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Article IV

LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE

§4.01 FORM OF ACTION BY COUNCIL.

(A) Unless another form of action or a greater or lesser majority is required or allowed under other sections of this Charter, the Council shall take action on the following matters by way of a motion adopted by a majority vote of the members of the Council:

  1. To conduct the business of Council;
  2. In procedural matters;
  3. For elections conducted among Council members;
  4. To appoint or remove officers, acting officers and employees of the City,where action by the Council is required under this Charter;
  5. To approve, confirm or concur in appointments, removals, or disciplinary action taken by the City Manager or other officers of the City, where action of the Council is required under this Charter;
  6. To adopt, amend, revise or repeal Rules of the Council;
  7. To authorize any action necessary to the conduct or inquiries or investigations into the affairs or business of the City;
  8. To direct or request that action be taken or that information be provided by any officer, employee, agent or independent contractor of the City;
  9. To direct the response to a Citizen Petition under Section 4.14 of this Charter; or
  10. As otherwise provided for under this Charter.

Where another part of this Charter requires that action be taken in a different manner or by a greater or lesser vote of the Council than provided under this Division (A), such action shall be taken in the manner or by the majority vote of the Council as required or allowed by such other part of this Charter. Any action specified in this Division (A) to be taken by motion may also be taken by ordinance or resolution in the manner provided under this Charter, except in such case the ordinance or resolution shall be effective immediately and shall not be subject to referendum or initiative powers otherwise reserved to the people. (Amended 6-8-82)

(B) All actions, other than those set forth in Division (A) of this section, shall be taken by ordinance or resolution.

(C) No action of the Council shall be invalidated merely because the form thereof fails to comply with the provisions of this Section 4.01 of the Charter.

§4.02 INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.

(A) Any member of Council may introduce any ordinance or resolution, at a regular or special meeting, which shall be in written or printed form and shall contain a concise title.

(B) The Mayor may present a proposed ordinance or resolution to the Council or any committee of the Council at any regular or special meeting of the Council or the committee, and the Council shall, by motion, reply to the Mayor within thirty days indicating the action, if any, the Council contemplates taking on the Mayor's proposal.

§4.03 FORM OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.

(A) The form and style of ordinances and resolutions shall be determined by the Rules of Council.

(B) Each ordinance or resolution shall contain only one subject, which shall be expressed in its title, and if any emergency is declared, the title shall indicate the declaration of the emergency; provided that appropriation ordinances may contain the various subjects, accounts, and amounts for which monies are appropriated, and that ordinances and resolutions which are codified or recodified are not subject to the limitation of containing one subject.

(C) Any ordinance or resolution which amends an existing ordinance, section or part of a section or ordinance, or which amends a section or part of a section of the codified ordinances of the City, shall set out in full the ordinance, section or part of a section, or the section or part of a section of the codified ordinances, to be amended, and shall indicate matter to be omitted by enclosing it in brackets or by striking through the type and shall indicate new matter by underscoring or italics.

(D) Any ordinance or resolution may be amended by motion at any time before its passage by a majority vote of the members of the Council, and the amendment of such an ordinance or resolution shall not require that it receive additional readings. Each amendment to a pending ordinance or resolution proposed before its passage shall be considered and voted upon separately.

(E) This section is directory and is intended to be enforced only by the Council. The failure of the Council to comply with the provisions of this section shall not invalidate any ordinance or resolution passed by the Council or any action taken thereunder.

§4.04 READING ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.

(A) Each ordinance and resolution shall be read at regular or special meetings of the Council held on three separate days, unless this requirement is dispensed with by vote of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Council.

(B) Each ordinance or resolution shall be read in full at each reading provided for under Division (A) of this section, unless the Council authorizes, by a majority vote of its members, that readings shall be by title only. The Mayor or other presiding officer may require that any ordinance or resolution be read in full at any reading provided for under Division (A) of this section. The failure to read an ordinance or resolution in full or by title only, as required or authorized by this Division (B), shall not invalidate any ordinance or resolution passed by the Council or any action taken thereunder. This Division (B) is directory only and is intended to be enforced only by the Council.

§4.05 VOTE REQUIRED FOR PASSAGE.

(A) Each non-emergency ordinance or resolution shall be passed by a vote of a majority of the members of the Council.

(B) Each emergency ordinance or resolution shall be passed by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Council. If an emergency ordinance or resolution shall fail to receive the required two-thirds vote, but receives the necessary majority vote required for passage as a non-emergency measure, it shall become effective as a non-emergency measure.

(C) Each vote upon the question of passage of an ordinance, resolution or motion shall be taken of the members of the Council, and the vote of each member of the Council shall be entered in the records of the proceedings of the Council.

§4.06 CONTENT OF EMERGENCY LEGISLATION.

(A) Each emergency ordinance or resolution shall determine that the ordinance or resolution is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare, or for the urgent benefit or protection of the City or its inhabitants, whether individuals or other entities, and shall contain a statement of the necessity for the emergency in the body of the ordinance or resolution.

(B) Ordinances and resolutions for any of the following purposes shall not be enacted as emergency measure:

  1. Granting, renewing or extending a franchise;
  2. Establishing rates to be charged for services by investor owned public utilities or public utilities owned or operated by the City; and
  3. The enactment, amendment or repeal of any ordinance or resolution: establishing, amending, revising, changing or repealing zoning classifications, districts, uses or regulations or codes regulating structural standards for the construction, alteration or improvement of buildings and other structures; or eliminating or modifying specific provisions of the civil service laws of Ohio and substituting local provisions or procedures in lieu of the specific provisions of those laws.

§4.07 EFFECTIVE DATE OF LEGISLATION.

(A) Ordinances and resolutions for the following shall take effect immediately upon their passage unless a later time is specified therein:

  1. Appropriating money;
  2. Providing for an annual tax levy for current expenses;
  3. Providing public improvements petitioned for by the owners of a majority of the feet front of the property benefited and to be especially assessed for the cost thereof;
  4. Submission of any question to the electorate or the determination to proceed with an election;
  5. Approval of a codification, recodification, or rearrangement of ordinances and resolutions;
  6. Ordinances and resolutions passed pursuant to Division (A) of Section 4.01 of this Charter; or
  7. Ordinances or resolutions adopted as emergency measures.

(B) All other ordinances and resolutions shall go into effect thirty days after their passage by the Council.

§4.08 REPEAL OF ORDINANCES OR RESOLUTIONS.

The Council may, by ordinance or resolution, repeal any existing ordinance or resolution or section or part of such ordinance or resolution, or any section or part of a section of the codified ordinances and resolutions of the City. Such repeal may be included in an ordinance or resolution that amends or revises existing provisions or enacts new provisions.

This section shall not abrogate the doctrine of repeal by implication.

§4.09 AUTHENTICATION.

Each ordinance and resolution shall be authenticated by the signature of the Mayor and the Clerk of Council. The failure or refusal of those officers to authenticate by signature shall not invalidate an otherwise properly enacted ordinance or resolution.

§4.10 ZONING MEASURES.

(A) Ordinances or resolutions establishing, amending, revising, changing or repealing zoning classifications, districts, uses or regulations shall be initiated by a member of Council. If the proposed ordinance or resolution changes the zoning classification of any property, written notice of the proposed rezoning ordinance or resolution shall be mailed by the Clerk of Council by first class Unites States mail at least ten days before the first reading of such ordinance or resolution to the owner(s) of the property proposed to be rezoned, unless such notice is waived by the property owner(s) in writing. Such notices shall be sent to the addresses of owners appearing on the County Auditor’s current tax list or to the residence addresses of such owners. The failure of delivery of such notice shall not invalidate any ordinance or resolution. Immediately after the first reading of the ordinance or resolution, the presiding officer of Council shall refer such measure to the Planning Commission for its consideration and recommendation. Within forty-five days after receipt of referral, the Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing on such measure and return to the Clerk of Council the written recommendations of a majority of the members of the Commission. In the event of a tie vote among the members of the Planning Commission regarding a zoning measure, such fact shall be certified in writing by the Chairman of the Planning Commission to the Clerk of Council and such certificate shall constitute a recommendation to the Council that the zoning measure not be adopted by the Council. Unless the Council and Planning Commission have previously held a joint public hearing as hereinafter provided, upon receipt of the recommendations of the Planning Commission, the Mayor shall set a date for a public hearing before the Council, not earlier than fifteen days after the receipt of the Planning Commission’s recommendations. The Clerk of Council shall cause a notice of the public hearing to be published one time in a newspaper of circulation within the City; said publication to be made at least seven days prior to the date of the public hearing. When the amendment, revision, change or repeal involves ten or less parcels of land as listed on the tax duplicate, written notice of the hearing shall be mailed by the Clerk of Council by first class United States mail at least seven days before the date of the public hearing, to the owners of the property within, contiguous to and directly across the street from the affected parcel or parcels. Such notices shall be sent to the addresses of owners appearing on the County Auditor’s current tax list or to the residence addresses of such owners and to other lists as may be required by Council. The failure of delivery of the notice shall not invalidate any ordinance or resolution. The Council and Planning Commission may hold joint hearings on any such ordinance or resolution. In the event of a joint public hearing between the Planning Commission and Council on any such ordinance or resolution, notice as required for public hearings of Council shall be given and no other public hearing before the Planning Commission or Council shall be required. (Amended 11-5-96)

(B) A concurring vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of Council shall be necessary to pass any zoning ordinance or resolution which differs from the written recommendations of the Planning Commission, but in no event shall an ordinance or resolution be passed unless it receives at least a majority vote of the members of Council.

§4.11 ADOPTION OF CODES BY REFERENCE.

Council may adopt or incorporate by reference codes prepared by the State or any department, board or other agency or political subdivision of the State, or any standard or model ordinance or code prepared and promulgated by a public or private organization pertaining to such matters as the Council determines to be appropriate. The ordinance or resolution adopting any standard ordinance or code shall make reference to the date and source of the standard ordinance or code without reproducing it at length in the ordinance or resolution. Subsequent amendments or changes to standard codes may also be adopted and incorporated by reference. When adopted by reference, publication of the standard ordinance or code shall not be required, but copies of same shall be kept in the office of the Clerk of Council to be available to interested persons.

§4.12 CODIFICATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.

By a majority vote of the members of Council, the Council may cause the ordinances and resolutions of the City to be revised, codified, recodified, rearranged, or published in book form, and such action shall become effective immediately upon approval thereof by a majority vote of the members of Council, and may contain new matter therein. The Clerk of Council shall cause a notice of such proposed action by the Council to be published one time in a newspaper of circulation in the City at least seven days prior to Council's action, and no further publication shall be necessary. A current service supplementing the City's codified ordinances and resolutions shall be maintained in the manner prescribed by the Council.

§4.13 PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.

(A) Unless otherwise provided in this Charter, each ordinance and resolution passed by the Council shall be published by one of the following methods, as determined by the Council:

  1. Publication of the full text of the ordinance or resolution once in a newspaper determined by the Council to be of circulation within the City; or
  2. By posting a copy of the ordinance or resolution in a public area of the Municipal building and at least two other publicly owned or operated buildings and by publication of a concise summary of the ordinance or resolution and the location of the postings of the copies thereof once in a newspaper determined by the Council to be of circulation within the City such posting shall be maintained for at least seven days.

(B) The Clerk of Council shall cause each ordinance or resolution passed by the Council to be published or posted, as required by Division (A) of this section, within ten days after it has been passed. Any ordinance or resolution may take effect prior to its publication or posting.

(C) The failure to publish or post an ordinance or resolution as required by Divisions (A) or (B) of this section or an error or omission in such publication or posting shall not invalidate the ordinance or resolution, and in such events the Clerk of Council shall cause the ordinance or resolution to be published or posted as required by Division (A) of this section at a later date.

§4.14 CITIZEN PETITIONS FOR COUNCIL CONSIDERATION.

(A) In addition to other methods preserved by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio or prescribed by this Charter, the electors of the City may petition the Council in regard to any matter within the powers of the Council in the manner provided by this section. All petitions shall be in written form and shall be signed by not less than fifty electors of the City. The person circulating the petition shall swear or affirm before a notary public or other officer authorized by law to administer oaths that: the signatures on the petition were made in the presence of the circulator and the signature are believed by the circulator to be genuine. The notary or other officer administering the oath or affirmation shall sign and date his or her acknowledgment. The petition shall contain a concise statement of the matter the petitioners want the Council to consider or the action requested of the Council by the petitioners, and the name and address of the person to whom Council shall respond.

(B) The petition shall be filed with the Clerk of Council who shall present it to the Council at its next regular meeting after the petition is filed.

(C) Within thirty days after presentation of the petition to the Council, the Council shall cause a written letter or notice to be mailed, by first class mail, to the person designated in the petition to receive the Council's response at the address shown in such petition, explaining the views of the majority of the Council on the matters set forth in the petition. The Council's response shall be read at the next regular meeting of the Council.

(D) This section imposes no duty upon the Council other than to consider the matters set forth in the petition and to respond thereto in the manner required under Division (C) of this section.