EDITOR'S NOTE: The Charter was originally adopted on November 6, 1928. Dates appearing in parentheses following a section heading indicate those provisions were subsequently adopted, amended or repealed on the date given.
Enumerated Corporate Powers.
Enumerated Powers Not Exclusive.
Powers, Election, Term, Vacancies. (Amended 11-5-85; 5-7-02; 5-2-11)
Charter Review Committee. (3-15-16)
. Meetings of Council. (5-2-89; 11-8-11)
President of Council; Mayor. (11-8-11)
Salary of Council Members and President of Council. (11-5-13)
. Rules of Council. (11-8-11)
Alteration of Words "Four Members". (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Amending Ordinances and Resolutions.
When Ordinances and Resolutions Take Effect.
Authentication and Publication of Ordinances and Resolutions. (11-5-02; 11-8-11)
Consideration of Initiated Ordinance by Council.
Submission of Initiated Ordinance to Electors.
Election on Initiated Ordinance.
. Initiated Ordinance Passed By Council in Amended Form.
Initiated Repealing Ordinances.
Referendum Petition. (Adopted 11-4-41.)
Consideration of Referred Ordinance by Council -Referendum Election.
. Form of Ballot For Initiated and Referred Ordinances. (5-7-02)
Preliminary Action Under Referred Ordinance.
. Conflict of Referred Measures.
INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS
Signatures to Initiative, Referendum and Recall Petitions.
Filing, Examination and Certification of Initiative, Referendum and Recall Petitions (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Amendment of Initiative, Referendum and Recall Petitions.
. Responsibility of Manager - Powers of Appointment and Removal. (11-5-13)
. Removal of Officers and Employees.
Council Not to Interfere in Appointments or Removals.(11-8-11)
Duties of the City Manager.(11-8-11)
Right of Certain Officers in Council.
Establishment of Departments. (3-15-16)
. One Person as Head of Two or More Offices. (11-8-11)
Number of Assistants and Subordinates, How Fixed. (11-8-11)
. Advisory Boards. (11-8-11)
Investigations by Council or City Manager. (11-8-11)
Election, Qualifications and Duties of City Solicitor. (Adopted 11-5-13.)
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE - FINANCIAL PROCEDURE
Election, Qualifications and Duties of City Auditor. (Adopted 11-5-13.)
Monthly Statement by City Auditor.
Purchasing and Furnishing Supplies. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Tax Levy for Bonds and Notes. (Adopted 5-5-53.)
Income Tax Authorization. (Adopted 5-5-70; 11-8-11.)
Supplemental Income Tax Authorization. (Amended 6-8-76; 11-8-11.)
Supplemental Income Tax Authorization for Safety Forces.
. Supplemental Income Tax Authorization for Safety Forces. (Police and Fire) (Enacted 11-8-11)
. Supplemental Income Tax Authorization for General Municipal Operations. (5-5-15)
Annual Appropriation Ordinance. (11-8-16)
Preliminary Appropriations. (11-8-16)
Appropriations of Excess Revenue.
Expenditures Only Pursuant to Appropriations.
. Payment of Claims Against the City. (11-8-11)
Examination and Investigation of Claims.
Money Required to Be in Treasury.
When Contracts and Agreements Are Invalid.
Accounts of Publicly Owned Utilities.
Alteration in Contracts. (11-8-11)
MUNICIPAL CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
Composition, Powers and Duties. (Adopted 11-4-41.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: There are no sections 64 through 75.
Compensation Established by Council. (Adopted 11-4-41; 11-8-11)
. EDITOR'S NOTE: There are no sections 77 through 79.
Political Assessments Prohibited.
Certain Political Practice Forbidden.
Violation and Penalties. (Adopted 11-4-41.)
. Candidacy For Elective Office Prohibited. (5-7-02)
Control of Public Health By City.
. Police Force. (Amended 11-3-87; 11-8-11)
. Special Policemen. (11-8-11)
Fire Force (Amended 11-3-87; 11-8-11.)
IMPROVEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS
Board of Revision of Assessments. (11-5-02; 11-8-11)
Payment of Assessments - Liens.
. Damages Assessed Before Improvement.
. Damages Assessed After Improvement.
Lands Unallotted or Not on Duplicate.
What Cost of Improvement Shall Include.
Limitation on Assessments. Improvement on Petition of Abutting Property Owners.
Estimate of Life of Improvements. (11-8-11)
. Rebates and Supplementary Assessments.
. Sewer, Water and Other Connections. (11-8-11)
Construction of Sidewalk, etc., by City. (Adopted 11-4-75.)
Assessment Bonds For Sidewalk, etc.
How Constituted, Procedure and Employees. (11-5-02; 11-8-11))
Zoning - Board of Appeals. (Adopted 11-5-68; 11-5-02.)
. Creation or Change of Name of Streets.
APPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY
FRANCHISES AND PUBLIC UTILITIES
Grants, Amendments and Renewals of Franchises.
Passage of Franchise Ordinances. (11-8-11)
. Public Utility Rates; Reserved Rights of City.
. Public Utility Fixtures and Appliances.
Free Carriage of Policemen and Firemen. (5-7-02)
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
General Laws to Apply. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Petitions for Place on Primary Election Ballot. (11-5-74; 5-7-02; 11-4-03; 11-5-13.)
Rotation of Names. (11-4-52; 5-7-02.)
. Special Election Officials. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
. Regular Municipal Election. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Recall Petition Papers. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Filing Recall Petition. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Recall Election Ordered. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Candidates to Succeed Councilman Recalled. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Ballots in Recall Elections. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
. Result of Recall Election; Filling Vacancies. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
Limitations on Recall Petitions. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
. Compensation of Officers and Employees.
Financial Interest in Contracts, etc. (11-8-11)
Hours of Labor. (Adopted 5-2-72; 11-8-11; 5-2-17.)
. Amendments. (Adopted 11-2-71.)
. ENUMERATED CORPORATE POWERS.
The inhabitants of the City of Portsmouth, within the limits as now established, or as hereafter established in the manner provided by law, shall be a body politic and corporate by name the City of Portsmouth, and as such shall have perpetual succession; may use a corporate seal; may sue and be sued; may acquire or appropriate property within or without its limits for any municipal purpose in fee simple or lesser interest or estate by purchase, gift, device, appropriation, lease, or lease with privilege to purchase, and may sell, lease, hold, manage, and control such property and make any and all rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution which may be required to carry out fully all the provisions of any conveyance, deed, or will, in relation to any gift or bequest, or the provisions of any lease by which it may acquire property; may acquire, appropriate, construct, own, lease, operate and regulate public utilities; may assess, levy, and collect taxes for general and special purposes on all the subjects or objects which the City may lawfully tax; may borrow money on the faith and credit of the City by the issue or sale of bonds or notes of the City; may appropriate the money of the City for all lawful purposes; may create, provide for, construct, regulate and maintain all things of the nature of public works and improvements; may levy and collect assessments for local improvement; may license and regulate persons, corporations and associations engaged in any business, occupation, profession or trade; may define, supervise, regulate, prohibit, abate, suppress and prevent all things detrimental to the health, morals, comfort, safety, convenience and welfare of the inhabitants of the City, and all nuisances and causes thereof; may regulate the construction, height, and the material used in the construction of all buildings, and the location, maintenance and occupancy thereof; may regulate and control the use for whatever purposes, of its streets and other public places; may create, establish, organize and abolish offices and fix the salaries and compensation of all officers and employees; may make and enforce local police, sanitary and other similar regulations; may pass such ordinances as may be expedient for maintaining the peace, good government and welfare of the City, and for the performance of the functions thereof; and shall have all powers that now are, or hereafter may be granted to municipalities by the constitution and laws of Ohio.
. ENUMERATED POWERS NOT EXCLUSIVE.
The enumeration of particular powers by this Charter shall not be held or deemed to be exclusive but, in addition to the powers enumerated therein, implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, it is intended that the City of Portsmouth shall have, and may exercise, all powers which, under the constitution of Ohio, it would be competent for this Charter specifically to enumerate. All powers of the City, whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by this Charter, or, if not prescribed therein, then in the manner provided by ordinance or resolution of the Council.
. POWERS, ELECTION, TERM, VACANCIES.
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, all legislative powers of the City shall be vested in a Council consisting of one member nominated and elected from each ward in said City. The terms of the members of Council shall be for four years in Wards 1, 3 and 5, beginning on the first Monday in January, 1986, and for four years in Wards 2, 4 and 6, beginning on the first Monday in January, 1988. The members elected in Wards 2, 4 and 6 for the term beginning on the first Monday in January, 1986, shall serve for a term of two years. If a vacancy occurs in the Council, except as the result of a recall election, some eligible person from the ward in which the vacancy occurs, shall be chosen within thirty (30) days by a majority vote of the remaining members of Council to fill the unexpired term. If, however, the remaining members of Council fail to fill such vacancy within said thirty (30) days, said vacancy shall be filled by a committee consisting of the President of Council, or in case the office of the President of Council be vacant, the Vice-President, the City Auditor and the City Solicitor, who shall certify their selection to the City Clerk.
Each member of Council elected, or appointed, from a ward shall have resided in said ward not less than six (6) months, and each member of Council elected from a ward shall have been for at least three (3) years immediately preceding his election and during the term of his office shall continue to be, a resident of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio. Any member of Council elected from a ward shall forfeit his office if he removes from said ward, and then Council shall at once fill the vacancy for the unexpired term. Each member of Council, either elected or appointed shall have the qualifications of an elector of the City. Except where authorized by law, no Council Member shall hold any other elected public office, or any other City office or City employment, during the term for which elected or appointed to Council. The Council may redivide the City into wards upon the basis of its population in the manner provided by general law, provided that such redivision shall not abridge the term of any member of Council elected or appointed thereto, nor shall any person be chosen a member of Council in divided or newly created wards except he be nominated and elected as provided herein.
(Amended 11-5-85; 5-7-02; 5-2-11)
SECTION 3(a). CHARTER REVIEW COMMITTEE.
City Council, by resolution, shall appoint a Charter Review Committee not less than every ten (10) years commencing in the year 2017, for the purpose of reviewing and/or recommending amendments to this Charter. This committee shall be comprised of six (6) members; one (1) appointed by each member of Council. The committee shall elect its officers and determine its mode of operation and meeting schedule. All meetings shall be open to the public.
This committee shall review the Charter and propose for adoption any alterations, revisions or amendments which the committee deems advisable. At the conclusion of the review process the committee shall hold a public hearing on the proposed changes and give public notice of same. Any proposed changes along with a record of public comments shall be forwarded to Council for review. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority or procedures set forth in Section 166
of the Charter of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio.
. MEETINGS OF COUNCIL.
At seven o'clock P.M. on the first Monday in January following a regular municipal election the Council shall meet at the usual place for holding Council meetings and the newly elected members shall assume the duties of office. Thereafter the Council shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution, but not less frequently than twice each month. Special meetings may be held upon vote of the Council taken in any regular or special meeting, also, shall be called by the Clerk upon the written request of the Mayor, the City Manager or three members of the Council. Any such vote or request shall state the subject to be considered at the special meeting and no other subject shall be there considered. All meetings of the Council and of committees thereof shall be open to the public, subject to the provisions of the open meeting law of the Ohio Revised Code, presently contained in Section 121.22 therein, and the rules of the Council shall provide that citizens of the City shall have a reasonable opportunity to be heard at any such meeting in regard to any matter considered thereat.
. PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL; MAYOR.
At the first meeting in January following a regular municipal election the Council shall choose one of its members as President who shall have the title of Mayor, and another member as Vice-President. In case the members of Council, within five days after the time herein fixed for their organizational meeting, are unable to agree upon a President or a Vice-President, of such Council, then a President, or Vice-President, or both, as the case may be, shall be selected from all the members of such Council by lot conducted by the City Solicitor, who shall certify the result of such lot upon the journal of such Council. The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the Council and perform such other duties consistent with his/her office as may be imposed by the Council. He/She shall be recognized as the official head of the City for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for the purpose of serving civil process, and by the governor for military purposes. In time of public danger or emergency, he/she may, with the consent of the Council, take command of the police, maintain order and enforce the law. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Mayor or in the case of his/her absence or disability, his/her duties shall be performed, during such absence or disability, by the Vice-President. In the absence or disability of both the President and the Vice-President, the remaining members of the Council shall select one of their numbers, to perform the duties of President. (Amended 11-8-11)
. SALARY OF COUNCIL MEMBERS AND PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL.
Each member of the Council shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars ($5,000) a year, provided that the member selected to serve as Mayor shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars ($6,000) per year, which salary shall be payable in equal monthly installations, and shall give bond in the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000), with some bonding company regularly accredited to do business in the state of Ohio, or at least two freeholders resident of Scioto County, Ohio as sureties thereof, and the premium of such bond shall be paid by the City. Council members and the President of Council/Mayor shall be entitled to participate in any City sponsored health insurance plan provided each member pay 100% of the cost of the coverage provided. The salary for members of Council and President of Council/Mayor shall increase by the average of the percentage increase provided and the department heads of the City’s two largest departments, the Fire Department and Police Department, whenever such may occur.
The Council shall choose a City Clerk and such other employees thereof as are necessary, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. The Clerk shall attend the Council as its secretary, shall keep its journal and other records, and make an annual report, giving a summary of its proceedings and shall perform such other duties as are given him by this Charter or which may be prescribed by ordinance.
. RULES OF COUNCIL.
The Council shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its members and, in such cases, shall have power to subpoena witnesses and compel the production of all pertinent books, records, and papers; but the decision of the Council in any such case shall be subject to review by the courts. The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and keep a journal of its proceedings. It shall have power to compel the attendance of absent members, may punish its members for disorderly behavior and, by vote of not less than all of the members elected to Council less two, may expel a member for disorderly conduct or the violation of its rules; but no member shall be expelled unless notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to be heard in his own defense. For each absence of a member of Council from a regular meeting of the Council, unless excused by a majority vote of all members thereof there shall be deducted from his salary a sum equal to two percent of the annual salary of such member. Absence from five consecutive regular meetings shall operate to vacate the seat of a member unless such absence is excused by the Council by a motion or resolution setting forth such excuse and entered upon the journal.
. QUORUM, VOTING OF MEMBERS.
A majority of the members elected to the Council shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a less number may adjourn from time to time and compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance. The affirmative vote of a majority of the members elected to the Council shall be necessary to adopt any ordinance, resolution, order or vote; except that in the absence of a quorum a vote to adjourn, or regarding the attendance of absent members, may be adopted by a majority of the members present. No member shall be excused from voting except on matters involving the consideration of his own official conduct or when his family or financial interests are involved.
. ALTERATION OF WORDS "FOUR MEMBERS".
Whenever the words "four members" appear in Section 8, 10, 12, 22, 140 and 166 of the Charter of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio, adopted November 6, 1928, said words "four members" shall be stricken therefrom and there shall be inserted in lieu thereof in each of said sections the words, "all of the members elected to Council less two", and where the words "four of its members", appear in Section 137 of said Charter, said words shall be stricken therefrom and there shall be inserted in lieu thereof "all of the members elected to Council less two".
. LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE.
Ordinances and resolutions shall be introduced in the Council only in written or printed form. All ordinances, except ordinances making appropriations and ordinances codifying, revising, or rearranging existing ordinances, shall be confined to one subject, and the subject, or subjects, of all ordinances shall be clearly expressed in the title. Ordinances making appropriations shall be confined to the subject of appropriations. No ordinance shall be passed until it has been read on three separate days, unless the requirement of reading it on three separate days be dispensed with by a vote of not less than all of the members elected to Council less two, of the Council. The final reading of each ordinance shall be in full unless a written or printed copy thereof shall have been furnished to each member of the Council prior to such reading. The yeas and nays shall be taken upon the passage of all ordinances and resolutions and entered upon the journal of the proceedings of the Council. The enacting clause of ordinances passed by the Council shall be, "Be it ordained by the Council of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio." The enacting clause of ordinances submitted by the initiative shall be, "Be it ordained by the people of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio."
. AMENDING ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.
No ordinance or resolution or section thereof shall be revised or amended, unless the new ordinance or resolution contains the entire ordinance or resolution or section revised or amended, and the original ordinance, resolution, section or sections so amended shall be repealed.
. WHEN ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS TAKE EFFECT.
Appropriation ordinances, ordinances and resolutions pertaining to local improvements and assessments, ordinances and resolutions providing for or directing any investigation of City affairs, resolutions requesting information from administrative officers or directing administrative action, and emergency measures, shall be in effect from and after their passage by the Council unless some other time be specified therein. All other ordinances and resolutions passed by the Council shall be in effect from and after thirty days from the date of their passage except those in which a later date for taking effect is specified. Ordinances adopted by vote of the electors shall take effect at the time indicated therein or, if no time be specified, then thirty days after their adoption. An emergency measure is an ordinance or resolution to provide for the immediate preservation of the public peace, property, health or safety, in which the emergency claimed is set forth and defined in a preamble thereto. The affirmative vote of at least all of the members elected to Council less two of the Council shall be required to pass any ordinance or resolution as an emergency measure. No measure making or amending a grant, renewal or extension of a franchise or other special privilege shall ever be passed as an emergency measure. No situation shall be declared an emergency by the Council except as defined in this section, and it is the intention of this Charter that such definition shall be strictly construed by the courts.
. AUTHENTICATION AND PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS.
After passage by the Council each ordinance and resolution shall be authenticated by the signatures of the President of Council and City Clerk and recorded in a book kept for that purpose. Within ten days after passage each ordinance and resolution, except ordinances and resolutions providing for or directing an investigation of City affairs and resolutions requesting information from City officers or directing administrative action, and all appropriation ordinances shall be published in such manner as may be provided by ordinance, but if newspaper publication be specified then each such ordinance and resolution shall be published once in a newspaper printed, and of general circulation, in the City. The publication authorized by Council in book form of any codification, revision or rearrangement of ordinances passed by the Council, if such book contain the certificate of the Mayor and City Clerk of the correctness thereof, shall be deemed sufficient publication of the ordinance, or several ordinances, contained therein; and any such book so published and certified shall be received as evidence in any court for the purpose of proving the ordinance or ordinances therein contained. (Amended 11-5-02; 11-8-11)
. POWER TO INITIATE ORDINANCES.
The electors shall have power to propose any ordinance, except an appropriation ordinance, and to adopt or reject the same at the polls, such power being known as the initiative. Any proposed ordinance may be submitted to the Council by petition which, to be sufficient, shall be signed by electors of the City equal in number to at least ten percentum (10%) of those who voted at the last regular municipal election. All petition papers circulated with respect to a proposed ordinance shall be uniform in character and shall contain the proposed ordinance in full.
. CONSIDERATION OF INITIATED ORDINANCE BY COUNCIL.
If an initiative petition, or amended petition, be found sufficient by the City Clerk he shall immediately so certify and promptly submit the proposed ordinance therein set forth to the Council which shall at once read it and refer it to an appropriate committee, which may be a committee of the whole. Provision may be made for public hearings upon the proposed ordinance before the committee to which it is referred. Thereafter the committee shall report the proposed ordinance to the Council, with its recommendations thereon, not later than sixty days after the date on which it was submitted to the Council by the City Clerk. Upon receiving the proposed ordinance from the committee the Council shall proceed at once to consider it and to take final action thereon within thirty days from the date of such committee report.
. SUBMISSION OF INITIATED ORDINANCE TO ELECTORS.
If the Council fail to pass an ordinance proposed by initiative petition, or pass it in a form different from that set forth in the petition therefor, the committee of the petitioners hereinafter provided for may require that it be submitted to a vote of the electors either in its original form or with any change or amendment presented in writing either at a public hearing before the committee to which the proposed ordinance was referred or during the consideration thereof by the Council. If the committee of petitioners require the submission of a proposed ordinance to a vote of the electors they shall certify that fact to the City Clerk, and file in his office a certified copy of the proposed ordinance in the form in which it is to be submitted, within ten days after final action on such proposed ordinance by the Council.
. ELECTION ON INITIATED ORDINANCE.
Upon receipt of the certified copy of a proposed ordinance from the committee of the petitioners the City Clerk shall certify that fact to the Council at its next regular meeting. If any election is to be held not more than one year nor less than thirty days after the receipt of the Clerk's certificate by the Council, the proposed ordinance shall be submitted to a vote of the electors at the first such election unless the Council provide for submitting it to the electors at a special election to be held within the time aforesaid. If no other election is to be held within one year and not less than thirty days after the receipt of the Clerk's certificate as aforesaid, the Council may provide for submitting the proposed ordinance to the electors at a special election to be held within that time. If, when submitted to the electors, a majority of those voting on a proposed ordinance vote in favor thereof, it shall be an ordinance of the City. Initiated ordinances adopted by the electors shall be published, and may be amended or repealed by the Council, as in the case of other ordinances.
. INITIATED ORDINANCE PASSED BY COUNCIL IN AMENDED FORM.
When an ordinance proposed by initiative petition is passed by the Council in a changed or amended form, and the committee of the petitioners require that such proposed ordinance be submitted to a vote of the electors as provided in Section 16, hereof, the ordinance as passed by the Council shall not take effect until after such vote and, if the proposed ordinance so submitted by approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the ordinance as passed by the Council shall be deemed repealed.
. INITIATED REPEALING ORDINANCES.
Ordinances may be proposed by initiative petition for repealing any existing ordinance or ordinances, in whole or in part, in the same manner as provided in the preceding sections for initiating other ordinances.
. POWER OF REFERENDUM.
The electors shall have a power to approve or reject at the polls any ordinance passed by the Council, or submitted by the Council to a vote of the electors, except an appropriation ordinance, such power being known as the referendum. Ordinances submitted to the Council by initiative petition and passed by the Council without change, or passed in an amended form and not required by the committee of the petitioners to be submitted to a vote of the electors, shall be subject to the referendum in the same manner as other ordinances.
. REFERENDUM PETITION.
Within thirty days after the final passage by the Council of an ordinance which is subject to referendum, a petition signed by the electors of the City equal in number to at least ten per centum (10%) of those who voted at the last preceding regular municipal election may be filed with the City Clerk requesting that such ordinance, or any specified part thereof, be either repealed or submitted to a vote of the electors. Referendum petition papers circulated with respect to said ordinance, or part of an ordinance, shall be uniform in character and shall clearly specify the ordinance, or part thereof, repeal of which is sought, but need not contain the text thereof.
. CONSIDERATION OF REFERRED ORDINANCE BY COUNCIL REFERENDUM ELECTION.
If a referendum petition, or amended petition, be found sufficient by the City Clerk he shall certify that fact to the Council at its next regular meeting and the ordinance or part thereof specified in the petition shall not go into effect, or further action thereunder shall be suspended if it shall have gone into effect, until approved by the electors as hereinafter provided. Upon receipt of the Clerk's certificate the Council shall proceed to reconsider the ordinance or part thereof, and its final vote upon such reconsideration shall be upon the question, "Shall the ordinance (or part of the ordinance) set forth in the referendum petition by repealed?" If upon such reconsideration the ordinance, or part thereof, be not repealed it shall be submitted to the electors at the next succeeding regular or general election held not less than thirty days after such final vote by the Council. The Council by vote of not less than all of the members elected to Council less two may submit the ordinance, or part thereof, to the electors at a special election to be held not sooner than the time aforesaid. If when submitted to the electors any ordinance, or part thereof, be not approved by a majority of those voting thereon it shall be deemed repealed.
. FORM OF BALLOT FOR INITIATED AND REFERRED ORDINANCES.
Ordinances, or parts thereof, submitted to vote of the electors in accordance with the initiative and referendum provisions of this Charter shall be submitted by ballot title which shall be prepared in all cases by the City Solicitor. The ballot title may be distinct from the legal title of any such initiated or referred ordinance and shall be a clear, concise statement, without argument or partiality, descriptive of the substance of such ordinance, or part thereof. The ballot used in voting upon any ordinance, or part thereof, shall have below the ballot title the following propositions, one above the other, in order indicated: "For the ordinance" and "Against the ordinance." Adjacent to each proposition there shall be a method by which the elector may vote for or against the ordinance or part thereof. Any number of ordinances, or parts thereof, may be voted on at the same election and may be submitted on the same ballot, but the ballot used for voting thereon shall be for that purpose only. (Amended 5-7-02)
. PRELIMINARY ACTION UNDER REFERRED ORDINANCE.
In case a petition be filed requiring that an ordinance passed by Council involving the expenditure of money, a bond issue, or a public improvement be submitted to a vote of the electors, all steps preliminary to such actual expenditure, actual issuance of bonds, or actual execution of the contract for such improvement, may be taken prior to the election.
. REFERENDUM ON ORDINANCES.
Any ordinance except an emergency ordinance which, in accordance with the provisions of Section 12 of this Charter, shall have gone into effect prior to the filing of a referendum petition thereon shall be subject to referendum, and further action thereunder shall be suspended from the date of the City Clerk's certification to the Council that a sufficient referendum petition has been filed. If, when submitted to a vote of the electors, any such ordinance be not approved by a majority of those voting thereon it shall be considered repealed and all rights and privileges conferred by it shall be null and void, but any such ordinance so repealed shall be deemed sufficient authority for any payments made or expense incurred in accordance therewith prior to the date of the Clerk's certification to the Council that a sufficient referendum petition has been filed.
. CONFLICT OF REFERRED MEASURES.
If two or more ordinances adopted or approved at the same election conflict in respect to any of their provisions, they shall go into effect in respect of such of their provisions as are not in conflict and the one receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail in so far as their provisions conflict.
INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS
. SIGNATURES TO INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS.
The signatures to initiative, referendum or recall petitions need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate petition paper there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof as provided by this section. Each signer of any such petition paper shall sign his name in ink or indelible pencil and shall indicate after his name his place of residence by street and number, or other description sufficient to identify the place. There shall appear on each petition paper the names and addresses of five electors of the City, on each paper the names and addresses of the same five electors, who, as a committee of the petitioners, shall be regarded as responsible for the circulation and filing of the petition. The affidavit attached to each petition paper shall be as follows:
I, , being duly sworn, depose and say that I, and I only personally circulated the foregoing petition paper and that all the signatures appended thereto were made in my presence and are the genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of , 19
The foregoing affidavit shall be strictly construed and any affiant convicted of swearing falsely as regards any particular thereof shall be guilty of perjury.
. FILING, EXAMINATION AND CERTIFICATION OF INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS.
All petition papers comprising an initiative, referendum or recall petition shall be assembled and filed with the City Clerk as one instrument. Within twenty (20) days after such a petition is filed the City Clerk shall determine whether each paper of the petition is properly attested and whether the petition is signed by a sufficient number of electors. The City Clerk shall declare any petition paper entirely invalid which is not attested by the circulator thereof as required by Section 27 of this Charter or upon which the affidavit of the circulator shall be shown to be false in any particular. Upon completing his examination of the petition the City Clerk shall attach thereto a certificate showing the result of the examination. If he shall certify that the petition is insufficient he shall set forth in his certificate the particulars in which it is defective and shall at once notify the committee of the petitioners of his findings.
. AMENDMENT OF INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL PETITIONS.
An initiative, referendum or recall petition may be amended at any time within ten days after the making of a certificate of insufficiency by the City Clerk, by filing a supplementary petition upon additional papers signed, attested and filed as provided in case of an original petition. The City Clerk shall, within five days after such an amendment is filed, make examination of the amended petition and, if his certificate shall show the petition still to be insufficient, he shall file it in his office and notify the committee of the petitions of his findings and no further action shall be had on such insufficient petition. The finding of the insufficiency of a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose.
. THE CITY MANAGER.
The Council shall appoint a City Manager who shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the City. The Manager shall be chosen by the Council on the basis of his/her executive and administrative qualifications and need not, when appointed, be a resident of the City or the State. No member of the Council shall, during the time for which elected, be chosen as City Manager. The Manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term but may be removed by a majority vote of Council of not less than four (4) members of Council voting for said removal. Before the Manager may be removed he/she shall, if he/she so demands, be given a written statement specifically setting forth the reasons alleged for his/her removal and the right to be heard publicly thereon at a meeting of the Council prior to the final vote on the questions of his/her removal, but pending and during such hearing the Council may suspend him/her from office. The action of the Council in suspending or removing the Manager shall be final, it being the intention of this Charter to rest all authority and fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal in the Council. The City Manager may designate, by letter filed with the City Clerk, any qualified administrative officer of the City to perform his/her duties during his temporary absence or disability. If such designation has not been made and the City Manager is unable to perform his duties or to make such a designation, the Council may, by resolution, appoint a qualified administrative officer of the City to perform the duties of the City Manager until he shall return or his disability cease. (Amended 11-8-11)
. RESPONSIBILITY OF MANAGER - POWERS OF APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL.
The City Manager shall be responsible to the Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the City placed in his/her charge and, to that end, subject to the civil service provisions of this Charter and/or Collective Bargaining Agreements and except as otherwise provided herein, he/she shall have the power to appoint and remove only those officers and employees in the service of the City under his/her charge, but the Manager may authorize the head of a department or office responsible to him/her to appoint and remove subordinates in such department or office. Appointments made by, or under the authority of, the City Manager shall be on the basis of executive and administrative ability and of the training and experience of each appointees in the work which they are to perform. All such appointments shall be without definite term.
. REMOVAL OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.
Any officer or employee of the City, may be laid off, suspended or removed from office or employment by the authority by whom appointed. Verbal or written notice of layoff, suspension or removal given directly to an officer or employee, or written notice left at or mailed to his usual place of residence shall be sufficient to put any such layoff, suspension or removal into effect unless the person so notified shall, within five days after such notice, demand a written statement specifically setting forth the reasons therefore and the right to be heard publicly before the officer by whom such notice was given. Upon such demand the officer making the layoff, suspension or removal shall provide the person notified thereof with a written statement specifically stating the reasons therefore and shall fix a time and place for the public hearing. Following the public hearing the officer making the layoff, suspension or removal shall, by a decision in writing, make such disposition of the case as in his opinion, the good of the service may require and such decision shall be final. A copy of the statement of reasons for any layoff, suspension or removal, a copy of any written reply thereto by the officer or employee involved, and a copy of the final decision of the officer by whom the layoff, suspension or removal was made, shall be filed as public records in the office of the Secretary of Civil Service.
. COUNCIL NOT TO INTERFERE IN APPOINTMENTS OR REMOVALS.
Neither the Council nor any of its committee or members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the City Manager, City Auditor, City Solicitor or any of his or their subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the City. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Council and its members shall deal with that portion of the service of the City for which the City Manager is responsible solely through the City Manager, that part for which the City Auditor and City Solicitor are responsible solely through such officials, and neither the Council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the City Manager, City Auditor or City Solicitor either publicly or privately. Any violation of the provisions of this section by a member of the Council shall be a misdemeanor, conviction of which shall immediately forfeit the office of the member so convicted. (Amended 11-8-11)
. DUTIES OF THE CITY MANAGER.
Except as provided in Section 5 of this Charter it shall be the duty of the City Manager to act as chief conservator of the peace within the City; to supervise the administration of the affairs of the City; to see that the ordinances of the City and the laws of the State are enforced; to make such recommendations to the Council concerning the affairs of the City as may seem to him desirable; to keep the Council advised of the financial condition and future needs of the City; to prepare and submit to the Council the necessary budgets; to attend all meetings of the Council except when his removal is under discussion, with the right to take part in all discussions of Council, but shall have no vote therein; to prepare and submit to the Council such reports as may be required by that body; and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or required of him by ordinance or resolution of the Council.(Amended 11-8-11)
. RIGHT OF CERTAIN OFFICERS IN COUNCIL.
The directors of all departments, and such other officers of the City may be designated by vote of the Council, shall be entitled to seats in the Council but shall have no vote therein. The directors and other officers shall be entitled to take part in all discussions of the Council relating to their respective departments and offices.
. ESTABLISHMENT OF DEPARTMENTS.
There shall be a Department of Law, a Department of Finance, and such other departments and officers as may be established by ordinance.
. ONE PERSON AS HEAD OF TWO OR MORE OFFICES.
The City Manager may appoint the same person as the head of more than one department or office, and except as otherwise provided in this Charter may himself act as head of any department or office; but the Department of Law shall not thus be joined with any other department or office, and the City Manager shall not act as head of the Department of Finance or of any office therein. (Amended 11-8-11)
. NUMBER OF ASSISTANTS AND SUBORDINATES, HOW FIXED.
The number of assistants and other subordinates to be employed in or by each department or office shall be fixed by the Council, unless the Council authorize the City Manager to determine the number of such assistants and subordinates in and for any department or office subject to the appropriations made therefor.
. ADVISORY BOARDS.
The City Manager may appoint a board of citizens qualified to act in an advisory capacity to the head of any department or office. The members of any such board shall serve without compensation and it shall be their duty to consult and advise with the director or other officer, as the case may be, but not to direct the conduct of the department or office. Recommendations of any such board shall be in writing and shall become a part of the records of the department or office to which they relate. The head of the department or office for which an advisory board is appointed shall be chairman of all meetings thereof. (Amended 11-8-11)
. INVESTIGATIONS BY COUNCIL OR CITY MANAGER.
The Council, the City Manager or any person or committee authorized by either of them, shall have power to inquire into the conduct of any department, office or officer of the City and to make investigations as to municipal affairs, and for that purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the production of books, papers and other evidence.
. ELECTION, QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES OF CITY SOLICITOR.
A City Solicitor shall be elected as herein provided, and his term of office shall be for four (4) years, commencing on the first Monday in January next following his election, and shall serve until his successor is elected and qualified. Should a vacancy occur for any reason in the office of the City Solicitor, the Council shall appoint some eligible person for the unexpired term. The City Solicitor shall be an elector of the City, shall have been for at lease three (3) years immediately preceding his election and during the term of his office shall continue to be a resident of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio, and an attorney at law who shall have practiced in the courts of the State of Ohio for at least five years. He shall perform all of the duties imposed upon the chief legal officers of cities by the general laws of the State of Ohio, and beyond the competence of this Charter to alter or require. The salary of the City Solicitor, the number of assistants and employees and their salaries shall be fixed by Council, but such assistants and employees shall be appointed and may be removed by the City Solicitor, at will.
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE - FINANCIAL PROCEDURE
. ELECTION, QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES OF CITY AUDITOR.
A City Auditor shall be elected as herein provided, and his term of office shall be for four (4) years, commencing on the first Monday in January next following his election, and he shall serve until his successor is elected and qualified. Should a vacancy occur for any reason in the office of the City Auditor, the Council shall appoint some eligible person for the unexpired term. The City Auditor shall be an elector of the City, shall have been for at least three (3) years immediately preceding his election and during the term of his office shall continue to be a resident of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio. He shall be the head of the Department of Finance and Audits. He shall also be the City Treasurer, and have charge of the administration of the financial affairs of the City, including the keeping and supervision of all accounts, the custody and disbursements of City funds. The salary of the City Auditor and the number of employees and their salaries in his office shall be fixed by Council, but all such employees shall be appointed and may be removed by the City Auditor. He shall perform such other duties and exercise such other powers as may be required by law.
. MONTHLY STATEMENT BY CITY AUDITOR.
The City Auditor shall prepare for submission to the Council, not later than the tenth day of each month, a summary statement of revenues and expenses for the preceding month, detailed as to appropriations and funds in such manner as to show the exact financial condition of the City and of each department and office thereof as of the last day of the previous month.
. SPECIAL AUDITS.
Upon the death, resignation, removal or expiration of the term of any officer of the City, other than the City Auditor, the City Auditor shall cause an audit and investigation of the accounts of such officer to be made and shall report to the City Manager and the Council. Either the Council or the Mayor may at any time provide for an examination or audit of the accounts of any department, office or officer of the City. In case of the death, resignation or removal of the City Auditor, the City Manager shall cause an audit to be made of his accounts. If, as a result of any such audit, an officer be found indebted to the City the City Auditor, or other person making such audit, shall immediately give notice thereof to the Council, the City Manager, and the City Solicitor and the latter shall forthwith proceed to collect such indebtedness.
. PURCHASING AGENT.
The City Manager shall be the Purchasing Agent of the City. The Purchasing Agent shall make all purchases of supplies, materials and equipment for the City in the manner provided by ordinance, and shall, under such regulations as may be provided by ordinance, sell all property, real and personal of the City not needed for public use or that may have become unsuitable for use, or that may have been condemned as useless by the City Manager. He shall have charge of such general storerooms and warehouses of the City as the Council may by ordinance establish.
. PURCHASING AND FURNISHING SUPPLIES.
Before making any purchase or sale in excess of the amount provided by the General Code of Ohio, the City Purchasing Agent shall give opportunity for competition under such rules and regulations as the Council may establish by ordinance. Supplies required by any department or office may be furnished upon requisition from the stores under the control of the Purchasing Agent, and whenever so furnished, shall be paid for by the department or office furnished therewith by warrant made payable to the credit of the store's account of the division of purchases and supplies. The Purchasing Agent shall not furnish any supplies to any department or office unless there be to the credit thereof an available appropriation balance, in excess of all unpaid obligation, sufficient to pay for such supplies.
The fiscal year of the City shall begin with the first day of January and shall end with the next succeeding thirty-first day of December.
. ANNUAL TAX LEVY.
The Council shall annually levy a tax for current operating expenses on the property assessed and listed for taxation in the City for the purposes of the City of Portsmouth, its boards, departments and institutions. The rate of such tax shall not exceed 8.55 mills on the dollar of assessed valuation.
In the year 1953, upon the making of any such levy by the Council, and prior to the time when the first tax collection from such levy can be made, the Council may anticipate a fraction of the proceeds of such levy and issue anticipation notes in an amount not to exceed $200,000.00.
In case such anticipation notes are issued, they shall mature one-half in not more than one year, and one-half in not more than two years from the date thereof, and they shall be sold as provided in the Uniform Bond Act. Such notes may be issued subject to call and redemption prior to maturity, at not more than par and accrued interest.
If such notes are issued the amount necessary to pay the interest and principal thereof shall be deemed appropriated for such purpose from such levy, and appropriations from such levy by the Council shall be limited for the years 1954 and 1955 to the balance available in excess of the amount required to pay the principal and interest on the note or notes falling due in each of said years.
Provided, however, that after the year 1953, Council shall have no authority to issue anticipation notes against such levy, except such authority as is given by the laws of Ohio to borrow during any current year in anticipation of the semi-annual tax settlement by the County Auditor for that year.
So long as this section and these powers are in effect, the levying by Council of a tax on incomes or on payrolls is hereby expressly prohibited.
. TAX LEVY FOR BONDS AND NOTES.
The Council shall annually levy outside the limitations provided in this Charter a sufficient sum to pay the interest, sinking fund, and retirement charges on all bonds and notes of the City of Portsmouth, lawfully issued, and the expenses incident to the management of the sinking fund, which entire levy shall be placed before and in preference to all other levies. Amounts certified under the laws of the State as necessary for such purposes shall not be subject to change by Council.
. INCOME TAX AUTHORIZATION.
In addition to the authority contained in Sections 47-a and 47-b the City Council shall enact an ordinance levying an income tax of one-half (1/2) of one percent (1%), to provide funds for the general municipal operations, City employee compensation, street lighting and capital improvements, notwithstanding any provision in Section 47-a prohibiting an income tax.
The net proceeds of the income tax will be set aside and used for the following:
30% City Employee Compensation
30% General Municipal Operation
Said income tax shall be levied on the net profits of all businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on the net profits on all businesses, professions or other activities conducted in the City of Portsmouth by non-residents; on the net profits of all corporations as a result of work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth; on all salaries, wages, commissions, and other personal service compensation earned by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions and other personal service compensation earned by non-residents of the City of Portsmouth for work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth.
The Department of Finance under the City Auditor's supervision shall administer and collect the income tax under rules and regulations adopted by a policy committee consisting of the City Solicitor, City Auditor and City Manager.
This section shall take effect and be in force as of the date of the certification to the Secretary of State by the Board of Elections.
(Adopted 5-5-70; Amended 11-8-11.)
. SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME TAX AUTHORIZATION.
In addition to the authority contained in Sections 47-a, 47-b, and 47-c, the City Council shall enact an ordinance levying an income tax of one-half (1/2) of one percent (1%) beginning May 1, 1977, to provide funds for the general municipal operations, City employee compensation, and capital improvements, notwithstanding any provision in Section 47-a prohibiting an income tax.
Beginning May 1, 1977, the net proceeds of the income tax shall be set aside and used for the following:
40% City Employee Compensation
30% General Municipal Operations
Said income tax shall be levied on the net profits of all businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on the net profits of all businesses, professions or other activities conducted in the City of Portsmouth by non-residents; on the net profits of all corporations as a result of work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth; on all salaries, wages, commissions, and other personal service compensation earned by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions and other personal service compensation earned by non-residents of the City of Portsmouth for work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth.
The Department of Finance under the City Auditor's supervision shall administer and collect the income tax under rules and regulations adopted by a policy committee consisting of the City Solicitor, City Auditor and City Manager.
This section shall take effect and be in force as of the date of the certification to the Secretary of State by the Board of Elections.
(Amended 6-8-76; 11-8-11.)
. SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME TAX AUTHORIZATION FOR SAFETY FORCES.
In addition to the authority contained in Sections 47-a, 47-b, 47-c, and 47-d, the City Council shall enact an ordinance levying an income tax of four-tenths of one percent beginning January 1, 1988, to provide funds for compensating employees of the police and fire forces of the City of Portsmouth and for no other purpose whatsoever.
Said income tax shall be levied on the net profits of all businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on the net profits on all businesses, professions or other activities conducted in the City of Portsmouth by nonresidents; on the net profits of all corporations as a result of work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth; on all salaries, wages, commissions, and other personal service compensation earned by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions and other personal service compensation earned by nonresidents of the City of Portsmouth for work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth.
The Department of Finance under the City Auditor's supervision shall administer and collect the income tax under rules and regulations adopted by a policy committee as established in Section 47-c of this Charter.
. SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME TAX AUTHORIZATION FOR SAFETY FORCES. (POLICE AND FIRE)
In addition to the authority contained in Sections 47-a, 47-b, 47-c, 47-d, and 47-e, the City Council shall enact an ordinance levying an income tax of six-tenths of one percent beginning January 1, 2012, to provide funds for the operations of the Police and Fire forces of the City of Portsmouth and for no other purpose whatsoever.
Said income tax shall be levied on the net profits of all businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on the net profits on all businesses, professions or other activities conducted in the City of Portsmouth by nonresidents; on the net profits of all corporations as a result of work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth; on all salaries, wages, commissions, and other personal service compensation earned by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions, and other personal service compensations earned by residents of the City of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions and other personal service compensation earned by non-residents of the City of Portsmouth for work done or services performed or rendered in the City of Portsmouth.
The Department of Finance under the City Auditor’s supervision shall administer and collect the income tax under rules and regulations adopted by a policy committee as established in Section 47-c of this Charter. (Enacted 11-8-11)
SECTION 47-g. SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME TAX AUTHORIZATION FOR GENERAL MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS.
In addition to the authority contained in Sections 47-a, 47-b, 47-c, 47d, 47-e, and 47-f the City Council shall enact an ordinance levying an income tax of five-tenths of one percent beginning January 1, 2016, to provide funds for general municipal operations of the City of Portsmouth.
Said income tax shall be levied on the net profits of all businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the city of Portsmouth, on the net profits on all businesses, professions or other activities conducted in the city of Portsmouth by nonresidents; on the net profits of all corporations as a result of work done or services performed or rendered in the city of Portsmouth; on all salaries, wages, commissions, and other personal service compensation earned by residents of the city of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions and other personal service compensation earned by residents of the city of Portsmouth, on all salaries, wages, commissions and other personal service compensation earned by non-residents of the city of Portsmouth for work done or services performed or rendered in the city of Portsmouth.
The Department of Finance under the City Auditor's supervision shall administer
and collect the income tax under rules and regulations adopted by a policy committee as
established in Section 47-c of this Charter. (Enacted 5-5-15)
. ANNUAL BUDGET.
On or before the fifteenth day of November in each year the City Manager shall prepare and submit to the Council a budget presenting a financial plan for conducting affairs of the City for the ensuing fiscal year. The classification of estimates in the budget shall be as nearly uniform as possible for the main divisions of all departments and offices. The budget shall include the following information:
(1) Detailed estimates of the expense of conducting each department and office of the City for the ensuing fiscal year;
(2) Expenditures for corresponding items for the current year and the last preceding fiscal year with reasons for increases or decreases recommended as compared with appropriations for the current year;
(3) The value of supplies and materials on hand at the date of the preparation of the budget;
(4) The total and net debt of the City together with a schedule of maturities of bond issues;
(5) A statement of the amounts to be appropriated;
(a) For interest on the City debt.
(b) For paying off any serial bonds maturing during the year.
(c) For the aggregate for the year of the installments required to be appropriated annually during the life of all other bonds of the City in order to accumulate a fund sufficient to pay off such bonds at maturity.
(6) A separate statement indicating any deficiency in the sinking fund and the amount needed to replace such deficiency;
(7) An itemization of all anticipated income of the City from sources other than taxes and bond issues, with a comparative statement of the amounts received by the City from each of the same or similar sources for the last preceding and current fiscal years;
(8) An estimate of the amount of money to be raised from taxes and the amount to be raised from bond issues, which, with income from other sources, will be necessary to meet the expenditures proposed;
(9) Such other information as the City Manager may think desirable or the Council may require. (Also in accordance with Sec. 5705.28 and Sec. 5705.30 Revised Code of Ohio.) (Amended 11-8-11)
. ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE.
The City Manager shall submit to the Council, at the time that he submits the annual budget, the draft of an appropriation ordinance based on the budget and so drawn so as to provide for all expenditures proposed therein for the ensuing year. Upon the submission of the proposed appropriation ordinance to the Council it shall be deemed to have been regularly introduced therein. Within a period of ten (10) days after the receipt of such proposed appropriation ordinance the Council may provide for public hearings thereon to be held either before a committee of the Council or before the Council sitting as a committee of the whole. After the expiration of said period of time the proposed appropriation ordinance may be changed or amended by the Council, and shall take the same course and be subject to the same procedure in the Council as other ordinances and may be passed before the beginning of the next fiscal year. (Amended 11-8-16)
. PRELIMINARY APPROPRIATIONS.
Before the beginning of the fiscal year, and before the annual appropriation ordinance has been passed, the Council, upon the written recommendation of the City Manager, may make appropriations, sufficient to cover the necessary expenses of the City until the annual appropriation ordinance is in force. The aggregate of any such preliminary appropriations shall not be more than one-sixth of the total of the appropriations proposed for the year in the draft of the annual appropriation ordinance submitted to the Council by the City Manager. (Amended 11-8-16)
. TRANSFER OF APPROPRIATIONS.
The Council may at any time transfer an unencumbered balance of an appropriation to a purpose or object for which the appropriation for the current year has proved insufficient, or may authorize a transfer to be made between items appropriated for the same department or office; but no such transfer shall be made of the income of earnings of any public utility owned by the City, and receiving no support from taxation, to any other purpose than such utility.
. APPROPRIATIONS OF EXCESS REVENUE.
If at any time the total accruing revenue of the City shall be in excess of the total estimated income thereof, as set forth in the annual budget in compliance with subdivisions (7) and (8) of Section 48 of this Charter, the Council may from time to time appropriate such excess to such uses as will not conflict with any uses for which specifically such revenues accrued.
. EXPENDITURES ONLY PURSUANT TO APPROPRIATIONS.
No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the City, nor shall any obligation for the expenditure of money be incurred except in pursuance of the annual appropriation ordinance, any preliminary appropriation ordinance passed in accordance with Section 50 of this Charter, or of the annual appropriation ordinance when changed as authorized by Section 51 hereof and the proceeds from the sale of notes or bonds issued for a special purpose. At the close of each fiscal year any unencumbered balance of an appropriation shall revert to the fund from which appropriated and be subject to re-appropriation; but appropriations may be made by the Council, to be paid out of the income of the current year, in furtherance of improvements or other objects or works which will not be completed within such year, and any such appropriation shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made shall have been accomplished or abandoned.
. APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS.
Accounts shall be kept for each item of appropriation made by the Council, and every warrant on the Treasury shall state specifically against which of such items the warrant is drawn. Each such account shall show in detail the appropriations made thereto, the amount drawn thereon, the unpaid obligations charged against it, and the unencumbered balance to the credit thereof.
. PAYMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE CITY.
No claim against the City shall be paid except by means of a warrant on the Treasury issued by the City Auditor, who shall issue no such warrant unless the claim be evidenced by a voucher approved by the head of the department or office for which the indebtedness was incurred, and countersigned by the City Manager; and each such officer and his surety shall be liable to the City for all loss or damage sustained by reason of his negligent or corrupt approval of any claim.
. EXAMINATION AND INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS.
The City Auditor shall examine all payrolls, bills and other claims against the City and shall issue no warrant for payment unless he finds that the claim is in proper form, correctly computed and duly approved; that it is legally due and payable; that an appropriation has been made therefor which has not been exhausted; and that there is money in the Treasury to make payment. He may investigate any claim and for that purpose may summon before him any officer, agent or employee of the City, any claimant or other person, and examine him upon oath or affirmation relative thereto, and if he find a claim to be fraudulent, erroneous, or otherwise invalid, he shall not issue a warrant therefor.
. MONEY REQUIRED TO BE IN TREASURY.
No contract agreement, or other obligation, involving the expenditure of money out of appropriations made by the Council, shall be entered into, nor shall any order for such expenditure be valid unless the City Auditor shall first certify to the Council that the money required for such contract, agreement or obligation is in the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation from which it is to be drawn, and that it is otherwise unencumbered. The certificate of the City Auditor shall be filed and made a matter of record in his office, and the sum so certified as being in the Treasury shall not thereafter be considered unencumbered until the City is discharged from the contract, agreement, or obligation. All unencumbered moneys actually in the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation from which an obligation is to be paid, and all moneys applicable to its payment which, before the maturity thereof, are anticipated to come into the Treasury to the credit of such appropriation shall, for the purpose of such certificate, be deemed in the Treasury to the credit of the appropriation from which the obligation is to be paid.
. WHEN CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS ARE INVALID.
All contracts, agreements, or other obligations entered into, all ordinances and resolutions passed and orders adopted, contrary to the provisions of Section 57 of this Charter shall be void, and no person shall have any claim or demand whatever against the City thereunder nor shall the Council or any officer of the City waive or qualify the limitations fixed by such section or fasten upon the City any liability whatever in excess of such limits.
. ACCOUNTS OF PUBLICLY OWNED UTILITIES.
Accounts shall be kept for each public utility owned or operated by the City, distinct from other City accounts and in such manner as to show the complete financial results of such City ownership, or ownership and operation, including all assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. These accounts shall show the actual costs to the City of each public utility owned; the cost of all extensions, additions and improvements; all expenses of maintenance; the amount set aside for sinking fund purposes, and, in the case of City operation, all operation expenses of every description. They shall show as nearly as possible the value of any service furnished to or rendered by any such public utility by or to any other City or governmental department or office. They shall also show a proper allowance for depreciation, insurance, interest on the investment, and estimates of the amount of taxes that would be chargeable against the property if privately owned. The Council shall annually cause to be made and printed for public information a report showing the financial results of such City ownership, or ownership and operation, which report shall give the information specified in this section and such other information as the Council shall deem expedient.
. SINKING FUND.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Former Section 60 was repealed by the voters on May 7, 2002.)
Any public work or improvement may be executed either by contract or by the employment of the necessary labor and the purchase of the necessary supplies and materials directly by the City. Any public work or improvement executed directly by the City shall be authorized by the Council only after detailed estimates have been submitted by the department or office authorized to execute such work or improvement, and there shall be separate accounting as to each work or improvement so executed. All the contracts for public work or improvements shall be awarded to the lowest and best responsible bidder, after public advertisement and competition as may be prescribed by ordinance, but the City Manager shall have the power to reject any and all bids and advertise again. All advertisements as to such contracts shall contain a reservation of the foregoing right. Contracts entered into by the City shall be signed by the City Manager or by such other officer, or officers, of the City as the Council may by ordinance provide. (Amended 11-8-11)
. ALTERATION IN CONTRACTS.
Whenever, in the prosecution of any work or improvement under contract, it becomes necessary in the opinion of the City Manager to make alterations in such contract, such alterations may be made by the City Manager only when extra work and materials are provided for in the original contract. In all other such contracts no alterations shall be made therein unless authorized by Council upon the written recommendation of the City Manager. No such alteration shall be valid unless the new price to be paid for any supplies, material or work under the altered contract shall have been agreed upon in writing and signed by the contractor and the City Manager, prior to such authorization when required. (Amended 11-8-11)
MUNICIPAL CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
. COMPOSITION, POWERS AND DUTIES.
There shall be a Municipal Civil Service Commission consisting of the number of members and who shall be appointed by the Council in the manner prescribed and for the term or terms provided, or which may be hereinafter provided by general law.
Said Municipal Service Commission shall have all the powers and duties prescribed by general law for Municipal Civil Service Commissions and all provisions of general law with reference to civil service shall govern the operation of the civil service of the City, unless otherwise provided in this Charter, provided however that nothing herein shall be construed to abridge any rights of any kind and nature of any employee of the City which became fixed by this Charter prior to the adoption of this section as amended.
EDITOR'S NOTE: There are no sections 64 through 75.
. COMPENSATION ESTABLISHED BY COUNCIL.
The Council shall by ordinance establish a schedule of compensation for officers and employees in the classified service which shall provide uniform compensation for like service. Such schedule of compensation may establish a minimum and maximum for any grade, and an increase in compensation, within the limits provided for any grade, may be granted at any time by the City Manager or other appointing authority upon the basis of efficiency and seniority.
(Adopted 11-4-41; 11-8-11.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: There are no sections 77 through 79.
. POLITICAL ASSESSMENTS PROHIBITED.
No person receiving remuneration from the City holding an appointive office or place in the service of the City shall directly or indirectly give, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned in giving, soliciting or receiving, any assessment, subscription or contribution for any political party or political purpose whatever. Nor shall such person orally or by letter solicit or be in any manner concerned in soliciting any assessment, subscription or contribution for any political party or political purpose from any person holding a position in the administrative service. Nor shall such person use or promise to use his influence or official authority to secure any appointment or prospective appointment, to any position in the service of the City as a reward or return for personal or partisan political service.
. CERTAIN POLITICAL PRACTICE FORBIDDEN.
No person about to be appointed to any position in the service of the City shall sign or execute a resignation, dated or undated, in advance of such appointment. No person in the service of the City shall discharge, suspend, lay-off, reduce in grade or in any manner change the official rank or compensation of any person in such service, or promise or threaten to do so, for withholding or neglecting to make any contribution of money or service or any valuable thing for any political purpose. No person in the administrative service of the City shall use his official authority to influence or coerce the political action of any person or body, or to interfere with any nomination or election to public office.
. POLITICAL ACTIVITY PROHIBITED.
No person receiving remuneration from the City and holding an appointive office or place in the City government shall act as an officer of a political organization, take part in a political campaign, serve as a member of a committee of any such organization, or circulate, or seek signatures to any petition provided for by primary or election laws, or act as a worker in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
. VIOLATION AND PENALTIES.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of Sections 80, 81 and 82 of this Charter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, in the Municipal Court of Portsmouth, be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment for a term of not more than six (6) months or both, and in addition thereto shall immediately forfeit any office or employment he holds with the City of Portsmouth.
. PRESENT EMPLOYEES CONTINUED.
All persons who, at the time this Charter takes effect, are holding positions in the service of the City pursuant to appointment from eligible lists, or who have been continuously in the service of the City in the same position for the preceding five years, shall be deemed to hold such position as though appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Charter. Employees of any public utility acquired by the City, who are in the service of such utility at the time of its acquisition, shall be deemed to hold their positions as though appointed under the civil service provisions of this Charter; but vacancies thereafter occurring in such service shall be filled from eligible lists in the manner herein provided.
. CANDIDACY FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE PROHIBITED.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Former Section 85 was repealed by the voters on May 7, 2002.)
. CONTROL OF PUBLIC HEALTH BY CITY.
The City shall, through such officer or officers as may be provided for by ordinance, enforce all laws and ordinances relating to health, and such officer or officers shall perform all the duties and may exercise all the powers relative to the public health provided by general law to be performed and exercised in municipalities by health officers. All regulations for the protection or promotion of the public health, additional to those established by general law and for the violation of which penalties are imposed, shall be made by ordinance and enforced as provided in this section.
. POLICE FORCE.
The City shall maintain a police force consisting of an officer directly in charge thereof and of not less than forty-three other officers, patrolmen and employees, as may otherwise be fixed in accordance with the provisions of Section 38 of this Charter. In case of riot or like emergency the City Manager, or the Mayor, if he/she shall have been authorized by Council to take charge of the police force may appoint additional patrolmen and officers for temporary service who need not be in the classified service of the City. The officer directly in charge of the police force shall have control of the stationing, and other disposition, of all members of the force under such rules and regulations as he may establish with the approval of the City Manager.
(Amended 11-3-87; 11-8-11)
. SPECIAL POLICEMEN.
No person shall act as a special policeman, special detective, or other special officer for any purpose whatsoever, except on the written authority of the officer directly in charge of the police force or of the City Manager. Such authority shall be exercised only under the direction and control of the officer directly in charge of the police force and except special police officers whose compensation is paid by others than the City shall be issued for a specified time, not to exceed six months.
The City shall maintain a fire force consisting of an officer in charge thereof and of not less than forty-three other officers, firemen and employees as may otherwise be fixed in accordance with the provisions of Section 38 of this Charter. In case of riot, conflagration, or like emergency, the City Manager may appoint additional officers and firemen for temporary service who need not be in the classified service of the City. The officer directly in charge of the fire force shall have control of the stationing, and other disposition, of the force under such rules and regulations as he may establish with the approval of the City Manager.
(Amended 11-3-87; 11-8-11.)
IMPROVEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS
. LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS.
The Council shall have power by ordinance to provide for the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of all things in the nature of local improvements, and to provide for the payment of any part of the cost thereof by levying and collecting special assessments upon abutting, adjacent and contiguous or other specially benefited property. The amount assessed against the property specially benefited to pay for any such local improvement shall not exceed the amount of benefits accruing to such property.
. METHODS OF SPECIAL ASSESSMENT.
Special assessments upon the property deemed benefited by a public improvement shall be by any one of the following methods:
(a) By a percentage of the tax value of the property assessed.
(b) In proportion to the benefits which may result from the improvement.
(c) By the foot frontage of the property bounding or abutting upon the improvement.
. PRELIMINARY RESOLUTION.
When it is deemed necessary to make a public improvement to be paid for in whole or in part by special assessment, the Council shall by a majority vote thereof declare the necessity therefor by resolution, and such resolution shall state the general nature of the improvement, the method of assessment, the mode of payment and the number of annual installments. Such resolution shall be certified to the City Auditor, who shall thereupon proceed to make an assessment report, in accordance with the method of assessment provided in the resolution, which report shall be filed with the Council and shall show the lots and lands assessed, and the amount of the assessment as to each, and the number of installments, not exceeding ten, in which such assessment shall be paid.
. PLAN OF PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS.
At the time of the passage of the resolution provided for in the foregoing section there shall be on file in the office of the City Engineer plans, specifications, estimates and profiles of the proposed improvement approved by Council; and such plans, specifications, estimates and profiles shall be open to the inspection of all interested persons.
. NOTICES SERVED.
Upon the filing of said assessment report the City Clerk, or an assistant, shall cause written notice to be served upon the owner of each lot or parcel of land to be assessed or otherwise affected, or upon the persons in whose names the same may be assessed for taxation upon the tax duplicate. Such notice shall be served as is provided for service of summons in civil actions; and as to all non-residents and persons who cannot be found publication of such notice shall be made at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. The notice shall contain a statement of the character of the proposed improvement, the fact that the assessment report has been filed with the Council, the rate of such assessment, the number of installments, and shall state a time and place when all complaints and claims will be heard before the board of revision of assessments.
. BOARD OF REVISION OF ASSESSMENTS.
The Mayor, the City Solicitor, the City Auditor, and two (2) citizens of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio, appointed by the President of Council, with approval of a majority of City Council to serve terms of three (3) years each, shall constitute the Board of Revision of Assessments. The Mayor shall be the President of the Board and the City Auditor shall be the Secretary thereof. It shall meet from time to time as provided by its rules, and shall hear all claims and objections as to the character of all improvements to be paid for in part or in whole by special assessment as provided in the assessment report, the necessity therefor, and the equity of the assessment. A majority of those constituting the Board of Revision of Assessments shall have power to determine all complaints and objections submitted to it; and as to each improvement, the Board shall, after such hearing, amend, equalize and adjust the assessment report, and shall report to the Council its findings as to the necessity for the improvement, any amendment it directs in the assessments, the estimates of benefits and allowance of damages.
(Amended 11-5-02; 11-8-11)
. CLAIMS OF DAMAGE.
Any owner of a lot or land bounding and abutting upon a proposed improvement claiming that he will sustain damage by reason of the improvement shall present such claim to the board of revision of assessments within two weeks after the service of notice or the completion of the publication hereinbefore provided. Such claim shall be in writing and shall set forth the amount of damage claimed, with a general description of the property with respect to which it is claimed the damage will accrue, and shall be filed with the City Auditor. Any owner who fails so to do shall be deemed to have waived such damages and shall be barred from filing a claim or receiving damages therefor. This provision shall apply to all damage which will obviously result from the improvement, but shall not deprive the owner of his right to recover damages arising, without his fault, from acts of the City or of its agents. If, subsequent to the filing of such claim, the owner sell the property, or any part thereof, the right to such damages, if any, shall follow the ownership of the land without other transference of the claim. The board of revision of assessments shall report to the Council all such claims for damages filed with it.
. FINAL ASSESSMENT.
Whenever the board of revision of assessments shall have made its final report to the Council as to any improvement, the Council, if it determine that the improvement shall proceed, shall pass an ordinance levying the assessment as reported by the board of revision of assessments and directing that the improvement shall proceed. In such ordinance it shall be sufficient to describe the lots and lands abutting upon the improvement, and to be assessed therefor, as all the lots and lands bounding and abutting upon such improvement between and including the termini of the improvement; and in describing lands which do not abut, it shall be sufficient to describe the lots by the appropriate lot numbers and the lands by metes and bounds. This rule of description shall apply in all proceedings in which lots and lands are to be charged with special assessments.
. PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS - LIENS.
Special assessments shall be payable by the owners of the property assessed at the time stipulated in the ordinance and shall be a lien from the date of the assessment upon the respective lots and parcels of land assessed, enforceable in the manner provided by general law.
. DAMAGES ASSESSED BEFORE IMPROVEMENT.
At the time of the passage of the ordinance determining to proceed with the improvements as hereinbefore provided, the Council shall determine whether the claims for damages so filed shall be allowed and paid or shall be judicially inquired into before commencing or after the completion of the proposed improvement. If it decide that the damages shall be assessed before commencing the improvement, the City Solicitor shall then make a written application to the Court of Common Pleas, or a judge thereof in vacation, or to the Probate Court, for the summoning of a jury to determine such damages, and the judge shall direct that a jury be summoned as is provided for the appropriation of property and fix the time and place for inquiry into and assessment of such damages, which inquiry and assessment shall be confined to such claims.
. DAMAGES ASSESSED AFTER IMPROVEMENT.
When the Council determines to assess the damages after the completion of the improvement for which a claim for damages has been filed as hereinbefore provided, the City Solicitor shall within ten days after the completion of the improvement make written application as hereinbefore provided in the case of the ascertainment of damages before the improvement was made, and the same proceedings shall be had as provided in the next preceding section.
. LIMITATION ON DAMAGE SUITS.
No person who claims damages arising from any cause shall commence a suit therefor against the City until he shall have filed a claim for such damages with the City Clerk and sixty days shall have elapsed thereafter. This provision shall not apply to an application for injunction or other proceeding to which it may be necessary for such applicant to resort in case of urgent necessity.
. WORK TO BE DONE.
When the Council shall have passed an ordinance directing that an improvement be made to be paid for in whole or in part by special assessment the City Manager shall, through the appropriate department or office, cause the improvement to be made either directly by the employment of labor or by entering into a contract therefor as may be determined by the Council.
. LANDS UNALLOTTED OR NOT ON DUPLICATE.
When special assessments are to be levied by the percentage of the tax value of the property assessed or by the foot frontage of the property bounding and abutting upon the improvement and there are lots or lands subject to such assessment which are not assessed for taxation, the City Auditor shall fix, for the purpose of such assessment, the value of such lots as they stand and of such lands at the depth which he considers a fair average of the depth of lots in the neighborhood, so that the value so fixed will be a fair average of the assessed value of other lots in the neighborhood. Where lands are not subdivided into lots, but are assessed for taxation, the City Auditor shall fix the value and depth in the same manner; but the above rule shall not apply in making special assessment according to benefits.
. WHAT COST OF IMPROVEMENT SHALL INCLUDE.
The cost of any improvement for which special assessments may be made as herein provided shall include the purchase money of real estate or any interest therein, when acquired by purchase, or the value thereof as found by the jury, when appropriated, the costs and expenses of the proceedings, the damages assessed in favor of any owners of adjoining lands and interest thereon, the costs and expenses of the assessment, the expense of the preliminary and other service and of printing, publishing the notices and ordinances required, including notice of assessment and serving notices on property owners, the cost of construction, interest on bonds, where bonds have been issued in anticipation of the collection of assessments, and any other necessary expenditure.
. LIMITATION ON ASSESSMENTS. IMPROVEMENT ON PETITION OF ABUTTING PROPERTY OWNERS.
The Council shall limit all assessments to the special benefits conferred upon the property assessed, and in no case shall there be levied on any lot or parcel of land any assessment for any or all purposes within a period of five years in excess of thirty-three and one-third per cent (33-1/3%) of the actual value thereof after the improvement is made, provided, however, that when a petition subscribed by three-fourths in interest of the owners, or the owners of sixty percent of the foot frontage of the property abutting upon a street, alley, or highway of any description between designated points in a municipal corporation, is regularly presented to the Council for that purpose, the entire cost of any improvement of such street, alley, or highway, including the cost of intersections and regardless of the limitations of Section 106 of this Charter and without reference to the value of the lands of those who subscribed such petition, may be assessed and collected in equal annual installments proportioned to the whole assessment, in a manner which may be fixed by the Council. The interest on any bonds issued by the corporation, together with the annual installments herein provided for, and the costs of such proceedings and assessments, shall be assessed upon the property so improved. When the lot or land of one who did not subscribe the petition is assessed, such assessment shall not exceed thirty-three and one-third percent of the actual value of his lot or land after improvement is made. The guardian of infants or insane persons may sign such petition on behalf of their wards only when expressly authorized by the Probate Court on good cause shown. Assessments levied for the construction of main sewers shall not exceed the sum that, in the opinion of the Council, would be required to construct an ordinary street sewer or drain of sufficient capacity to drain or sewer the lots or lands to be assessed for such improvement, nor shall any lots or lands be assessed that do not need local drainage, or which are provided therewith.
. CITY'S PORTION OF COST.
The City shall pay such part of the cost and expense of improvements for which special assessments are levied as the Council deems just, which part shall not be less than one-fiftieth (1/50) of all such cost and expense; and in addition thereto, the City shall pay the cost of intersections except as hereinbefore provided. The Council may provide for the payment of the City's portion of all such improvements by the issuance of bonds or notes therefor, and may levy taxes, in addition to all other taxes authorized by law, to pay such bonds or notes and the interest thereon.
. REPLACING EXISTING IMPROVEMENTS.
The Council may provide in whole or in part the cost of replacing any existing local improvement by levying special assessments as hereinbefore provided; but any assessment for such replacement in less than fifteen years from the date of a prior assessment for the improvement to be replaced shall be limited to a sum not in excess of fifty percent of the cost of such replacement.
. ESTIMATE OF LIFE OF IMPROVEMENTS.
Every ordinance providing for an improvement to be paid for in whole or in part by special assessments shall contain an estimate of the life of the proposed improvement, prepared as may be directed by the City Manager. Any assessment thereafter made for replacing such improvement within such estimated period of life shall be limited to a sum not in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the cost of such replacement. Assessments for replacements at or after the expiration of such estimated period of life shall be subject to no limitation except as provided for assessments for original improvements. (Amended 11-8-11)
. REBATES AND SUPPLEMENTARY ASSESSMENTS.
Upon the completion of any improvement the City Auditor shall rebate to the then owner of the property which shall have been assessed to pay for such improvement, any surplus or excess remaining unexpended for the purpose for which such assessment was made, and in the event of there being a deficit in the fund provided for the making of any such improvement the City Auditor shall report to the Council a supplementary assessment within the limitations hereinbefore provided, which supplementary assessment shall be made by ordinance and certified for collection as is provided in the case of original assessments.
. SEWER, WATER AND OTHER CONNECTIONS.
The City Manager, or other officer to whom the duty may be assigned by the Council, shall have the authority to compel the making of sewer, water, gas and other connections whenever, in view of contemplated street improvements, or as a sanitary regulation, such connections should in his judgment be constructed. Written notice of such determination shall be given to the owner of each lot or parcel of land to which connections are to be made, which notice shall state the number and character of connections required. Such notice shall be served by a person, designated by the City Manager, or other officer, in the manner provided for the service of summons in civil actions. Non-residents of the City, or persons who cannot be found, may be served by one publication of such notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the City. The notice shall state the time within which such connections shall be constructed and, if they be not constructed within said time, the work may be done by the City and the cost thereof, together with a penalty of five percent, (5%), assessed against the lots and lands for which the connections are made. Said assessments shall be certified and collected in the same manner as other assessments for street improvements. (Amended 11-8-11)
. SIDEWALKS, CURBINGS AND GUTTERS.
The Council may by resolution declare that certain specified sidewalks, curbings or gutters shall be constructed or repaired. Upon the passage of such resolution the City Auditor shall cause written notice of the passage thereof to be served upon the owner, or agent of the owner, of each parcel of land abutting upon such sidewalks, curbings or gutters who may be a resident of the City, in the manner provided by law for the service of summons in civil actions. A copy of the notice, with the time and manner of service endorsed thereon, signed by the person serving it, shall be returned to the office of the City Auditor and there filed and preserved. For the purpose of such service, if the owner of any such property be not a resident of the City, any person charged with the collection of rent or the payment of taxes upon such property, or having control thereof in any way, shall be regarded as the agent of the owner, and service upon such person shall have the like force and effect as though personal service were made on the owner thereof. If it appear in any such return that the owner is a non-resident, or that neither such owner or agent could be found, one publication of a copy of the resolution in a newspaper of general circulation in the City shall be deemed sufficient notice to such owner.
. CONSTRUCTION OF SIDEWALK, ETC., BY CITY.
If sidewalks, curbings or gutters be not constructed or repaired within thirty days from the service of notice provided for in the preceding sections, or the completion of the publication thereof, the City may proceed through the appropriate department or office, either by direct employment of labor, or by contract, to carry out such construction or repair at the expense of the owner, as in the case of other improvements, and all such expenses shall be reported by the City Clerk to the Council. The Council shall thereupon by ordinance assess the cost and expense thereof upon the owner or owners of all property bounding or abutting thereon, and such assessment shall be collected in the same manner as other assessments, with a penalty of five percent and interest for failure to pay at the time fixed by the assessment resolution.
. ASSESSMENT BONDS FOR SIDEWALKS, ETC.
The Council may at any time borrow money and authorize the issuance of notes or bonds therefor in anticipation of the collection of assessments, levied for the purpose of paying the cost of construction or repairing sidewalks, curbings and gutters which are to be or have been constructed by the City, upon failure of the owners of the property to construct or repair the same, pursuant to notice as hereinbefore provided. In all cases not herein provided for, the Council shall have power to issue notes and bonds in the anticipation of the collection of special assessments, levied for the purpose of paying that portion of the estimated cost of the improvement or service for which such assessments are levied. In the issuance and sale of such notes or bonds the municipality shall be governed by the provisions of House Bill Number One, passed by the General Assembly of Ohio on April 21, 1927, approved by the Governor on May 11, 1927, and recorded in volume 112, page 364 of the Ohio Laws.
. HOW CONSTITUTED, PROCEDURE AND EMPLOYEES.
The City Planning Commission shall consist of the City Manager, City Solicitor, City Engineer or the head of the Engineering Department of the City by whatever name designated, and two (2) citizens of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio, appointed by the President of Council, with approval of a majority of City Council to serve terms of three (3) years each. The Commission shall choose one of its members as chairman, determine its own rules of procedure, and may employ a secretary and such experts and employees as may be necessary and authorized by Council. The Commission shall have power and authority to call upon any branch or department of the City government, at any time, for information and advice needed by the Commission in the prosecution of its work. (Amended 11-5-02; 11-8-11)
. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION.
The Commission shall have full power and authority to make such investigations, maps, reports, and recommendations relating to the planning of the City as it deems desirable. In particular, it shall have authority, and it shall be its duty, to make recommendations concerning: (a) the location, extension, widening, and planning of streets, boulevards, parks, playgrounds, and other public places; (b) changes in, or vacation of, streets, alleys, or other public places, and the sale or disposal of any real estate owned by the City; (c) the construction of public buildings, bridges, viaducts, street fixtures, and other structures and appurtenances having to do with the convenience and beauty of the City; (d) the design and location of works of art which are or may become the property of the City, or which may be set up in any public place of the City; (e) the laying out and platting of new subdivisions; (f) the districting and zoning of the City as to the uses to which property may be put, and regulating the height, area, and use of buildings; (g) the improvement of the water front; (h) the future physical development of the City; (i) such State and municipal legislation as may be necessary to carry out such plans.
. RECOMMENDATIONS OF COMMISSION.
All acts of the Council or of any other branch of the City government affecting the City plan or involving the duties of the Commission as set forth in Section 115 of this Charter, shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for report and recommendation. The Commission may, of its own volition, submit to the Council its recommendation on any matter which in its opinion affects the plan of the City.
Any matter referred by the Council to the Planning Commission shall be acted upon by the Commission within thirty days of the date of reference unless a longer period of time be specified in the resolution of Council in making such reference. No action by the Council involving any of the matters set forth in Section 115 of this Charter, shall be legal or binding until said matter shall have been referred to the Commission and until its recommendations thereon shall have been presented to the Council, unless the Commission shall have failed to present its recommendations to the Council within the time specified.
. PLAT OF SUBDIVISION.
A proprietor of lots or grounds within the City, who subdivides or lays them out for sale, shall cause to be made an accurate map or plat of such subdivision, describing with certainty all grounds laid out or granted for streets, alleys, ways, commons, or other public uses. Lots sold or intended for sale shall be numbered by progressive numbers, or described by the squares in which situated, and the precise length and width shall be given of each lot sold or intended for sale. Such map or plat shall be subscribed by the proprietor, or his agent duly authorized in writing, and acknowledged before an officer authorized to take the acknowledgment of deeds, who shall certify the acknowledgment of the instrument.
. APPROVAL OF PLATS.
The Council shall by ordinance provide regulations governing the platting of all lands so as to require all streets to be of proper width, grade, and location and to be coterminus with adjoining streets, and otherwise to conform to the City plan. No plat subdividing lands within the corporate limits, or within such distance thereof as may be provided from time to time by State law, shall be entitled to be recorded in the recording office of the County without the written approval of the City Planning Commission. Such approval shall be given for any plat which shall conform to the regulations provided by Council. Any land outside the corporate limits of the City belonging to the City shall be deemed to be within such limits insofar as the application of the provisions of this section are concerned.
. OFFICIAL MAP.
The Council may by ordinance establish an official map or plan of the City showing the streets, highways, boulevards, parks, playgrounds, and other public places laid out or to be laid out, adopted, and established by law, and such map or plan shall be deemed to be final and conclusive with respect to the location and width of streets, highways, and boulevards, and the location of parks, playgrounds, and other public places shown thereon. A certified copy of the ordinance establishing such map or plan and of any ordinance making any change therein or addition thereto, shall be promptly filed by the Clerk of Council with the recorder of Scioto County.
. ZONING - BOARD OF APPEALS.
The Council shall by ordinance provide regulations and restrictions governing the height, number of stories, and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces, and the location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, and other purpose. Such regulation shall provide for a Board of Appeals to determine and vary their application in harmony with their general purpose and intent in accordance with the general provisions of the ordinance.
The Board of Appeals shall consist of five members, one of whom shall be the President of Council. The other four members shall be citizens of the City of Portsmouth, not in service of the City, who shall be appointed by Council to serve without compensation for a term of one, two, three and four years, and all subsequent terms to be for a four year period. The President of Council shall be a voting member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
(Adopted 11-5-68; Amended 11-5-02.)
. EFFECT OF PLATTING.
From and after the date when this Charter takes effect no new streets or alleys, except those laid down on a plat bearing the approval of the Planning Commission and Council as hereinbefore provided, shall in any way be accepted as public streets or alleys by the City, nor shall any public funds be expended in the repair or improvement of streets and alleys subsequently laid out and not on such a plat.
. ALTERATION OF STREETS.
When it deems it necessary the Council may cause any street, alley, or public highway to be opened, straightened, altered, diverted, narrowed, widened, vacated, named or renamed.
. DEDICATION OF STREETS.
No street or alley dedicated to public use by any proprietor of ground in the City shall be deemed a public street or alley, or under the care or control of the Council, unless the dedication shall have been accepted and confirmed by ordinance passed for such purpose, or unless the provisions of Sections 117 and 118 hereof relating to subdivisions shall have been complied with.
. CREATION OR CHANGE OF NAME OF STREETS.
The Council in vacating any street or part of street, or changing the name of any street, may include in one ordinance the change of name or the vacation or narrowing of more than one street, avenue, or alley, but before vacating any street or part thereof, or narrowing any street, the Council shall first pass a resolution declaring its intention so to do. The City Auditor shall cause notice of such resolution to be served, in the manner that service of summons is required to be made in civil actions, upon all persons whose property abuts upon the portion of the street affected by the proposed vacation or narrowing, and by publication once in one newspaper of general circulation in the City as to all the persons who cannot be personally served. Said notice shall state the time and place at which objections can be heard before the board of revision of assessments. Upon the report of the board of revision of assessments approving the proposed vacation or narrowing, the Council may by ordinance declare such vacation or narrowing, and such order of the Council vacating or narrowing a street or alley which has been dedicated to public use by the proprietor shall, to the extent to which it is vacated or narrowed, operate as a revocation of the acceptance thereof by the Council, but the right of way and easement therein of any lot owner shall not be impaired thereby.
APPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY
. APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZED.
Property within or without the corporate limits of the City may be appropriated for any public or municipal purpose, and, subject only to the limitations imposed by the constitution of the State, such appropriation shall be made as herein provided. By such appropriation the City may acquire a fee simple title or any less estate, easement or use. Appropriation shall be made according to the requirements of, and as provided by, general law.
. DECLARATORY RESOLUTION.
When it is deemed necessary to appropriate property the Council shall adopt a resolution declaring such intent, defining the purpose of the appropriation, setting forth a pertinent description of the property, and the estate or interest therein desired to be appropriated.
. NOTICE TO OWNERS.
Immediately upon the adoption of such resolution the City Auditor shall cause written notice thereof to be given to the owner, person in possession thereof, or having an interest of record in, every piece of land sought to be appropriated, or to his authorized agent; and such notice shall be served by a person designated for the purpose, and return made in the manner provided by law for the service and return of summons in civil actions. If such owner, person, or agent, cannot be found, notice shall be given by publication once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, and the Council may thereafter pass an ordinance directing such appropriation to proceed.
. FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.
Upon the passage of such ordinance the City Solicitor shall make application to the Court of Common Pleas or to a judge thereof in vacation, or to the Probate Court, which application shall describe as correctly as possible the land or other property to be appropriated, the interest or estate therein to be taken, the object for which the land is desired, and the name of the owner of each lot or parcel thereof, and all the subsequent proceedings with regard thereto shall be in the manner provided by general law for the appropriation of property by municipal corporations in this State.
FRANCHISES AND PUBLIC UTILITIES
. FRANCHISE DEFINED.
The term "franchise" as used in this Charter shall mean, a grant by the City to any individual, company or corporation, for purpose of profit, of any special privilege, except as specified in Section 131 hereof, in, over, upon or under any street, alley, public way, place or grounds of the City whether such privilege has heretofore been, or may hereafter be, granted; and no such special privilege may be claimed, nor shall it be held or exercised, except under authority of a franchise from the City.
. GRANTS, AMENDMENTS AND RENEWALS OF FRANCHISES.
No franchise shall be granted, amended or renewed except by ordinance. Any such ordinance shall clearly specify the streets, alleys, public ways, places, and grounds of the City, in, over, upon or under which the privilege is granted and may prescribe the manner in which such streets, alleys, ways, places and grounds shall be used and occupied and any other terms and conditions upon which the franchise is to be exercised. The Council may, by ordinance, renew any franchise at its expiration upon such terms as it may deem conducive to the public interest.
. REVOCABLE PERMITS NOT FRANCHISES.
Permits unconditionally revocable at the will of the Council for minor or temporary privileges in the streets, alleys, public ways, places and grounds of the City may be granted and revoked by ordinance, and such permits shall not be deemed franchises as the term is used in this Charter.
. PASSAGE OF FRANCHISE ORDINANCES.
No ordinance granting, amending or renewing a franchise shall be adopted by the Council until a public written report containing recommendations thereon shall have been made to the Council by, or under the direction of, the City Manager; until adequate public hearings shall have been held on such ordinance by the Council as a whole, or a committee thereof; and until at least one week after its publication in final form in the manner required for the publication of other ordinances following their passage. (Amended 11-8-11)
. PUBLIC UTILITY RATES; RESERVED RIGHTS OF CITY.
The rates to be charged for the products or services of any public utility as fixed in, or determined in the manner provided by, any franchise or amendment or renewal thereof, shall be sufficient only to provide a reasonable return upon the fair value of the property of such utility used, useful and reasonably necessary in furnishing the product or service for the furnishing of which the franchise, amendment or renewal is, or may have been, granted; and whether it be so specified in the ordinance or not, all franchises, and all amendments and renewals thereof, shall be subject to the right of the City:
(a) To repeal the same by ordinance for misuse, non-use or failure to begin construction within the time prescribed, or otherwise to comply with the terms prescribed;
(b) To require extensions of plant, equipment and service, and to establish standards of service and quality of products, subject only to the right to a reasonable return upon the fair value of the property as in this section hereinbefore defined;
(c) To require the maintenance of plant, equipment and fixtures at the highest practicable standard of efficiency;
(d) To examine and audit the accounts and other records of the utility at any time;
(e) To terminate the franchise at any time and acquire by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise, all property of the utility within the City or elsewhere used in or useful for the operation of the utility within the City;
(f) To impose such other reasonable regulations as may be conducive to the safety, welfare and accommodation of the public.
. VALUE OF GRANT EXCLUDED.
No ordinance granting or renewing a public utility franchise shall be valid unless it expressly provide that the price to be paid for the property of the utility, in case of acquisition by the City, shall exclude all value of such franchise or renewal; and in determining the fair value of the property of a public utility, for the purpose of permitting a reasonable return thereon, no allowance shall be made for the value of any franchise.
The Council may by amendment of an existing franchise ordinance grant to the individual, company or corporation operating a public utility thereunder the right to extend the appliances, fixtures and services of such utility in the streets, alleys, public ways, places and grounds of the City. Any such extension of a public utility shall become a part of the aggregate property thereof, shall be operated as such, and shall be subject to all the obligations and reserved rights in favor of the City contained in this Charter and in the original franchise under which such utility is being operated. The right to use and maintain any such extension shall terminate with the original franchise and shall be terminable as provided in Section 133 of this Charter.
. CERTIFIED COPIES OF GRANTS, ETC.
Within six months after this Charter takes effect every public utility, and every owner of a public utility franchise, shall file with the City certified copies of all such franchises owned or claimed, or under which any such utility is operated within the City. Certified copies of all public utility franchises, and of all amendments, renewals and extensions thereof, made subsequent to the taking effect of this Charter shall be filed with the City by the grantee within ten days after acceptance thereof. No franchise to construct or operate a public utility shall be transferable except with the approval of the Council expressed by ordinance; and certified copies of all transfers, mortgages and other documents affecting the title or use of public utilities shall be filed with the City within ten days after their execution. The certified copies of franchises and other documents required by this section to be filed with the City shall be filed and preserved as a public record in such office thereof as the Council may by ordinance designate.
. NO EXCLUSIVE GRANT.
No right to construct, maintain, or operate any public utility in the City of Portsmouth and no renewal or extension thereof shall be exclusive. No franchise granted shall be renewed earlier than two years prior to its expiration unless the Council shall by an affirmative vote of at least all of the members elected to Council less two first declared by ordinance its intention of considering a renewal thereof. All extensions of a franchise granted a public utility shall be subject, as far as practicable, to the terms of the original franchise and shall expire therewith.
. CONSENT OF PROPERTY OWNERS.
No consent of any owner of property abutting on any street, alley, public way, place or ground shall be required for the construction, maintenance or operation of any public utility therein either under the original franchise or any renewal thereof; but any owner of such property shall be entitled to recover from the owner of a public utility the amount of actual damage to such property occasioned by the utility, less any benefits accruing thereto from the utility, provided that suit is commenced within one year after damage is begun.
. PUBLIC UTILITY FIXTURES AND APPLIANCES.
The Council shall at all times control the distribution of space occupied by public utility appliances and fixtures in, over, upon or under the streets, alleys, public ways, places and grounds of the City; and all rights granted for the construction and operation of any public utility shall be subject to the continuing right of the Council to require such reconstruction, relocation change or discontinuance of the appliances and fixtures so used by the utility as, in the opinion of the Council, shall be necessary to the public interest.
. LIMITATION OF FRANCHISE.
No grant of franchise and no extension, renewal or amendment thereof shall be valid for a greater period than twenty years from the day of such grant, renewal, extension or amendment, provided and except, however, a grant of franchise, extension, renewal or amendment thereof shall be valid for a period of twenty-five years for operating street railways from the day of such grant, renewal, extension or amendment and providing such grant, renewal, extension or amendment be passed by an affirmative vote of at least all of the members elected to Council less two of the Council.
. FREE CARRIAGE OF POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Former Section 141 was repealed by the voters on May 7, 2002.)
. GENERAL PROVISION.
Nothing in this Charter contained shall operate in any way, except as herein specifically stated, to limit the Council in the exercise of any of its lawful powers respecting public utilities, or to prohibit the Council from imposing in any such grant such further restrictions and provisions as it may deem to be in the public interest, provided only that the same are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter or the Constitution of the State.
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
. GENERAL LAWS TO APPLY.
All elections provided for by this Charter, whether for the nomination or election of officers or the submission of questions to the voters, shall be conducted by the election authorities prescribed by general law; and the provisions of the general election laws of the State shall apply to all such elections except as otherwise provided by this Charter. A regular municipal election for the election of all elective officers provided for by this Charter shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in odd numbered years. Primary elections shall be held in the odd numbered years at the time provided by the general election laws of the State for the purpose of nominating persons as candidates for election to municipal offices to be voted for at the next succeeding regular municipal election. Any matter which by the terms of the Charter may be submitted to the electors of the City at any special election may be submitted at a primary election or at a general election.
. PETITIONS FOR PLACE ON PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOT.
Candidates for all elective offices provided for by this Charter shall be nominated only by a non-partisan primary election. The name of any qualified elector shall be printed upon the primary ballot when there is filed with the Board of Elections of Scioto County, Ohio, a petition in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) Such petitions shall state the name and place of residence of each person whose name is presented for a place upon the ballot, and the name of the office which he seeks.
(b) Such petitions shall be signed by not less in number than fifty (50) qualified electors of the municipal corporation if for the nomination of a candidate for an office to be filled by election from the City at large, and by not less than fifty (50) qualified electors of the ward, if for the nomination of a candidate for an office to be filled by election from a ward.
(c) Such petition shall contain a provision that each elector signing a petition shall add to his signature his place of residence, with street and number, ward, voting precinct, date of signing, and may subscribe to no more nominating petitions of candidates for said office then the number of candidates to be nominated at such primary election. All signatures on such petitions shall be written in ink or indelible lead pencil.
(d) The signatures on such petitions need not be appended to one paper, but to each separate paper there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof stating the number of signers thereto, that said signatures were written in his presence on the date mentioned, and are the signatures of the persons whose signatures they purport to be; and that he resides at the address appearing below his signature hereon.
(e) Such petitions shall not be signed by any qualified elector more than one hundred and five days prior to the day of such primary election, and any such petitions bearing any signature placed thereon before that time shall be rejected as entirely invalid.
(f) Signers of such nominating petitions shall insert therein the names and addresses of five qualified electors of the respective City or ward in which the candidate named in such petition is to be nominated, as a committee which may fill vacancies caused by death or withdrawal.
(g) Before such nominating petitions are filed as herein provided, the nominee named therein shall subscribe his acceptance of such nomination thereon, and also declare thereon that if nominated and elected he will qualify for the office which he seeks. In the absence of such acceptance the nominee's name shall not be printed on the ballot.
(h) All separate papers comprising a nominating petition of a candidate shall be assembled and filed at the same time as one instrument with the Board of Elections of Scioto County, Ohio, not later than the date and time established by the general election laws of the State of Ohio, in odd numbered years. At the time of filing a nominating petition for an office as herein provided, the candidate designated therein shall pay to the election officials with whom it is filed a fee of one-half of one percent of the annual salary of such office, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00). Candidates whose names are written on the ballot, as provided by the general election laws, and who are nominated, shall pay the same fee as candidates who file their nominating petitions. Payment of this fee by such candidates shall be deemed a condition precedent to granting their certificates of nomination. All such fees shall forthwith be paid by the official receiving them into the Treasury of the County to the credit of the General Fund of the County; and in no case shall the filing fee be returned to a candidate.
(i) Only persons who are qualified electors (registered voters) residing in the City, may circulate a nominating petition for any office to be filled by election from the city at large, and only persons who are qualified electors (registered voters) residing in the ward, may circulate a nominating petition for any office to be filled by election from the ward. The circulator is required to sign a statement, under oath, made under penalty of election falsification, that he witnessed the affixing of every signature, that all signers were to the best of his knowledge and belief qualified to sign, and that every signature is the unassisted signature of the person whose signature it purports to be. Further, if a circulator knowingly permits an unqualified person to sign a petition paper or permits a person to write a name other than his own on a petition paper, that petition paper is invalid; otherwise, the signature of a person not qualified to sign shall be rejected, but shall not invalidate the other valid signatures on the paper.
(Amended 11-5-74; 5-7-02; 11-4-03; 11-5-13.)
The names of all candidates for the nomination and election to the elective offices provided for by this Charter whose petitions have been duly filed or whose nomination has been duly made and not withdrawn, shall be placed on one independent and separate ballot without any designation whatever, except the office to which said candidates are to be nominated or elected, and the number of candidates required to be nominated or elected to such office, and such certification of the election officials upon the back of the ballot as is prescribed by law.
. ROTATION OF NAMES.
In all elections the names of candidates on all ballots for the nomination or election to the elective offices provided for by this Charter, shall be printed and rotated in such order on the ballots in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code. (Amended 5-7-02)
The method of printing and combining the ballots in tablets to meet the rotation requirements herein shall be as follows: The total number of ballots upon which the names of all the candidates to be printed thereon are the same, shall be printed in as many series as the number of candidates in the largest group of candidates seeking the same nomination or election. Such total number of ballots to be printed divided by the number of series to be printed shall determine the number of ballots to be printed in each series. On the first series of ballots the names of the candidates in each group of candidates for the same office shall be in alphabetical order of their surnames under the title thereof. On each succeeding series the name of the candidate in each group of candidates for the same office which was first in the preceding series shall be last, and the names of each of the other candidates in each group for the same office shall be moved up one place. The printed ballots shall then be combined in tablets by assembling series of ballots, each consisting of one ballot of each series printed as above described, assembled in the same consecutive order in which the series, of which each ballot is a part, was printed, and by combining as many of such assembled series of ballots as may be necessary to make tablets consisting of the number of ballots required for each precinct.
A blank space shall be provided on all ballots below the printed names of the candidates for each office to be voted for, wherein an elector may write in the name of a person for whom he desires to vote for the nomination or election to the office designated on the ballot, and votes cast for such person shall be counted in the same manner as votes cast for candidates whose names are printed on the ballots. (Adopted 11-4-52; 5-7-02.)
. SPECIAL ELECTION OFFICIALS.
Notwithstanding any of the provisions of the General Code of Ohio, the board of elections may, by the adoption of a resolution, provide that any primary election for the nomination of candidates for a municipal office in said City and at any special election at which the number of questions and issues voted upon by the electors of said City does not exceed ten (10), the precinct officials at any such election shall be two (2) judges and two (2) clerks, who shall perform all duties prescribed by law for the proper conduct of an election by precinct officials. Such precinct officials shall be well qualified for the performance of their duties and said precinct officials for any special election may or may not be selected from among those regularly appointed under the general election laws of the State; provided, however, that not more than one of the judges and not more than one of the clerks shall be members of the same political party. The term of such especially appointed precinct officials shall be fixed by the Board of Elections, but they are subject to removal at any time by the Board. Each such precinct official shall be paid compensation for his services to be fixed by the Board of Elections. (Adopted 11-4-52.)
. PRIMARY ELECTIONS.
If the number of persons filing "Petitions For Candidates" for nomination as candidates at a primary election to such office does not exceed, as to any such office, the number of candidates which may be nominated under provisions of the Charter, then no primary election shall be held for the purpose of nominating candidates for election to offices to be voted for at such general election and no primary ballot shall be printed for said office.
If the number of persons filing “Petitions for Candidates” for nomination as candidates at a primary election to such office does exceed, as to any such office, the number of candidates which may be nominated under provisions of the Charter, then a primary election shall be held for the purpose of nominating two candidates for election to offices to be voted for at such general election and a primary ballot shall be printed for said office containing language, “Vote for not more than 1".
If, however, the only offices for which there are more valid petitions for candidates filed than the number to be nominated under provisions of the Charter, is the office of councilman in a ward, a primary election shall be held for such office in the ward or wards in which there is a contest, and only the names of the candidates for the office of councilman in such ward shall appear on the primary ballot.
The election officials whose duty it would have been to provide for and conduct the holding of such primary election, declare the results thereof, and issue certificates of nomination to the persons entitled thereto if such primary election had been held shall declare each of such persons to be nominated as of the date of the ninetieth day before the primary election, issue appropriate certificates of nomination to each of them and certify their names to the proper election officials, in order that their names may be printed on the official ballots provided for use in the next succeeding general election in the same manner as though such primary election had been held and such persons had been nominated at such election.
This section shall take effect and be in force as of the date of the certification to the Secretary of State by the Board of Elections.
. REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTION.
The name of the candidate for nomination who receives the greatest number of votes for the elective offices provided for by this Charter in the primary election herein provided for, shall be printed on the ballot under the proper designation of such office at the next regular municipal election. In addition, the name of the candidate, if any, for nomination who receives the next highest number of votes for such respective offices in such primary election, shall also be printed on the ballot at such regular municipal election. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes at the regular municipal election for such elective offices shall be declared elected to such offices. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes at such municipal election in each of the wards of said City for the office of member of City Council shall be declared elected to the office of member of City Council from such ward. If more than the number of candidates to be elected to said offices receive the largest and an equal number of votes, such tie shall be resolved by lot by the Board of Elections of Scioto County, Ohio, as provided by the general election laws of Ohio.
. CHALLENGERS AND WITNESSES.
Any three or more candidates may appoint in writing one challenger and one witness, who shall be electors of the City, to represent them at each voting place. All such appointments must be filed with the Board of Elections not more than ten (10) days or less than five (5) days prior to the time fixed for opening the polls of any election. Certificates evidencing the appointment of such challenger and witness shall be issued to each of them by the Board of Elections at least two (2) days prior to the day of election. Any such challenger or witness shall have the right to present within the voting place, in addition to the persons authorized to be there by State law, the challenger from the time of opening to the closing of the polls and the witness from one hour before the polls close until the precinct officials have completed the count and sent the ballots to the Board of Elections and shall have the rights and privileges assigned by statute to challengers, witnesses and inspectors at any elections held within the City. A person serving as challenger is eligible as a witness. No candidate shall share in the appointment of more than one challenger and witness for each voting place. Any precinct judge who refuses to admit to the polling place any challenger or witness who presents the certificate above mentioned or any challenger or inspector who knowingly presents a false certificate to such judge of election shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to the same fine and penalty as provided in the general election laws of the State.
. RECALL PETITION PAPERS.
Any elective officer provided for by this Charter may be removed from office by recall. The procedure to effect such a removal shall be as follows:
Any elector of the City may make and file with the City Clerk an affidavit stating the name of the officer whose removal is sought and the grounds alleged for such removal. The Clerk shall thereupon deliver to the elector making the affidavit copies of petition papers for demanding such a removal, printed copies of which he shall keep on file for distribution as herein provided. In issuing any such petition paper the Clerk shall enter in a record to be kept in his office the name of the elector to whom issued, the date of issuance, the number of papers issued, and shall certify upon each such paper the name of the electors to whom issued and the date of issuance. No petition paper shall be accepted as part of a petition unless it bears such certificate of the Clerk and unless filed as hereinafter provided.
. FILING RECALL PETITION.
A petition demanding the removal of an elective officer shall be known as a recall petition. A recall petition to be effective must be returned and filed with the City Clerk within thirty (30) days after the filing of the affidavit as provided in the next preceding section, and to be sufficient must bear the signatures of qualified electors of the City equal in number to at least twenty-five per centum (25%) of the electors who voted at the last preceding regular municipal election, if seeking the removal of an officer elected from the City at large, and if for the removal of an officer elected from a ward, by the signatures of qualified electors of the particular ward equal in number to at least twenty-five per centum (25%) of the electors who voted at the last preceding regular municipal election in said ward. A recall petition, if insufficient as originally filed, may be amended as provided in this Charter.
. RECALL ELECTION ORDERED.
If a recall petition, or amended petition, shall be certified by the City Clerk to be sufficient, he shall at once submit it to the Council with his certificate to that effect and shall notify the officer whose removal is sought of such action. If the officer whose removal is sought does not resign within five (5) days after such notice the Council shall thereupon order and fix a day for holding a recall election. Any such election shall be held not less than forty (40) nor more than ninety (90) days after the expiration of the period of five (5) days last mentioned, and at the same time as any general, primary, or special election shall be held within such period; but, if no general, primary, or special election shall be held within such period, the Council shall order a special recall election to be held within the time aforesaid.
. CANDIDATES TO SUCCEED COUNCILMAN RECALLED.
The question of recalling any number of elective officers may be submitted at the same election, but as to each officer whose removal is sought a separate petition shall be filed and provision shall be made for an entirely separate ballot.
If, however, an election is held for the recall for more than two members of Council, candidates to succeed them for their unexpired terms shall be voted upon at the same election, and shall be nominated without primary election, by petitions signed, dated, and verified in the manner required for petitions presenting names of candidates for nomination at a primary election, and similar in form to such petitions, but signed by qualified electors equal in number to that provided for an original primary nomination for such office, and filed with the Board of Elections of the County at least sixty (60) days prior to such recall election. But no such nominating petition shall be signed or circulated until after the time has expired for signing the petition for the recall, and any signatures thereon antedating such time shall not be counted.
. BALLOTS IN RECALL ELECTIONS.
Ballots used at a recall election shall conform to the following requirements:
With respect to the officer whose removal is sought the question shall be submitted, "Shall (name of person) be removed from (name of office) by recall?" Immediately below such question there shall be printed on the ballots the following proposition, one above the other, in the order herein indicated:
"For the recall of (name of person)."
"Against the recall of (name of person)."
Immediately at the left of each proposition there shall be a square in which the elector by making a cross mark (x) may vote for either of such propositions.
In respect to member of Council shall appear the words, "Candidates to succeed (name of person) if recalled" and beneath such words the names of candidates shall be printed on the ballots in rotation as provided for a regular municipal election. The name of the member of the Council whose removal is sought shall not appear on the ballot as a candidate to succeed himself.
. RESULT OF RECALL ELECTION; FILLING VACANCIES.
If a majority of the votes cast on the question of recalling an elective officer shall be against his recall he shall continue in office for the remainder of his unexpired term, but subject to recall as before. If a majority of the votes cast on such question shall be in favor of the removal of such officer he shall, regardless of any defect in the recall petition, be deemed removed from office upon the certification of the official canvass of the election by the Board of Elections of the County to the City Clerk, and the vacancy in the office caused by such recall shall be filled as provided in this Charter for filling a vacancy in the office from which such officer has been removed. When a member of the Council is removed from office by recall the candidate to succeed such member, declared elected after counting the votes in the manner provided by this Charter for the general election laws for a regular municipal election, shall succeed the member so removed for the unexpired term of office.
. ELECTION WHEN MEMBER RESIGNS.
If a member of the Council in regard to whom a sufficient recall petition is submitted to the Council shall resign within five days after notice thereof, the vacancy thereby created shall be filled as herein provided for filling vacancies in Council.
. LIMITATIONS ON RECALL PETITIONS.
No recall petition shall be filed against any elective officer within six (6) months after he takes office, nor in case an officer subjected to a recall election and not removed thereby until at least six (6) months after that election. No person removed from office by recall shall be eligible to be elected or appointed to any City office during a period of two (2) years after the date of such recall. The method of removal herein provided is in addition to such other methods other than recall as are, or may be, provided by general law.
. COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.
The salary or compensation of officers and employees in the classified service of the City shall be established by ordinance as provided by Section 76 of this Charter. The salary or compensation of the Mayor, directors of departments, and of all other officers and employees in the unclassified service of the City shall be fixed by ordinance, or as may be provided by ordinance. All fees pertaining to any office shall be paid into the City Treasury.
. OFFICIAL BONDS.
The City Manager, the City Auditor, the City Treasurer, and such other officers or employees as the Council may require so to do, shall give bonds in such amount and with such surety as may be approved by the Council. The premium on such bonds may be paid by the City.
. OATH OF OFFICE.
Every officer of the City shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation, to be filed and kept in the office of the City Clerk:
I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will obey the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Ohio, that I will in all respects observe the provisions of the Charter and ordinances of the City of Portsmouth and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of .
. FINANCIAL INTEREST IN CONTRACTS, ETC.
No officer or employee of the City shall have a financial interest, direct or indirect, in any contract with the City, or be financially interested, directly or indirectly in the sale to the City of any land, materials, supplies, or services except on behalf of the City as an officer or employee. Any willful violation of this section shall constitute malfeasance in office, and any officer or employee found guilty thereof shall thereby forfeit his office or position. Any violation of this section with the knowledge, expressed or implied, of the person or corporation contracting with the City shall render the contract involved voidable by the City Manager or the Council.
. CONTINUANCE OF PRESENT OFFICERS.
Any person holding administrative office under the City government at the time this Charter takes effect shall continue in office and in the performance of his duties until provision shall have been made in accordance therewith for the performance of such duties or the discontinuance of such office. The powers conferred and the duties imposed upon any officer, commission, board or department of the City by the laws of the State shall, if such office, commission, board or department be abolished by this Charter, be thereafter exercised and discharged by the office or department designated by the Council unless otherwise provided herein.
. CONTINUANCE OF CONTRACTS.
All contracts entered into by the City, or for its benefit, prior to the taking effect of this Charter shall be continued and perfected thereunder. Public improvements for which legislative steps shall have been taken under laws existing at the time this Charter takes effect may be carried to completion in accordance with the provisions of such laws. All ordinances and resolutions in force at the time this Charter takes effect, and not inconsistent therewith, shall continue in force until amended or repealed.
. HOURS OF LABOR.
The administrative officials in charge of the Fire Department of the City of Portsmouth, Ohio, be, and they are hereby authorized and directed to divide the uniform forces into not less than three (3) platoons. Each platoon shall be on duty for twenty-four (24) consecutive hours, except in case of extraordinary emergencies. The Chief of the Fire Department, with the approval of the City Manager shall arrange the work schedules so that each member of the platoons will work an average of fifty-six (56) hours per week, excluding vacations and other time off as granted by law.
. GENERAL LAWS TO APPLY.
All general laws of the State applicable to municipal corporations, now or hereafter enacted, and which are not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter, or with ordinances or resolutions hereafter enacted by the Council, shall be applicable to this City; provided, however, that nothing contained in this Charter shall be construed as limiting the power of the Council to enact any ordinance or resolution not in conflict with the Constitution of the State or with the express provisions of this Charter.
Amendments to this Charter may be submitted to the electors of the City by an affirmative vote of at least all of the members elected to Council less two of the Council, and shall be submitted by the Council when a petition signed by ten per centum (10%) of the electors of the City voting at the last general election setting forth any such proposed amendment, shall have been filed with the election authorities in the manner and form prescribed herein for the submission of ordinances by initiative petition. Any such amendment shall be submitted to the electors at the next regular or general election if one shall occur not less than sixty (60) nor more than one hundred and twenty (120) days after passage of the ordinance providing for its submission, otherwise it shall be submitted to the electors as a special election to be called and held within the time aforesaid. Within the time prescribed by the Revised Code of Ohio, the City Clerk shall advertise in a newspaper of general circulation within the City of Portsmouth, Ohio, to advise each elector of said City that a proposed amendment to the Charter of the City of Portsmouth will be submitted at an election for their approval or rejection. If such proposed amendment be approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon it shall become a part of the Charter at the time fixed therein.
. SAVING CLAUSE.
If any section or part of a section of this Charter proves to be invalid or unconstitutional, the same shall not be held to invalidate or impair the validity, force or effect of any other section or part of a section of this Charter unless it clearly appears that such other section or part of a section is wholly or necessarily dependent for its operation upon the section or part of a section so held unconstitutional or invalid.
. WHEN PROVISIONS TAKE EFFECT.
For the purpose of nominating and electing members of the Council this Charter shall be in effect from and after its approval by the electors of the City. For all other purposes this Charter shall be in effect from and after the first day of January next following the first election of members of the Council thereunder.
CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF PORTSMOUTH