The Common Council shall be the elective governing body of the City. It shall consist of one Councilperson from each ward in the City. The Mayor shall be the presiding officer, but shall have no vote except in cases of a tie.
All Councilpersons shall be electors of the City of Cortland. All Councilpersons shall reside in their respective wards at the time of their elections and shall remain residents of, and electors in, such wards in the City of Cortland during the entire term of office in order to retain their office.
The Councilpersons shall each serve a two-year term.
The boundaries of the wards of the City shall continue as now established or as hereafter established in a manner provided by law. They shall be described in the Administrative Code.
Within six months after the official publication of every federal census, or special census pursuant to the General Municipal Law, the Common Council shall appoint a committee to review the existing ward boundaries and propose changes, if any, to bring them into accord with the principles of equity and representation in relation to population. The committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Common Council within 90 days of its appointment.
Compensation for Councilpersons shall be established by local law, except that changes may not be effective during the term of office during which the change is approved.
The Common Council shall hold regular meetings on the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month and special meetings at such other times as it may designate. The Mayor or, in their absence, the Acting Mayor or any three Councilpersons may call special meetings by notice in writing served personally or delivered to the Councilpersons' residences not less than 24 hours in advance of the special meeting.
A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Councilpersons. A lesser number may adjourn.
The meetings of the Common Council shall be public, except the Council may, by a majority vote of its total membership, decide to hold an executive session from which the public shall be excluded.
The Common Council may, as established in its rules and regulations and the Administrative Code, compel the attendance of a member and may punish a member for disorderly conduct or for a violation of its rules. In a case where expulsion for the duration of the term is the punishment, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist.
The Council shall establish rules and regulations for its business by resolution of the Council.
The Council shall have, but not be limited to, the following powers and duties:
To enact, amend or rescind all local laws, ordinances and resolutions.
Upon the recommendation of the Mayor, to establish administrative offices, departments, boards, commissions and such other agencies in addition to those created by this Charter and to prescribe the functions of all such agencies subject to all applicable provisions of this Charter and other laws.
To confirm all mayoral appointments except as may be provided otherwise in this Charter.
To enact legislation over the disapproval of the Mayor as provided by this Charter.
To increase, decrease or reject any item in the annual proposed budget and to adopt such budget pursuant to the provisions of Article XXI of this Charter.
To enact necessary appropriations ordinances.
To levy all taxes.
To provide for the performance of an annual independent audit and such other audits as may be deemed necessary.
To authorize the Mayor to enter into contracts and execute deeds.
To investigate all departments, boards, bureaus, courts and officers, and to have access to all records and papers kept in the custody of any department, board, bureau, court, officer or other agency; to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers or other evidence at any meeting of the Council or of any committee thereof, and for that purpose to issue subpoenas signed by the Mayor. The above does not pertain to papers, records and books, where the production of same is otherwise prohibited by state or federal law.
To establish the salaries, salary schedules and fringe benefits of all officers and employees of the City.
To compromise, by resolution, the collection of delinquent real property taxes for good cause shown, and upon recommendation of the Director of Administration and Finance.
[Added 5-20-2014 by L.L. No. 6-2014]
The Council shall act by local law, ordinance or resolution.
Local laws shall be adopted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
The adoption of an ordinance shall require the affirmative vote of at least a majority of all the members of the Council except as otherwise provided by the Local Finance Law. No ordinance, unless otherwise provided in this Charter, and unless it is an ordinance fixing the salary or salaries of certain City officers or employees, or adopting the budget, levying the annual taxes or confirming the roll or rolls of items to be added to the annual tax, shall be voted upon earlier than the 13th day after its introduction into the Council, except by the unanimous consent of all the members of the Council present, being no less than 2/3 of all the members thereof. On the adoption of every ordinance which is not adopted by unanimous vote, the ayes and nays of the members voting thereon shall be entered in full upon the journal. An ordinance amended after introduction does not become a new ordinance unless the presiding officer of the Council, or the Council upon appeal from the presiding officer's ruling, rules that the amendment is so substantial as to constitute a new ordinance.
The adoption of a resolution requires the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the members present.
Every resolution or ordinance of the Common Council except for its own government and resolutions for the appointment of officers, adoption of the annual City budget, and for such additional purposes as may be enumerated in the Administrative Code, shall, before it takes effect and within three days of passage by the Common Council, be certified by the Clerk and presented to the Mayor for their approval or veto.
If the Mayor approves it,theyshall sign it within 10 days after receipt by them and return it so signed to the City Clerk.
If the Mayor does not approve it,they shall return it to the City Clerk within 10 days with their objections in writing, and the Clerk shall present the same to the Common Council at its next regular meeting.
The Common Council may reconsider same within 30 days. If upon reconsideration it shall be repassed with a majority of 2/3, it shall be deemed adopted notwithstanding the objections of the Mayor. Only one vote may be had upon reconsideration, and the ayes and nays shall be entered in the journal of proceedings.
If such resolution or ordinance is not returned to the Clerk by the Mayor within 10 days, it shall be deemed vetoed.
If any resolution, ordinance or local law, other than the adoption of the annual City budget, contains one or more items appropriating money, the Mayor may sign it with a written statement attached thereto that they object to one or more such items, and each item so objected to shall have no force or effect unless such items are reconsidered separately by the Council and passed by a vote of 2/3 of its total membership.
The procedure for the approval or veto of local laws shall be as required by the Municipal Home Rule Law.
It shall be the duty of the City Clerk to maintain the journal of proceedings. Such proceedings shall be made available to the members of the Council, the Mayor, administrative officers and the public in a timely fashion. At the end of the year the proceedings shall be indexed.
[Amended 3-17-1983 by L.L. No. 1-1983]
Official notices and other legal notices which may be required by law shall be published in such newspaper(s) as may be from time to time designated by the Common Council as official newspaper(s) of the City of Cortland.