As recommended to the voters by City Council on August 20, 2007


We, the voters of North Plains, Oregon exercise our power to the fullest extent possible under the Oregon Constitution and laws of the state, and enact this Home Rule Charter.

 Chapter I

Names and Boundaries

 Section 1.  Title.  This charter may be referred to as the 2007 North Plains Charter.

 Section 2.  Name.  The City of North Plains, Oregon, continues as a municipal corporation with the name City of North Plains.

 Section 3.  Boundaries.  The city includes all territory within its boundaries as they now exist or are legally modified.  The city will maintain as a public record an accurate and current description of the boundaries.

 Section 4. Voluntary Annexations.  All annexations not required by state law must be submitted to a city-wide election and obtain approval by a majority of those voting in the election before the annexations becomes effective. 

 Chapter II


 Section 5.  Powers.  The city has all powers that the constitutions, statutes and common law of the United States and Oregon expressly or impliedly grant or allow the city, as fully as though this charter specifically enumerated each of those powers.

 Section 6.  Construction.  The charter will be liberally construed so that the city may exercise fully all powers possible under this charter and under United States and Oregon law.

Section 7.  Distribution.  The Oregon Constitution reserves initiative and referendum powers as to all municipal legislation to city voters.  This charter vests all other city powers in the council except as the charter otherwise provides.  The council has legislative, administrative and quasi-judicial authority.  The council exercises legislative authority by ordinance, administrative authority by resolution, and quasi-judicial authority by order.  The council may not delegate its authority to adopt ordinances.  

Chapter III


 Section 8.  Council.  The council consists of a mayor and six councilors nominated and elected from the city at large. The Council appoints members of commissions and committees established by ordinance or resolution.

 Section 9.  Mayor.  The mayor presides over and facilitates council meetings, preserves order, enforces council rules, and determines the order of business under council rules.  The mayor is a voting member of the council, except as provided in Section 33 herein,  and has no veto authority. The mayor must sign all records of council decisions.  The mayor serves as the political head of the city government.  The mayor may temporarily cease to chair a council meeting and delegate those functions to another council member.

 Section 10.  Council President.  At its first meeting each year, the council must elect a president from its membership.  The president presides in the absence of the mayor and acts as mayor when the mayor is unable to perform duties.

 Section 11.  Rules.  The council must adopt by ordinance or resolution rules to govern its meetings.

 Section 12.  Meetings.  The council must meet at least once a month at a time and place designated by its rules, and may meet at other times in accordance with the rules.

 Section 13.  Quorum.  A majority of the council members is a quorum to conduct business, but a smaller number may meet and compel attendance of absent members as prescribed by council rules.

 Section 14.  Vote Required.  The express approval of a majority of a quorum of the council is necessary for any council decision, except when this charter requires approval by a majority of the council.

 Section 15.  Record.  A record of council meetings must be kept in a manner prescribed by the council rules.

 Chapter IV


 Section 16.  Ordinances.  The council will exercise its legislative authority by adopting ordinances.  The enacting clause for all ordinances must state “The City of North Plains ordains as follows:”

 Section 17.  Ordinance Adoption.

 (a) Except as authorized by subsection (b), adoption of an ordinance requires approval by a majority of the council at two meetings.

(b)  The council may adopt an ordinance at a single meeting if:

       i.              No council member present objects, and

       ii.             The ordinance is provided to each council member and made available to the public at least one week before the meeting.

 (c) Any substantive amendment to a proposed ordinance must be read aloud or made available in writing to the public before the council adopts the ordinance at that meeting.

 (d) After the adoption of an ordinance, the vote of each member must be entered into the council minutes.

 (e) After adoption of an ordinance, the city custodian of records must endorse it with the date of adoption and the custodian’s name and title.

 Section 18.  Effective Date of Ordinances.  Ordinances normally take effect on the 30th day after adoption, or on a later day provided in the ordinance.  An ordinance may take effect as soon as adopted or other date less than 30 days after adoption if it contains an emergency clause.

 Chapter V


 Section 19.  Resolutions.  The council will normally exercise its administrative authority by approving resolutions.  The approving clause for resolutions may state “The City of North Plains resolves as follows:”

 Section 20.  Resolution Approval.

 (a) Approval of a resolution or any other council administrative decision requires approval by the council at one meeting.

 (b) Any substantive amendment to a resolution must be read aloud or made available in writing to the public before the council adopts the resolution at that meeting.

 (c) After approval of a resolution or other administrative decision, the vote of each member must be entered into the council minutes.

 (d) After approval of a resolution, the city custodian of records must endorse it with the date of approval and the custodian’s name and title.

 Section 21.  Effective Date of Resolutions.  Resolutions and other administrative decisions take effect on the date of approval, or on a later day provided in the resolution. 


Chapter VI


 Section 22.  Orders.  The council will normally exercise its quasi-judicial authority by approving orders.  The approving clause for orders may state “The City of North Plains orders as follows:”

 Section 23.  Order Approval.

 (a) Approval of an order or any other council quasi-judicial decision requires approval by the council at one meeting.

 (b) Any substantive amendment to an order must be read aloud or made available in writing to the public at the meeting before the council adopts the order.

 (c) After approval of an order or other council quasi-judicial decision, the vote of each member must be entered in the council minutes.

 (d) After approval of an order, the city custodian of records must endorse it with the date of approval and the custodian’s name and title.

 Section 24.  Effective Date of Orders.  Orders and other quasi-judicial decisions take effect on the date of final approval, or on a later day provided in the order. 

 Chapter VII


 Section 25.  Councilors.  The term of a councilor in office when this charter is adopted is the term for which the councilor was elected.  At each general election after the adoption, three councilors will be elected for four-year terms.

 Section 26.  Mayor.  The term of the mayor in office when this charter is adopted is the term for which the Mayor was elected.  At every other general election after the adoption, a mayor will be elected for a four-year term.

 Section 27.  State Law.  City elections must conform to state law except as this charter or ordinances provide otherwiseAll elections for city offices must be nonpartisan.

 Section 28.  Qualifications.

 (a) The mayor and each councilor must be a qualified elector under state law, and reside within the city for at least one year immediately before election or appointment to office.

 (b) No person may be a candidate at a single election for more than one city office.

 (c) Neither the mayor nor a councilor may be employed by the city, or be related to an employee of the city.  To determine relationship for this subsection, refer to the Oregon Revised Statutes definition of family.  If there is a city employee related to a councilor at the time this charter takes effect, the employee may continue to work for the city subject to the city’s personnel policies.  

 (d) The council is the final judge of the election and qualifications of its members.

 Section 29.  Nominations.  The council must adopt an ordinance prescribing the manner for a person to be nominated to run for mayor or a city councilor position.

 Section 30.  Terms.  The term of an officer elected at a general election begins at the first council meeting of the year immediately after the election, and continues until the successor qualifies and assumes the office.

 Section 31.  Oath.  The mayor and each councilor must swear or affirm to faithfully perform the duties of the office and support the constitutions and laws of the United States and Oregon.

 Section 32.  Vacancies:  The mayor or a council office becomes vacant:

 (a) Upon the incumbent’s:

(1)     Death,

(2)     Adjudicated incompetence, or

(3)     Recall from the office. 

 (b) Upon declaration by the council after the incumbent’s:

(1)     Failure to qualify for the office within 10 days of the time the term of office is to begin,

(2)     Absence from the city for 30 days without council consent, or from all council meetings within a 60-day period,

(3)     Ceasing to reside in the city,

(4)     Ceasing to be a qualified elector under state law,

(5)     Conviction of a public offense punishable by loss of liberty, 

(6)     Resignation from the office, or

(7)  Removal under Section 34(i).

 Section 33.  Filling Vacancies.  A mayor or councilor vacancy will be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining council members.  The mayor shall have no vote in filling a vacancy unless a tie-vote situation occurs, in which event the mayor shall cast the tie-breaking vote.The appointee’s term of office runs from appointment until expiration of the term of office of the last person elected to that office.  If a disability prevents a council member from attending council meetings or a member is absent from the city, a majority of the council may appoint a councilor pro tem.

Chapter VIII


Section 34.  City Manager.

 (a) The office of city manager is established as the administrative head of the city government.  The city manager is responsible to the mayor and council for the proper administration of all city business.  The city manager will assist the mayor and council in the development of city policies, and carry out policies established by ordinances and resolutions.

(b) A majority of the council must appoint and may remove the manager. The appointment must be made without regard to political considerations and solely on the basis of education and experience in competencies and practices of local government management.

 (c) The manager need not reside in the city.

 (d) The manager may be appointed for a definite or an indefinite term, and may be removed at any time by a majority of the council. The council must fill the office by appointment as soon as practicable after the vacancy occurs. 

 (e) The manager must:

(1)     Attend all council meetings unless excused by the mayor or council;

(2)     Make reports and recommendations to the mayor and council about the needs of the city;

(3)     Administer and enforce all city ordinances, resolutions, franchises, leases, contracts, permits, and other city decisions;

(4) Appoint, supervise and remove city employees;

(5)     Organize city departments and administrative structure;

(6)     Prepare and administer the annual city budget;

(7)     Administer city utilities and property;

(8)  Encourage and support regional and intergovernmental cooperation;

(9)  Promote cooperation among the council, staff and citizens in developing city policies, and building a sense of community;

(10) Perform other duties as directed by the council;

(11) Delegate duties, but remain responsible for acts of all subordinates.

 (f) The manager has no authority over the council or over the judicial functions of the municipal judge.

 (g) The manager and other employees designated by the council may sit at council meetings but have no vote. The manager may take part in all council discussions.

 (h) When the manager is temporarily disabled from acting as manager or when the office of manager becomes vacant, the council must appoint a manager pro tem.  The manager pro tem has the authority and duties of manager, except that a pro tem manager may appoint or remove employees only with council approval.

 (i) No council member may directly or indirectly attempt to coerce the manager or a candidate for the office of manager in the appointment or removal of any city employee, or in administrative decisions regarding city property or contracts. Violation of this prohibition is grounds for removal from office by a majority of the council after a public hearing.  In council meetings, councilors may discuss or suggest anything with the manager relating to city business.

 Section 35.  City Attorney.  The office of city attorney is established as the chief legal officer of the city government.  A majority of the council must appoint and may remove the attorney. 

 Section 36.  Municipal Court and Judge.

 (a)  A majority of the council may appoint and remove a municipal judge.  A municipal judge will hold court in the city at such place as the council directs.  The court will be known as the Municipal Court.

 (b) All proceedings of this court will conform to state laws governing justices of the peace and justice courts.

 (c) All areas within the city and areas outside the city as permitted by state law are within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

 (d) The municipal court has jurisdiction over every offense created by city ordinance. The court may enforce forfeitures and other penalties created by such ordinances. The court also has jurisdiction under state law unless limited by city ordinance.

 (e) The municipal judge may:

(1)     Render judgments and impose sanctions on persons and property;

(2)     Order the arrest of anyone accused of an offense against the city;

(3)     Commit to jail or admit to bail anyone accused of a city offense;

(4)     Issue and compel obedience to subpoenas;

(5)     Compel witnesses to appear and testify and jurors to serve for trials before the court;

(6)     Penalize contempt of court;

(7)     Issue processes necessary to enforce judgments and orders of the court;

(8)     Issue search warrants; and

(9)     Perform other judicial and quasi-judicial functions assigned by ordinance.

 (f) The council may appoint and may remove municipal judges pro tem. 

 (g) The council may transfer some or all of the functions of the municipal court to an appropriate state court.

Chapter IX


 Section 37.  Compensation.  The council must authorize the compensation of city officers and employees as part of its approval of the annual city budget. 

 Section 38.  Merit Systems.  Subject to collective bargaining agreements between the city and its employees, the council by resolution will determine the rules governing recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, demotion, suspension, layoff, and dismissal of city employees based on merit and fitnessand any collective bargaining agreement in effect.


Chapter X


 Section 39 Procedure.  The council may by ordinance provide for procedures governing the making, altering, vacating, or abandoning of a public improvement.  A proposed public improvement may be suspended for six months upon remonstrance by owners of the real property to be specially assessed for the improvement. The number of owners necessary to suspend the action will be determined by ordinance.

 Section 40.  Special Assessments.  The procedure for levying, collecting and enforcing special assessments for public improvements or other services charged against real property will be governed by ordinance.

 Chapter XI


 Section 41.  Debt.  City indebtedness may not exceed debt limits imposed by state law.  A charter amendment is not required to authorize city indebtedness.

 Section 42.  Ordinance Continuation.  All ordinances consistent with this charter in force when it takes effect remain in effect until amended or repealed.

 Section 43.  Repeal.  All charter provisions adopted before this charter takes effect are repealed.

 Section 44.  Severability.  The terms of this charter are severable. If any provision is held invalid by a court, the invalidity does not affect any other part of the charter.

 Section 45.  Time of Effect.  This charter takes effect January 1, 2008.

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