mayor or Common Council. No claim, case or proceeding that requires the payment of money by the City may be settled without authorization by the Common Council. The corporation counsel may, with the written consent of the Mayor, employ counsel to assist him in the conduct of important cases or proceedings in which the City is interested or a party and may also, with the consent of the Mayor and Common Council, appoint an assistant corporation counsel to act in his place and stead, in case of his absence or disability.
There shall be a City court presided over by a full time City judge. The City court shall not be subject to supervision or control by the Mayor or Council. The City shall provide adequate accommodations for City court.
A. 
City judge. Qualifications, appointment. The City judge shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Common Council. He or she shall have been admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New York for not less than five years prior to appointment and shall be a resident of the City at the time of his appointment and during his or her term in office. The term of the City judge shall be as prescribed in state law.
B. 
Acting City judge. Qualifications, appointment. The acting City judge shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Common Council. He or she shall have been admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New York for not less than five years prior to appointment and shall be a resident of the City at the time of his or her appointment and during his or her term in office. The term of the acting City judge shall be as prescribed in state law, but if no term is prescribed, the term shall commence on the first day of February following commencement of the Mayor's term in office and shall end on January 31st following the expiration of the Mayor's term in office.
There shall be a Department of Finance headed by a City Chamberlain who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the Common Council. He or she shall be qualified on the basis of his or her training and experience in financial management. He or she shall be directly responsible to the Mayor.
A. 
Powers and duties. The City Chamberlain shall:
(1) 
Be the chief fiscal officer of the City responsible for all financial administration of the City; specifically, he or she shall:
(a) 
Collect, receive, have custody of, deposit and disburse all fees, revenues and other funds of the City or for which the City is responsible.
(b) 
Review and pay all payrolls, approved claims, expenses and other authorized disbursements of the City.
(c) 
Perform the duties of an "enforcing officer" under the Real Property Tax Law.
(d) 
Conduct the sale of all bonds pursuant to the provisions of the Local Finance Law and keep a record of all indebtedness, bonded or otherwise, of the City.
(e) 
Provide adequate insurance and surety bond coverage to protect the City from all reasonable risks of loss or damage.
(f) 
Submit to the Mayor and the Common Council at the end of each quarter of the fiscal year, and such other times as requested, a complete statement of City finances as specified in the Administrative Code.
(2) 
Advise and assist the Mayor and Council in the preparation of the Mayor's budget and the Council's budget. Prepare for the corporation counsel's review: laws, ordinances and resolutions adopting the City budget and the levying taxes.
(3) 
Act as the chief auditing and accounting officer of the City; specifically, he or she shall:
(a) 
Maintain records of appropriations, encumbrances and expenditures and prescribe approved methods of accounting for all units of City government, unless otherwise required by the State Comptroller.
(b) 
Certify the availability of funds for all requisitions, contracts, purchase orders and other documents by which the City incurs financial obligations or for the expenditure of funds for which the City is responsible.
(c) 
Audit for approval of payment all lawful claims or charges against the City or against funds for which the City is responsible, in whole or in part, in the manner provided in the Administrative Code.
(d) 
Audit the financial records and accounts of all units of City government charged with duties relating to funds of the City or for which the City is responsible.
(e) 
Provide for budget controls and allocation of appropriated funds in efficient, economical and justifiable manners.
(f) 
Review, evaluate and recommend changes to the City's purchasing policy and procedures.
B. 
Deputy Chamberlain. There shall be a deputy Chamberlain appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council. The deputy chamberlain shall, unless otherwise prescribed by law, possess the powers and perform the duties of the chamberlain during the absence or inability to act of the chamberlain, or during a vacancy in the office.
The Municipal Lighting Department, established by Local Law No. 1 of 1936 pursuant to Article 14-a of the General Municipal Law, is authorized to provide any service authorized to be furnished by an electric corporation pursuant to Article 4 of the Public Service Law. The department shall be governed by a Board of Directors composed of the Mayor and members of the Common Council. The Board of Directors shall adopt bylaws and hold regular meetings within 15 days of the end of each calendar quarter. The department shall establish and maintain separate financial records showing all revenue and expenditures. The Board of Directors shall establish customer rates, charges and terms of service in compliance with Public Service Commission laws, regulations and procedures. The department shall be administered by a manager appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council.
The Plattsburgh Public Library is not a branch or department of City government, but a separate entity governed by the Library Board of trustees constituted in accordance with the Charter granted to it by the New York State Board of Regents. The Library Board has the power and duty to determine and carry out all policies and principles pertaining to operations of the library; to use library property; to appoint, manage and control library personnel; to use and expend funds appropriated for library purposes. The Mayor shall appoint the Library Board of trustees, subject to Council confirmation. The City may appropriate funds for library purposes. Library funds shall be subject to oversight, custody and control by the City chamberlain, as provided in state law.