Interior Taxpayers Association
The City Mayor Should NOT be on the City Council!
In 2002, our members voted to do an initiative to remove the Mayor from the City council, in order to separate the legislative and executive bodies, but if approved, it would not have taken effect until the next Mayoral election.
At the fair we got a good start on collecting the required signatures for the City initiative (we needed 25% of those voting in the last election for a charter change, as opposed to 15% normally) at the fair booth.
Afterward, as we were preparing to go door to door for the rest, we discovered that, due to the poor financial condition of the city, there were no funds available for the City Clerk to hire help for certifying the petition, the way the Borough Clerk does.
Knowing from experience what a major job this would for one or two people, and remembering that the initiative would not be going into effect until 2004 anyway, we decided to cancel the effort for this year. Hopefully by the time the borough tax cap is ready to be renewed again, the city will be in better financial shape and we can do this petition then.
Here is a copy of it.
Initiative Petition of the Interior Taxpayers' Association
May 28, 2002
(Contact names and phone #s here)
APPLICATION FOR INITIATIVE PETITION:
AN ORDINANCE TO PRESENT TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF FAIRBANKS THE QUESTION OF A CHARTER AMENDMENT TO SEPARATE THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BODIES OF CITY GOVERNMENT BY REMOVING THE MAYOR FROM THE COUNCIL, EFFECTIVE WITH THE NEXT MAYORAL ELECTION.
WHEREAS, the voters of the City of Fairbanks, in 1995, voted to amend the city charter to change from a "city manager" form of government to a "strong mayor" form of government (labeled the "council-mayor government" in the city charter), and
WHEREAS, the continuance of the mayor as part of the city council causes confusion in defining the separate powers and duties of the "strong mayor" (as administrative and executive body) and the council (as legislative body), and
WHEREAS, it is desirable to retain a wide spectrum of thought and diversity of opinion on the city council while retaining an odd number of council members to avoid ties, and
WHEREAS, when removing the mayor from the council there is a need to continue to provide for a presiding officer, which in the past has been ably carried out by the city mayor, and
WHEREAS, removing the mayor from the council without adjusting provisions concerning the city attorney would deny him legal advice and council,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, as follows:
Section 1. That the following question be presented to the qualified voters of the City of Fairbanks at the next general election:
"Shall the city's charter be amended to remove the mayor from the council in order to separate the executive and legislative bodies of city government as follows?" ([BRACKETS IN CAPS] removed, underlines in boldface added.)
ARTICLE II. THE COUNCIL
Sec. 2.1 Council: Number, term.
The council shall consist of [SIX (6) COUNCILMEN AND A MAYOR] seven (7) councilmen, each of whom shall be elected at large and inducted into office at the next regular meeting of the council following his election. The term of each councilman shall be three (3) years and shall continue until his successor has been elected and qualified. [THE TERM OF THE MAYOR SHALL BE THREE (3) YEARS AND SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL A SUCCESSOR HAS BEEN ELECTED AND QUALIFIED.] No councilmember [OR MAYOR] may be elected for more than two (2) consecutive terms of office.
* * *
ARTICLE III. ORDINANCES
Sec. 3.1. Ordinances: When required; adoption.
In addition to such other facts of the council as are required to be by ordinance all legislation shall be enacted by ordinance. An affirmative vote of four (4) councilmen, [OR THREE (3) COUNCILMEN AND THE MAYOR] shall be required to adopt an ordinance or resolution.
* * *
ARTICLE IV. MAYOR
Sec. 4.1. The office of the mayor.
(a) The term of the mayor shall be for three (3) years and shall continue until a successor has been elected and qualified. No mayor may be elected for more than two (2) consecutive terms of office.
(b) The city executive and administrative power is vested in the mayor. The mayor, as the chief administrative officer, is responsible for the proper administration of all city affairs. The mayor shall:
(1) Appoint, and remove officers and employees of the city; he may hire necessary administrative assistants. and may authorize an appointive administrative officer to appoint, suspend, or remove city employees and officers; the mayor's appointment and removal of the city treasurer, city police chief, utilities manager, and city fire chief, are subject to confirmation by the city council; The mayor and council shall appoint and remove the city attorney;
* * *
(15) Be authorized to hire temporary outside counsel in cases of conflict between the mayor and the city council.
* * *
Sec. 4.2. Veto power and tie-breaking vote.
(a) The mayor shall have the power of veto over all legislative action. The veto shall be in writing, shall recite the reasons therefor, and shall be filed with the city clerk within five (5) days following adoption of any vetoed ordinance or resolution. Five (5) affirmative votes of the council are required to override the veto of the mayor. Final action to override a veto may be taken within fourteen (14) days following the veto.
(b) [The mayor shall vote only in case of numerical ties. He may cast the deciding vote, however, if a proposed ordinance or resolution receives three (3) affirmative votes.]
(b) The mayor shall act as presiding officer at all meetings of the city council.
(c) The mayor may take part in the discussion of all matters before the council, but may not vote.
* * *
Sec. 4.5. City attorney.
The city attorney shall be appointed by, serve at the pleasure of, and act as the legal advisor of the mayor and council. He shall advise the mayor and the city clerk concerning legal problems affecting the city administration. He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the mayor and council.
Section 2. Effective date. This ordinance, upon approval in the Municipal Election of October 2002, shall be effective on certification of the 2004 municipal election.
Section 3. Ballot Summary and Question. The ballot summary shall read substantially as follows:
SUMMARY OF ORDINANCE TO BE ENACTED
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE FAIRBANKS CITY CHARTER TO SEPARATE THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BODIES OF CITY GOVERNMENT BY REMOVING THE MAYOR FROM THE COUNCIL, EFFECTIVE WITH THE NEXT MAYORAL ELECTION.
"SHALL ARTICLE II, III, AND IV OF THE FAIRBANKS CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED AS FOLLOWS? THESE SECTIONS WILL PROVIDE FOR A 7 MEMBER CITY COUNCIL WITH THE MAYOR RETAINING VETO POWER AND CONTINUING TO PRESIDE OVER COUNCIL MEETINGS, BUT WITHOUT A TIE-BREAKING VOTE."
Section 4. Effective Date. If this ordinance is approved by the voters in the October 2002 Municipal Election, its provisions shall take effect with the Mayoral election of 2004.
[This page followed by a signature page, requesting Signature, Printed Name, Physical Address, Phone, & Date
Paid for by The
Interior Taxpayers' Association, Inc. PO Box 71892, Fairbanks AK 99707,