Charter of the City of Gaylord – Page 1

Charter of the City of Gaylord
Sibley County, Minnesota
Charter Commission


Sec. 1. Name and boundaries
Sec. 2. Powers of the city
Sec. 3. Construction of this charter
Sec. 4. Charter a public act

Sec. 5. Form of Government
Sec. 6. Boards
Sec. 7. Elective officers
Sec. 8. Incompatible offices
Sec. 9. Vacancies in the council
Sec. 10. The mayor
Sec. 11. City clerk
Sec. 12. Treasurer
Sec. 13. Clerk-Treasurer
Sec. 14. City Attorney
Sec. 15. Chief of police
Sec. 16. Assessor
Sec. 17. Compensation of officers

Sec. 18. Council meetings
Sec. 19. Secretary of council
Sec. 20. Rules of procedure and quorum
Sec. 21. Ordinances, resolutions and motions
Sec. 22. Procedure on ordinances
Sec. 23. Emergency ordinances and resolutions
Sec. 24. Signing and publication of ordinances and resolutions
Sec. 25. When ordinances and resolutions take effect
Sec. 26. Amendment and repeal of ordinances and resolutions
Sec. 27. Revision and Codification of ordinances

Sec. 28. The regular municipal election
Sec. 29. Special elections
Sec. 30. Judges and clerks of election
Sec. 31. Nominations by petition
Sec. 32. Nomination petitions
Sec. 33. Canvass of elections
Sec. 34. Procedure at elections

Sec. 35. Powers reserved by the people
Sec. 36. Expenditures by petitioners
Sec. 37. Further regulations
Sec. 38. Initiation of measures
Sec. 39. Form of petition and of signature papers
Sec. 40. Filing of petitions and action thereon
Sec. 41. Action of council on petitions
Sec. 42. Initiative ballots
Sec. 43. Initiation of charter amendments
Sec. 44. The referendum
Sec. 45. Referendum petitions
Sec. 46. Referendum ballots
Sec. 47. The recall
Sec. 48. Recall petitions
Sec. 49. Filing of petition
Sec. 50. Recall election
Sec. 51. Procedure at recall election
Sec. 52. Form of recall ballot

Sec. 53. Departments of administration
Sec. 54. Powers and duties of council
Sec. 55. Contracts. How let

Sec. 56. Council to control finances
Sec. 57. Fiscal year
Sec. 58. System of Taxation
Sec. 59. Board of equalization
Sec. 60. Levy and collection of taxes
Sec. 61. Tax settlement with county treasurer
Sec. 62. Disbursements. How made
Sec. 63. Funds to be kept
Sec. 64. Receipts to go to city treasurer
Sec. 65. Accounts and reports
Sec. 66. City Indebtedness
Sec. 67. Tax anticipation certificates
Sec. 68. Emergency debt certificates

Sec. 69. The city plan
Sec. 70. Enforcement of city plan
Sec. 71. Power to make improvements and levy assessments
Sec. 72. Assessments for services
Sec. 73. Local Improvement regulations
Sec. 74 Public works: How performed

Sec. 75. Power to acquire property
Sec. 76. Proceedings in taking property

Sec. 77 Franchise defined
Sec. 78. Franchise ordinances
Sec. 79. Publication of franchises
Sec. 80. Term of franchises limited
Sec. 81. Power of regulation reserved
Sec. 82. Regulation of rates and charges
Sec. 83. Conditions in every franchise
Sec. 84. Further provisions of franchise

Sec. 85. Acquisition and operation of utilities
Sec. 86. Rates and finances
Sec. 87. Purchase in bulk
Sec. 88. City to pay for services
Sec. 89. Lease of plant
Sec. 90. Public utility. How sold

Sec. 91. Official publications
Sec. 92. Oath of office
Sec. 93. City officers not to accept favors or contracts
Sec. 94. Official bonds
Sec. 95. City property not lost by adverse possession
Sec. 96. Sales of real property
Sec. 97. Vacation of streets
Sec. 98. City to succeed to right and obligations of former city
Sec. 99. Present officers to hold offices till when
Sec. 100 Statutes not affected by charter
Sec. 101. Existing ordinances continued
Sec. 102. Pending condemnations and assessments
Sec. 103. Ordinances to make charter effective


CHAPTER 1 Name, Boundaries, and Powers

Section 1. NAME AND BOUNDARIES. The City of Gaylord, in the County of Sibley, and State of Minnesota, shall, upon the taking effect of this charter, continue to be a municipal corporation, under the name and style of the City of Gaylord, with the same boundaries as now are or hereafter may be established.

Section 2. POWER OF THE CITY. The City shall have all powers which it may now or hereafter be possible for a municipal corporation in this state to exercise in harmony with the constitutions of this state and of the United States. It is the intention of this charter that every power which the people of the City of Gaylord might lawfully confer upon themselves, as a municipal corporation, by specific enumeration in this charter shall be deemed to have been so conferred by the provisions of this section.

Section 3. CONSTRUCTION OF THIS CHARTER. This charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the city, and the specific mention of particular powers in the charter shall not be construed as limiting in any way the generality of the power herein sought to be conferred.

Section 4. CHARTER A PUBLIC ACT. This charter shall be a public act and need not be pleaded or proved in any case. It shall take effect thirty days from and after its adoption by the voters.

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CHAPTER 2 — Form of Government

Section 5. FORM OF GOVERNMENT. The form of government established by this charter shall be known as the “Mayor-Council Plan.” All discretionary powers of the city, both legislative and executive, shall vest in and be exercised by the city council, subject to the initiative, referendum, and recall powers of the people. It shall have complete control over the city administration.

Section 6. BOARDS. The council may by ordinance create a board of health of three members, who shall be appointed by the council for a term of three years. One member of the board shall be a physician duly licensed to practice medicine within the State of Minnesota, of good standing in his profession. Such physician shall be chairman of the board of health and shall be styled “health officer.” The members of the said board shall be residents and electors of the city at the time of their appointment and during their respective terms of office. This board may be compensated for its services if the council so directs. The members of the board of health shall have the same authority as police officers in enforcing the ordinances of said city for the security of public health. The members of the board of health shall have and exercise all the authority and powers, and shall perform all the duties, granted to or imposed upon local boards of health by the statutes of the State of Minnesota insofar as the same are applicable to Gaylord, and they shall enforce all rules and ordinances of this city relating to public health.

The city council may appoint other boards necessary to properly carry out the administration of the city.

Section 7. ELECTIVE OFFICERS. The elective officers shall consist of a mayor and the five councilmen of the council and these six elective officers shall be qualified electors and shall be elected at large. All elective officers holding office when this charter takes effect shall continue in office for the terms for which they were elected and until their successors are elected and qualify. Each councilman shall serve for a term of four years and until his successor is elected and qualifies. The mayor shall serve for a term of two years and until his successor is elected and qualified.

Section 8. INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES. No elective officer shall hold any paid municipal office or employment under the city; and until one year after the expiration of his term as mayor or councilman no former elective officer shall be appointed to any paid office or employment under the city which office or employment was created or the emoluments of which were increased during his term as councilman or mayor.

Section 9. VACANCIES IN THE COUNCIL. A vacancy in the council shall be deemed to exist in case of the failure of any person elected thereto to qualify on or before the date of the second regular meeting of the new council, or by reason of the death, resignation, removal from office, removal from the city, continuous absence from the city for more than three months, or conviction of a felony of any such person whether before or after his qualification, or by reason of the failure of an councilman without good cause to perform any of the duties of membership in the council for a period of three months. In each such case the council shall by resolution declare such vacancy to exist and shall forthwith appoint an eligible person to fill the same until the next regular municipal election, when the office shall be filled for the unexpired term; provided that any vacancy resulting from a recall election or from a resignation following the filing of a recall petition and any vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled in the manner provided by this charter.

Section 10. THE MAYOR. The mayor shall be the presiding officer of the council, but he shall not have a vote on the council; provided, however, that the mayor shall cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie vote of the council. A president pro tempore shall be chosen who shall serve as president in the mayor’s absence, and as acting mayor in case of the mayor’s disability or absence from the city. The mayor shall be the chief executive officer of the city, and shall exercise all powers and perform all duties conferred and imposed upon him by this charter, the ordinances of the city, and the laws of the state.. He shall be recognized as the official head of the city for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for the purpose of serving civil processes, and by the governor for the purposes of military law. He shall study the operations of the city government and shall report to the council any neglect, dereliction of duty or waste on the part of any officer or department of the city. In time of public danger or emergency he may, with the consent of the council, take command of the police, maintain order and enforce the law. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the mayor, whether by death, resignation, or any other cause, the council shall be resolution declare such vacancy to exist and shall forthwith appoint an eligible person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term, but in the case of a recall the vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided by this charter.

Section 11. CITY CLERK. The city clerk shall be appointed by the council only by resolution adopted by a four-fifths vote of all the councilmen. The city clerk shall be appointed solely on the basis of his fiscal and administrative qualifications.

The city clerk may with the advice and consent of the council appoint a deputy city clerk to help him perform his duties during his absence or disability.

The clerk shall keep the corporate seal of the city and all papers and records thereof, except as otherwise provided in this charter, attend all meetings of the council in person or by his deputy, and keep a record of all proceedings thereof. He shall keep accounts showing the financial transactions upon forms prescribed by him and approved by the council. He shall from time to time give the council such information and recommend such measures as he shall deem advantageous to the city. He shall perform the duties imposed by the law upon the city clerk. The city clerk shall have power to administer oath and affirmation and take and certify acknowledgments in the same where and as required or sanctioned by law.

Section 12. TREASURER. The City treasurer shall be appointed by the council only by resolution adopted by a four-fifths vote of all the councilmen for a term of two years. He shall perform the duties imposed upon a city treasurer by law and the provisions of this charter.

Section 13. CLERK-TREASURER. The council by ordinance may combine the offices of clerk and treasurer in the office of clerk-treasurer and thereafter the duties of the treasurer as prescribed by this charter and law shall be performed by the clerk-treasurer. The office of clerk and treasurer may be re-established by ordinance. If the offices of clerk and treasurer are combined, the council shall provide for an annual audit of the city’s financial affairs by the public examiner or a public accountant in accordance with minimum procedures prescribed by the public examiner.

Section 14. CITY ATTORNEY. The mayor shall appoint a city attorney for a term of one year commencing on the first day of January in each year. He shall perform all the duties imposed by law on city attorneys, shall act as prosecuting attorney and perform such other duties consistent with his office as the council may impose by ordinance; provided that the council shall have the right and power to employ special counsel for special matters or actions at law in which the city is interested.

Section 15. CHIEF OF POLICE. The mayor shall with the advise and consent of the council appoint a chief of police as soon as conveniently may be after he takes office. His appointment shall continue at the will of the mayor and council. He shall perform the duties imposed upon the chief of police by law and pursuant to this charter and ordinance of the city.

Section 16. ASSESSOR. The council may appoint an assessor for a term of two years commencing on the first day of January in odd numbered years. The Assessor shall perform such duties imposed upon assessors by law and pursuant to the provisions of this charter.

Section 17. COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS. The council shall fix the compensation of all officers elected or appointed under this charter and the compensation so fixed shall not be changed, increased, or diminished during the term for which such officer is elected or appointed, except that the council may by ordinance, adopted by four-fifths vote of all the councilmen, authorize additional compensation when in their judgment such increase is warranted.

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CHAPTER 3 — Procedure of Council
Section 18. COUNCIL MEETINGS. On the first Monday after the first Tuesday in January of each year, the council shall meet at the usual place and time for the holding of council meetings. At this time the newly elected members, if any, shall assume their duties. Thereafter the council shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution, except that they shall meet not less than once each month. The mayor, or any two members of the council, may call special meetings of the council upon at least twenty-four (24) hours’ notice to each member of the council. Such notice shall be mailed, delivered personally, or by telephone to each member, or shall be left with some responsible person at the member’s usual place of residence. All meetings of the council shall be public, and any citizen shall have access to the minutes and records thereof at all reasonable times.

Section 19. SECRETARY OF COUNCIL. The city clerk, or the deputy clerk in the clerk’s absence, shall serve as secretary to the city council and shall keep such records and perform such duties as may be required by this charter or by vote of the city council.

Section 20. RULES OF PROCEDURE AND QUORUM. The council shall determine its own rules and order of business, and shall keep a journal of its proceedings. A majority of all members elected shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a less number may adjourn from time to time. The Council may provide by ordinance a means by which a minority may compel the attendance of absent members.

Section 21. ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, AND MOTIONS. Except as in this charter otherwise provided, all legislation shall be by ordinance. The aye and no vote on ordinances, resolutions, and motions shall be recorded unless the vote is unanimous. An affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the council shall be required for the passage of all ordinances and resolutions, except as otherwise provided in this charter.

Section 22. PROCEDURES ON ORDINANCES. The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be in the words, “The City of Gaylord does ordain.” Every ordinance shall be presented in writing. No ordinance except an emergency ordinance shall be passed at the meeting at which it is introduced and at least three days shall elapse between its introduction and final passage.

Section 23. EMERGENCY ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS. An emergency ordinance or resolution is an ordinance or resolution for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, in which the emergency is defined or declared in a preamble thereto, separately voted upon, and agreed to by at least four members of the council, as recorded by ayes and noes. An emergency ordinance or resolution must be in writing but may be enacted without previous filing or publication. No grant of any franchise shall be construed to be an emergency ordinance or resolution.

Section 24. SIGNING AND PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS. Every ordinance or resolution passed by the council shall be signed by the mayor or by two councilmen, attested by the city clerk and filed and preserved by him. Every ordinance shall be published at least once in the official newspaper. Resolutions may be published by order of the council. To the extent and in the manner provided by law an ordinance may incorporate by reference a statute of Minnesota, a state administrative rule or a regulation, a code, or ordinance or part thereof without publishing the material referred to in full.

Section 25. WHEN ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS TAKE EFFECT. Emergency ordinances and resolutions shall take effect immediately upon their passage. All other ordinances and resolutions enacted by the council shall take effect upon passage, unless a later date is fixed therein, in which event they shall take effect at such later date. Ordinances and resolutions adopted by the electors of the city shall take effect at the time fixed therein, or, if no such time is designated therein, then immediately upon the adoption thereof.

Section 26. AMENDMENT AND REPEAL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS. No ordinance or resolution or section thereof shall be amended or repealed by reference to its title alone, but such amending or repealing ordinance or resolution shall contain verbatim the ordinance or resolution or section thereof to be amended or repealed, together with the amended form thereof in case of amendment, and the original ordinance, resolution, section or sections thereof so amended shall be repealed.

Section 27. REVISION AND CODIFICATION OF ORDINANCES. The city may revise, rearrange and codify its ordinances with such additions and deletions as may be deemed necessary by the council. Such ordinance code shall be published in book, pamphlet or continuously revised loose-leaf form and copies shall be made available by the council at the office of the city clerk for general distribution to the public free or at a reasonable charge. Publication in such a code shall be a sufficient publication of any ordinance provision not previously published if a notice that copies of the codification are available at the office of the city clerk is published in the official newspaper for at least two successive weeks.

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CHAPTER 4 — Nominations and Resolutions

Section 28. THE REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION. A regular municipal election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November each even year at such place or places as the city council may designate. At least ten days previous notice shall be given by the city clerk of the time and place of holding such election and of the officers to be elected, by posting a notice thereof in one of the most public places in the city, or by publishing a notice thereof at least once in the official newspaper or both, as the council may designate, but failure to give such notice shall not invalidate such election. To the extent necessary to provide for an orderly transition to the biennial election plan provided for in this section, the council may adopt ordinances regulating initial elections, officers to be chosen at such elections, and the terms of incumbents and those elected.

Section 29. SPECIAL ELECTIONS. The council may by resolution order a special election, fix the time of holding the same, and provide all means for holding such special election. The procedure at such election shall conform as nearly as possible to that herein provided for other municipal elections.

Section 30. JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ELECTION. The council shall at least 25 days before each municipal election appoint three qualified voters of each election district to be judges of election therein. The judges of each election district shall appoint two qualified electors of the same district, or as many more as may be authorized by the council, to serve as clerks of election.

Section 31. NOMINATIONS BY PETITION. The mode of nomination of all elective officers provided for by this charter shall be by petition signed by nominee in advance of circulation of petition. The name of any elector of the city shall be printed upon the ballot whenever a petition as hereinafter prescribed shall have been filed in his behalf with the city clerk. Such petition shall be signed by a number of electors equivalent to at least five per cent of the total number of votes cast at the last regular municipal election. No elector shall sign petitions for more candidates than the number of places to be filled at the election, and should he do so his signature shall be void as to the petition or petitions last filed. All nomination petitions shall be in the hands of the city clerk at least 15 days before the election. The clerk shall prepare the ballots in a manner to be provided by ordinance.

Section 32. NOMINATIONS PETITIONS. The signatures to the nomination petition need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate paper there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof stating the number of signers of such paper and that each signature appended thereto was made in his presence and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. With each signature there shall be stated the place of residence of the signer, giving the street and number or other description sufficient to identify the same. The form of the nomination petition shall be substantially as follows:

I am aware of and hereby authorize the circulation of this petition.

Signed ________________________________________

We, the undersigned electors of the City of Gaylord, hereby nominate John Doe, whose residence is _______________ , for the office of ________________, to be voted for at the election to be held on the _____day of _______ , (year)_______and we individually certify that we are qualified electors and that we have not signed more nomination petitions of candidates for this office than there are persons to be elected thereto.

NAME______________________ STREET AND NUMBER________________________________________ being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is the circulator of the foregoing petition paper containing _________signatures, and that the signatures appended thereto were made in his presence and are the signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this_____day of__________, 2___, This petition, if found insufficient by the city clerk, shall be returned to at________________________________________________________________

Section 33. CANVASS OF ELECTIONS. The council shall meet and canvass the election returns within 2 days after any regular or special election, and shall make full declaration of the results within 10 days, and file a statement thereof with the city clerk. This statement shall include: (a) the total number of good ballots cast; (b) the total number of spoiled or defective ballots; (c) the vote for each candidate with an indication of those who were elected; (d) a true copy of the ballots used; (e) the names of the judges and clerks of election; and (f) such other information as may seem pertinent. The city clerk shall forthwith notify all persons elected of the fact of their election, and also certify the results to the county auditor.

Section 34. PROCEDURE AT ELECTIONS. Subject to the provisions of this charter and applicable state laws, the council may by ordinance further regulate the conduct of municipal elections. Except as otherwise provided in this charter or in ordinance adopted pursuant thereto, the general laws of the state of Minnesota pertaining to elections shall apply to municipal elections.

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