Chapter II - Form of Government

  • Sec. 2.01. Form of Government. The form of government established by this Charter is the "Council-Manager Plan". The Council shall exercise the legislative power of the City and determine all matters of policy. The City Manager shall be the head of the administrative branch of the City government and shall be responsible to the Council for the proper administration of all affairs relating to the City.
  • Sec. 2.02. Boards and Commissions. The City Council shall by ordinance, establish a Planning Commission and a Board of Appeals and Adjustments that shall have the powers and duties imposed by the Municipal Planning Act. The City Council may by ordinance, resolution or in any other manner prescribed by state law, create or abolish any other commissions or boards and appoint the members thereof, with advisory power to investigate any subject of interest to the City and to prepare any recommendations for consideration by the City Council.
  • Sec. 2.03. Elective Officers. The Council shall be composed of a Mayor and 6 Councilpersons. The Mayor shall be a qualified elector. Two Councilpersons shall be elected from each Council district and shall be qualified electors. The Mayor shall be elected for terms of 2 years, and Councilpersons shall be elected for terms of 4 years.
  • Sec. 2.04. Incompatible Offices. No member of the Council shall be appointed City Manager, nor shall any member hold any other paid municipal office or employment under the City during the term of office for which he or she was elected. Until 1 year after the expiration of the term as Mayor, no former member shall be appointed to any paid appointive office or employment under the City which office or employment was created or the emoluments of which were increased during the term as Mayor.
  • Sec. 2.05. Vacancies in the Council. A vacancy in the Council shall be deemed to exist in case of the failure of any person elected thereto to qualify as required by law prior to the date of the first meeting of the new Council, or by reason of the death, resignation, removal from office, removal from the City, continuous absence from the City for more than 3 months, or conviction of a felony under the laws of any State or of the United States (unless restored to full civil rights) of any such persons whether the conviction is before or after the election, or by reason of the failure of any Councilperson without good cause to perform any of the duties of membership in the Council for a period of 3 months. In each case, the Council shall by resolution declare such vacancy to exist and shall forthwith appoint an eligible person to fill the vacancy until an election is held as provided in this section.
    • Section 2.07 - Ordinance 94-11
    • Section 2.06 - Ordinance 96-17
    • Section 2.08 - Ordinance 97-14
    • Section 2.06 - Ordinance 98-01
    • Section 2.07 – Ordinance 99-02
    • Section 2.07 Sub. 1 – Ordinance 00-10
    • Section 2.07 – Ordinance 02-09
    • Section 2.05 – Ordinance 04-09
    • Section 2.07 - Ordinance 12-16
    Subd. 2. If the vacancy occurs before the first day to file affidavits of candidacy for the next regular election and more than 2 years remain in the unexpired term, a special election shall be held at the next regular city election and the appointed person shall serve until the qualification of a successor elected at a special election to fill the unexpired portion of the term. If the vacancy occurs on or after the first day to file affidavits of candidacy for the regular city election or when less than 2 years remain in the unexpired term, there shall be no special election and the appointed person shall serve until the qualification of a successor elected at a regular city election.
  • Sec. 2.06. The Mayor. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the Council, except that the Council shall choose from its members a president pro tem who shall hold office at the pleasure of the Council and shall serve as president in the Mayor's absence and as Mayor in the case of the Mayor's disability or absence from the City. Except in a case of a tie vote, or in the case of the removal of the City Manager or person to fill a Council vacancy, the Mayor shall not have a vote as a member of the Council. All ordinances and resolutions, shall, before they take effect, be presented to the Mayor, and if he or she approves thereof he or she shall sign the same, such as he or she shall not sign, he or she shall return to the Council with his or her objections thereto by depositing the same with the City Clerk to be presented to the Council at their next regular meeting thereafter. The Mayor shall not have veto power on matters on which he or she has the right to vote. The Mayor may strike and eliminate any line item amount in the city budget or reduce the sum appropriated therefore within 5 days after Council passage of the budget. Such elimination or reduction of any line item amount shall constitute a veto of the line item and may be reconsidered as provided for in the case of a veto.

    Upon the return of any ordinances or resolutions by the Mayor without his or her signature the vote by which the same was passed may be reconsidered, and if after such reconsideration the Council shall pass the same by a vote of 5 of the members-elect, it shall have the same effect as if approved by the Mayor; and in such case the votes shall be by ayes and nays, and shall be entered by the City Clerk on the record.
    • Section 2.08 - Ordinance 97-14
    • Section 2.10 - Ordinance 98-01
    • Section 2.07 Subd. 2 – Ordinance 99-20
    • Section 2.07 Subd. 1 – Ordinance 04-10
    If any ordinance or resolution shall not be returned by the Mayor within 5 days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him or her, the same shall have the same effect as if approved.

    The Mayor shall exercise all other powers and perform all duties conferred and imposed upon the office by this Charter, the ordinances of the City, and the laws of the State. The Mayor shall be recognized as the official head of the City for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for the purpose of serving civil process, and by the governor for the purposes of martial law.

    The Mayor shall study the operations of the city government and shall report to the Council any neglect, dereliction of duty, or waste on the part of any officer or department of the City. In time of public danger or emergency the Mayor may, with the consent of the Council, take command of the police, maintain order and enforce the law. The Mayor shall each year prior to the City Managers preparation of the proposed city budget, submit a written report to the City Manager and the Council detailing recommendations for economies and increased efficiencies of the operation of City government, if any.
  • Section 2.07. Salaries. For the faithful discharge of the duties of their respective offices, the elected official shall receive the following salaries:
    • The Mayor $8,910 per year; each Councilperson $7,150 per year. The City Manager and all other officers and employees of the City shall receive such salaries or wages as may be fixed by the Council.
    • Subd. 2. Prior to June of every even-numbered year, the Commission shall review and may adopt a charter amendment increasing the salaries of the Mayor and Council. Salary increased shall take effect pursuant to statute.
  • Section 2.08. Investigation of City Affairs. The Council and the City Manager, or either of them, and any officer or officers formally authorized by them, or either of them, shall have power to make investigations into the City's affairs, to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of books and papers. There shall be an annual audit of the City accounts by a Certified Public Accountant selected by the Council, who shall certify, among other things, that the accounts and records of the City have been maintained in accordance with this Charter and with the Statutes of the State of Minnesota, and that all funds of the City have been handled according to law; a copy of such audit shall be filed with the City Clerk and with the Chairman or Chairwoman of the
    • Charter Commission not later than 30 days after completion of the audit. The Council may at any time and shall upon petition of not less than 100 registered voters of the City provide for an examination or audit of the accounts or financial affairs of the City or of any officer, employee or department of the city government by the State Auditor. The Council may cause to be made any survey or research study of any department of the City or any other matter of municipal concern.
  • Sec. 2.09. Interferences with Administration. Neither the Council nor any of its members shall dictate the appointment of any person to office or employment by the City Manager, or any manner interfere with the City Manager or prevent him or her from exercising judgment in the appointment of officers and employees in the administrative service. Except for the purpose of inquiry the Council and its members shall deal with and control the administrative service solely through the City Manager, and neither the Council or any member thereof shall give orders to any of the subordinates of the City Manager, either publicly or privately.
  • Sec. 2.10. Charter Compliance. Public officials elected and appointed of the City are bound to uphold the Constitution of the United States, the State of Minnesota, and the Charter of the City of West St. Paul, except when required by superior law, any public official who has been adjudicated of violating the provisions of this Charter may be subject to removal or termination of their public office or position by the District Court.