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City of Fairfield, Ohio

Article XI

GENERAL PROVISIONS

§11.01 LIMITATIONS ON TERMS OF ELECTED OFFICIALS.

After the effective date of this Charter, no person shall be elected to more than two consecutive terms of office as a member of Council or the Mayor; nor shall any person be elected to more than a total of two consecutive terms of office as a member of Council and the Mayor in combination. (Amended 11-5-96)

§11.02 QUALIFICATIONS OF OFFICERS.

(A) All elected officials and members of boards and commissions shall be qualified electors of the City at the time they file for office or are appointed and during their term of office. The Mayor and members of Council shall also have been qualified electors of the City for a continuous period of at least one year immediately prior to the date they file for office or are appointed. Members of the Council elected from wards shall be residents of the ward for a continuous period of at least one year immediately prior to the date they file for office or are appointed during their term of office.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, elected officials and members of boards and commissions shall not hold any other public office during their term of office, except they may, during their term, hold office in political parties or be delegates to political party conventions, serve as a notary public, serve as a member or officer in the military reserve or national guard, serve in any office, positions or capacity to further intergovernmental cooperation, and may hold any office or position expressly permitted by this Charter or the laws of Ohio. Elected officials and members of boards and commissions shall not hold a position as an employee of the City during his or her term of office. Additionally, candidates for the office of Mayor or member of Council shall not hold a position as an employee of the City during the period beginning on the date they file for office and continuing until after the official results of the election have been certified by the election authorities or, if elected, continuing until their term of office begins. A member of Council shall not hold any compensated appointive office or employment with the City until one year after he or she vacates the office of Council member. The Mayor shall not hold any compensated appointive office or employment with the City until one year after he or she vacates the office of Mayor, except that this prohibition shall not apply to the person who held the office of Mayor immediately prior to the effective date of this Charter. (Amended 11-7-00.)

§11.03 REMOVAL OF ELECTED OFFICIALS AND MEMBERS OF BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS.

(A) Upon notice to the accused elected official or member of any board or commission, and publication of the notice required by Division (D) of this section, and after an opportunity has been given the accused person to be heard and present defenses, the Council shall remove any elected official or member of a board or commission for any of the following causes by a two-thirds vote of the remaining members of the Council, not counting an accused member of the Council:

  1. Unexcused absences from any three consecutive regular meetings of the Council, in the case of elected officials, or the board or commission on which any accused person holds membership, in the case of members of boards and commissions. An absence from a regular meeting may be excused by a majority vote of the Council, in the case of members of the Council, or the board or commission on which any accused person serves, in the case of members of boards and commissions, at any time, including the excusing of any absence after action is initiated for the person's removal under this section.
  2. Failure to possess or maintain the qualifications of the office held by the accused person.
  3. A determination that the accused person is guilty of misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office.
  4. A determination that the accused person has wilfully violated any provision of this Charter.
  5. Conviction of any felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude after the date of the election for or during the accused person’s term of office.
  6. Adjudication of the accused person as legally incompetent during his or her term of office.

(B) Upon the removal of any accused person from office pursuant to this section, the office of the offending person shall be vacant, subject to any appeal to and review by an appropriate court, and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in this Charter.

(C) The removal of any official of the City or the occurrence of any of the causes permitting his or her removal shall not invalidate any action of the Council, other elected official or board or commission, in which the official participated. The subsequent removal of a person who fills a vacancy created pursuant to this section, because of the reinstatement, by a court, of the officer removed by the Council shall not invalidate any action of the Council, other elected office, or board or commission in which such person who filled the vacancy participated.

(D) The Council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members, other elected officials and members of boards and commissions, and the grounds for removal from office, and for those purposes shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence, either on its own motion or through the process of any appropriate court or officer thereof. A person charged with conduct constituting grounds for removal from office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, and notice of such hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of circulation in the City at least one week in advance of the hearing. At such hearing the Law Director, or other special counsel as designated by the Council, shall present evidence and testimony in support of the grounds charged for removal. Such hearing may be adjourned from time to time without the necessity of further publication of notice. Decisions made by the Council under this section shall be subject to review by the Courts on matters of law and whether the Council acted arbitrarily and without probative evidence to support the grounds for removal. (Amended 11-7-00.)

§11.04 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, ETHICS, CAMPAIGN FINANCING.

The laws of Ohio pertaining to conflicts of interest, criminal misbehavior, ethics and financial disclosure by municipal officials and employees, and campaign financing and other election practices of candidates for municipal office shall apply under this Charter.

§11.05 SUCCESSION.

The City of Fairfield under this Charter is hereby declared to be the legal successor of the City of Fairfield under the laws of Ohio; and shall have title to all property, real and personal, owned by its predecessor, including all monies on deposit and all taxes or assessments in process of collection, together with all accounts receivable and rights of action. The City shall be liable for all outstanding orders, contracts and debts of its predecessor, and any other obligations for which it may be held liable by any court of competent jurisdiction. All contracts entered into by the City or for its benefit prior to January 1, 1980 shall continue in full force and effect.

§11.06 EFFECT OF CHARTER ON EXISTING LAWS AND RIGHTS.

(A) The adoption of this Charter shall not affect any pre-existing rights of the City, nor any right, liability, pending suit or prosecution, either on behalf of or against the City or any officer thereof, nor any franchise granted by the City, nor pending proceedings for the authorization of public improvements or the levy of assessments therefor. Except as a contrary intent appears in this Charter, all acts of Council of the City, including ordinances and resolutions in effect at the date this Charter becomes effective, shall continue in effect until amended or repealed.

(B) No action or proceeding pending against the City or an officer thereof shall be abated or affected by the adoption of this Charter. All actions or proceedings shall be prosecuted or defended under the laws in effect at the time they were filed.

§11.07 RETIREMENT SYSTEMS.

The laws of Ohio governing the retirement of officers and employees of the City shall be applicable under this Charter.

§11.08 AMENDMENT OF CHARTER.

This Charter may be amended by the voters as provided by the Constitution of Ohio.

§11.09 EFFECT OF PARTIAL INVALIDITY.

A determination that all or any part of any article, section or division of this Charter is invalid shall not invalidate or impair the force and effect of any other part, except to the extent that the other part is wholly dependent for its operation upon the part declared invalid.

§11.10 INTERFERENCE WITH ADMINISTRATION.

Except as may be necessary for the Council and other elected officials to conduct their business and the affairs of the City vested in the Council or such other officials under this Charter, the exercise of the Council's legislative powers, and the purpose of making inquiries and investigations pursuant to Section 3.12 of this Charter, the members of the Council and other elected officials of the City shall not give orders to any officer or employee under the supervision of the City Manager. The Council shall hold the City Manager responsible for the administrative affairs of the City under the Manager's control.

§11.11 OPEN MEETINGS.

The general laws of the state of Ohio pertaining to open meetings of public bodies shall apply to the City under this Charter to the extent they are consistent with this Charter.