TOPIC DISCUSSION PAPER: City Recorder
ISSUE STATEMENT: Should the city recorder be an administrative position appointed by the mayor, or the council, or continue to be an elective position?
EXISTING CHARTER LANGUAGE AND ORDINANCES:
(see Appendices I and II)
Budget: The office of City Recorder in 2005 has a budget of $172,375. The Recorder’s salary is set in the charter and rises annually based on an average of all senior city administrators.
Accountability: The Recorder is elected by the citizens of Ashland and is accountable only to the voters. In the event of “willful absence” for more than 30 days without the Council’s consent, or “carelessness or inattention to the duties of the Recorder,” the Council may declare the position vacant.
Organization Impacts: The Recorder works closely with the Finance director and the City Administrator, but does not report to any supervisor.
ALTERNATIVE CHOICES & PRACTICAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHANGE:
1 Recorder remains elective position; charter language is cleaned up to bring it in line with state elections and other laws. If this alternative is chosen, the committee suggests retaining Art. VI, Section 1 outlining election of recorder, and Sections 3 and 4 on Vacancy and Absence of Recorder. The committee also recommends the City Council establish an Ordinance setting salary level for the Recorder, and City Council review existing Ordinance 208 for possible overlap and conflicts with role and duties of Director of Finance.
Consequences: Leaving the current structure would have no impact.
Budget: No immediate impact on budget.
Accountability: No impact on authority or accountability of Recorder position
Organization Impacts: No change in existing structure
2 Recorder position remains in the Charter, but is not elected by a popular vote. Instead, the position is filled much like the City Attorney and reports to the City Council; Charter language is cleaned up as in No. 1
Consequences: This alternative would end the direct election of the Recorder, and substantially alter the independence of the Recorder position, yet it would provide more independence from the city Administration than Alt. 3 below.
Budget: No immediate change. When the current Recorder retires, a new Recorder could be hired at a lower annual compensation level. The city Budget Committee would have discretion to establish salary and benefits package for possible long-term savings.
Accountability and Organization Impact: The Recorder would report to the Council. The section of the Charter (Art. VI) outlining the duties and role of the Recorder would be removed; the Recorder position would be added to Art. XIII, “Appointive Officers.”
3 Recorder position would be removed from the Charter and become an appointive position reporting to the City Administrator/Manager; Charter language would be cleaned up as in Alt. 1 and 2.
Consequences: This alternative would end the direct election of the Recorder, and place her/him under the supervision of the city Administrator/Manager.
Budget: Same as No. 2.
Accountability and Organization Impacts: Recorder would be supervised by City Administrator/Manager. As in Alt. 2, the Recorder would become a new department head, or would be housed in another department. Appropriate ordinances would establish job description.
Existing Charter Language and Ordinances
Article III – Elective Officers
Section 1. Elective Officers. The elective officers of the of the City shall be: a Mayor, Recorder, six (6) Council Members, five (5) Park Commissioners and a Municipal Judge. (Charter amendment 5-23-78)
Section 3. Salaries. Any change in the amount of the present compensation received by elective officers, except for the Recorder and Municipal Judge, shall be submitted to the vote of the people; however, the salary of the elected Recorder shall be in the amount being paid in 1974 and be adjusted starting with the fiscal year 1974-75 in the same percentage as the average salary adjustments of the other supervisory employees and department heads of the City of Ashland; further, the salary of the Municipal Judge will initially be the same as for the year 1978-79 and thereafter to be adjusted in the same percentage as the average salary adjustment of the other supervisory employees and department heads of the City of Ashland. (Charter amendment 5-23-78).
Article VI – Recorder
Section 1. Term. The Recorder in office at the time this Charter takes effect shall continue in office until the end of his/her term of office as fixed by the Charter of the City in effect at the time this Charter is adopted. At each biennial general election held in 1970, and every fourth fourth year thereafter, a Recorder shall be elected for a term of four (4) years.
Section 2. Powers and Duties. The Recorder shall act as Clerk of the Council and shall keep plain and correct records of all business and proceedings of the Council. He/she shall maintain a file of all papers presented to him/her officially, and safely keep all files, records and papers of the corporation pertaining to his/her office, and these shall be open to the public. At the expiration of his/her term of office, he/she shall turn over to his/her successor any and all records, books, and papers pertaining to said office.
The Recorder must draw all orders for the proper payment of monies against the proper funds that have been appropriated by the City Council, and, together with the Mayor, sign the same. He/she may make periodic audits of all City accounting records.
The Recorder, shall, as soon as the Council shall make a general levy of the taxes for the city, certify the same, together with any and all special benefits and assessments then due, to the Clerk of the County Court.
The Recorder shall record, in a book to be kept for that purpose, all ordinances and resolutions passed by the City Council, and the same shall be signed by the Recorder, as well as signed and approved by the Mayor therein.
Section 3. Vacancy. A willful absence of the Recorder from the City for more than thirty (30) days without the consent of the Council, carelessness or inattention to the duties of the Recorder, shall be grounds for the Council to declare the office vacant; and it may fill such vacancy in the same manner as vacancies in the office of Council members are filled.
Section 4. Absence. In the Recorder's absence, the Mayor shall appoint a Clerk of the Council Pro Tem who, while acting in that capacity, shall have all the authority and duties of the Recorder.
ARTICLE VII - Elections
Section 3. Special Elections. The Council shall provide the time, manner and means for holding any special election which shall comply with applicable State laws. The Recorder shall give at least ten (10) days notice of each special election in the manner provided by the action of the Council ordering the election.
Section 4. Regulation of Elections. Except as this Charter provides otherwise and as the Council provides otherwise by ordinances relating to elections, the general laws of the State shall apply to the conduct of all City Elections, recounts of the returns therefrom, and contests thereof.
Section 5. Nominations. A qualified elector may be nominated for an elective City office to be filled at the election. The nomination must be by a petition that specifies the office sought and must be in a form prescribed by the Council. The petition shall be signed by not fewer than twenty-five (25) electors, and with the candidate's written acceptance of such nomination. No elector may sign more than one petition for each office to be filled at the election. If he/she does so, his/her signature will be valid only on the first sufficient petition filed for the office. The signatures to a nomination petition need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate paper of the petition shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof, indicating the number of signers of the paper and stating that each signature of the person appended thereto was made in his/her presence, and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. Opposite each signature shall be stated the date of signing, the signer's place or residence, identified by its street and number or other sufficient designation. The Recorder shall make a record of the exact time at which each petition is filed and shall take and preserve the name and address of the person by whom it is filed. If the petition is not signed by the required number of qualified electors, the Recorder shall notify the candidate and the person who filed the petition within twelve (12) days after the filing. If the petition is insufficient in any other particular, the Recorder shall return it immediately to the person who filed it, certifying in writing wherein the petition is insufficient. The deficient petition may be amended and filed again as a new petition, or a substitute petition for the same candidate may be filed, within the regular time for filing nomination petitions. All nomination papers comprising a petition shall be assembled and filed in final form as one instrument with the Recorder not less than twelve (12) days before the date that the Recorder must file the same with the County Clerk. (Charter Amendment 11-2-82)
Section 6. Canvass of Returns. In all elections held in conjunction with State and County elections, the State laws governing the filing of returns by the County Clerk shall apply. In each special City election, the returns therefrom shall be filed with the Recorder on or before noon the day following; and, not later than five (5) days after the election, the Council shall meet and canvass the returns. The results of all elections shall be entered in the record of the proceedings of the Council. The entry shall state the total number of votes cast at the election, the votes cast for each person, and for and against each proposition, the name of each person elected to office, the office to which he/she has been elected, and a reference to each measure enacted or approved. Immediately after the canvass is completed, the Recorder shall make and sign a Certificate of Election of each person elected and deliver the Certificate to him/her within one (1) day after the canvass. A Certificate so made and delivered shall be "prima facie" evidence of the truth of the statements contained in it.
ARTICLE XVII - Hospital
Section 1. The City of Ashland is hereby authorized and empowered to own, operate and conduct a municipal hospital within the limits of said City of Ashland under the authority and direction of the Council.
Section 2. The Council is hereby authorized to issue and sell, in manner and form as in its judgment it may deem best, general obligation bonds of said City in a sum not to exceed $350,000.00 for the purpose of providing funds with which to purchase real property for a hospital, construct a building or buildings to be used for hospital purposes, and equip and furnish said hospital in and for said City. Said bonds shall bear the date established by the Council, be serial in character, callable at any interest payment date in whole or in part on or after five (5) years from the date thereof after notice as provided by law, be retired by the said City in a period of not to exceed twenty-five (25) years, be in denomination of $1,000.00 each, be signed by the Mayor and countersigned by the Recorder under the corporate seal of said City, have semi-annual interest coupons bearing the facsimile signatures of the Mayor and Recorder attached thereto, by the terms thereof pledge the full faith and credit of the said City for their repayment, and hold and promise to pay to the bearer of each of said bonds at maturity thereof, the sum therein named in legal tender of the United States of America, with interest thereon in like legal tender, at the office of the City Recorder in said City or at such other office as the Council may, in its judgment, determine, which bonds shall be known as "Hospital Bonds". The particular form of said bonds, the maturities thereof, the rate of interest thereon, and such other details of their issuance and sale as are not herein mentioned shall be determined by the Council in the exercise of its best judgment in order to carry out the intention hereof. That it shall be the duty of the Council to attend to the proper application of the funds derived from the sale of said bonds and the purchaser or purchasers thereof shall in no event be responsible or charged with the proper application of the funds derived from the sale thereof. That the Council is hereby authorized and empowered each year at the time of making the annual tax levy for City purposes to include in such levy a sufficient amount to meet the payment of principal and interest on said Hospital Bonds as same shall be come due, and this authority shall be in addition to all Charter and Oregon Constitution debt limitation.
2.08.010 Duties - Generally
The duties of the City Recorder/Treasurer include those imposed by State law, the City Charter and City ordinances. (Ord. 1705 S2, 1971)
2.08.020 Duties - Designated
It shall be the duty of the City Recorder/Treasurer to perform the following tasks:
A. Act as clerk of the Council, record and transcribe proceedings of the City Council, and sign and record ordinances and resolutions;
B. Act as custodian of all City ordinances, resolutions, Council minutes, deeds, contracts, judgments, promissory notes and the City seal;
C. Certify property tax levies and delinquent assessments to the County, receive property taxes paid over by the County;
D. Act as custodian of all City monies and securities;
E. Prepare, issue and record all cemetery deeds;
F. Conduct City elections in cooperation with the Jackson County officials responsible for conducting elections;
G. Maintain daily and monthly bank account balances;
H. Redeem bonds, coupons and warrants, maintain bond registers;
I. Secure signed Bancroft bonding applications;
J. Record and bank monies received by the City;
K. Issue checks and warrants necessary to pay valid claims on the City treasury;
L. Maintain docket of City liens and prepare lien reports as required;
M. Purchase investment securities in cooperation with the Director of Finance;
N. Maintain docket of City liens and prepare lien reports as requested;
O. Maintain docket of water and sewer connect fees;
P. Allocate property tax receipts;
Q. Maintain warrant register;
R. Maintain file of legal notices;
S. Keep Charter available to public, with updated boundaries; and
T. Maintain public relations between citizens and the City. (Ord. 1705 S3, 1971)
2.08.030 Other Officers
The City Recorder/Treasurer shall work with the Mayor, Council, City Administrator, and Director of Finance. (Ord. 1705 S4, 1971).
2.08.040 Substitute - Appointment
The Mayor shall appoint a Clerk of the Council pro tem to serve during a temporary absence of the City Recorder/Treasurer. (Ord. 1705 S5, 1971).