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OF THE CITY OF
ST. ALBANS, WEST VIRGINIA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EDITOR'S NOTE: The St. Albans Charter was approved by the voters on January 6, 1948. Dates appearing in parentheses following section headings indicate those sections were subsequently amended, added or repealed on the date given.
OF THE CITY OF
ST. ALBANS, WEST VIRGINIA
The inhabitants of the present City of St. Albans, as incorporated by Chapter 118 of the Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, 1917, regular session, as amended by Chapter 27 of the Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, 1921, and as further amended by Chapter 81 of the Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, 1931, and acting pursuant to the "Municipal Home Rule Amendment" to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, Article 6, Section 39(a), together with the enabling act thereof, known as the "Municipal Home Rule Law, being Chapter 56 of the Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, 1937, as amended by Chapters 44 and 89 of the Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, 1941, do hereby declare this instrument to be the Charter of the said City of St. Albans, and do hereby annul and revoke the former charter, with amendments and annul and revoke all ordinances, resolutions and other acts of the common council of the City of St. Albans, in conflict herewith, subject to the provisions of section 14, article 2, Chapter 8A of the Code of West Virginia, as amended in 1937.
The City of St. Albans shall be vested with all powers inherent to cities adopting the "Municipal Home Rule Law," as now enumerated in the Code of West Virginia, 1931, and the amendments thereto, as well as all powers which may be hereafter granted by the legislature of the State of West Virginia, together with all other powers herein set out; provided, however, that subsequent amendments to the Municipal Home Rule Law, which may be hereinafter enacted by the legislature of the State of West Virginia, shall not affect and be binding upon the City of St. Albans until and unless such amendments, or any part thereof, are accepted by the Council of the City of St. Albans, by ordinance duly adopted.
The corporate boundaries of the City shall be the boundaries as established by an official map adopted by the Council of the City of St. Albans, West Virginia, by ordinance and placed on file in the office of the City Clerk.
(Ord. 92-31. Passed 12-21-92.)
The officers of the City shall be a Mayor and a Council of twelve members. The City shall also have as employees, but not as officers, an Attorney, Police Judge, Chief of Police, Chief of the Fire Department, Health Commissioner and Engineer. The Mayor and Councilmen shall be elected by the qualified voters of the City as hereinafter provided for terms of four years, or until their successors are elected or appointed, and qualify. The Mayor shall be the administrative authority, and he shall appoint the Clerk, Treasurer, Attorney, Police Judge, Chief of Police, Health Commissioner and Engineer, subject to approval of the Council. The Clerk, Treasurer, Police Judge, Chief of Police, Health Commissioner and Engineer may, upon the order of the Mayor, employ and discharge all employees in the respective divisions of the City government. Should the Council fail to approve any appointment by the Mayor at the next regular Council meeting following the appointment, the officer so appointed shall receive no compensation for his services thereafter, and the office shall be automatically vacated. Should the Mayor fail or refuse to appoint a suitable person to any office, and such failure or refusal continue for two consecutive regular Council meetings, the Council may, at the third meeting, fill the office without the approval of the Mayor.
The Council shall be the governing body of the City, and all of the corporate powers of the City shall be invested in and exercised by the Council, unless herein otherwise stated, or delegated by ordinance. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer at all meetings of the Council; in the event of his absence, the Vice-Mayor, hereinafter provided for, shall be the presiding officer. In the event of the absence of both the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, the Council shall, at each meeting, select one of its members to preside over its meeting. The Mayor, Vice-Mayor or other presiding officer shall have the right to vote only in the case of a tie vote. A majority vote of those present at any meeting of the Council shall be decisive, except where a different vote is provided herein.
At the first meeting of the Council following its election, it shall choose, from among its members a Vice-Mayor, who shall have a vote as any other Councilman, unless he is acting as the presiding officer, and whose duties are herein set out. He shall serve as Vice-Mayor for the remainder of his term as Councilman, unless he resigns or be removed from office.
No person shall be eligible to any elective office unless he resides in the City. No person shall be eligible for the office of Councilman, representing a particular ward, unless he resides in the said ward. The eligibility of any person to any office, or to retain and hold the same, shall be determined under the general law of the State of West Virginia, except as herein otherwise provided. (11-3-08)
The office of the Mayor, or any Councilman, who is absent from the meetings of the Council for three consecutive regular meetings, or six meetings in a one year period, unless such absence is due to illness or injury certified to in writing by a reputable physician, may be declared vacant by a majority vote of the Council at the next regular meeting thereafter. The office of the Mayor, or any Councilman at large, who moves his or her residence out of the corporate limits, or of any Councilman not elected at large, who moves his or her residence out of the limits of his ward, shall be declared vacant by the Council as soon as such removal is brought to its attention; provided, however, that should the boundaries of any ward be changed by action of the Council or by vote of the people, any Councilman whose residence may be affected thereby, shall complete the term for which he or she was elected.
A vacancy in the office of Mayor or Councilman, resulting from any cause, shall be filled by the Council within three months thereafter; such Mayor and Councilman, so chosen by the Council, shall hold office for the unexpired portion of the original term.
Any appointed officer or any employee of the City may be removed from office for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, or gross immorality. After receiving charges or grounds, filed in writing by any person, the Council may forthwith suspend such officer or employee for a period of thirty days. A copy of such charges or grounds shall be forthwith served upon the individual concerned in the manner provided by the statutes of West Virginia, for the service of notices. Such person shall have ten days from the date of such service in which to file a reply in writing with the Clerk. Such person may, in the reply, request a public or private hearing by the Council. The date for such hearing shall be set by the Clerk at any reasonable time, not less than twenty nor more than forty days after the date of service above referred to, at which hearing, such person may be represented by counsel. All persons testifying at such hearing shall do so under oath, administered by the Mayor, Clerk or any Councilman. Such hearing may be continued for not more than a total of thirty days, by the Mayor, for due cause, at the request of any interested person or any City official. After such hearing, which shall be constituted a special meeting of the Council, the said Council, by a two-thirds vote of all of its members, may adopt a final resolution of removal, whereupon such person shall be deemed removed from office or employment, whether his successor be appointed and qualify, or not. If such officer or employee be suspended by the Council and be removed, he shall receive no compensation from the date of such suspension; if suspended and not removed, he shall receive his usual compensation from the date of such suspension; if not suspended, but removed, he shall receive his usual compensation up to the date of the vote by the Council to remove, and not thereafter. When paid in full, as hereinabove provided, the liability of the City to such person under his contract of employment shall be terminated. The City shall not be subject to any suit for libel or other damage, nor shall any officer or employee of the City be subject to any suit for libel, slander or other damage, as a result of any charges or grounds filed in writing, or any testimony given in such proceeding, whether the person is removed or not. Nothing herein contained or elsewhere contained in this Charter, is intended to restrict or prevent any office of the City or of the Council, to lay off, furlough or otherwise remove from employment, any employee of the City because of shortage of funds, reduction in work, seasonal or otherwise, or because of the abolishment of a job.
Each Councilman shall be paid a salary of six hundred dollars per year, effective July 1, 1969. Council shall hereafter, by ordinance, fix the salaries of the Councilmen, which salaries shall never be less than six hundred dollars per year, nor more than twelve hundred dollars per year and shall be uniform as to each Councilman. The salaries of the Councilmen shall not be raised or lowered during their terms of office, but at any subsequent term, may be raised or lowered at any time, except during the period of forty days preceding the next general municipal election.
The Mayor shall receive a salary to be fixed by the Council, which salary shall never be less than twelve hundred dollars per year. The salary of the Mayor shall not be raised or lowered during his term of office, but the salary of the Mayor for any subsequent term may be raised or lowered by the Council at any time, except during the period of forty days preceding the next general municipal election.
The salaries of the Mayor and Councilmen shall be paid in regular monthly or semi- monthly installments as determined by the City Clerk-Treasurer. The salary or compensation of all appointive officials shall be determined by the Mayor with the approval of the Council and the wages or compensation of all employees shall be determined by the officers heading the respective departments, with the approval of the Council.
(1-23-61; 3-28-69; 1-6-86)
The Council shall prescribe the powers and define the duties of all officers, except so far as the same are by this Charter defined, and may require and take from them respectively, bonds payable to the City in its corporate name, with such securities and in such penalties as may be deemed proper, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties.
The Council shall fix the place and time for holding its regular meetings, one of which shall be held each month; may provide for special and adjourned meetings; shall have power to compel the attendance of its members; and may prescribe rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter, for the transaction of business and for its own guidance and government. A majority of the Council elected shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Upon call of any member, the yeas and nays on any question shall be taken and recorded in the Council Record. No member of the Council shall vote upon, or take part in the consideration of any proposition in which he is or may be interested otherwise than as a resident of the City. It is recommended that each meeting of the Council be opened by a prayer.
The Council shall cause to be kept by the Clerk, in a well bound book to be called the "Council Record", an accurate record of all of its proceedings, ordinances, acts, orders and resolutions, and in another to be called the "Ordinance Book, " accurate copies of all the ordinances adopted by the Council, except ordinances concerning public improvements. Both of the books shall be fully indexed and open to the inspection of anyone required to pay taxes to the City or who may be otherwise interested. All oaths and bonds of officers of the City and all papers of the Council shall be endorsed, filed and securely kept by the Clerk, except the bond of the Clerk, which shall be filed with the Mayor. All printed copies of such ordinances purporting to be published, under authority of the Council, and transcripts of such ordinances, acts, orders and resolutions, certified by the Clerk under the seal of the City, shall be deemed prima facie correct, when sought to be used as evidence in any court or before any justice.
At each meeting of the Council the minutes of the proceedings at the last meeting shall be read, and if erroneous, corrected, and signed by the then presiding officer.
In the following enumerated cases the action of the Council shall be by ordinances:
(1) Levying taxes or providing for the collection of fees of any kind;
(2) Requiring a license to do business;
(3) Relating to offenses and penalties;
(4) Authorizing the issuance of bonds or other forms of indebtedness;
(5) Providing for a public improvement;
(6) Providing for the purchase of private property by the City or for the sale of property belonging to the City;
(7) Laying out or vacating a public street, alley, or other way;
(8) Relating to zoning;
(9) Granting franchises to public utilities;
(10) Providing for a contractual or other agreement with another jurisdiction;
(11) Relating to such other matters as the Charter may require.
The Council shall enact an ordinance in all cases specified by this Charter in accordance with the following requirements:
(1) An ordinance shall be read at not less than two meetings, regular or special, which need not be consecutive, with at least one week intervening between each meeting;
(2) Before final passage, notice of such ordinance shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. Such notice shall state the following:
A. General title or titles of the ordinance.
B. The date, time and place of the proposed final vote on adoption.
C. The place or places within the Municipality where such proposed ordinance may be inspected by the public.
D. Said notice shall also advise that interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance.
A reasonable number of copies of the proposed ordinance shall be kept at such place or places as mentioned in such notice and be made available for public inspection.
(3) An ordinance shall not be finally passed until after ten days have elapsed after the date of publication of the aforementioned notice and persons interested have been given an opportunity to attend a meeting of the Council and be heard with respect to the ordinance.
(4) An ordinance shall not be materially amended at the same meeting at which it is finally passed. If materially amended after publication of the aforementioned notice, notice as to the intended passage of such ordinance shall be republished and considered as though publication of such notice had not taken place. The Council may enact an ordinance under suspension of the rules prescribed by this section only in the case of a pressing emergency making a procedure in accordance with this section dangerous to the public health, safety, or morals, and by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of the members of the Council. The nature of the emergency shall be set out in full in the ordinance.
The City shall be divided into wards, the future boundaries of which may be determined by the Council. Each ward shall contain at least four hundred and fifty, and not more than twelve hundred registered voters. In fixing ward boundaries, the Council shall take into consideration the boundaries of the voting precincts as determined by the County Court of Kanawha County. The Council may establish new wards, and define and change the boundaries of all wards; provided, however, that each ward must be composed of contiguous territory. Each new ward shall be entitled to choose one new member of the Council. Councilmen at large shall be added to the Council in the proportion of one for each four ward Councilmen or fraction thereof, and only one Councilman at large shall be elected from any one ward.
The number of City wards and the composition thereof are set forth and established in Section 103.08 of the Administrative Code of the Codified Ordinances of the City of St. Albans. (11-3-08)
Regular elections for electing the Mayor and members of City Council shall be by non-partisan ballot, and in accordance with the statutes of the State of West Virginia, and shall be held at the same time as County and State primary elections are held. To make this transition, for election year 2017, the election will be held on June 3, 2017 with the Mayor and members of Council elected to serve a one-time term of office of three years, with terms to begin on July 1, 2017 and ending on June 30, 2020. Thereafter, the Mayor and members of Council, shall be elected at intervals of four years in conjunction with County-State primary elections, and their terms shall begin on the first day of July of that election year. The present Council shall be the judge of the first election to be held hereunder, and the Council thereafter shall be the judge of the election returns and qualifications of the Mayor, its own members and any other person elected to office in the City. The Council may determine the conduct of elections and the results thereof, so long as such acts are consistent with the general law of the State referring thereto. Qualifications of voters shall be determined under the general law of the State of West Virginia. In the event of a tie vote for any office the Council shall resolve such tie by lot.
(Ord. 2016-25. Passed 12-19-16.)
Nominations for the office of Mayor shall be made by certificate of candidacy supported by a petition addressed to Council and signed by a minimum of 50 registered voters in the City. Nomination for the office of City Councilman (woman) at large shall be made by certificate of candidacy supported by a petition addressed to Council and signed by a minimum of 50 registered voters residing in the City; and Nominations for the office of City Councilman (woman) shall be made by certificate of candidacy by a minimum of 20 registered voters residing in the ward from which the candidate for City Council seeks election. Such certificates for nomination shall be filed with the City Clerk upon forms provided by the City, and shall be verified by the person so nominated. All such nominating petitions shall be examined by Council and, if found to be bona fide, in proper form and signed by the required number of registered voters, the persons so nominated shall be certified as candidates for the particular offices sought.
Any qualified person may become a candidate for any office in the primary election by, filing therefor with the Clerk of the City of St. Albans their certificate of candidacy between January 5 and January 23 during regular business hours of the Clerk during the year of the primary election and by paying to said Clerk such filing fee as may be set by Council. Any person filing a certificate of candidacy and wishes to withdraw and decline to serve as a candidate for office shall file with the City Clerk a signed and notarized statement of withdrawal on a form provided by the City Clerk. If the notarized statement of withdrawal is received by the proper officer by not later than the third Tuesday following the close of the candidate filing period then the candidate(s) withdrawal is final and his or her name shall not be certified as a candidate nor printed on any ballot. If a candidate files a notarized statement of withdrawal after said deadline, the candidate shall not be withdrawn and the candidate(s) name(s) shall remain on the ballot.
The certificate of candidacy shall be in substantially the following form:
CERTIFICATE OF CANDIDACY
"State of West Virginia, County of Kanawha, to-wit:
"I, , being first duly sworn (write name as you wish it to appear on ballot) say that I reside at _____________ Street, in the Ward of the City of St. Albans, County of Kanawha, State of West Virginia, that at the date of the forthcoming election I am a qualified voter therein, (and if a candidate for Ward Councilman (woman), I reside in the same Ward ) that I am a candidate for nomination to the office of [Mayor, Councilman (woman) for the Ward or Councilman (woman) at Large], to be voted for at the nonpartisan election to be held on the date of County-State primary elections administered by the Clerk of the County Commission of Kanawha County, West Virginia in May of , and I hereby request that my name be printed upon ballot for said office at such non-partisan election for such office. In support of this Certificate, witness the requisite signatures of registered voters below, which I do verily verify are registered voters in the City, and if the office is for Ward Councilman (woman) are registered voters residing in my Ward."
"Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me by on this day of , 20 ."
Any certificate of candidacy filed by mail must be postmarked no later than January 23, and received not later than January 25, in the office of the City Clerk.
(Ord. 2016-25. Passed 12-19-16.)
A new party may place candidates for any office upon the ballot at the general election by filing a petition therefor, signed by at least ten (10%) percent of the registered voters on the date of the last preceding regular municipal election, and containing the names of the candidates for such offices, with the Clerk at least twenty days prior to the date set for such general election, and paying the proper filing fees therefor. If any candidate of such new party for the office of Mayor receives more than ten percent of the votes cast for all candidates for his office, the new party shall be established as a qualified political party at the next municipal election. If the candidate for Mayor of any party fails to poll more than ten percent of the votes cast for all candidates for that office at any general election, such party shall be dropped from the ballot at the next municipal election, unless placed on the ballot by petition as a new party.
At the date of the adoption of this Charter, two parties shall be considered as the qualified parties in the next municipal election, to-wit; the peoples party and the citizens party. Any other party may be placed on the ballot by petition, as provided in this Charter.
(1) Upon petition, signed and dated in their own handwriting by not less than ten percent of all of the registered voters in the City, any matter which is the proper subject of one ordinance, as set out in this Charter, shall be submitted to the Council in the manner hereinafter provided, which the Council shall either adopt without alteration, or refer to a vote of the people, without alteration.
(2) Such petition shall not be circulated by any officer of the City; the office of any officer so doing shall be forthwith vacated as the penalty therefor.
(3) Such petition shall contain the residence address of each signer, and shall be filed with the Clerk within sixty days from the date the first signature was affixed thereto.
(4) Within fifteen days next following such filing, a committee, composed of the Clerk, one member appointed by the Mayor, and two members chosen by the Council, shall determine by careful examination, the sufficiency or insufficiency of such petition, and shall report its findings to the Council in a certificate signed by a majority of the members thereof, dated and attached thereto. If such petition be found insufficient, the particulars of such insufficiency shall be stated in such certificate. The petition may be amended within ten days from the date of such certificate, and refiled with the Clerk; provided, however, that any petition may be refiled only once. Upon finding such petition sufficient the committee shall so state in its certificate, signed by a majority of the members thereof, and shall submit the petition, with the attached certificate, to the Council at its next regular meeting. The finding of the committee shall not be final until approved by the Council.
(5) The proposed ordinance contained in such petition shall be passed without alteration by the Council, or shall be submitted, without alteration, by the Council to the voters in the City, within sixty days from the date of its filing with the Clerk. If a regular election is to be held within ninety days from the date of the action of the Council, such ordinance shall be voted upon at such election; if such regular election is not to be held within ninety days from the date of the action of the Council, then the Council shall forthwith call a special election, to be held within sixty days thereafter.
(6) Notice of the vote on such ordinance, at either a regular or special election, shall be given for at least thirty days prior to such election. Such notice shall set out the ordinance verbatim, shall state the date and time of the election, the form of ballot to be used, and such other pertinent matter as the Council may determine or as may be required in the petition. Such notice shall be published, once each week for four successive weeks, in two newspapers of general circulation in the City, if such there be, and shall be posted at some prominent and public place in each voting precinct in the City, at least thirty days prior to the election.
(7) Not more than one special election may be called in any period of six months.
(8) Such ordinance, if adopted by a majority of the persons voting at the election therefor, shall go into effect on the tenth day following its adoption, unless otherwise therein provided. Such ordinance shall not be altered or repealed within six months from its effective date, by the Council, nor thereafter except by vote of two-thirds of all members of the Council. The Council may submit the question of the amendment or repeal of such ordinance to the voters at any regular election, or at a special election called for that purpose, after notice thereof has been given as hereinabove provided.
(1) Upon petition, signed and dated in their own handwriting by not less than twenty percent of all of the registered voters in the City, an elective officer of the City may be recalled.
(2) Such petition shall not be circulated by any officer of the City; the office of any officer so doing shall be forthwith vacated as the penalty therefor.
(3) Such petition shall contain the residence address of each signer, and shall be filed with the Clerk within sixty days from the date the first signature was affixed thereto.
(4) Within fifteen days next following such filing, a committee, composed of the Clerk, one member appointed by the Mayor, and two members chosen by the Council shall determine by careful examination, the sufficiency or insufficiency of such petition, and shall report its findings in a certificate signed by a majority of the members thereof, dated and attached thereto. If such petition be found insufficient, the particulars of such insufficiency shall be stated in such certificate. The petition may be amended within ten days from the date of such certificate, and refiled with the Clerk; provided, however, that any petition may be refiled only once. Upon finding said petition sufficient, the committee shall so state in its certificate, signed by a majority of the members thereof, and shall submit the petition, with the attached certificate, to the Council at its next regular meeting. The finding of the committee shall not be final until approved by the Council.
(5) Within sixty days after such petition is filed with the Clerk, the Council shall provide for the nomination of candidates for the office in question, by a special primary election, and shall set the date for such nomination primary, to be within ninety days after such petition is filed with the Clerk. Any qualified person may become a candidate for such office filing therefor with the Clerk, as for any other elective office in the City. The incumbent, unless he withdraws his candidacy in writing, shall be considered a candidate for re-election to such office, and his name placed on the ballot at the general election. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in each party at the primary election shall run against the incumbent; if the incumbent withdraws, the candidates for each party receiving the highest number of votes in the primary shall oppose each other. If the incumbent receives the highest number of votes, he shall continue in office. If another candidate receives the highest number of votes, he shall, upon qualifying within ten days thereafter, succeed the incumbent in the office and hold the office for the unexpired term.
(6) No such recall election shall be held until the officer sought to be recalled has been in office for a period of six months, and only one such election shall be held with respect to an officer during his term of office.
The Mayor shall be chief executive officer of the City. He shall see, except as is herein otherwise provided, that the laws and ordinances of the City are enforced; that the peace and good order of the City are preserved and that persons and property therein are protected, and he shall perform such other duties and services as the Council may ordain or as provided by law, in addition to the duties prescribed in this Charter and not inconsistent herewith. He shall, from time to time recommend to the Council such measures as he may deem needful for the welfare of the City. In the absence of the Mayor, or should he not be able to perform his official duties, the Vice- Mayor shall perform any and all duties of the Mayor. In the absence of both the Mayor and the Vice-Mayor, or should they both be not able to perform their official duties, the Clerk shall perform any and all duties of the Mayor except that of presiding over the Council. If the Mayor, Vice-Mayor and the Clerk are all absent from the City or otherwise disabled from performing the duties of the Mayor, the Council may elect a Mayor Pro Tempore.
The Manager shall have general supervision over the streets, alleys, sidewalks, other public ways, drains, sewers and other improvements of the said City and of the construction, repair and maintenance thereof; he shall see that the streets are properly lighted, pursuant to contract. He shall investigate all applications for new streets, alleys, sidewalks, other public ways, drains and sewers and report to the Council his recommendation in regard thereto. He shall supervise, protect, maintain and repair all of the buildings and other property, real and personal, belonging to the said City and all of the equipment used by the Fire Department, and shall provide for the proper heating, cleaning and lighting of City buildings. He shall perform such other duties as may be delegated to him by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Council, or as may be required of him by the Council.
(1) The Clerk shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the Council, and have charge of and preserve the records, papers, contracts and other documents belonging to the City; he shall attend the sessions of the Police Court, keep an accurate record of its proceedings, and all judgments shall be entered by him, within twenty-four hours after the same are rendered. He shall, in cases of sickness or disability of the Mayor and Vice Mayor, or in case of their absence from the City, or during any vacancy in the office of the Mayor, and Vice Mayor perform the duties of the Mayor, except as herein otherwise provided, and shall be vested with all the powers necessary for the performance of such duties; he shall also perform such other duties pertaining to the fiscal affairs of the City, or otherwise, as may be required of him by this Charter or by the Council.
(2) The Clerk shall collect and receive all taxes, assessments, fines and costs, and other money due to the City from any source, and shall receipt for the same. He shall keep an accurate account of all moneys paid to him for the use of said City, showing under separate accounts the amounts received for the account of taxes, sewer purposes, street pavements, licenses and other bills due to the City, fines and costs and of other matters pertaining to his office, which books shall at all times be open to the inspection of the Council, or to any committee appointed by it for such purposes; he shall pay over promptly all money which he may receive, within five days after the receipt thereof, into the hands of the Treasurer of the said City, showing an itemized statement of the several funds included in said payment, and taking the Treasurer's receipt therefor. He shall keep his office in the City Building, unless otherwise ordered by the Council and shall keep his office open for the transaction of business during the usual business hours, and as may be directed by the Council; he shall on or before the first day of January and July of each year and oftener, if directed by the Council, present to the Council a full, complete and detailed statement of all money with which he is chargeable, or that has been received by him from all sources up to that time, together with a statement of all money paid to the Treasurer and receipted for; and he shall at such times return a list of all taxes, levies, assessments and other claims in his hands for collection which he shall not have been able to collect by reason of insolvency, removal, or other cause, to which list he shall append an affidavit that he has used due diligence to collect the several items therein mentioned, but has been unable to do so. He shall, upon the expiration of his term of office, or upon the order of the Council, turn over to his successor all money, books of account and other property of the said City in his possession.
(3) The Clerk of the said City, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall execute a bond, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of his office, and for the accounting for and paying over, as required by law, all money which may come into his hands by virtue of his office, with sureties satisfactory to Council, payable to “The City of St. Albans,” in a penalty to be fixed by the Council sufficient to indemnify the City against any loss as the Council may prescribe. He shall be custodian of all bonds, notes, certificates and other evidences of indebtedness to the City, together with all valuable papers which may be placed in his possession by the Council, except that the bond of the Clerk shall be deposited with the Mayor.
(4) If the Clerk shall fail to account for, and pay over to the Treasurer of said City, any or all of the money with which he may be chargeable, belonging to the said City, according to the conditions of his bond and orders of the Council it shall be lawful for the Council to recover the same by action or by motion, upon ten days notice in the corporate name of the City, in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, against him and his sureties or any or either of them, or his or their executors or administrators.
The Treasurer may be a citizen of the said City, or a bank or a trust company located therein. All money due the City shall be paid to the Clerk, and be by the Clerk deposited with the Treasurer. The money deposited with the Treasurer shall be disbursed only upon orders drawn against the same, signed by the Mayor and countersigned by the Clerk. The Treasurer shall receipt to the Clerk for all money paid by him and shall keep regular books of account, showing the amount of the several funds paid or deposited with the Treasurer by said Clerk, and shall make report to the Council once each month, or at such times as the Council may direct, showing the receipts and disbursements of the funds of the City; and the Treasurer shall produce his books and accounts to the Council or any committee of the same for inspection, upon the order of the Council. The Treasurer, if an individual, shall give bond, with security and in an amount to be approved by the Council, with condition that the said Treasurer shall account for and pay over all money received for the account of the said City, as may be directed by the Council.
The City Attorney shall prepare, when directed by the Council, all ordinances for the said City; he shall represent the said City in all matters and proceedings in any court, in which the said City is interested, and do any other thing for the City when requested by the Council.
The Police Judge shall have criminal jurisdiction over the violation of all ordinances of the City, and shall likewise have the criminal jurisdiction therein of a Justice of the Peace. He shall hold Police Court at such times and places as determined by Council. He shall give bond with security to be approved by the Council as required of a Justice of the Peace, for the holding and proper disbursement of all sums which may come to him in his official capacity.
(1) It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to preserve order and quiet in the City, to see that all subordinate police officers faithfully perform their official duties, and to perform such other duties as may be required of them by the Council. He shall be present in the Police Court whenever the same shall be in session, and see that all its orders and requirements are properly executed; he shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, execute a bond conditioned for the faithful performance by him, of the duties of his office, and for the accounting for and paying over, as required by law, all money which may come into his hands by virtue of his office, with sureties satisfactory to the Council, in a penalty as the Council may prescribe.
(2) In case a violation of any ordinance of the said City is committed in the presence, or within view of the Chief of Police or other police officer, the offender may be forthwith apprehended and thereafter taken before the Police Judge, and a written complaint under oath, stating such violation there lodged and filed; thereupon such offender may be tried upon warrant issued on such complaint and dealt with according to law. The Chief of Police and other Police officers shall execute within the County of Kanawha, when directed, any proper process issued by the Police Judge in proceedings for the enforcement of ordinances; and shall collect by levy of execution or otherwise, and duly account for, all fines assessed and costs imposed in such proceedings They shall also have all the rights and powers within the said City in regard to the arrest of persons, the collection of claims and execution and return of process, that are or may be lawfully exercised by a constable, and shall be entitled to the same compensation therefor. They and their sureties shall be liable to all fines, penalties and forfeitures, for which a constable is liable, for any dereliction of duty in office, to be recovered in the same manner and in the same courts, that such fines, penalties and forfeitures are recovered against constables. They shall forthwith pay over to the Clerk all fines or sums collected.
(1) The Chief of the Fire Department, other officers and future members of the Fire Department shall be chosen by the members of the Fire Department as they have been chosen prior to the date of the adoption of this Charter, subject to the approval of the Council. It shall be their duty to answer all alarms and to provide fire protection to the City and its residents, and they shall be compensated in such amounts as may be determined by the Council.
(2) In the event that the duties of the Chief of the Fire Department increase, the Council may provide by ordinance for his appointment by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Council, in a manner similar to other appointed officers of the City. In the further event that it becomes necessary to employ a fireman or firemen, who will devote more than fifty percent of their working hours to such duty, the said fireman or firemen may be appointed by the Chief of the Fire Department as an employee or employees of his department of the City government.
(3) The Chief of the Fire Department and all members thereof may be removed from office for cause, in the same manner as appointed officers or employees of the City, as hereinbefore provided in this Charter.
(1) The Health Commissioner shall be a licensed physician. He shall have general supervision over the public health of the City and shall see that all orders and ordinances of the Council and laws and lawful regulations of the State are enforced.
(2) The Mayor, Clerk, Police Chief and Health Commissioner shall comprise the Board of Health of the City. The said Board shall have power to abate all nuisances within the City, and it shall do and perform all such other duties and exercise such other powers as may be required of or conferred upon it by ordinances or resolutions of the Council.
The Engineer shall be a competent person, trained and experienced in civil engineering. He shall prepare or approve the plans and specifications for all public improvements, inspect the work as it is done and do all other engineering work for the City as may be required of him by the Council.
The Council may, by ordinance, adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of the members, establish a Board of Library Directors for the City, the members of which shall be chosen, and the powers and duties of which shall be as set out in the Code of West Virginia, 1931, Chapter 10, Article 1. At the time of establishing the Board, the Council shall determine whether it desires to create the Board under the provisions of the said statute, as set out at the date of the adoption of this Charter, or whether it desires to accept any or all of the amendments to the Code or other statutes, hereinafter made, concerning such Board. Subsequent amendments to the said statutes concerning such Board shall not affect any board established hereunder until and unless such amendments are adopted and accepted by the Council. The Council shall, by a vote similar to that creating the Board, have the power to abolish the Board. In such event, the terms of its members shall be terminated, the property belonging to the Board shall become the property of the City, and the powers and duties thereof shall pass to such person or board as the Council may designate.
The Council may, by ordinance, adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of its members, establish a Board of Park Commissioners for the City, whose powers and duties shall be as set out in the Code of West Virginia 1931, as revised by Chapter 91, Acts of the West Virginia Legislature, 1939, known as Chapter 8, Article 14 of the said Code, except as hereinafter provided. At the time of establishing the Board, the Council shall determine whether it desires to create the Board under the provisions of Chapter 91, above referred to, as set out at the date of the adoption of this Charter, or whether it desires to accept any or all of the amendments to the Code or other statutes, hereafter made, by the legislature of the State of West Virginia, concerning such Board. Subsequent amendments to the said statutes concerning such Board shall not affect any board established hereunder until and unless such amendments are adopted and accepted by the Council. The Board shall consist of three members, who shall be nominated and elected at large, on a nonpartisan ballot without party designation, which ballot shall be placed at the bottom of each primary and general election ballot, or on a separate ballot as the Council may designate. All candidates for the Board shall file with the Clerk as herein provided for officers of the City, within the prescribed time.
The Council shall, in the ordinance establishing the Board, provide in detail for the election of the members thereof within the limits herein prescribed. The Council shall, by a vote similar to that creating the Board, have the power to abolish the said Board; in such event the terms of its members shall be terminated, the property belonging to the Board shall become the property of the City, and the powers and duties thereof shall pass to such person or board as the Council may designate.
The Council may, by ordinance, adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of its members, establish a Board of Sewer Commissioners for the City, with general independent powers to acquire, establish, improve, operate, maintain and repair a municipal sewer system or system or systems, or to assess the users thereof with the cost thereof. The specific powers, duties and compensation of such Board shall be set forth in the ordinance establishing it, and such powers, duties and compensation may be amended and supplemented by subsequent ordinances, adopted by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of the members of the Council. The Board shall consist of five members, two of whom shall be the Manager and the Engineer ex officio. The other three members shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Council, for terms of six years each; provided, that the first three members shall serve for terms of two, four and six years, respectively, thereafter, a member of the board shall be appointed each two years for a full six year term. The Council shall, by a vote similar to that creating the Board, have the power to abolish the Board; in such event the terms of its members shall be terminated, the property belonging to the said Board shall become the property of the City, and the powers and duties thereof shall pass to such person or board as the Council may designate.
The City shall not be bound by any map or plat of any addition, subdivision, resubdivision or other lands within the City limits, or within one mile thereof, that shall be recorded in the office of the Clerk of the County Court of Kanawha County until such map or plat has been approved by the Council and such approval is attested on the face thereof, by the Mayor and the Clerk.
The Council shall have the power to open for public use, and to close or abandon any street, alley or other way. No street, alley or other way shall be considered a public street, alley or way until accepted as such by ordinance adopted by the Council. No street, alley or other way, which has been accepted by the Council as a public way or has been used as a public way, shall be closed, vacated or abandoned, except by ordinance adopted by the Council. The approval by the Council, of any map or plat of lands constituting or delineating a subdivision or addition to the City, shall not be deemed to be an acceptance, as public, of the streets, alleys or other ways shown thereon.
The Council shall have the power to levy and collect all taxes, now or hereafter authorized by the statutes of the State of West Virginia, including business and occupation taxes, (commonly known as "gross sales" taxes) and license taxes.
No action shall be maintained against the City of St. Albans for damages for a personal injury, death or injury to property alleged to have been sustained by reason of the negligence of the City or of any officer, agent or employee thereof, unless a written verified statement of the nature of the claim and of the time and place at which such injury is alleged to have occurred, or death caused, shall have been filed with the City Clerk within thirty days after the cause of action shall have accrued. The cause of action shall be deemed to have accrued at the date of the damage to property or the sustaining of the injury; except, that where death results therefrom, the time for the personal representative to give notice shall run from the date of death. An action at law for damages for personal injuries or death or injury to property, shall not be commenced until the expiration of thirty days after the filing of the notice as provided ln this section.
Officers of the City shall be immune from suit for any acts done in their official capacity, to the extent provided for in the statutes and laws of the State of West Virginia, as interpreted by the decisions of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
(1) Streets, alleys, sidewalks, other public ways, and storm and sanitary sewers may be built, constructed and improved in the City and liens levied therefor, pursuant to the provisions of the Revised Code of West Virginia, 1931, Chapter 8, Articles 8 and 9, as amended at the date of the adoption of this Charter; provided, however, that subsequent amendments to the said designated portions of the Code and to other statutes pertaining to such improvements, which may be hereafter enacted by the legislature of the State of West Virginia, shall not be binding upon the City until and unless such amendments, or any part thereof, are accepted by the Council of the City by ordinance duly adopted.
(2) In addition to the other methods prescribed in the said Revised Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, any street or alley in the City, or portion thereof, may be curbed, or recurbed, paved or repaved, macadamized, or remacadamized, sewered or resewered, or otherwise improved or reimproved, including the paving or repaving of sidewalks, in a permanent manner, whenever it shall be deemed expedient by the Council, upon the petition in writing of a majority of the property owners, owning frontage abutting on both sides of any such street or alley, between any two cross streets, or between a cross street and an alley; provided, that the said majority of the property owners also own at least forty percent of the frontage of the lots abutting upon the said street or portion thereof to be improved. The work shall be done and the assessment laid in the same manner and upon the same terms as are provided in the said Revised Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended.
(3) No cost of repaving or resewering any street or alley or reconstruction of a sidewalk thereon, in the City, shall be charged and assessed to abutting property owners, whether the original work be done before or after the adoption of this Charter, unless such repaving, resewering or reconstruction of a sidewalk be approved in writing before the work is begun, by the owners of more than eighty percent of the frontage abutting on both sides of such street or alley, between any two cross streets, or between a cross street and an alley,
(4) No suit in equity or action at law shall be instituted to enforce a lien for public improvements, levied pursuant to the terms hereof, more than thirteen years from the date of the adoption of the final ordinance, levying such assessment, unless such assessment shall be payable over a period of more than thirteen years, in which event, no such suit or action shall be brought more than one year after the due date of the last installment of such assessment. After such period has expired, no suit in equity or action at law or other proceeding shall be instituted in the name of the City or by any holder or owner of the certificates evidencing any such lien, to collect the same.
(5) Where a sewer assessment has been levied against any property, not on the certificate plan, and such assessment has not been paid in full, no building permit shall be issued for any improvement to such property until such assessment shall be paid in full, although such assessment may otherwise be barred by a statute of limitations or by a limitation on actions contained in this Charter.
(6) The lien of all assessments for the paving or repaving of streets, alleys and sidewalks, and the laying or relaying of sewers and all other improvements within the City, shall, from and after the date of the assessment thereof by the Council, constitute a continuing tax lien against the abutting property assessed with such improvements, superior to all other liens except taxes due to the State of West Virginia and its political subdivisions.
(7) Any assessment for public improvements, whether evidenced by certificates or not, shall be payable to the Clerk. The said Clerk shall collect the amount due, together with accrued interest to the date of payment, and shall issue, sign, acknowledge and deliver an apt and proper release of the lien of such assessment. Where certificates have been issued for such improvements, the said Clerk shall retain such sums as may be paid to him in satisfaction of such liens until demand is made upon by him by the owners and holders of the said certificates for such sums, whereupon the said Clerk shall pay such sums to such certificate owners and holders, upon delivery of the said certificates to the said Clerk for cancellation and delivery to the respective property owners. The said Clerk may release any lien for public improvements upon presentation of satisfactory evidence of payment.
The provisions of this Charter shall be construed to be severable, and if any part or section of this Charter is declared null, void, invalid or unconstitutional, by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect any remaining portion of this Charter; such remaining portion shall be in full force and effect as if the part or section so declared null, void, invalid or unconstitutional had never been a part of this Charter.
CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF ST. ALBANS