PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE, city of Fergus Falls

Published 3:19pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

(First Publication September 28, 2012)

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE

A public hearing on the following proposed amendments to the Fergus Falls, MN City Charter will be held on October 15, 2012, 5:30 pm,
City Council Chambers.

ORDINANCE NO. 142, SIXTH SERIES

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE FERGUS FALLS CITY CHARTER BY REWRITING THE CHARTER TO MAKE IT MORE READABLE,UNDERSTANDABLE AND GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT.

THE CITY OF FERGUS FALLS DOES ORDAIN:

Section 1.  That the following Sections to the City Charter of the City of Fergus are hereby amended to read as follows:
CHAPTER 2
THE CITY COUNCIL

SEC. 2.01.  COMPOSITION AND ELECTION.  The City Council (throughout this Charter “the Council”) shall be composed of a Mayor and eight Council Members.  The Mayor shall be a resident of the City and elected by and from the electors of the City at-large, and two Council Members shall be residents of the intended Ward and elected by and from the electors of each Ward, all of whom must be eligible to hold office under the Constitution of this State. Each member of the Council shall serve for a term of two (2four (4) years and until his successor is elected and qualifies. The Mayor shall serve for a term of four (4) years and until a successor is elected and qualifies. One Council Member shall be elected from each Ward at each regular City election. The Mayor shall be elected at regular City elections. The Council shall be judges of the election returns.
SEC. 2.03.  INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES.  No member of the Council may hold any paid City office or employment other than that to which elected, and may not be employed by the City until two years after the expiration of the term to which elected as Mayor or Council member.Member.
SEC. 2.04.  VACANCIES. A vacancy in the Council, whether it be in the office of Mayor or Council Member, shall be deemed to exist if the incumbent Council Member or incumbent Mayor is no longer a resident of the City, dies, resigns, is removed from office, is convicted of any infamous crime felony or any offense involving violation of the official oath, fails to take and file the oath of office at or before the date of the second regular meeting of the Council held after January 1 next following the election at which elected or the second regular Council meeting held after the appointment is communicated to an appointee, or continuous absence from the City in excess 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. No change in Ward boundaries shall in any way affect the then current term of any Council Member.

CHAPTER 3
THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR

SEC. 3.02.  SPECIFIC POWERS AND DUTIES.  Unless specifically modified, revoked, amended or altered by Ordinance, the City Administrator shall have the following specific powers and duties:  (1) supervision with managerial authority over all departments and employees;  (2) the responsibility to hire, promote, discipline and discharge all City employees, except department heads, to the extent that such performance is not inconsistent with either a the collective bargaining agreement or Civil Service Regulation in effect;  (3) recommend to the Council the employment, discipline and discharge of department heads;  (4) attend and participate in Council meetings; (5) prepare, with such participation of other staff members, the Tax Levy Committee, and the Council or its committee as may be practicable and recommend the annual budget;  (6) keep minutes of all Council meetings or designate another person to perform this function;  (7) act in the capacity of City Clerk and City Treasurer as to all matters relating to statutes and other laws;  (8) subject to applicable law, negotiate and make purchases, and obtain competitive quotations and bids for other purchases;  (9) keep the Council advised of the financial condition of the City and recommend from time to time the adoption of such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient for the health, safety and welfare of the community;  (10) recommend salaries to be paid City officers and employees; and, (11) perform other duties specified by this Charter, ordinance of the City, or necessary to carry out the duties of Chief Administrative Officer.

CHAPTER 4
COUNCIL PROCEDURE

SEC. 4.04.  ORDINANCE ADOPTION, AMENDMENT AND REPEAL PROCEDURE.

Subd. 1.   Form and Adoption.  The ordaining clause of all ordinances shall be in the words, “The City of Fergus Falls ordains”.  Every ordinance, except an emergency ordinance, shall be introduced in writing and may be adopted at any meeting occurring at least ten (10) days after the meeting at which it was introduced. No ordinance shall contain more than one subject which shall be clearly expressed in its title.
Subd. 2.  Signing and Publication.  Every ordinance adopted by the Council shall be signed by the Mayor or by two Council Members and attested to, filed and preserved by the City Administrator.  Every ordinance shall be published once in the official newspaper  means of publication. However, as to lengthy ordinances, or ordinances which include charts or maps, the Council may, by a four-fifths vote, determine that publication of the title and a summary of an ordinance would clearly inform the public of the intent and effect of such ordinance, and direct that only the title and summary be published with a notice that a printed copy of the ordinance is available for inspection during regular office hours at the office of the City Administrator and at the Public Library. The text of the summary shall be approved by the Council prior to publication. Such publication shall be deemed to fulfill all legal requirements for publication as completely as if the entire ordinance had been published. The text of the summary shall be published in a body type no smaller than brevier or eight-point type as defined in Minnesota Statutes. Proof of publication shall be attached to and filed with the ordinance. 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.
Subd. 3.  Emergency.  An emergency ordinance is an ordinance necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, morals, safety or welfare in which the emergency is defined and declared in a preamble thereto. No prosecution shall be based upon the provisions of any emergency ordinance until twenty-four hours after the ordinance has been filed with the City Administrator and posted in three conspicuous places or until the ordinance has been once published in the official newspaper  means of publication, unless the person charged with violation had actual notice of the adoption of the ordinance prior to the act or omission of which complaint is made.
Subd. 4.  When Effective.  An emergency ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its adoption or at such later date as is fixed therein. Every other ordinance shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication of the ordinance or publication of the summary, as the case may be, or at such later date as is fixed therein. Every ordinance adopted by the voters of the City shall take effect immediately upon its adoption, or at such later time as is fixed therein.
Subd. 5.  Amendment or Repeal.  Every ordinance repealing a previous ordinance or section or subdivision of a codification shall give the number, if any, and the title of the ordinance or section or subdivision to be repealed in whole or in part. No ordinance or section or subdivision shall be amended by reference to the title alone, but such an amending ordinance shall set forth in full each section, subdivision or subparagraph so amended.

CHAPTER 5
ELECTIONS

SEC. 5.01.  REGULAR CITY ELECTION.  A regular City election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each year even-numbered years at such place or places as designated by the City Council may designate. There shall be no City primary election, but the candidate for mayor (in elections every fourth year),.  The City Administrator must give notice of the election in the manner provided by law; however, failure to give notice does not invalidate the election.  There shall be no City primary election. The candidate for mayor and the four candidates for Council Member, receiving a plurality of the votes over the other candidates shall be elected.
SEC. 5.02. CANDIDATE FILING.  An eligible person may file as a candidate for election by filing their affidavits of candidacy with the City Administrator consistent with M.S. §205.13, or any amendments thereto.  Each position on the council is a separate office.  Each person wishing to be a candidate for a council office must designate which office is sought.  A person may not be a candidate for more than one council office at an election.
SEC. 5.03 SPECIAL ELECTIONS.  The Council may by resolution order a special election and provide all means for holding it by resolution. The procedure at such the election shall must conform as nearly closely as possible to that prescribed for other City elections, including M.S. §205.07, §205.10, and §205.16 or any amendments thereto.
SEC. 5.0304. ELECTION NOTICE. The City Administrator shall give at least two weeks prior notice of the time and place of holding all elections and of the officers to be elected and proposals to be submitted, if any, by posting at least once in a public place and by publication at least once in the official newspapermeans of publication. Failure to give such notice shall not invalidate such election.
SEC. 5.04. NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICE. At any time not more than seventy days preceding any City election, but at least fifty-six days prior to such election, any eligible person may become a candidate for any office elective under the provisions of this Charter either by filing an affidavit with the City Administrator, or by having an application in his or her behalf signed by at least five qualified voters and containing his or her endorsed acceptance thereon. Such affidavit or application shall be on a form furnished by the City and stating full name and address of the candidate and office for which he or she is a candidate, together with the Ward which he or she seeks to represent unless the office is one for which election is at large. There shall be no fee for such filing or nomination.05. ELECTION PROCEDURE. State law will govern all city elections except as otherwise provided in this Charter or City Ordinance. 05. ELECTION PROCEDURE. State law will govern all city elections except as otherwise provided in this Charter or City Ordinance.
SEC. 5.0506. WITHDRAWAL. Any candidate for a municipal elective office may withdraw not later than twelve o’clock noon of the day following the last day for filing, from the election by filing a written noticean affidavit of withdrawal, signed and sworn to by the candidate, with the City Administrator- consistent with M.S. §205.13, Subd. 6, or any amendments thereto.
SEC. 5.06. CANVASS OF07. NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS. The Council shall meet and canvass the election returns within five days after any election, and shall make full declaration of the results as soon as possible, and file a statement thereof with the City Administrator. This statement shall include: (a) the total number of ballots cast; (b) the total number of overvotes and undervotes; (c) the vote for each candidate, with an indication of those who were elected, or the result of any issue decided; (d) a true copy of the ballots used; (e) such other information as may seem pertinent. The City Administrator shall forthwith notify all persons elected of their election.Elections for council positions shall be held on a non-partisan basis, with no party designation on the ballots.
SEC. 5.07. 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.
CHAPTER 6
INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL

SEC. 6.05. FORM OF PETITION AND OF SIGNATURE PAPERS. The petition for the adoption of any ordinances shall consist of the ordinance, together with all signature papers and affidavits thereto attached. Such petition shall not be complete unless signed by a number of registered voters of the City equal to at least ten percent (10%) of the total number of voters registered on the date of 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 whose name it purports to be. Each signature paper shall be in substantially the following form:

Initiative Petition

proposingProposing an ordinance to ______ (stating the purpose of the ordinance), a copy of which ordinance is hereto attached. This ordinance is sponsored by the following committee of registered voters:

Name (printed)     Signature                        Address
1._________________   _________________      _________________
2._________________   _________________      _________________
3._________________  _________________       _________________

The undersigned registered voters understanding the terms and the nature of the ordinance hereto attached, petition the Council for its adoption, or, in lieu thereof, for its submission to the registered voters for their approval.

Name (printed)     Signature                        Address
1._________________   _________________      _________________
2._________________   _________________      _________________
3._________________  _________________       _________________

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

SEC. 6.06.  FILING OF PETITIONS AND ACTION THEREON.  All the signature papers shall be filed in the office of the City Administrator as one instrument. Within ten (10) days after the filing of the petition, the City Administrator shall ascertain by examination the number of registered voters whose signatures are appended thereto and whether this number is sufficient. If he finds the petition insufficient or irregular, he shall at once notify one or more of the committee of sponsors of that fact, certifying the reasons for his finding. The committee shall then be given thirty (30) days 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 City Administrator shall file it 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 ordinance to the registered voters at the next regular or any special election at its option.
SEC. 6.07.  ACTION OF COUNCIL ON PETITION.  When the petition is found to be
sufficient, the City Administrator shall so certify to the Council at its next meeting, stating the number of petitioners and the percentage of the total number of voters at which they constitute, and time the Council shall at once cause a first reading of the ordinance and refer it to an appropriate committee, which may be a committee of the whole. The Council shall thereupon provide for a public hearing upon the ordinance, after the holding of which the ordinance shall be finally acted upon by the Council not later than sixty (60) days after the date upon which it was submitted to the Council by the City Administrator. If the Council passes the proposed ordinance, without amendments, the ordinance need not be submitted to the voters. If the Council passes the proposed ordinance with amendments, and at least four-fifths of the sponsoring committee do not disapprove the amended form byfile a statement filed with the City Administrator approving the amended form within ten (10) days of its passage by the Council, the ordinance need not be submitted to the voters. If the Council fails to enact the ordinance in an acceptable form within seventy (70) days after the final determination of the sufficiency of the petition, the ordinance shall be placed on the ballot at the next election occurring in the City.The ordinance shall be placed on the ballot as stated on the original petition filed with the City Administrator, unless, not later than seventy (70) days after the date upon which it was submitted to the Council by the City Administrator, the Council votes to submit the proposed ordinance to the voters with amendments, and at least four-fifths of the sponsoring committee file a statement with the City Administrator approving the amendments within ten (10) days of the City Council vote, in which event the ordinance, as amended, shall be placed on the ballot at the next election occurring in the City.  If no election is to occur within one hundred and eighty (180) days after the filing of the petition, the Council shall call a special election on the ordinance to be held within one hundred and twenty (120) days after the filing of the petition. If the majority of those voting on the ordinance, vote in its favor, it shall become effective thirty (30) days after its adoption unless the ordinance specifies a later effective date.
SEC. 6.08.  INITIATIVE BALLOTS.  The ballots used when voting upon any such proposed ordinance shall state the substance of the ordinance and shall give the voters the opportunity to vote either “yes” or “no” on the question of adoption. The complete text of the ordinance shall be posted and available for public viewing at all polling places.  If a majority of the registered voters voting on any such ordinance vote in favor of it, it shall thereupon become an ordinance of the City. Any number of proposed ordinances may be voted upon at the same election but 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 registered voters voting on the question shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.
SEC. 6.10.  THE REFERENDUM.  Any ordinancematter subject to the initiative may be subjected to referendum by a.  The petition which shall state, at the head of each page, or on an attached paper, a description of the ordinance and is signed by a number of registered voters of the City equal to at least ten percent (10%) of the total number of voters registered on the date of the last preceding regular municipal election, and is filed with the City Administrator requesting that any such ordinance be repealed or be submitted to a vote of the registered voters. Any ordinance, which has been adopted by the Council, but which is not yet effective, and upon which a petition has been filed, shall be suspended in its operation as soon as a petition is found sufficient; all other ordinances, including an emergency ordinance, shall remain in effect, but shall be repealed if the majority of the voters voting on the ordinance vote against it. The Council shall thereupon reconsider the ordinance at its next regular meeting, and either repeal it or by aye and no vote re-affirm its adherence to the ordinance as passed. In the latter case, it shall be placed on the ballot at the next election or at a special election called for that purpose, as the Council determines. If a majority of the voters voting thereon favor the ordinance, it shall go into effect immediately or on the dates specified in the ordinance; if a majority of electors voting thereon vote against the ordinance, it shall be considered repealed upon certification of the election results.
SEC. 6.11. REFERENDUM PETITIONS. The requirements laid down in Sections 6.04 and 6.05 above as to the formation of committees for the initiation of ordinances 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:

Referendum Petition

proposingProposing the repeal of an ordinance to _____________ (stating the purpose of the ordinance), a copy of which ordinance is hereto attached. The proposed repeal is sponsored by the following committee of registered voters:

Name (printed)     Signature                        Address
1._________________   _________________      _________________
2._________________   _________________      _________________
3._________________  _________________       _________________
4._________________   _________________      _________________
5._________________   _________________      _________________
6._________________  _________________       _________________

The undersigned petitioners understanding the nature of the ordinance 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 registered voters for their approval or disapproval.

Name (printed)     Signature                        Address
1._________________   _________________      _________________
2._________________   _________________      _________________
3._________________  _________________       _________________

SEC. 6.13. THE RECALL. Of ELECTED OFFICALS. Any five registered voters may form a recall committee for the purpose of bringing about the recall of any elected officer official of the City., for which each member of the recall committee is eligible to vote. The recall committee shall certify to file a certificate of recall with the City Administrator stating the name of the officer whose official who is subject to removal is sought, a statement of the grounds for removal in not more than two hundred and fifty (250) words, and their intention to bring about his or her recall., and the name and address of each recall committee member. A copy of thisthe certificate of recall shall be attached to each signature paper and no signature paper shall be put into circulation previous to such certification.
SEC. 6.14. FILING OF RECALL PETITIONS.. Within thirty (30) days after the filing of the certificate of recall under Section 6.13, the committee shall file the completed petition in the office of the City Administrator. Failure to timely file the petition invalidates the petition. The petition for the recall of any official shall consist of a certificate identical with that filed with the City Administratorcopy of the certificate of recall together with all the signature papers and affidavits thereto attached. When the official subject to be recalled is a mayor, such petition shall not be completed unless signed by registered voters of the City equal to at least twenty percent (20%) of the total number of voters registered on the date of the preceding regular municipal election.  When the official subject to be recalled is a ward council member, only registered voter who are residents of his ward shall be eligible to sign the recall petition and vote at the recall election and the required number be at least twenty percent (20%) of the total number of registered voters in the ward on the date of preceding regular municipal election.  All the signatures need not be on one signature paper, but the circulator of every 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:

Recall Petition

proposingProposing the recall of _____ from his office as _____ which is sought for subject to the reasons set forth in the attached certificate. This movement is sponsored by the following committee of registered voters:

Name (printed)     Signature                        Address
1._________________   _________________      _________________
2._________________   _________________      _________________
3._________________  _________________       _________________
4._________________   _________________      _________________
5._________________  _________________       _________________

The undersigned registered voters understanding the nature of the chargesgrounds against the officerofficial herein subject to be recalled, desire the holding of a recall election for that purpose.

Name (printed)     Signature                        Address
1._________________   _________________      _________________
2._________________   _________________      _________________
3._________________  _________________       _________________
At the end of the list of signatures shall be appended the affidavit of the circulator.
SEC. 6.15. FILINGREVIEW OF RECALL PETITION. Within thirty (30) days after the filing of the original certificate, the committee shall file the completed petition in the office of the City Administrator. When the officer sought to be recalled is a Mayor, such petition shall not be complete unless signed by registered voters of the City equal to at least twenty percent (20%) of the total number of voters registered on the date of the preceding regular municipal election. When the officer sought to be recalled is a Ward Council Member, only registered voters who are residents of his or her Ward shall be eligible to sign the recall petition and vote at the recall election and the required number be at least twenty percent (20%) of the total number of voters registered in the Ward on the date of the preceding regular municipal election. The City Administrator shall examine the petition within the next ten (10) days, and if he finds it irregular in any way, he shall so notify one or more members of the committee. The committee shall then be given ten (10) 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 Administrator finds the petition still insufficient or irregular, he shall notify all the members of the committee to that effect and shall file the petition in his office.  The City Administrator shall examine the sufficiency of the petition for recall within next ten (10) days of filing, and if he finds it insufficient in any way, he shall notify one or more members of the committee of all insufficiencies in writing. The committee shall then be given ten (10) days in which to file additional signature papers and make necessary corrections to the petition with the City Administrator, but they may not change the statement of the grounds of the recall. The City Administrator shall have five (5) days to examine the additional signature papers and/or corrections to the petition.   If at the end of that time the City Administrator finds the petition still insufficient or irregular, he shall notify all the members of the committee of the insufficiencies in writing and shall file the petition in his office. The final finding that the petition is insufficient or irregular shall not prejudice filing of a new petition for the same purpose.
SEC. 6.16. RECALL ELECTION. If a petition or amended petition is found sufficient, the City Administrator shall transmit it to the Council without delay, and shall also officially notify the person soughtsubject to be recalled of the sufficiency of the petition and of the pending action. The Council shall at its next meeting, by resolution, provide for the holding of a special election not less than forty-five (45) sixty (60) nor more than sixty (60) seventy five (75) days after such meeting, but if any other election is to occur within one hundred twenty (120) days after such meeting, the Council may in its discretion provide for the holding of the recall election at that time.
SEC. 6.17. PROCEDURE AT RECALL ELECTION. The City Administrator shall include with the published orand posted notice of the election the statement of the grounds for the recall and also, in not more than five hundred (500) words, the answer of the officerofficial concerned in justification of his course in office.
SEC. 6.18. FORM OF RECALL BALLOT. Unless the officerofficial whose removal is soughtsubject resigns within ten (10) 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 _____ be recalled?” the name of the officer whose recall is sought official subject to the recall being inserted in the blank, and the registered voters shall be permitted to vote separately “yes” or “no” upon this question. If a majority of those voting on the question of recall vote in favor of recall, the official shall be thereby removed from office, and a vacancy shall be deemed to exist in said office. If the officer soughtofficial subject to be recalled resigns within ten (10) days after the receipt by the Council of the completed recall petition, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist in said office. The Council shall then provide to fill said vacancy pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.04.

CHAPTER 7
TAXATION AND FINANCES

SEC. 7.05.  SUBMISSION OF BUDGET.  The Tax Levy Committee composed of the Mayor, City Administrator, and a member of the Council appointed by the Council shall prepare the estimates for the annual budget.

The budget shall provide a complete financial plan for all the City funds and activities, as proposed by the tax levy committee, for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by law or Charter, shall be in such form as the Council deems desirable and may require. It shall include a summary and show in detail all the estimated income and allthe proposed expenditures, including for the budgeted funds. The budget document shall include debt service and comparative figures for the current fiscal year, actual and estimated budget, and the preceding fiscal year. actual income and expenditures. In addition to showing proposed expenditures for current operations, it shall show proposed capital expenditures to be made during the year and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure.

The budget shall also contain a recommended five (5) year capital improvement program. The capital improvement program shall include a list of all capital improvements proposed to be undertaken during the next five (5) fiscal years, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for such improvements; costs cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement; and the estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired. This information shall be revised and extended each year for capital improvements still pending or in progress.
SEC. 7.06.  COUNCIL ACTION ON BUDGET.  Subject to applicable State law, the budget shall be considered no later thenthan at the first regular monthly meeting of the Council in September and at subsequent meetings until a budget is adopted for the ensuing year. The meetings shall be so conducted as to give interested citizens a reasonable opportunity to be heard. The Council may revise the proposed budget but no amendment to the budget shall increase the authorized expenditures to an amount greater than the estimated fund balances. The Council shall adopt the budget by a resolution which shall set forth a total for each budgeted fund and each department.  The Council shall also adopt a resolution levying the amount of taxes provided in the budget and the City Administrator shall certify the tax resolution to the County Auditor in accordance with the law. At the beginning of the fiscal year the sums fixed in the budget resolution shall be appropriated for the purposes named and no other.
SEC. 7.07.  ENFORCEMENT OF THE BUDGET.  The City Administrator shall enforce strictly the provisions of the budget. He shall not authorize any payment or the incurring of any obligation by the City unless an appropriation has been made for the same and there is a sufficient unexpended balance left after deducting the total past expenditures and encumbrances against the appropriation. No officer or employee of the City shall place any order or make any purchase for a purpose not authorized in the budget resolution. Any obligation incurred by any person in the employ of the City for any purpose not authorized in the budget resolution or for any amount exceeding a department appropriation shall be a personal obligation upon the person incurring the obligation unless ratified by the City Council.
SEC. 7.08.  ALTERATIONS IN THE BUDGET.  After the budget resolution has been adopted, the Council shall not increase the appropriations beyond the estimated revenue sources except to the extent that such sources exceed the estimate. or available fund balance. At any time the Council may, by resolution approved by a majority of its members, reduce the sums appropriated for any purpose by the budget resolution, or authorize the transfer of sums from unencumbered balances of appropriations in the budget resolution to other purposes.
SEC. 7.12.  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 necessitates the making of extraordinary expenditures, the Council may, by ordinance, issue on such terms and in such manner as the Council determines emergency debt certificates to run not to exceed three (3) 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 a unanimous vote of the Council. It may be passed as an emergency ordinance.
SEC. 7.13.  BANK LOANS.  Whenever the Council, by resolution, deems it necessary and advantageous, it may borrow money from any bank for the purpose of financing any authorized capital improvement or other purpose as allowed by this Charter or by law. Such loans shall be payable within a maximum period of seven (7) years and shall be issued on such terms and in such manner as the Council may determine. If the amount of the obligations to be issued to finance any such purchase exceeds one percent (1%) of the assessed valuation of the City, excluding money and credits, they shall not be issued for at least thirty (30) days after publication inusing the official newspapermeans of publication of the Council’s resolution determining the issue; and if, before the end of that time, a petition asking for an election on the proposition, signed by a number of registered voters of the City equal to at least ten percent (10%) of the total number of voters registered on the date of the last preceding regular municipal election, is filed with the City Administrator, such obligations shall not be issued until the proposition for their issuance has been approved by a majority of the votes cast on the question at a regular or special election. A tax levy shall be made for the payment of the principal and interest on such obligations as in the case of bonds as prescribed by law. In lieu of borrowing money by bank loans as authorized by this Section, the Council may issue any other form of legal City obligation as allowed by law or by this Charter.

CHAPTER 8
PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS AND SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS

SEC. 8.02.  ASSESSMENTS FOR SERVICES.  The Council may provide by ordinance that the cost of sprinklingdust control, sweeping, snow or rubbish removal, or of any other service to streets, sidewalks, or other public property, or the costs of any services to other property undertaken by the City may be assessed against the property benefited and collected in like manner as are special assessments.
SEC. 8.03.  LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS REGULATIONS.  The Council may prepare and adopt a comprehensive local improvement ordinance prescribing the procedure which shall be followed in making all local improvements and levying assessments therefor.e. The Council may elect to use State law or the local improvement ordinance for the purpose of providing local improvements and assessments thereof.

CHAPTER 10
FRANCHISES

SEC. 10.01.  FRANCHISES REQUIRED.  Except as otherwise provided by law, no person, firm, or corporation shall place or maintain any permanent or semi-permanent fixtures in, over, upon, or under any street or public place for the purpose of operating a public utility or for any other purpose, without a franchise therefor from the City. A franchise shall be granted only by ordinance, which shall not be an emergency ordinance. Every ordinance granting a franchise shall contain all the terms and conditions of the franchise. The grantee shall bear the costs of publication of the franchise ordinance and shall make a sufficient deposit with the City Administrator to guarantee publication before the ordinance is passed.

SEC. 10.02.  TERM.  No exclusive or perpetual franchise shall ever be granted. No franchise for a term exceeding twenty (20) years shall be effective until approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon.
SEC. 10.03. PUBLIC HEARING. Before any franchise ordinance is adopted or any rates, fares, or prices to be charged by a public utility are fixed by the Council, the Council shall hold a public hearing on the matter. Notice of such hearing shall be published at least once in the official newspapermeans of publication not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing.
SEC. 10.04. POWER OF REGULATION RESERVED. Subject to any applicable law, the The Council may by ordinance reasonably regulate and control the exercise of any franchise, including the maximum rates, fares, or prices to be chargedto the extent permitted by the grantee. No franchise law. The value shallof the franchise may not be included in the evaluation of the
grantee’s property in regulating utility rates, fares, or prices under any applicable law, ordinance or regulation or in proceedings for any purpose, including municipal acquisition of the grantee’s property by purchase or eminent domain.
SEC. 10.05.  CONDITIONS IN EVERY FRANCHISE.  All conditions specified in this Section shall be a part of every franchise even though they may not be expressly contained in the franchise: (1) That the Council shall have the right to require reasonable extensions of any public service system from time to time, and to make such rules and regulations as may be required to secure adequate and proper service and to provide sufficient accommodations for the public; (2) That no sale, lease or transfer of said franchise shall be effective without the approval of the Council, and until the assignee or lessee shall have filed in the office of the City Administrator an instrument, duly executed, reciting the facts of such sale or lease, accepting the terms of the franchise and agreeing to perform all the conditions required of the grantee thereunder. The assignee or lessee shall also file a bond in such amount and with such conditions as the Council may require, which bond shall run to the City as obligee, with sureties satisfactory to the Council, and shall obligate the assignee or lessee to discharge all obligations and liabilities imposed by said franchise; (3) That every grant in said franchise which allows for the erection of poles, masts or other fixtures in the streets and for the attachment of wires thereto, or for the laying of tracks in, pipes, or conduits under the streets or public places, or for the placing in the streets or other public places, of any permanent or semi-permanent fixtures whatsoever, shall be subject to the conditions that the Council shall have the power to require the alterations therein, or relocation or rerouting thereof, as the Council may at any time deem necessary for the safety, health, or convenience of the public; (4) That every franchise and every extension or renewal of such franchise, shall contain a provision for its acceptance in writing by the grantee within thirty (30) days after its passage by the Council and before its submission to a vote of the people in case of a referendum. No such franchise shall be binding upon the City until its acceptance by the grantee. Such acceptance shall be construed to be an acceptance of, and consent to, all the terms, conditions and limitations contained in the ordinance granting the franchise as well as the provisions of this Charter; (5) That every franchise shall contain a provision granting the City the right to acquire same in accordance with applicable law.
SEC. 10.06.  RENEWALS.  An extension, renewal, or modification of a franchise is subject to the same limitations and procedures of a new franchise.
CHAPTER 11
PUBLIC OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF UTILITIES

SEC. 11.03.  PURCHASE IN BULK.  The Council may, in lieu of providing for the local production of gas, electricity, water, and other utilities, purchase the same in bulk and resell them to consumers at such rates as it may fix.
SEC. 11.04.  LEASE OF PLANT.  The Council may by ordinance contract with any person, firm, or corporation for the operation of any municipal utility for a term not to exceed ten (10) years. Such ordinance shall not be an emergency ordinance.

CHAPTER 12
MISCELLANEOUS AND TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

SEC. 12.01.  OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS. Council shall annually designate a legal newspaper of general circulation in the City as its official newspaper in which shall be publishedThe Council must annually designate an official means of publication in accordance with state law. The official means of publication will be used to publish ordinances and other matters required by law to be so published as well as such other matters as the Council may deem it in the public interest to have published in this manner.
SEC. 12.02.  OATH OF OFFICE.  Every officer of the City shall, before entering upon the duties of his office,City officers must take and subscribe an oath of office in substantially the following form: “ before taking office. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) to support the Constitutionconstititutions of the United States and of this , the State of Minnesota, and the Charter of the City of Fergus Falls and to discharge faithfully the duties devolving upon me as …………of (title of officeposition) of the City of Fergus Falls to the best of my judgment and ability.”
SEC. 12.03. OFFICIAL INTEREST IN CONTRACTS. Except as otherwise permitted by law, no officer of the City An elected or appointed city officer or employee who is authorized to take part in any manner in anya city contract with the City shall voluntarily or other noncontractual action before the Council may not have a personal financial interest in or personally benefit financially from such the contract.
SEC. 12.04. OFFICIAL BONDS. The City Administrator, and such or other officers or employees of the City as may be provided for by ordinance, shall each before entering upon the duties of his respective office or employment, give a corporate surety bond to the City in such form and in such amount as may be fixed by the Council as security for the faithful performance of his official duties and the safekeeping of the public funds. Such bonds noncontractual action matter, or personally benefit financially from it, except as permitted by law. The Council must adopt a code of ethics ordinance governing the official conduct of all elected and appointed officials. The Council may take whatever action it deems appropriate after finding that this ethical code has been violated, including disqualifying an official from voting on a particular matter.
SEC. 12.04. OFFICIAL BONDS. Before assuming their official duties, the City Administrator, the Finance Director, and other officers and employees required by ordinance must each provide the city a corporate surety bond securing the proper performance of official duties and the safekeeping of public funds. The city will pay the premiums on the bond. The bond (a) must
be in the amount approved by the council, (b) may be either an individual or blanket bonds in the discretion of the Council. They shall be approved by the Council, and surety bond, (c) must be approved as to form by the City Attorney, and City Attorney, and (d) must be filed with the City Administrator. The provisions of the State laws of the State relating togoverning official bonds not inconsistent with this Charter shallmust also be complied with. The premiums on such bonds shall be paid by the city.satisfied.
SEC. 12.05.  SALE OF REAL PROPERTY.  No real property of the City shall be disposed of except by resolution. A resolution authorizing the sale of real property of the City shall not be adopted at the meeting at which it is introduced. At least ten (10) days shall elapse between the introduction and final adoption of such a resolution. The proceeds of any sale of such property shall be used as far as possible to retire any outstanding indebtedness incurred by the City in the purchase, construction, or improvement of this or other property used for the same public purpose. If there is no such outstanding indebtedness, the Council may by ordinance or resolution designate some other public use for the proceeds.
SEC. 12.06.  VACATION OF STREETS.  No street, alley, or other public place within the City shall be vacated except by ordinance adopted by the Council approved by six members thereof, after a public hearing before the Council upon ten (10) days published notice of the time and place of such hearing. A notice of completion of such proceedings shall be filed with the proper County officers in accordance with law.
SEC. 12.08.  EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS CHARTER AND TERMS OF PRESENT OFFICERS.  This Charter shall take effect on the date or at the time stated in the amending ordinance or, if an election is held thereon, then it shall take effect at the end of thirty (30) days from the date of such approving election. The terms of all present elected officers shall continue unchanged to. the expiration of such terms.
SEC. 12.09.  STATUTES NOT AFFECTED BY CHARTER.  All general laws and statutes of the State applicable to all cities operating under home rule charters, or applicable to cities of the same class as the City of Fergus Falls operating under home rule charters, and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter, shall apply to the City of Fergus Falls, and shall be construed as supplementary to, the provisions of this Charter.
SEC. 12.12.  PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS. All written contracts entered into on behalf of the City shall be approved by the Council and executed by the Mayor and the City Administrator in the name of the City.The City Council, in consort with the City Administrator, shall develop a policy authorizing the execution of contracts on behalf of the City. All purchases and contracts shall be made or let in accordance with applicable State law and requirements thereof for bidding, quotations, or directly negotiated purchases.
SEC. 12.15.  CITY PROPERTY NOT LOST BY ADVERSE POSSESSION.  No right, title, estate, or easement of the City in any property shall be lost by adverse possession or occupancy, and no statute of limitations shall operate against the City in favor of any person occupying any public property or highway, whether such property shall have been improved or not.

Published in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal on September 28, 2012.

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