Charter of the City of Gaylord – Page 2

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CHAPTER 5 –Initiative, Referendum and Recall

Section 35. POWERS RESERVED BY THE PEOPLE. The people of Gaylord reserve to themselves the powers, in accordance with the provisions of this charter, to initiate and adopt ordinances, to require measures passed by the council to be referred to the electorate for approval or disapproval, and to recall elected public officials, except there shall be no initiative or recall of ordinances which appropriate money or authorize the levy of taxes. These powers shall be called the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, respectively.

Section 36. EXPENDITURES BY PETITIONERS. No member of any initiative, referendum, or recall committee, no circulator of a signature paper, and no signer of any such paper, or other person, shall accept or offer any reward, pecuniary or otherwise, for service rendered in connection with the circulation thereof, but this shall not prevent the committee from incurring an expense not to exceed fifty dollars for legal advice, stationery, copying, printing and notaries’ fees. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor.

Section 37. FURTHER REGULATIONS. The council, after the organization of the city government under this charter, may provide by ordinance such further regulations for the initiative, referendum, and recall, not inconsistent with this charter, as may be deemed necessary. Such ordinance shall include the relevant provisions of this charter.

Section 38. INITIATION OF MEASURES. Any five electors may form themselves into a committee for the initiation of any measure of public concern. After formulating their measure they shall file a verified copy thereof with the city clerk together with their names and addresses as members of such committee. They shall also attach a verified copy of the proposed measure to each of the signature papers herein described, together with their names and addresses as sponsors therefor.

Section 39. FORM OF PETITION AND OF SIGNATURE PAPERS. The petition for the adoption of any measure shall consist of the measure together with all the signature papers and affidavits thereto attached. Such petition shall not be complete unless signed by a number of voters equal to at least ten per cent of the total number of votes cast at the last preceding regular municipal election. All the signatures need not be on one signature paper, but the circulator of every such paper shall make an affidavit that each signature appended to the paper is the genuine signature of the person it purports to be. Each signature paper shall be in substantially the following form:

proposing an ordinance to ____________________ (stating the purpose of the measure), a copy
of which ordinance is hereto attached. This measure is sponsored by the following committee of electors:
1. ________________________________________ ____________________________________
2. ________________________________________ ____________________________________
3.________________________________________ ____________________________________
4. ________________________________________ _____________________________________
5. ________________________________________ _____________________________________

The undersigned electors, understanding the terms and the nature of the measure hereto attached, petition the council for its adoption, or, in lieu thereof, for its submission to the electors for their approval.
Name Address
1. ___________________________________ ____________________________________
2. ___________________________________ ____________________________________
3. ___________________________________ ____________________________________

At the end of the list of signatures shall be appended the affidavit of the circulator mentioned above.

Section 40. FILING OF PETITIONS AND ACTION THEREON. All the signature papers shall be filed in the office of the city clerk as one instrument. Within five days after the filing of the petition the city clerk shall ascertain by examination the number of electors whose signatures are appended thereto, and whether this number is at least ten percent of the total number of electors who cast their votes at the last preceding regular municipal election. If he finds the petition insufficient or irregular, he shall at once notify one or more of the committee or sponsors of that fact, certifying the reasons for his finding. The Committee shall then be given thirty days in which to file additional signature papers and to correct the petition in all other particulars. If at the end of that period the petition is found to be still insufficient or irregular the clerk shall file the same in his office and shall notify each member of the committee of that fact. The final finding of the insufficiency or irregularity of a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose, nor shall it prevent the council from referring the measure to the electors at the next regular or any special election, at its option.

Section 41. ACTION OF COUNCIL ON PETITION. Whenever the petition shall be found to be sufficient, the city clerk shall so certify to the council at its next meeting, stating the number of petitioners, and the percentage of the total number of voters which they constitute, and the council shall at once read the measure and refer it to an appropriate committee, which may be a committee of the whole. The committee or council shall thereupon provide for public hearings upon the measure, after the holding of which the measure shall be finally acted upon by the council not later than sixty-five days after the date upon which such measure was submitted to the council by the city clerk. If the council shall fail to pass the proposed measure, or shall pass it in a form different from that set forth in the petition and is unsatisfactory to the petitioners, the proposed measure shall be submitted by the council to the vote of the electors at the next regular municipal election. But in case the number of signers of said petition is equal to at least fifteen percent of the total number of voters voting at the last regular municipal election, then the council shall call a special election upon the measure to be held not less than thirty nor more than forty-five days from such date, unless a regular election is to occur within three months, in which case it may be submitted at such regular municipal election. In case the council passes the proposed measure with amendments and at least four-fifths of the committee of petitioners do not express their dissatisfaction with such amended form by a certificate filed with the city clerk within ten days from the passage thereof by the council, then the measure need not be submitted to the electors.

Section 42. INITIATIVE BALLOTS. The ballots used when voting upon any such proposed measure shall state the substance thereof, and shall give the voter the opportunity to vote either “For the measure” or “Against the measure.” If a majority of the electors voting on any such measure shall vote in favor thereof, it shall thereupon become an ordinance of the city. Any number of proposed measures may be voted upon at the same election, but in case there shall be more than one, the voter shall be allowed to vote for or against each separately. In case of inconsistency between two initiated ordinances approved at one election, the one approved by the higher percentage of electors voting on the question shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

Section 43. INITIATION OF CHARTER AMENDMENTS. Nothing in this charter shall be construed as in any way affecting the right of the electors under the constitution and statutes of Minnesota to propose amendments to this charter.

Section 44. THE REFERENDUM. If prior to the date when an ordinance takes effect a petition signed by qualified electors of the city equal in number to fifteen percent of the total vote at the last regular municipal election be filed with the city clerk requesting that any such measure, or any part thereof, be repealed or be submitted to a vote of the electors, the said measure shall there by be prevented from going into operation. The council shall thereupon reconsider the said measure at its next regular meeting, and either repeal the same, or repeal the sections thereof to which objection has been raised by the petitioners, or by aye or no vote reaffirm its adherence to the measure as passed. In the latter case the council shall immediately order an election to be held thereon, pending which the ordinance shall remain suspended. If a majority of the voters. voting thereon are opposed to the measure, it shall not become effective; but if a majority of the voters voting thereon favor the measure, it shall go into effect immediately or on the date therein specified.

Section 45. REFERENDUM PETITIONS. The requirement5 laid down in sections above as to the formation of committees for the initiation of measures and as to the form of petitions and signature papers shall apply to the referendum as far as possible, but with such verbal changes as may be necessary. A referendum petition shall read as follows:

proposing the repeal of an ordinance to (stating the purpose of the measure), a copy of which ordinance is hereto attached. The proposed repeal is sponsored by the following committee of electors;

Name Address
1. __________________________________ ___________________________________________
2. __________________________________ ___________________________________________
The undersigned petitioners, understanding the nature of the measure hereto attached, and believing it to be detrimental to the welfare of the city, petition the council for its submission to a vote of the electors for their approval or
Name Address
1. ____________________________________ ____________________________________________
2 ____________________________________ _____________________________________________

Section 46 REFERENDUM BALLOTS The ballots used in any referendum election shall conform to the rules laid down in Section 42 of this charter for initiative ballots

Section 47. THE RECALL. Any five electors may form themselves into a committee for the purpose of bringing about the recall of any elected officer of the city. The committee shall certify to the city clerk the name of the officer whose removal is sought, a statement of the grounds for removal in not more than two hundred and fifty words and their intention to bring about his recall. A copy of this certificate shall be attached to each signature paper and no signature paper shall be put into circulation previous to such certification.

Section 48. RECALL PETITIONS. The petition for the recall of any official shall consist of a certificate identical with that filed with the city clerk together with all the signature papers and affidavits thereto attached. All the signatures need not be on one signature paper, but the circulator of every such paper shall make an affidavit that each signature appended to the paper is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Each signature paper shall be in substantially the following form:

proposing the recall of from his office as _______________ which recall is sought for the reasons set forth in the attached certificate. This movement is sponsored by the following committee of electors:
Name Address
1. _______________________________________ _______________________________
2. _______________________________________ _______________________________
The undersigned electors, understanding the nature of the charges against the officer herein sought to be recalled, desire the holding of a recall election for that purpose.
Name Address
1. _______________________________________ ________________________________
2. ________________________________________ ________________________________
At the end of the list of signatures shall be appended the affidavit of the circulator mentioned above.

Section 49. FILING OF PETITION. Within thirty days after the filing of the original certificate, the committee shall file the completed petition in the office of the city clerk. The city clerk shall examine the same within the next five days, and if he finds it irregular in any way, or finds that the number of signers is less than twenty-five percent of the total number of electors who cast their votes at the last preceding regular municipal election, he shall so notify one or more members of the committee. The committee shall then be given ten days in which to file additional signature papers and to correct the petition in all other respects, but they may not change the statement of the grounds upon which the recall is sought. If at the end of that time the city clerk finds the petition still insufficient or irregular he shall notify all members of the committee to that effect and shall file the petition in his office. No further action shall be taken thereon.

Section 50. RECALL ELECTION. If the petition or amended petition be found sufficient, the city clerk shall transmit it to the council without delay, and shall also officially notify the person sought to be recalled of the sufficiency of the petition and of the pending action. The council shall at its next meeting, by motion, provide for the holding of a special recall election not less than thirty nor more than forty-five days thereafter, provided that if any other municipal election is to occur within sixty days after such meeting, the council may in its discretion provide for the holding of the recall election at that time.

Section 51. PROCEDURE AT RECALL ELECTION. In the published call for the election, whether posted on bulletin boards or printed in the official paper, there shall be given the statement of the grounds for the recall and also, in not more than five hundred words, the answer of the officer concerned in justification of his course in office. Candidates to succeed the officer to be recalled shall be nominated in the usual way, and the election shall be conducted as far as possible, in accordance with the usual procedure in municipal elections.

Section 52. FORM OF RECALL BALLOT. Unless the officer whose removal is sought shall have resigned within ten days after the receipt by the council of the completed recall petition, the form of the ballot at such election shall be as near as may be: “Shall A be recalled?”, the name of the officer whose recall is sought being inserted in place of A, and the electors shall be permitted to vote separately “Yes” or “No” upon the question. The ballot shall also contain the names of the candidates to be voted upon to fill the vacancy, in case the recall is successful, under the caption: “Candidates to fill the place of A, if recalled.” But the officer whose recall is sought shall not himself be a candidate upon such ballot. In case a majority of those voting for and against the recall of any official shall vote in favor of recalling such official, he shall be thereby removed from office, and in that event the candidate who receives the highest number of votes for his place shall be elected thereto for the remainder of the unexpired term. If the officer sought to be recalled shall have resigned within ten days after the receipt by the council of the completed recall petition, the form of ballot at the election shall be the same, as nearly as may be, as the form in use at a regular municipal election.

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CHAPTER 6 — Administration of City Affairs

Section 53. DEPARTMENTS OF ADMINISTRATION. The city council shall exercise control over all administrative affairs of the city, either directly or through its elective officers and heads of departments, except as delegated exclusively to the mayor in this charter and any regulations by ordinance consistent therewith. The council may create such departments, divisions, and bureaus for the administration of the city’s affairs as may seem necessary for efficient administration, and from time to time may alter the powers and organization of the same.

Section 54 POWERS AND DUTIES OF COUNCIL. The council shall make all necessary rules, regulations and appointments to office as herein required. The council may set a probationary period for any person hired by it. All employees and subordinate officers shall attend council meetings as they may be required by the council; they shall keep the council fully informed as to the operation and needs of their various departments, and shall perform all other duties required by this charter. Employees appointed by the council shall be removed by it only after giving such appointee a reasonable hearing.

Section 55. CONTRACTS. HOW LET. In all cases of work to be done by contract, or of the purchase of personal property of any kind, where the amount involved exceed the limit set by state law, unless the council shall by an emergency ordinance otherwise provide, the city clerk shall advertise for bids in such manner as may be designated by the council. A contract means as agreement entered into by the City for the sale or purchase of supplies, materials, equipment or the rental thereof, or the construction, alteration, repair or maintenance of real or personal property. Contracts of this magnitude shall be let only by the council, and shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder. The council may, however, reject any and all bids. Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the council from contracting for the doing of work with patented processes, or from the purchase of patented appliances. Further regulations for the making of bids and the letting of contracts shall be made by ordinance, subject to the provisions of this charter.

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CHAPTER 7 — Taxation and Finance

Section 56. COUNCIL TO CONTROL FINANCES. The council shall have full authority over the financial affairs of the city, and shall provide for the collection of all revenues and other assets, the auditing and settlement of accounts, and the safe-keeping and disbursement of public monies, and in the exercise of a sound discretion shall make appropriations for the payment of all liabilities and expenses.

Section 57. FISCAL YEAR. The fiscal year of the city shall end each year on the thirty-first day of December.

Section 58. SYSTEM OF TAXATION. Subject to the state Constitution, and except as forbidden by it or by state legislation, the council shall have full power to provide by ordinance for a system of local taxation and to change the same from time to time. Insofar as the city procures a revenue from taxes upon real and personal property as such, it shall conform as fully as possible to the general state law as to the assessment of such property and the collection of such taxes.

Section 59. BOARD OF EQUALIZATION. The council shall constitute a board of equalization to equalize assessments of property for taxation purposes according to law.

Section 60. LEVY AND COLLECTION OF TAXES. On or before the first of October each year the council shall levy by resolution the taxes necessary to meet the requirements for the ensuing calendar year. The city clerk shall transmit to the county auditor annually, not later than the tenth of October, a statement of all the taxes levied, and such taxes shall be collected and the payment thereof be enforced with and in like manner as state and county taxes. No tax shall be invalid by reason of any informality in the manner of levying the same, nor because the amount levied shall exceed the amount required to be raised for the special purposes for which the same is levied, but in that case the surplus shall go into the fund to which such tax belongs.

Section 61. TAX SETTLEMENT WITH COUNTY TREASURER. The city treasurer shall see to it that all moneys in the county treasury belonging to the city are promptly turned over to the city according to law.

Section 62. DISBURSEMENTS. HOW MADE. All disbursements shall be made only on regular vouchers issued by the city clerk, duly authorized by the council, countersigned by the mayor and the treasurer, which shall indicate the fund out of which the disbursement shall be made. Each order when signed by the city clerk, countersigned by the mayor and the city treasurer, shall become a check payable to the payee at the bank indicated thereon. But no such order or check shall be issued until there is money to the credit of the fund out of which it is to be paid, sufficient to pay the same together with all then outstanding encumbrances upon such fund. No claim against the city shall be allowed unless accompanied by an itemized bill and voucher, payroll, or time sheet signed by the responsible officer who has personal knowledge of the facts in the case and vouches for the correctness and reasonableness of the claim. The council may by ordinance make further regulations for the safekeeping and disbursement of the funds of the city.

Section 63. FUNDS TO BE KEPT. There shall be maintained in the treasury the following funds for the support of which the council may levy taxes
(a) A sinking fund for the purchase, or payment when due, of any bonds or any debt of the city and to pay the interest on all bonds and other obligations of the city. The council shall levy an annual tax sufficient to meet all obligations against this fund when due, unless otherwise provided for.
(b) A public utility fund or funds for the acquisition, construction, extension, maintenance, and operation of any public utility owned and operated by the city, including the payment of the interest on any bonds or other indebtedness which may be a lien upon such utility. There shall be paid into this fund all moneys derived from the sale of bonds issued on account of any such utility, and from the operation of such utility, and from the sale of any property acquired for or used in connection with, any such utility. There shall be paid out of this fund the cost of the purchase, construction, extension, operation, maintenance, and repair of such utility, including the interest upon all bonds or other indebtedness which may be a lien upon such utility. Any surplus in said fund may be used for the purchase of any bonds or certificates of indebtedness issued against said utility, and for the payment of such bonds or other indebtedness upon their maturity.

Separate funds and accounts shall be kept for each such utility operated separately, and in case two or more utilities are operated together the funds and accounts shall be kept separate as far as practicable.

(c) A general fund for the support of such other funds and for payment of such expenses of the city as council may deem proper. Into this fund shall be paid all moneys not herein provided to be paid into any other fund.

(d) A permanent improvement revolving fund. There shall be paid into this fund monies received from special assessments levied for local improvements. The council may be resolution determine the aggregate amount of the assessments for local improvements which, in its judgment, shall be extended for payment, as is provided in this charter. The council may order the issuance and sale of bonds representing such aggregate sum which shall entitle the holder thereof to demand and receive from the city of Gaylord upon the surrender of such bonds; to the treasurer on or after the date of payment thereof, the amount of money named therein to be paid, with the date of interest stipulated to be paid thereon to. the due date thereof and not after such date. Such bonds may be issued in such amounts and become due on such dates as the council may determine. The proceeds of the sale of said bonds shall be paid into the permanent improvement revolving fund. The council may, in its discretion, either sell said bonds direct to investors, or may contract for the sale of all such bonds that may be issued during the calendar year. No sale of such bonds by contract, shall be made except after advertising for bids, at least one week prior to sale and such sales shall be made to the lowest responsible bidder. Bids must be asked on the basis of a rate of interest specified in the proposals and on the net interest basis on which the bidder will pay par for the same.

Section 64. RECEIPTS TO GO TO CITY TREASURER. All receipts of money belonging to the city, or any branch thereof, excepting only those funds collected by the county treasurer, shall be paid into the city treasurer by the person authorized to receive the same at the close of each business day. All such monies, and also all monies received upon tax settlements from the county treasurer, shall be deposited as soon as practicable but no later than one week from receipt.

Section 65. ACCOUNTS AND REPORTS. The city clerk shall be the chief accounting officer of the city and of every branch thereof, and the council may prescribe and enforce accounting methods, forms, blanks, and other devices consistent with the law, this charter, and the ordinances in accord with it. He shall submit to the council a statement each month showing the amount of money in the custody of the city treasurer, the status of all funds, the amount spent or chargeable against each of the annual budget allowances and the balances left in each, and such other information relative to the finances of the city as the council may require. Once each year, on or before the last day of January, the city clerk shall submit a report to the council covering the entire financial operations of the city for the past year. This report shall show the actual total receipts and actual total expenditures, omitting duplications, and stating the cash balance at the beginning of the last, fiscal year and at the close; the total outlays for operation and maintenance, and the total capital outlays; the condition of each of the funds; the total receipts by sources and the total expenditures by general purposes; the total outstanding bonds and debts of the city, when due, the amount of new bonds issued and the amount redeemed, the interest rate of each; and such further information as the council and other city officials and the taxpayers should have.

Section 66. CITY INDEBTEDNESS. Except as provided in Sections 67 and 68, no obligations shall be issued to pay current expenses, but the council may issue and sell obligations for any other municipal purpose in accordance with law and within the limitations prescribed by law. Except in the case of obligations for which an election is not required by this charter or by state law, no such obligations shall be issued and sold without the approval of the majority of the electors of the city voting on the question at a general or special election.

Section 67. TAX ANTICIPATION CERTIFICATES. At any time after January 1 following the making of an annual tax levy, the council may issue certificates of indebtedness in anticipation of the collection of taxes levied for any fund and not yet collected. The total amount of certificates issued against any fund for any year with interest thereon until maturity shall not exceed 90% of the total current taxes for the fund uncollected at the time of issuance. Such certificates shall be issued on such terms and conditions as the council may determine, but they shall become due and payable not later than the 1st day of April of the year following their issuance. The proceeds of the tax levied for the fund against which tax anticipation certificates are issued and the full faith and credit of the city shall be irrevocably pledged for the redemption of the certificates in the order of their issuance against the fund.

Section 68. EMERGENCY DEBT CERTIFICATES. If in any year the receipts from taxes or other sources should from some unforeseen cause become insufficient for the ordinary expenses of the city, or if any calamity or other public emergency should subject the city to the necessity of making extraordinary expenditures, the council may by ordinance issue and sell on such terms and in such manner as the council determines emergency debt certificates to run not to exceed two years. A tax sufficient to pay principal and interest on such certificates with the margin required by law shall be levied as required by law. The ordinance authorizing an issue of such emergency debt certificates shall state the nature of the emergency and be approved by at least four members of the council. It may be passed as an emergency ordinance.

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CHAPTER 8 —Public Improvements and Special Assessments

Section 69. THE CITY PLAN. The city council shall adopt a complete plan for the future physical development of the city. Such plan may be altered from time to time. It may include provisions for zoning, for the platting and development of new areas, for the planning and location of public works of art, public buildings, parks, playgrounds, harbors, bridges, transportation lines, and other public facilities, and for the laying out, grading and improving of streets and public places, as well as for all other matters which may seem essential to such a plan.

Section 70. ENFORCEMENT OF CITY PLAN. The council shall have all necessary power to enforce complete adherence by all persons to the plan adopted as provided above.

Section 71. POWER TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND LEVY ASSESSMENTS. The city shall have the power to make any and every type of public improvement not forbidden by the laws of this state and to levy special assessments to pay all or any part of the cost of such improvements as are of a local character. The amounts assessed to benefited property to pay for such local improvements may equal the cost of the improvement, including all costs and expenses connected therewith, with interest, until paid, but shall in no case exceed the benefits to the property.

Section 72. ASSESSMENTS FOR SERVICES. The council may provide by ordinance that the cost of printing, snow, or rubbish removal, or of any other service to streets, sidewalks, or other public property, or the costs of any services to the property undertaken by the city may be assessed against the property benefited and collected in like manner as are special assessments.

Section 73. LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS REGULATIONS. After this charter takes effect local improvements commenced prior thereto shall be completed and assessment may be levied and securities issued for the financing thereof as prescribed by the law (or charter provisions) applicable thereto. The council may prepare~ and adopt a comprehensive ordinance prescribing the procedure which shall be followed thereafter in making all local improvements and levying assessment therefor. Such ordinance shall supersede all other provisions of the law on the same subject and may be amended only by an affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the council. In the absence of such ordinance all local improvements may be made and assessments levied therefor as prescribed by any applicable law.

Section 74. PUBLIC WORKS: HOW PERFORMED. Public works, including all local improvements, may be constructed, extended, repaired, and maintained either directly by day labor or by contract. The city shall require contractors to give bonds for the protection of the city and all persons furnishing labor and materials pursuant to the laws of the state.

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