Chapter 4
Organization and Government
The City Council:
Section 4.1 The electors of the city shall elect a City Council of seven members, one of whom shall serve as Mayor. The Council shall constitute the legislative and governing body of the city and shall have power and authority, except as in this charter or by statute otherwise provided, to exercise all powers conferred upon or possessed by the city, and shall have the power and authority to adopt such laws, ordinances and resolutions as it shall deem proper in the exercise thereof. In all cases where the word "Council" is used in this charter, the same shall be synonymous with the word "Commission" or any other term used in any state or federal law in referring to municipal legislative or governing bodies.
Qualifications of Councilmen:
Section 4.2 Members of the Council shall meet the eligibility requirements contained in Section 5.1 of this charter. The Council shall be sole judge of the election and qualifications of its own members, subject only to review by the court.
Compensation of Mayor and Councilmen:
Section 4.3 The Councilmen shall receive as compensation the sum of $15.00 per meeting for each regular or special meeting which they attend, but not to exceed $300.00 in any one fiscal year. Such compensation shall be paid quarterly and, except as otherwise provided in this charter, shall constitute the only compensation which may be paid the Mayor and Councilmen for the discharge of any official duty for or on behalf of the city during their tenure of office. However, the Mayor and Councilmen may, upon order of the Council, be paid such necessary bona fide expenses incurred in service in behalf of the city as are authorized itemized and approved by the Council.
Election of Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem:
Section 4.4 The Council shall, at its first meeting following each regular city election, and after the newly elected members take office, elect one of its members to serve as Mayor and one to serve as Mayor Pro Tem, both for a term expiring at the first Council meeting following the next regular city election.
Such election shall be by written ballot and by majority vote of the members of the Council in office at the time. In the event of absence or disability of both the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem the Council may designate another of its members to serve as Acting Mayor during such absence or disability.
Duties of Mayor:
Section 4.5
   (a)   Insofar as required by statute, and for all ceremonial purposes, the Mayor shall be the executive head of the city. He shall have a voice and vote in all proceedings of the Council equal with that of other members of the Council but shall have no veto power. He shall be the presiding officer of the Council.
   (b)   The Mayor shall be a conservator of the peace, and in emergencies may exercise within the city the powers conferred upon sheriffs to suppress riot and disorder, and shall have authority to command the assistance of all able-bodied citizens to aid in the enforcement of the ordinances of the city and to suppress riot and disorder.
   (c)   The Mayor shall execute or authenticate by his signature such instruments as the Council, this charter or any statutes of the State of Michigan or laws of the United States shall require.
   (d)   Except as may be required by statute, the Mayor shall exercise only such power as this charter or the Council shall specifically confer upon him.
   (e)   In the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem shall perform the duties of Mayor. In the absence or disability of both, the designated Acting Mayor shall perform such duties.
Administrative Service:
Section 4.6 The administrative officers of the city shall be the City Manager, Attorney, Clerk, Treasurer, Assessor, and such additional administrative officers as may be created by ordinance. The Council may by ordinance create additional administrative offices and may by ordinance combine any administrative offices in any manner it deems necessary or advisable for the proper and efficient operation of the city.
The City Manager and Attorney shall be appointed by the Council for an indefinite period, shall be responsible to and serve at the pleasure of the Council and shall have their compensation fixed by the Council.
All administrative officers of the city, except the City Manager and Attorney, shall be appointed by the City Manager for an indefinite period, subject to confirmation by the Council. Such officers shall be responsible to the City Manager and shall have their compensation fixed by him in accordance with budget appropriations and subject to approval of the Council. Such officers may be discharged by the City Manager at his pleasure without confirmation by the Council.
Except as may be otherwise required by statute or this charter, the Council shall establish by ordinance such departments of the city as it deems necessary or advisable and shall prescribe therein the functions of each department, and the duties, authorities and responsibilities of the officers of each department. The City Manager may prescribe such duties and responsibilities of the officers of those departments responsible to him which are not inconsistent with this charter or with any ordinance or resolution.
All personnel employed by the city who are not elected officers of the city or administrative officers by, or under the authority of, this charter shall be deemed to be employees of the city. The head of each department shall have the power to hire, suspend or discharge the employees of his department with confirmation by the City Manager.
Any administrative officer or employee who has been discharged may within ten days thereafter petition the Council to hear the facts regarding such discharge and in such case the Council may, in its sole discretion, hold a hearing and inquire into such facts and may make such decision in the matter as it considers proper.
The Council may require any administrative officer or employee, if he is not resident at the time of his appointment or employment, to become a resident of the city within the time set by the Council and so remain throughout his tenure of office or employment.
Relationship of Council to Administrative Service:
Section 4.7 Neither the Council nor any of its members or committees shall dictate the appointment of any person to office by the City Manager or in any way interfere with the City Manager or other city officer to prevent him from exercising his judgment in the appointment or employment of officers and employees in the administrative service. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Council and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the City Manager, and neither the Council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any of the subordinates of the City Manager.
City Manager: Appointment and Qualifications:
Section 4.8 The Council shall appoint a City Manager within 180 days after any vacancy exists in such position. The City Manager shall hold office at the pleasure of a majority of the Council, but he shall not be removed from office during a period of 60 days following any regular city election except by the affirmative vote of five members of the Council. He shall be selected on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to his training and experience.
Acting City Manager:
Section 4.9 The Council may appoint or designate an Acting City Manager during the period of a vacancy in the office or during the absence of the City Manager from the City. Such Acting City Manager shall, while he is in such office, have all the responsibilities, duties, functions and authority of the City Manager.
City Manager: Functions and Duties:
Section 4.10 The City Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the city government. His functions and duties shall be:
   (a)   To be responsible to the Council for the efficient administration of all administrative departments of the city government except the department under the direction of the Attorney;
   (b)   To see that all laws and ordinances are enforced;
   (c)   To appoint, with the consent of the Council, the heads of the several city departments whose appointment is not otherwise specified in this charter and to direct and supervise such department heads;
   (d)   To give to the proper department or officials ample notice of the expiration or termination of any franchises, contracts or agreements;
   (e)   To see that all terms and conditions imposed in favor of the city or its inhabitants in any public utility franchise, or in any contract, are faithfully kept and performed;
   (f)   To recommend an annual budget to the Council and to administer the budget as finally adopted under policies formulated by the Council, and to keep the Council fully advised at all times as to the financial condition and needs of the city;
   (g)   To recommend to the Council for adoption such measures as he may deem necessary or expedient, and to attend Council meetings with the right to take part in discussions but not to vote;
   (h)   To exercise and perform all administrative functions of the city that are not imposed by this charter or ordinance upon some other official;
   (i)   To be responsible for the maintenance of a system of accounts of the city which shall conform to any uniform system required by law and by the Council and to generally accepted principles and procedure of governmental accounting. He shall submit financial statements to the Council quarterly, or more often as the Council directs;
   (j)   To act as Purchasing Agent for the city and in such capacity shall purchase all supplies and equipment and dispose of the same in accordance with procedures established by the Council;
   (k)   To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this charter or required of him by ordinance or by direction of the Council.
Clerk: Functions and Duties:
Section 4.11
   (a)   The Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Council and shall attend all meetings of the Council and shall keep a permanent journal of its proceedings in the English language.
   (b)   The Clerk shall be custodian of the City seal, and shall affix it to all documents and instruments requiring the seal, and shall attest the same. He shall also be custodian of all papers, documents, bonds, and records pertaining to the city, the custody of which is not otherwise provided for.
   (c)   The Clerk shall certify by his signature all ordinances and resolutions enacted or passed by the Council.
   (d)   The Clerk shall provide and maintain in his office a supply of forms for all petitions required to be filed for any purpose by the provisions of this charter.
   (e)   The Clerk shall have power to administer oaths of office.
   (f)   The Clerk shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him by this charter by the Council or by the City Manager.
Treasurer: Functions and Duties:
Section 4.12
   (a)   The Treasurer shall have the custody of all moneys of the city, any bond pertaining solely to the Clerk, and all evidences of indebtedness belonging to the City or held in trust by the city.
   (b)   The Treasurer shall collect all moneys of the city, the collection of which is not provided for elsewhere by charter or ordinance. He shall receive from other officers and employees of the city all money belonging to and receivable by the city that may be collected by such officers and employees. including fines, license fees, taxes, assessments and all other charges. All moneys shall be turned over to the Treasurer after collection or receipt, and he shall in all cases give a receipt therefor.
   (c)   The Treasurer shall keep and deposit all moneys or funds in such manner and only in such places as the Council may determine and shall report the same in detail to the City Manager.
   (d)   The Treasurer shall disburse all city funds in accordance with the provisions of statute, this charter and procedures to be established by the Council.
   (e)   The Treasurer shall have such powers, duties, and prerogatives in regard to the collection and custody of state, county, school district and city taxes as are conferred by statute upon township treasurers in connection with state, county, township and school district taxes upon real and personal property.
   (f)   The Treasurer shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him by this charter, by the Council or by the City Manager.
Assessor: Functions and Duties:
Section 4.13 The Assessor shall possess all the powers vested in, and shall be charged with all the duties imposed upon assessing officers by statute. He shall prepare all regular and special assessment rolls in the manner prescribed by this charter, by ordinance and by statute. He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him in this charter, by the Council or by the City Manager.
Attorney: Functions and Duties:
Section 4.14
   (a)   The Attorney shall act as legal advisor to, and be attorney and counsel for, the Council and shall be responsible solely to the Council. He shall advise any officer or department head of the city in matters relating to his official duties when so requested and shall file with the Clerk a copy of all written opinions given by him.
   (b)   The Attorney shall prosecute such ordinance violations and he shall conduct for the city such cases in court and before other legally constituted tribunals as the Council may request. He shall file with the Clerk copies of such records and files relating thereto as the Council may direct.
   (c)   The Attorney shall prepare or review all ordinances, contracts, bonds and other written instruments which are submitted to him by the Council and shall promptly give his opinion as to the legality thereof.
   (d)   The Attorney shall call to the attention of the Council all matters of law, and changes or developments therein, affecting the city.
   (e)   The Attorney shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him by this charter or by the Council.
   (f)   Upon the recommendation of the Attorney, or upon its own initiative, the Council may retain special legal counsel to handle any matter in which the city has an interest, or to assist and counsel with the Attorney therein.
Compensation of Attorney and Special Counsel:
Section 4.15 The compensation of the Attorney shall be set by the Council. No compensation to special legal counsel shall be paid except in accordance with an agreement between the Council and the Attorney or Special Counsel made before the service for which such compensation is to be paid has been rendered.
Deputy Administrative Officers:
Section 4.16 The Clerk, Treasurer and Assessor may appoint their own deputies subject to the written confirmation of the City Manager, and may terminate the status of their deputies at their pleasure, upon written notice to the City Manager Such deputies shall, in each case, possess all the powers and authorities of their superior officers except as the same may be from time to time limited by their superiors or by the City Manager.
Planning and Zoning:
Section 4.17 The Council shall maintain a city planning commission in accordance with and having all the powers and duties granted by the provisions of statute relating to such commissions.
The Council shall maintain a zoning ordinance in accordance with the provisions of statute relating to such ordinances. Insofar as may be, such ordinance shall provide that zoning be coordinated with the work of the city planning commission
Independent Boards and Commissions:
Section 4.18 The Council may not create any board or commission, other than those provided for in this charter, to administer any activity, department or agency of the city government except (a) a municipal hospital, (b) a municipal cemetery, (c) recreation, or (d) any activity which by statute is required to be so administered. The Council may, however, establish (a) quasi-judicial appeal boards and (b) boards or commissions to serve solely in an advisory capacity.