All powers of the City shall be vested in the Council unless specifically provided otherwise in this Charter. The Council shall provide for the exercise of these powers and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the City by law. The Council may to the fullest extent permitted by law delegate any of the powers vested herein to such board, commission, or officer of the City as it may deem appropriate, advantageous, or necessary for the proper and efficient undertaking of the public business.
Wards And Representation. The City Council shall consist of two (2) Council Members elected from each ward as established by this Charter. A Council Member shall be nominated and elected by the qualified voters of his or her respective ward.
Qualifications. Each Council Member shall be a registered voter and a resident of the City ward he or she represents. Each Council Member shall have been a resident of the ward that he or she represents for at least one (1) year prior to election.
Terms Of Office. Each Council Member shall be elected for a term of two (2) years. Terms of Council Members representing each ward shall be staggered.
Limitation Of Terms. No person shall be elected to serve more than eight (8) years total on the City Council. In applying this Section, service on the City Council resulting from an election prior to April 3, 2018, or service of less than two (2) years by a person elected or appointed after the effective date of this Section to complete the term of another person, shall not be counted.
[Ord. No. 2309, 10-23-2017]
Editor's Note: The change to this Section was approved by a majority of the electorate at the election on 4-3-2018.
The Council shall determine compensation of the Council Members by ordinance, but no increase in such compensation shall become effective for any Council Member until the commencement of a new term of office. Council Members may receive reasonable reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as Council Members, provided that such expenses are supported by appropriate documentation.
Holding Other Office. Except where authorized by law, or pursuant to a written agreement between the City and another entity of government, no Council Member shall hold any other elective City office, compensated City office, or City employment while serving in the term for which he or she was elected or appointed. No former Council Member shall hold any compensated appointive City office or City employment until one (1) year after leaving office.
Appointments, Hirings And Removals. No Council Member shall in any manner dictate the appointment, hiring, or removal of any City administrative officer or employee, whom the City Administrator or any of his or her subordinates are empowered to appoint or hire as established in this Charter or by ordinance. As a collective body, the Council Members may express their views and discuss with the City Administrator anything pertaining to the appointment, hiring and removal of such officer or employee.
Interference With Administration. Except for the purpose of investigations as established by this Charter, Council Members shall not interfere with administrative City officers or employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the City Administrator. Council Members shall not give any orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately.
[Ord. No. 1472 § 2, passed in election of April 8, 2008]
Vacancies. The office of Council Member shall become vacant upon the death or resignation of the Council Member, or by his or her forfeiture of or removal from office by any manner authorized by law.
Forfeiture Of Office. A Council Member shall forfeit his or her office, if at any time during the term of office, the Council Member: (1) lacks any qualification for the office prescribed by this Charter or by law, (2) violates any prohibition of this Charter, (3) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or (4) is in default in any unpaid taxes, fines or financial obligations to the City.
Filling Of Vacancies. A vacancy in the City Council shall be filled at the next general municipal election for which the full filing period remains. Until the person elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term takes office, the Mayor, no later than thirty (30) days following a vacancy, with advice and consent of a majority of the members of the City Council shall appoint a qualified person to fill the office until the next general municipal election at which the vacancy is filled. If the City Council fails to consent to the appointment, the Mayor shall make an appointment of a different qualified candidate within thirty (30) days of the Council's failure to consent and continue this process until such time as a majority of the members of the City Council consents to an appointment.
The City Council shall be the judge of the qualifications of its members and of the Mayor and of the grounds for forfeiture of office and for such purposes shall have power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence. Any person charged with conduct constituting grounds for forfeiture of office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, and shall forfeit such office only upon an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council. Decisions made by the City Council under this Section shall be subject to review by the courts.
The City Council may make investigations into the affairs of the City. In the event the City Council decides to conduct a formal investigation, it may do so only upon the vote of a majority of the members of the City Council then in office setting forth with particularity the nature of the investigation. In the event the City Council undertakes a formal investigation, it may conduct hearings, issue subpoenas to compel the testimony of witnesses and production of evidence, and administer oaths. Any person who willfully fails to comply with a subpoena issued hereunder shall be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to penalty as provided by ordinance.
Regular Meetings. The City Council shall meet regularly at least once each month at such time and place as the Council may prescribe by rule. The Council may also hold additional regular meetings at such time and place as the Council may prescribe. In no event shall regular meetings of the Council be held outside the City limits, nor scheduled prior to 7:00 P.M. local time, except for work sessions at which no legislative action shall be taken. Notice of regular meetings shall be posted at the City Hall. All regular meetings of the Council shall be public meetings at which the Council shall provide for public comments, unless public access has been restricted pursuant to law.
Special Meetings. The Mayor may, or at the request of at least one-fourth (1/4) of the members of the City Council shall, call a special meeting of the Council for a time not earlier than twenty-four (24) hours after notice is given to all members of the Council then in the City, except for emergencies.
Quorum. A quorum shall constitute one (1) more than half (1/2) of the total number of members of the City Council. If a quorum fails to attend any meeting, it shall stand adjourned until the next regular or special meeting. Except as provided in this Charter or other law, the Council may act by an affirmative vote of not less than a majority of members present.
Rules And Journals. The Council shall by ordinance determine its own rules and order of business. It shall cause a journal of its proceedings to be kept, and this journal shall be open to public inspection. A separate record shall be kept of closed sessions, which record shall remain closed to public inspection and to legal process except as otherwise provided by law.
Voting. The ayes and nays shall be entered on any question at the request of any two (2) members, provided however, that on the vote on final passage of any ordinance, the ayes and nays shall in all cases be entered in the record showing the vote of each Council Member then in attendance. Roll call votes shall be taken in the order as prescribed by rule of the Council. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the City Council shall be necessary to approve any ordinance. In all cases, members of the Council must be present to vote.
Form Of Ordinances. Proposed ordinances or resolutions shall be introduced in the Council only in written or printed form. The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be:
Procedure. Every proposed ordinance shall be read by title in a City Council meeting at least twice before final passage. No ordinance shall be read more than once at a meeting unless two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council consent to a second reading at the same meeting. Copies of each proposed ordinance shall be made available to each Council Member within a reasonable time after its placement on the agenda, but not less than forty-eight (48) hours before the start of the meeting. If this provision is violated, a Council Member must object prior to the vote on the basis of this violation, and in such event the vote shall be postponed. No ordinance shall be held invalid because of this provision, unless a Council Member raises an objection before the vote.
After placement on the agenda, and at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to consideration, copies of all proposed ordinances to be considered in a public meeting of the Council shall be posted for public inspection in an area at City Hall accessible to the public during regular business hours. The Council shall provide the opportunity for persons interested in any proposed ordinance to be heard before the Council.
Amendments To Proposed Ordinances. If the Council accepts an amendment to a proposed ordinance that constitutes a material change, and if a Council Member objects to further consideration of the proposed ordinance for that reason, the proposed ordinance as amended shall be posted for public inspection in compliance with this Charter for one (1) week prior to its final passage. If no Council Member objects, the failure to follow this provision shall not invalidate any adopted ordinance. Further, prior to the passage of any such amended proposed ordinance, the Council may by an explicit vote, waive the one-week posting requirement by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council.
Adoption Or Veto. An ordinance, resolution or order approved by the Council shall be presented to the Mayor. The Mayor shall either sign the same, whereupon it shall be adopted, or return it with a written statement of his reasons for disapproval, whereupon it shall be vetoed. Measures vetoed by the Mayor shall be considered at the next regular meeting of the Council, and the Council may adopt the measure over the veto by affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council. An ordinance, resolution or order not signed nor vetoed by the Mayor shall become effective at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Council.
Effective Date. Every ordinance, resolution or order shall become effective immediately upon its approval and adoption or at any later date specified therein.
Authentication. All adopted ordinances, resolutions or orders shall be reviewed as to form by the City Attorney and authenticated by the signatures of the Mayor and of the City Clerk.
General Legislation. All matters of general legislation shall be adopted by ordinance. Special or administrative matters, including contracts, subdivision plats, and other matters not constituting general legislation, may also be adopted by order or resolution, except as may otherwise be required by law.
Comprehensive Zoning Plan And Zoning Ordinances. A comprehensive zoning plan generally establishing appropriate zoning districts within the City shall be adopted by ordinance. The portion of any City Master Plan designating such districts and previously adopted and in effect at the time of the effective date of this Charter shall be deemed the adopted comprehensive zoning plan required by this Section. The comprehensive zoning plan shall be reviewed not less than once every 10 years, and amendments may be initiated by the Council and approved from time to time as provided by state law. No amendment to such comprehensive zoning plan shall be adopted except by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council, or by initiative or referendum process. Zoning ordinances may be adopted or amended only to the extent that such ordinances are consistent with the comprehensive zoning plan.
Land Use Policy. It shall be the public policy regarding future and existing development of this City reasonably to preserve adequate open space, protect public parks and green space, conserve soil and reduce erosion, protect water quality, preserve trees and natural areas, and conserve and protect natural resources and public infrastructure. All ordinances relating to development or construction within the City shall reasonably accommodate this public policy of the City of Wildwood, provided no ordinance may be invalidated based upon failure to comply with this provision.
All ordinances and resolutions of the City of a general and permanent nature may be codified and promulgated according to a system of continuous numbering and revision as specified by ordinance.