City of Albany, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The legislative power of the City is vested in the Common Council which shall be authorized to adopt, amend or repeal local laws, ordinances, resolutions and rules and regulations in the exercise of its functions, powers and duties pertaining to the property, affairs or government of the City and other matters not inconsistent with sate law.
The Common Council shall be an elective body comprised of a President of the Common Council and not more than one "Council member" duly elected from each ward within the City. Each "Council member" shall be a resident of the ward from which he or she is elected. There shall not be more than 15 wards within the City
The President of the Common Council shall be elected in the City at large, and shall succeed the Mayor in the event of death, resignation, absence or disability as set forth in the General City Law; except that the powers and duties of the Office of the Mayor shall not devolve upon the President of the Common Council during a limited period of either absence of the Mayor from the City or inability of the Mayor to perform his or her powers and duties. The President shall preside over the meetings of the Common Council and perform such other functions as set forth in Second Class Cities Law.
All legislation authorizing bond debt shall require a two-thirds vote of the entire Common Council membership. All other local laws, ordinances and resolutions shall require a majority vote of the entire Common Council membership, except as otherwise required by the Municipal Home Rule Law. Public hearings on proposed local laws shall take place at the same time that public hearings are normally held on proposed ordinances.
The filing and publication of local laws shall be as provided in the Municipal Home Rule Law.
(a) 
Pursuant to the guidelines set forth in the Municipal Home Rule Law, the Common Council shall appoint a reapportionment commission within six months after the publication of each federal decennial census to evaluate the existing ward boundaries for equity and representation in relation to population. The reapportionment commission shall include City residents in such proportion as to reasonably reflect the demographic composition of the City, together with such other expert and official representatives as shall be deemed necessary and appropriate.
(b) 
The reapportionment commission shall review the population data and within six months after the commission is appointed, make recommendations, if necessary, in the form of a proposed local law as to changes in the ward boundaries for the City.
(c) 
In its deliberations, the Commission shall consider the application of the "one person, one vote" concept and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Sections I and II of the New York State Constitution.
The Common Council may examine the books, vouchers and papers of any department, board, commission, officer or employee of the City and by the issuance of a subpoena, summon and examine under oath any person in relation thereto. The Common Council may require a member of any board, office, commission, or department of the City to furnish the Common Council with any information, data and reports; neglect or refusal to furnish the same shall be deemed misconduct or incompetence on the part of the official or person neglecting or refusing to comply. The authority conferred on the Common Council by this section shall not extend to the Mayor or the Office of the Mayor.
[Added at referendum 11-7-2006]
The Common Council in consultation with the Chief Fiscal Officer and Mayor shall establish by resolution and review periodically a policy for determining appropriate levels of debt.