Chapter 35a.13 RCW

COUNCIL-MANAGER PLAN OF GOVERNMENT

Sections
City officersSize of council.
Election of councilmembersEligibilityTermsVacanciesForfeiture of officeCouncil chair.
MayorElectionChair to be mayorDuties.
Election on proposition to designate person elected to position one as chairSubsequent holders of position one to be chair.
Mayor pro tempore or deputy mayor.
Compensation of councilmembersExpenses.
City managerQualifications.
City manager may serve two or more cities.
City managerBond and oath.
City managerPowers and duties.
Creation of departments, offices, and employmentCompensation.
City managerDepartment headsAuthority.
City managerAppointment of subordinatesQualificationsTerms.
City managerInterference by councilmembers.
City managerRemovalResolution and notice.
City managerRemovalReply and hearing.
City managerSubstitute.
Oath and bond of officers.
Council meetingsQuorumRulesVoting.
Adoption of codes by reference.
OrdinancesStyleRequisitesVeto.
Authentication, recording and publication of ordinances.
Audit and allowance of demands against city.
Optional division of city into wards.
Powers of council.


35A.13.010
City officers—Size of council.

The councilmembers shall be the only elective officers of a code city electing to adopt the council-manager plan of government authorized by this chapter, except where statutes provide for an elective municipal judge. The council shall appoint an officer whose title shall be "city manager" who shall be the chief executive officer and head of the administrative branch of the city government. The city manager shall be responsible to the council for the proper administration of all affairs of the code city. The council of a noncharter code city having less than twenty-five hundred inhabitants shall consist of five members; when there are twenty-five hundred or more inhabitants the council shall consist of seven members: PROVIDED, That if the population of a city after having become a code city decreases from twenty-five hundred or more to less than twenty-five hundred, it shall continue to have a seven-member council. If, after a city has become a council-manager code city its population increases to twenty-five hundred or more inhabitants, the number of council offices in such city may increase from five to seven members upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the existing council to increase the number of council offices in the city. When the population of a council-manager code city having five council offices increases to five thousand or more inhabitants, the number of council offices in the city shall increase from five to seven members. In the event of an increase in the number of council offices, the city council shall, by majority vote, pursuant to RCW 35A.13.020, appoint two persons to serve in these offices until the next municipal general election, at which election one person shall be elected for a two-year term and one person shall be elected for a four-year term. The number of inhabitants shall be determined by the most recent official state or federal census or determination by the state office of financial management. A charter adopted under the provisions of this title, incorporating the council-manager plan of government set forth in this chapter may provide for an uneven number of councilmembers not exceeding eleven.
A noncharter code city of less than five thousand inhabitants which has elected the council-manager plan of government and which has seven council offices may establish a five-member council in accordance with the following procedure. At least six months prior to a municipal general election, the city council shall adopt an ordinance providing for reduction in the number of council offices to five. The ordinance shall specify which two council offices, the terms of which expire at the next general election, are to be terminated. The ordinance shall provide for the renumbering of council positions and shall also provide for a two-year extension of the term of office of a retained council office, if necessary, in order to comply with RCW 35A.12.040.
However, a noncharter code city that has retained its old council-manager plan of government, as provided in RCW 35A.02.130, is subject to the laws applicable to that old plan of government.
For the purposes of determining population under this section, cities may include or exclude the population of any state correctional facility located within the city.
NOTES:
Severability1987 c 3: See note following RCW 3.70.010.
Severability1979 ex.s. c 18: See note following RCW 35A.01.070.
Population determinations, office of financial management: Chapter 43.62 RCW.



35A.13.020
Election of councilmembers—Eligibility—Terms—Vacancies—Forfeiture of office—Council chair.

In council-manager code cities, eligibility for election to the council, the manner of electing councilmembers, the numbering of council positions, the terms of councilmembers, the occurrence and the filling of vacancies, the grounds for forfeiture of office, and appointment of a mayor pro tempore or deputy mayor or councilmember pro tempore shall be governed by the corresponding provisions of RCW 35A.12.030, 35A.12.040, 35A.12.050, 35A.12.060, and 35A.12.065 relating to the council of a code city organized under the mayor-council plan, except that in council-manager cities where all council positions are at large positions, the city council may, pursuant to RCW 35A.13.033, provide that the person elected to council position one shall be the council chair and shall carry out the duties prescribed by RCW 35A.13.030.



35A.13.030
Mayor—Election—Chair to be mayor—Duties.

Biennially at the first meeting of the new council the members thereof shall choose a chair from among their number unless the chair is elected pursuant to RCW 35A.13.033. The chair of the council shall have the title of mayor and shall preside at meetings of the council. In addition to the powers conferred upon him or her as mayor, he or she shall continue to have all the rights, privileges, and immunities of a member of the council. The mayor shall be recognized as the head of the city for ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of military law. He or she shall have no regular administrative duties, but in time of public danger or emergency, if so authorized by ordinance, shall take command of the police, maintain law, and enforce order.



35A.13.033
Election on proposition to designate person elected to position one as chair—Subsequent holders of position one to be chair.

The city council of a council-manager city may by resolution place before the voters of the city, a proposition to designate the person elected to council position one as the chair of the council with the powers and duties set forth in RCW 35A.13.030. If a majority of those voting on the proposition cast a positive vote, then at all subsequent general elections at which position one is on the ballot, the person who is elected to position one shall become the chair upon taking office.



35A.13.035
Mayor pro tempore or deputy mayor.

Biennially at the first meeting of a new council, or periodically, the members thereof, by majority vote, may designate one of their number as mayor pro tempore or deputy mayor for such period as the council may specify, to serve in the absence or temporary disability of the mayor; or, in lieu thereof, the council may, as the need may arise, appoint any qualified person to serve as mayor pro tempore in the absence or temporary disability of the mayor. In the event of the extended excused absence or disability of a councilmember, the remaining members by majority vote may appoint a councilmember pro tempore to serve during the absence or disability.
NOTES:
Effective date1969 ex.s. c 81: "This 1969 amendatory act shall take effect July 1, 1969." [ 1969 ex.s. c 81 § 7.]



35A.13.040
Compensation of councilmembers—Expenses.

The salaries of the councilmembers, including the mayor, shall be fixed by ordinance and may be revised from time to time by ordinance, but any increase or reduction in the compensation attaching to an office shall not become effective until the expiration of the term then being served by the incumbent: PROVIDED, That compensation of councilmembers may not be increased or diminished after their election nor may the compensation of the mayor be increased or diminished after the mayor has been chosen by the council.
Until councilmembers of a newly organized council-manager code city may lawfully be paid as provided by salary ordinance, such councilmembers shall be entitled to compensation in the same manner and in the same amount as councilmembers of such city prior to the adoption of this council-manager plan.
Until a salary ordinance can be passed and become effective as to elective officers of a newly incorporated code city, the first councilmembers shall be entitled to compensation as follows: In cities having less than five thousand inhabitantstwenty dollars per meeting for not more than two meetings per month; in cities having more than five thousand but less than fifteen thousand inhabitantsa salary of one hundred and fifty dollars per calendar month; in cities having more than fifteen thousand inhabitantsa salary of four hundred dollars per calendar month. A councilmember who is occupying the position of mayor, in addition to his or her salary as a councilmember, shall be entitled, while serving as mayor, to an additional amount per calendar month, or portion thereof, equal to twenty-five percent of the councilmember salary: PROVIDED, That such interim compensation shall remain in effect only until a salary ordinance is passed and becomes effective as to such officers, and the compensation provided herein shall not be construed as fixing the usual compensation of such officers. Councilmembers shall receive reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of their office, or the council by ordinance may provide for a per diem allowance. Procedure for approval of claims for expenses shall be as provided by ordinance.
NOTES:
Severability1979 ex.s. c 18: See note following RCW 35A.01.070.



35A.13.050
City manager—Qualifications.

The city manager need not be a resident at the time of his or her appointment, but shall reside in the code city after his or her appointment unless such residence is waived by the council. He or she shall be chosen by the council solely on the basis of his or her executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to his or her actual experience in, or his or her knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of his or her office. No person elected to membership on the council shall be eligible for appointment as city manager until one year has elapsed following the expiration of the term for which he or she was elected.



35A.13.060
City manager may serve two or more cities.

Whether the city manager shall devote his or her full time to the affairs of one code city shall be determined by the council. A city manager may serve two or more cities in that capacity at the same time.



35A.13.070
City manager—Bond and oath.

Before entering upon the duties of his or her office the city manager shall take an oath or affirmation for the faithful performance of his or her duties and shall execute and file with the clerk of the council a bond in favor of the code city in such sum as may be fixed by the council. The premium on such bond shall be paid by the city.



35A.13.080
City manager—Powers and duties.

The powers and duties of the city manager shall be:
(1) To have general supervision over the administrative affairs of the code city;
(2) To appoint and remove at any time all department heads, officers, and employees of the code city, except members of the council, and subject to the provisions of any applicable law, rule, or regulation relating to civil service: PROVIDED, That the council may provide for the appointment by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the council, of a city planning commission, and other advisory citizens' committees, commissions, and boards advisory to the city council: PROVIDED FURTHER, That if the municipal judge of the code city is appointed, such appointment shall be made by the city manager subject to confirmation by the council, for a four year term. The council may cause an audit to be made of any department or office of the code city government and may select the persons to make it, without the advice or consent of the city manager;
(3) To attend all meetings of the council at which his or her attendance may be required by that body;
(4) To see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully executed, subject to the authority which the council may grant the mayor to maintain law and order in times of emergency;
(5) To recommend for adoption by the council such measures as he or she may deem necessary or expedient;
(6) To prepare and submit to the council such reports as may be required by that body or as he or she may deem it advisable to submit;
(7) To keep the council fully advised of the financial condition of the code city and its future needs;
(8) To prepare and submit to the council a proposed budget for the fiscal year, as required by chapter 35A.33 RCW, and to be responsible for its administration upon adoption;
(9) To perform such other duties as the council may determine by ordinance or resolution.
NOTES:
Severability1987 c 3: See note following RCW 3.70.010.



35A.13.090
Creation of departments, offices, and employment—Compensation.

On recommendation of the city manager or upon its own action, the council may create such departments, offices, and employments as it may find necessary or advisable and may determine the powers and duties of each department or office. Compensation of appointive officers and employees may be fixed by ordinance after recommendations are made by the city manager. The appointive officers shall include a city clerk and a chief of police or other law enforcement officer. Pursuant to recommendation of the city manager, the council shall make provision for obtaining legal counsel for the city, either by appointment of a city attorney on a full time or part time basis, or by any reasonable contractual arrangement for such professional services.



35A.13.100
City manager—Department heads—Authority.

The city manager may authorize the head of a department or office responsible to him or her to appoint and remove subordinates in such department or office. Any officer or employee who may be appointed by the city manager, or by the head of a department or office, except one who holds his or her position subject to civil service, may be removed by the manager or other such appointing officer at any time subject to any applicable law, rule, or regulation relating to civil service. Subject to the provisions of RCW 35A.13.080 and any applicable civil service provisions, the decision of the manager or other appointing officer, shall be final and there shall be no appeal therefrom to any other office, body, or court whatsoever.



35A.13.110
City manager—Appointment of subordinates—Qualifications—Terms.

Appointments made by or under the authority of the city manager shall be on the basis of ability and training or experience of the appointees in the duties which they are to perform, and shall be in compliance with provisions of any merit system applicable to such city. Residence within the code city shall not be a requirement. All such appointments shall be without definite term.



35A.13.120
City manager—Interference by councilmembers.

Neither the council, nor any of its committees or members, shall direct the appointment of any person to, or his or her removal from, office by the city manager or any of his or her subordinates. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the council and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the manager and neither the council nor any committee or member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the city manager, either publicly or privately. The provisions of this section do not prohibit the council, while in open session, from fully and freely discussing with the city manager anything pertaining to appointments and removals of city officers and employees and city affairs.



35A.13.130
City manager—Removal—Resolution and notice.

The city manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term and may be removed by a majority vote of the council. At least thirty days before the effective date of his or her removal, the city manager must be furnished with a formal statement in the form of a resolution passed by a majority vote of the city council stating the council's intention to remove him or her and the reasons therefor. Upon passage of the resolution stating the council's intention to remove the manager, the council by a similar vote may suspend him or her from duty, but his or her pay shall continue until his or her removal becomes effective.



35A.13.140
City manager—Removal—Reply and hearing.

The city manager may, within thirty days from the date of service upon him or her of a copy thereof, reply in writing to the resolution stating the council's intention to remove him or her. In the event no reply is timely filed, the resolution shall upon the thirty-first day from the date of such service, constitute the final resolution removing the manager and his or her services shall terminate upon that day. If a reply shall be timely filed with the city clerk, the council shall fix a time for a public hearing upon the question of the manager's removal and a final resolution removing the manager shall not be adopted until a public hearing has been had. The action of the council in removing the manager shall be final.



35A.13.150
City manager—Substitute.

The council may designate a qualified administrative officer of the city or town to perform the duties of manager:
(1) Upon the adoption of the council-manager plan, pending the selection and appointment of a manager; or
(2) Upon the termination of the services of a manager, pending the selection and appointment of a new manager; or
(3) During the absence, disability, or suspension of the manager.



35A.13.160
Oath and bond of officers.

All provisions of RCW 35A.12.080 relating to oaths and bonds of officers, shall be applicable to code cities organized under this council-manager plan.



35A.13.170
Council meetings—Quorum—Rules—Voting.

All provisions of RCW 35A.12.110, as now or hereafter amended, and 35A.12.120, relating to council meetings, a quorum for transaction of business, rules and voting at council meetings, shall be applicable to code cities organized under this council-manager plan.
NOTES:
Severability1979 ex.s. c 18: See note following RCW 35A.01.070.



35A.13.180
Adoption of codes by reference.

Ordinances of cities organized under this chapter may adopt codes by reference as provided in RCW 35A.12.140.



35A.13.190
Ordinances—Style—Requisites—Veto.

The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be as follows: "The city council of the city of . . . . . . do ordain as follows:" No ordinance shall contain more than one subject and that must be clearly expressed in its title.
No ordinance or any section or subsection thereof shall be revised or amended unless the new ordinance sets forth the revised ordinance or the amended section or subsection at full length.
No ordinance shall take effect until five days after the date of its publication unless otherwise provided by statute or charter, except that an ordinance passed by a majority plus one of the whole membership of the council, designated therein as a public emergency ordinance necessary for the protection of public health, public safety, public property or the public peace, may be made effective upon adoption, but such ordinance may not levy taxes, grant, renew, or extend a franchise, or authorize the borrowing of money.



35A.13.200
Authentication, recording and publication of ordinances.

Ordinances of code cities organized under this chapter shall be authenticated, recorded and published as provided in RCW 35A.12.150 and 35A.12.160.



35A.13.210
Audit and allowance of demands against city.

RCW 35A.12.170 shall apply to the audit and allowance of demands against the city.



35A.13.220
Optional division of city into wards.

A code city organized under this chapter may be divided into wards as provided in RCW 35A.12.180.



35A.13.230
Powers of council.

The council of any code city organized under the council-manager plan provided in this chapter shall have the powers and authority granted to legislative bodies of cities governed by this title as more particularly described in chapter 35A.11 RCW, except insofar as such power and authority is vested in the city manager.
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