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Section 25. Election; term; vacancies.
   a.   The council members shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred seventy-seven and every fourth year thereafter and the term of office of each council member shall commence on the first day of January after the elections and shall continue for four years thereafter; provided, however, that the council member elected at the general election in the year two thousand and one and at the general election in every twentieth year thereafter shall serve for a term of two years commencing on the first day of January after such election; and provided further that an additional election of Council Members shall be held at the general election in the year two thousand three and at the general election every twentieth year thereafter and that the members elected at each such additional election shall serve for a term of two years beginning on the first day of January after such election.
   Notwithstanding any other provision of this charter or other law, a full term of two years, as established by this subsection, shall not constitute a full term under section 1138 of this charter, except that two consecutive full terms of two years shall constitute one full term under section 1138. A member of the council who resigns or is removed from office prior to the completion of a full term shall be deemed to have held that office for a full term for purposes of section 1138 of the charter.
   b.   Any vacancy which may occur among the council members shall be filled by popular election in the following manner.
      1.   Within three days of the occurrence of a vacancy in the council, the mayor shall proclaim the date for the election or elections required by this subdivision, provide notice of such proclamation to the city clerk and the board of elections and publish notice thereof in the City Record. After the proclamation of the date for an election to be held pursuant to paragraphs four or five of this subdivision, the city clerk shall publish notice thereof not less than twice in each week preceding the date of such election in newspapers distributed within the city, and the board of elections shall mail notice of such election to all registered voters within the district in which the election is to be held.
      2.   If a vacancy occurs during the first three years of a four-year term or the first year of a two-year term, a general election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be held in the year in which the vacancy occurs, unless the vacancy occurs after the last day on which an occurring vacancy may be filled at the general election in that same year with party nominations of candidates for such election being made at a primary election, as provided in section 6-116 of the election law. If such a vacancy occurs in any year after such last day, it shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at the general election in the following year provided, however, that no general election to fill a vacancy shall be held in the last year of the term, except as provided in paragraph nine of this subdivision. Party nominations of candidates for a general election to fill a vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be made at a primary election, except as provided in paragraph five of this subdivision.
      3.   If a special or general election to fill the vacancy on an interim basis has not been previously held pursuant to paragraphs four, six, seven and eight of this subdivision, the person elected to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term at a general election shall take office immediately upon qualification and shall serve until the term expires. If a special or general election to fill the vacancy on an interim basis has been previously held, the person elected to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term at a general election shall take office on January first of the year following such general election and shall serve until the term expires.
      4.   If a vacancy occurs during the first three years of a four-year term or in the first year of a two-year term and on or before the last day in the third year of such a four-year term or the first year of such a two-year term on which an occurring vacancy may be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at a general election with party nominations of candidates for such election being made at a primary election, as provided in section 6-116 of the election law, a special or general election to fill the vacancy on an interim basis shall be held, unless the vacancy occurs less than ninety days before the next primary election at which party nominations for a general election to fill the vacancy may be made and on or before the last day on which an occurring vacancy may be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at the general election in the same year in which the vacancy occurs with party nominations of candidates for such election being made at a primary election, as provided in section 6-116 of the election law.
      5.   If a vacancy occurs after the last day in the third year of a four-year term or the first year of a two-year term on which an occurring vacancy may be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term at a general election in each year with party nominations of candidates for such election being made at a primary election, as provided in section 6-116 of the election law, but not less than ninety days before the date of the primary election in the fourth year of such a four-year term or the second year of such a two-year term, a special or general election to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be held.
      6.   Elections held pursuant to paragraph four or five of this subdivision shall be scheduled in the following manner: A special election to fill the vacancy shall be held on the first Tuesday at least eighty days after the occurrence of the vacancy, provided that the mayor, in the proclamation required by paragraph one of this subdivision, may schedule such election for another day no more than ten days after such Tuesday and not less than seventy-five days after such proclamation if the mayor determines that such rescheduling is necessary to facilitate maximum voter participation; except that
         (a)   if the vacancy occurs before August seventeenth in any year and the first Tuesday at least eighty days after the occurrence of the vacancy is less than ninety days before a regularly scheduled general election, the vacancy shall be filled at such general election;
         (b)   if the vacancy occurs before August seventeenth in any year and the first Tuesday at least eighty days after the occurrence of the vacancy is after a regularly scheduled general election, the vacancy shall be filled at such general election; and
         (c)   if the vacancy occurs on or after August seventeenth in any year and the first Tuesday at least eighty days after the occurrence of the vacancy is after, but less than thirty days after, a regularly scheduled general election, the vacancy shall be filled at a special election to be held on the first Tuesday in December in such year.
      7.   All nominations for elections to fill vacancies held pursuant to paragraphs four and five of this subdivision shall be by independent nominating petition. A signature on an independent nominating petition made earlier than the date of the proclamation required by paragraph one of this subdivision shall not be counted.
      8.   A person elected to fill a vacancy in the council at an election held pursuant to paragraph four of this subdivision shall take office immediately upon qualification and serve until December thirty-first of the year in which the vacancy is filled for the remainder of the unexpired term pursuant to paragraph two of this subdivision. A person elected to fill a vacancy in the council at an election held pursuant to paragraph five of this subdivision shall take office immediately upon qualification and serve until the term expires.
      9.   If a vacancy occurs less than ninety days before the date of the primary election in the last year of the term, the person elected at the general election in such year for the next succeeding term shall take office immediately upon qualification and fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.
(Am. L.L. 2019/215, 12/11/2019, eff. 12/11/2019)