[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca as Ch. 102 of the 1974 Municipal Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The New York State Defense Emergency Act, in Section 29-a thereof, authorizes political subdivisions of the state to provide for the continuity of their governments in the event of an actual or imminent attack upon the United States by an enemy or foreign nation. The Executive Law, in § 27 thereof, authorizes political subdivisions to provide for the continuity of their governments in the event of other public disasters, catastrophes or emergencies. Based on the authority contained in such laws, this chapter is adopted so that on such occasions the government of the City of Ithaca, New York, may continue to function properly and efficiently under emergency circumstances.
Editor's Note: See Unconsolidated Laws § 9134-a.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall mean and include:
- ACTING MAYOR
- A member of the Common Council who is elected at the organization meeting each year to serve as Acting Mayor of the city in the absence of the Mayor, with all of the powers and duties of the Mayor, who shall serve as such Acting Mayor in the event of an attack or public disaster as defined in this section.
- ALTERNATE ACTING MAYOR
- The member of the Common Council duly appointed by the appropriate authority at the organization meeting each year to serve as Mayor, with all the Mayor's powers and duties, in the absence of the Mayor and the Acting Mayor by reason of attack or public disaster as defined in this section.
- Any attack, actual or imminent, or series of attacks by an enemy or foreign nation upon the United States causing or which may cause substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in the United States in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, shell fire or nuclear, radiological, chemical, bacteriological or biological means or other weapons or processes.
- DULY AUTHORIZED DEPUTY
- A person authorized to perform all the powers and duties of a public office in the event that the office is vacant or at such times as it lacks administration due to the death, absence or disability of the incumbent officer, where such authorization is provided pursuant to the provisions of any general, special or local law other than this chapter.
- EMERGENCY INTERIM SUCCESSOR
- A person designated pursuant to this chapter, exclusive of the Acting Mayor and Alternate Acting Mayor defined in this section, for possible temporary succession to the powers and duties, but not the office, of a city officer in the event that neither such officer nor any duly authorized deputy is able, due to death, absence from the city or other physical, mental or legal reasons, to perform the powers and duties of the office.
- PUBLIC DISASTER
- A disaster, catastrophe or emergency, actual or imminent, of such unusual proportions or extent that a substantial number of residents of the City of Ithaca either sustain injury, become ill, are infected with disease, have their lives imperiled, are killed or die as the result of injury, disease or exposure, or the property of a substantial number of such residents is imperiled, damaged or destroyed and it is necessary and essential, in the interest of public safety, health and welfare, that the continuity of the government of the City of Ithaca be assured in order that it be enabled to function properly and efficiently and to exercise its essential powers in meeting emergency conditions. Such disasters, catastrophes and emergencies may include but shall not be limited to conflagrations, explosions, earthquakes or other convulsions of nature, floods, tidal waves, pestilence, riots, insurrections, storms, prolonged failure of electric power or essential transportation services or any incident or occurrence which causes or threatens to cause danger to life, health or property from exposure to noxious materials or radiation.
Elective officers. Within 30 days following the effective date of this chapter, and thereafter within 30 days after first entering upon the duties of his/her office, each elective officer shall, in addition to any duly authorized deputy, designate such number of emergency interim successors to the powers and duties of his/her office and specify their rank in order of succession after any duly authorized deputy so that there will not be fewer than three duly authorized deputies or emergency interim successors, or combination thereof, to perform the powers and duties of the office.
Appointive officers. Each officer or body of officers empowered by law to appoint officers shall, within the time specified in Subsection A of this section, in addition to any duly authorized deputy, designate for each such appointive officer such number of emergency interim successors to such officers and specify their rank in order of succession after any duly authorized deputies so that there will be not fewer than three duly authorized deputies or emergency interim successors, or combination thereof, for each such officer. Where such a body of officers consists of members having overlapping terms, such body of officers shall review and, as necessary, revise the previous designations of emergency interim successors by such body of officers within 30 days after a new member elected or appointed to such body of officers first enters upon the duties of such office as a member of such body of officers.
Review of designations. The incumbent, in the case of those elective officers specified in Subsection A of this section, and the appointing officer or body of officers specified in Subsection B of this section shall from time to time review and, as necessary, promptly revise the designations of emergency interim successors to ensure that at all times there are at least three duly authorized deputies or emergency interim successors, or combination thereof, for each elective and appointive officer of the city.
Qualifications. No person shall be designated to nor serve as an emergency interim successor unless such person is legally qualified to hold the office of the person to whose powers and duties he/she is designated to succeed.
Status of emergency interim successor. A person designated as an emergency interim successor shall hold that designation at the pleasure of the designator, and such designation shall remain effective until replaced by another by the authorized designator.
Compensation. An emergency interim successor shall serve without additional salary, unless otherwise provided by this chapter. He/she shall, however, be entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of his/her powers and duties.
If, in the event of an attack or a public disaster, an officer described in § 35-3A or B of this chapter or his duly authorized deputy, if any, is unable, due to death, absence from the city or other physical, mental or legal reasons, to perform the powers and duties of the office, the emergency interim successor of such officer highest in rank in order of succession who is able to perform the powers and duties of the office shall, except for the power and duty to discharge or replace duly authorized deputies and emergency interim successors of such officer, perform the powers and duties of such officer. An emergency interim successor, Acting Mayor or Alternate Acting Mayor shall perform such powers and duties only until such time as the lawful incumbent officer or his/her duly authorized deputy, if any, resumes the office or undertakes the performance of the powers and duties of the office, as the case may be, or until, where an actual vacancy exists, a successor is duly elected or appointed to fill such vacancy and qualifies as provided by law.
The name, address and rank in order of succession of each duly authorized deputy or emergency interim successor shall be filed with the City Clerk, and each designation, replacement or change in order of succession of any emergency interim successor, Acting Mayor or Alternate Acting Mayor shall become effective when the designator files with such Clerk the successor's name, address and rank in order of succession. Such Clerk shall keep an up-to-date file of all such data regarding duly authorized deputies, Acting Mayor, Alternate Acting Mayor and emergency interim successors, and the same shall be open to public inspection. The Clerk shall notify, in writing, each designated person of the filing of his/her name as an emergency interim successor, Acting Mayor or Alternate Acting Mayor and his/her rank in order of succession and also shall notify, in writing, any person previously designated who is replaced or whose place in order of succession is changed.
At the time of their designation or as soon thereafter as possible, emergency interim successors, the Acting Mayor or the Alternate Acting Mayor shall take such oath and do such other things, if any, as may be required to qualify them to perform the powers and duties of the office to which they may succeed.
In the event of an attack or a public disaster, the Mayor, Acting Mayor or Alternate Acting Mayor may suspend quorum requirements for the Common Council. If quorum requirements are suspended, any local law, ordinance, resolution or other action requiring enactment, adoption or approval by an affirmative vote of a specified proportion of members may be enacted, adopted or approved by the affirmative vote of the specified proportion of those voting thereon.