|HB 684 - Donalsonville, City of; new charter|
First Reader Summary
A BILL to provide a new charter for the City of Donalsonville;
and for other purposes.
||Read 1st Time
||Read 2nd Time
||Read 3rd Time
||Sent to Governor
||Signed by Governor
HB 684 LC 22 2531
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1- 1 To provide a new charter for the City of Donalsonville; to
1- 2 provide for incorporation, boundaries, and powers of the
1- 3 city; to provide for a governing authority of such city and
1- 4 the powers, duties, authority, election, terms, method of
1- 5 filling vacancies, compensation, qualifications,
1- 6 prohibitions, and removal from office relative to members of
1- 7 such governing authority; to provide for inquiries and
1- 8 investigations; to provide for organization and procedures;
1- 9 to provide for ordinances and codes; to provide for the
1-10 office of mayor and certain duties and powers relative to
1-11 the office of mayor; to provide for administrative
1-12 responsibilities; to provide for boards, commissions, and
1-13 authorities; to provide for a city attorney, a city clerk, a
1-14 city treasurer, and other personnel; to provide for rules
1-15 and regulations; to provide for a municipal court and the
1-16 judge or judges thereof; to provide for practices and
1-17 procedures; to provide for taxation and fees; to provide for
1-18 franchises, service charges, and assessments; to provide for
1-19 bonded and other indebtedness; to provide for accounting and
1-20 budgeting; to provide for purchases; to provide for the sale
1-21 of property; to provide for bonds for officials; to provide
1-22 for eminent domain; to provide for penalties; to provide for
1-23 definitions and construction; to provide for other matters
1-24 relative to the foregoing; to repeal a specific Act; to
1-25 repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
1-26 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
1-27 INCORPORATION AND POWERS
1-28 SECTION 1.10.
1-29 This city and the inhabitants thereof are hereby constituted
1-30 and declared a body politic and corporate under the name and
1-31 style City of Donalsonville, Georgia, and by that name shall
1-32 have perpetual succession.
2- 1 SECTION 1.11.
2- 2 Corporate boundaries.
2- 3 (a) The boundaries of this city shall be those existing on
2- 4 the effective date of the adoption of this charter with such
2- 5 alterations as may be made from time to time in the manner
2- 6 provided by law. The boundaries of this city at all times
2- 7 shall be shown on a map, a written description or any
2- 8 combination thereof, to be retained permanently in the
2- 9 office of the city clerk and to be designated, as the case
2-10 may be: "Official Map of the corporate limits of the City
2-11 of Donalsonville, Georgia." Photographic, typed, or other
2-12 copies of such map or description certified by the city
2-13 clerk shall be admitted as evidence in all courts and shall
2-14 have the same force and effect as the original map or
2-16 (b) The mayor and council may provide for the redrawing of
2-17 any such map by ordinance to reflect lawful changes in the
2-18 corporate boundaries. A redrawn map shall supersede for all
2-19 purposes the entire map or maps which it is designated to
2-21 SECTION 1.12.
2-22 Powers and construction.
2-23 (a) This city shall have all powers possible for a city to
2-24 have under the present or future Constitution and laws of
2-25 this state as fully and completely as though they were
2-26 specifically enumerated in this charter. This city shall
2-27 have all the powers of self-government not otherwise
2-28 prohibited by this charter or by general law.
2-29 (b) The powers of this city shall be construed liberally in
2-30 favor of the city. The specific mention or failure to
2-31 mention particular powers shall not be construed as limiting
2-32 in any way the powers of this city.
2-33 (c) The powers of the government of the City of
2-34 Donalsonville to be exercised by the mayor and council shall
2-35 include, but not be limited to, the following:
2-36 (1) Air and water pollution. To regulate the emission
2-37 of smoke or other exhaust which pollutes the air, and to
2-38 prevent the pollution of natural streams which flow
2-39 within the corporate limits of the city;
2-40 (2) Animal regulations. To regulate and license or to
2-41 prohibit the keeping or running at large of animals and
2-42 fowl, and to provide for the impoundment of same if such
3- 1 are in violation of any ordinance or lawful order; to
3- 2 provide for the disposition by sale, gift, or humane
3- 3 destruction of animals and fowl when not redeemed as
3- 4 provided by ordinance; and to provide punishment for
3- 5 violation of ordinances enacted under this charter;
3- 6 (3) Appropriations and expenditures. To make
3- 7 appropriations for the support of the government of the
3- 8 city; to authorize the expenditure of money for any
3- 9 purposes authorized by this charter and for any purpose
3-10 for which a municipality is authorized by the laws of
3-11 the State of Georgia; and to provide for the payment of
3-12 expenses of the city;
3-13 (4) Building regulation. To regulate and to license the
3-14 erection and construction of buildings and all other
3-15 structures; to adopt building, housing, plumbing,
3-16 electrical, gas, and heating and air conditioning codes;
3-17 and to regulate all housing and building trades;
3-18 (5) Business regulation and taxation. To levy and to
3-19 provide for collection of licenses, fees, and taxes on
3-20 privileges, occupations, trades and professions; to
3-21 license and regulate the same; to provide for the manner
3-22 and method of payment of such licenses, fees, and taxes;
3-23 and to revoke such licenses after due process for
3-24 failure to pay any city taxes or fees;
3-25 (6) Condemnation. To condemn property, inside or
3-26 outside the corporate limits of the city, for present or
3-27 future use and for any corporate purpose deemed
3-28 necessary by the governing authority, utilizing
3-29 procedures enumerated in Title 22 of the Official Code
3-30 of Georgia Annotated, or such other applicable laws as
3-31 are or may hereafter be enacted;
3-32 (7) Contracts. To enter into contracts and agreements
3-33 with other governmental entities and with private
3-34 persons, firms, and corporations;
3-35 (8) Emergencies. To establish procedures for
3-36 determining and proclaiming that an emergency situation
3-37 exists inside or outside the city, and to make and carry
3-38 out all reasonable provisions deemed necessary to deal
3-39 with or meet such an emergency for the protection,
3-40 safety, health or well-being of the citizens of the
4- 1 (9) Fire regulations. To fix and establish fire limits
4- 2 and from time to time to extend, enlarge, or restrict
4- 3 the same; to prescribe fire safety regulations not
4- 4 inconsistent with general law, relating to fire
4- 5 prevention, detection, and fire fighting; and to
4- 6 prescribe penalties and punishment for violations of
4- 7 such limits and regulations;
4- 8 (10) Garbage fees. To levy, fix, assess, and collect a
4- 9 garbage, refuse, and trash collection and disposal, and
4-10 other sanitary service charge, tax, or fee for such
4-11 services as may be necessary in the operation of the
4-12 city from all individuals, firms, and corporations
4-13 residing in or doing business in the city benefiting
4-14 from such services; to enforce the payment of such
4-15 charges, taxes, or fees; and to provide for the manner
4-16 and method of collecting such service charges;
4-17 (11) General health, safety, and welfare. To define,
4-18 regulate, and prohibit any act, practice, conduct, or
4-19 use of property which is detrimental to the health,
4-20 sanitation, cleanliness, welfare, and safety of the
4-21 inhabitants of the city, and to provide for the
4-22 enforcement of such standards;
4-23 (12) Gifts. To accept or refuse gifts, donations,
4-24 bequests, or grants from any source for any purpose
4-25 related to the powers and duties of the city and the
4-26 general welfare of its citizens, on such terms and
4-27 conditions as the donor or grantor may impose;
4-28 (13) Health and sanitation. To prescribe standards of
4-29 health and sanitation and to provide for the enforcement
4-30 of such standards;
4-31 (14) Jail sentences. To provide that persons given jail
4-32 sentences in the city's court may work out such
4-33 sentences in any public works or on the streets, roads,
4-34 drains, and squares in the city; to provide for
4-35 commitment of such persons to any jail; or to provide
4-36 for commitment of such persons to any county work camp
4-37 or county jail by agreement with the appropriate county
4-39 (15) Motor vehicles. To regulate the operation of motor
4-40 vehicles and exercise control over all traffic,
4-41 including parking upon or across the streets, roads,
4-42 alleys and walkways of the city;
5- 1 (16) Municipal agencies and delegation of power. To
5- 2 create, alter, or abolish departments, boards, offices,
5- 3 commissions, and agencies of the city and to confer upon
5- 4 such agencies the necessary and appropriate authority
5- 5 for carrying out all the powers conferred upon or
5- 6 delegated to the same;
5- 7 (17) Municipal debts. To appropriate and borrow money
5- 8 for the payment of debts of the city and to issue bonds
5- 9 for the purpose of raising revenue to carry out any
5-10 project, program, or venture authorized by this charter
5-11 or the laws of the State of Georgia;
5-12 (18) Municipal property ownership. To acquire, dispose
5-13 of, and hold in trust or otherwise any real, personal,
5-14 or mixed property, in fee simple or lesser interest,
5-15 inside or outside the property limits of the city;
5-16 (19) Municipal property protection. To provide for the
5-17 preservation and protection of property and equipment of
5-18 the city and for the administration and use of same by
5-19 the public; and to prescribe penalties and punishment
5-20 for violations thereof;
5-21 (20) Municipal utilities. To acquire, lease, construct,
5-22 operate, maintain, sell, and dispose of public
5-23 utilities, including but not limited to a system of
5-24 waterworks, sewers and drains, sewage disposal, gas
5-25 works, electric light plants, transportation facilities,
5-26 public airports, and any other public utility; to fix
5-27 the taxes, charges, rates, fares, fees, assessments,
5-28 regulations, and penalties; to provide for the
5-29 withdrawal of service for refusal or failure to pay the
5-30 same; and to authorize the extension of water, sewerage,
5-31 and electrical distribution systems, and all necessary
5-32 appurtenances by which said utilities are distributed,
5-33 inside and outside the corporate limits of the city as
5-34 provided by ordinance;
5-35 (21) Nuisance. To define a nuisance and provide for its
5-36 abatement whether on public or private property;
5-37 (22) Ordinances, rules, and regulations. To make,
5-38 establish, and adopt such bylaws, ordinances, policies,
5-39 and rules and regulations as shall appear necessary for
5-40 the security, welfare, convenience, and interest of the
5-41 city and the inhabitants of the city, and for preserving
5-42 the health, peace, order, and good government of the
6- 1 (23) Penalties. To provide penalties for violation of
6- 2 any ordinances adopted pursuant to the authority of this
6- 3 charter and the laws of the State of Georgia;
6- 4 (24) Planning and zoning. To provide comprehensive city
6- 5 planning for development by zoning and to provide
6- 6 subdivision regulation and the like as the city council
6- 7 deems necessary and reasonable to insure a safe,
6- 8 healthy, and aesthetically pleasing community;
6- 9 (25) Police and fire protection. To exercise the power
6-10 of arrest through duly appointed police officers and to
6-11 establish, operate, or contract for a police and a fire
6-12 fighting agency;
6-13 (26) Public hazards: removal. To provide for the
6-14 destruction and removal of any building or other
6-15 structure which is or may become dangerous or
6-16 detrimental to the public;
6-17 (27) Public improvements. To provide for the
6-18 acquisition, construction, building, operation, and
6-19 maintenance of public ways, parks and playgrounds,
6-20 recreational facilities, cemeteries, markets and market
6-21 houses, public buildings, libraries, public housing,
6-22 airports, hospitals, terminals, docks, parking
6-23 facilities, or charitable, cultural, educational,
6-24 recreational, conservation, sport, curative, corrective,
6-25 detentional, penal, and medical institutions, agencies,
6-26 and facilities; to provide any other public
6-27 improvements, inside or outside the corporate limits of
6-28 the city; to regulate the use of public improvements;
6-29 and for such purposes, property may be acquired by
6-30 condemnation under Title 22 of the Official Code of
6-31 Georgia Annotated or such other applicable laws as are
6-32 or may hereafter be enacted;
6-33 (28) Public peace. To provide for the prevention and
6-34 punishment of drunkenness, riots, and public
6-36 (29) Public transportation. To organize and operate
6-37 such public transportation systems as are deemed
6-39 (30) Public utilities and services. To grant franchises
6-40 or make contracts for public utilities and public
6-41 services; and to prescribe the rates, fares,
6-42 regulations, and standards, and conditions of service
7- 1 applicable to the service to be provided by the
7- 2 franchise grantee or contractor, insofar as such are not
7- 3 in conflict with valid regulations of the Public Service
7- 4 Commission;
7- 5 (31) Regulation of roadside areas. To prohibit or
7- 6 regulate and control the erection, removal, and
7- 7 maintenance of signs, billboards, trees, shrubs, fences,
7- 8 buildings, and any and all other structures or
7- 9 obstructions upon or adjacent to the rights-of-way of
7-10 streets and roads or within view of streets or roads,
7-11 within or abutting the corporate limits of the city and
7-12 to prescribe penalties and punishment for violation of
7-13 such ordinances;
7-14 (32) Retirement. To provide and maintain a retirement
7-15 plan for officers and employees of the city;
7-16 (33) Roadways. To lay out, open, extend, widen, narrow,
7-17 establish or change the grade of, abandon or close,
7-18 construct, pave, curb, gutter, adorn with shade trees,
7-19 or otherwise improve, maintain, repair, clean, prevent
7-20 erosion of, and light the roads, alleys, and walkways
7-21 within the corporate limits of the city; and to
7-22 negotiate and execute leases over, through, under or
7-23 across any city property or the right-of-way of any
7-24 street, road, alley, and walkway or portion thereof
7-25 within the corporate limits of the city, for bridges,
7-26 passageways, or any other purpose or use between
7-27 buildings on opposite sides of the street and for other
7-28 bridges, overpasses, and underpasses for private use at
7-29 such location, and to charge a rental therefor in such
7-30 manner as may be provided by ordinance; and to authorize
7-31 and control the construction of bridges, overpasses, and
7-32 underpasses within the corporate limits of the city; and
7-33 to grant franchises and rights-of-way throughout the
7-34 streets and roads and over the bridges and viaducts for
7-35 the use of public utilities and for private use; and to
7-36 require real estate owners to repair and maintain in a
7-37 safe condition the sidewalks adjoining their lots or
7-38 lands, and to impose penalties for failure to do so;
7-39 (34) Sewer fees. To levy a fee, charge, or sewer tax as
7-40 necessary to assure the acquiring, constructing,
7-41 equipping, operating, maintaining, and extending of a
7-42 sewage disposal plant and sewerage system, and to levy
7-43 on those to whom sewers and sewerage systems are made
7-44 available a sewer service fee, charge, or sewer tax for
8- 1 the availability or use of the sewers; to provide for
8- 2 the manner and method of collecting such service charges
8- 3 and for enforcing payment of the same; and to charge,
8- 4 impose, and collect a sewer connection fee or fees to
8- 5 those connected with the system;
8- 6 (35) Solid waste disposal. To provide for the
8- 7 collection and disposal of garbage, rubbish and refuse,
8- 8 and to regulate the collection and disposal of garbage,
8- 9 rubbish, and refuse by others; and to provide for the
8-10 separate collection of glass, tin, aluminum, cardboard,
8-11 paper, and other recyclable materials; and to provide
8-12 for the sale of such items.
8-13 (36) Special areas of public regulation. To regulate or
8-14 prohibit junk dealers, pawn shops, the manufacture,
8-15 sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors and the
8-16 use and sale of firearms; to regulate the
8-17 transportation, storage, and use of combustible,
8-18 explosive, and inflammable materials, the use of
8-19 lighting and heating equipment, and any other business
8-20 or situation which may be dangerous to persons or
8-21 property; to regulate and control the conduct of
8-22 peddlers and itinerant traders, theatrical performances,
8-23 exhibitions, and shows of any kind, by taxation or
8-24 otherwise; and to license, tax, regulate, or prohibit
8-25 professional fortunetelling, palmistry, adult
8-26 bookstores, and massage parlors;
8-27 (37) Special assessments. To levy and provide for the
8-28 collection of special assessments to cover the costs for
8-29 any public improvements;
8-30 (38) Taxes: ad valorem. To levy and provide for
8-31 assessment, valuation, revaluation, and collection of
8-32 taxes on all property subject to taxation;
8-33 (39) Taxes: other. To levy and collect such other
8-34 taxes as may be allowed now or in the future by law.
8-35 (40) Taxicabs. To regulate and license vehicles
8-36 operated for hire in the city; to limit the number of
8-37 such vehicles; to require the operators of such vehicles
8-38 to be licensed; to require public liability insurance on
8-39 such vehicles in the amounts to be prescribed by
8-40 ordinance; and to regulate the parking of such vehicles;
8-41 (41) Urban redevelopment. To organize and operate an
8-42 urban redevelopment program; and
9- 1 (42) Other powers. To exercise and enjoy all other
9- 2 powers, functions, rights, privileges, and immunities
9- 3 necessary or desirable to promote or protect the safety,
9- 4 health, peace, security, good order, comfort,
9- 5 convenience, or general welfare of the city and its
9- 6 inhabitants; and to exercise all implied powers
9- 7 necessary to carry into execution all powers granted in
9- 8 this charter as fully and completely as if such powers
9- 9 were fully stated in this charter; and to exercise all
9-10 powers now or in the future authorized to be exercised
9-11 by other municipal governments under other laws of the
9-12 State of Georgia; and no listing of particular powers in
9-13 this charter shall be held to be exclusive of others,
9-14 nor restrictive of general words and phrases granting
9-15 powers, but shall be held to be in addition to such
9-16 powers unless expressly prohibited to municipalities
9-17 under the Constitution or applicable laws of the State
9-18 of Georgia.
9-19 SECTION 1.13.
9-20 Exercise of powers.
9-21 All powers, functions, rights, privileges, and immunities of
9-22 the city, and its officers, agencies, or employees shall be
9-23 carried into execution as provided by this charter. If this
9-24 charter makes no provision, such shall be carried into
9-25 execution as provided by ordinance or as provided by
9-26 pertinent laws of the State of Georgia.
9-27 GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE
9-28 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
9-29 SECTION 2.10.
9-30 Mayor and council--creation; number; election.
9-31 The legislative authority of the government of this city,
9-32 except as otherwise specifically provided in this charter,
9-33 shall be vested in a mayor and council to be composed of a
9-34 mayor and six members of the council. The mayor and
9-35 councilmembers shall be elected in the manner provided by
9-36 this charter.
9-37 SECTION 2.11.
9-38 Same--terms and qualifications for office.
9-39 The mayor and each member of the council shall serve for
9-40 terms of four years and until their respective successors
9-41 are elected and qualified. No person shall be eligible to
10- 1 serve as mayor or councilmember unless he or she shall have
10- 2 been a resident of the city for a period of at least 12
10- 3 months immediately prior to the date of the election of the
10- 4 mayor or members of the council; each shall continue to
10- 5 reside therein during his or her period of service and to be
10- 6 registered and qualified to vote in municipal elections of
10- 7 this city.
10- 8 SECTION 2.12.
10- 9 Vacancy; filling of vacancies; suspensions.
10-10 (a) Vacancies. The office of mayor or councilmember shall
10-11 become vacant upon the incumbent's death, resignation,
10-12 forfeiture of office, or removal from office in any manner
10-13 authorized by this charter or the general laws of the State
10-14 of Georgia. A vacancy in the office of mayor or
10-15 councilmember shall be filled for the remainder of the
10-16 unexpired term, if any, as provided for in this charter.
10-17 (b) Suspension. Upon the suspension from office of mayor or
10-18 councilmember in any manner authorized by the general laws
10-19 of the State of Georgia, the mayor and council or those
10-20 remaining shall appoint a successor for the duration of the
10-21 suspension. If the suspension becomes permanent, then the
10-22 office shall become vacant and shall be filled for the
10-23 remainder of the unexpired term, if any, as provided for in
10-24 this charter.
10-25 SECTION 2.13.
10-26 Same--compensation and expenses.
10-27 The mayor and each councilmember shall receive compensation
10-28 and expenses for their services as provided by ordinance and
10-29 in accordance with Chapter 35 of Title 36 of the O.C.G.A.
10-30 SECTION 2.14.
10-31 Conflicts of interest; holding other offices.
10-32 (a) Conflict of interest. No elected official, appointed
10-33 officer, or employee of the city or any agency or political
10-34 entity to which this charter applies shall knowingly:
10-35 (1) Engage in any business or transaction, nor have a
10-36 financial or other personal interest, direct or
10-37 indirect, which is incompatible with the proper
10-38 discharge of his or her official duties or which would
10-39 tend to impair the independence of his or her judgment
10-40 or action in the performance of his or her official
11- 1 (2) Engage in or accept private employment or render
11- 2 services for private interests when such employment or
11- 3 service is incompatible with the proper discharge of his
11- 4 or her official duties or would tend to impair the
11- 5 independence of his or her judgment or action in the
11- 6 performance of his or her official duties;
11- 7 (3) Disclose confidential information concerning the
11- 8 property, government, or affairs of the governmental
11- 9 body by which he or she is engaged without proper legal
11-10 authorization; or use such information to advance the
11-11 financial or other private interest of himself, herself,
11-12 or others;
11-13 (4) Accept any valuable gift, whether in the form of
11-14 service, loan, thing, or promise, from any person, firm,
11-15 or corporation which to his or her knowledge is
11-16 interested, directly or indirectly, in any manner
11-17 whatsoever, in business dealings with the governmental
11-18 body by which he or she is engaged; provided, however,
11-19 that an elected official who is a candidate for public
11-20 office may accept campaign contributions and services in
11-21 connection with any such campaign; or
11-22 (5) Represent other private interests in any action or
11-23 proceeding against this city or any portion of its
11-25 (b) Disclosure. Any elected official, appointed officer, or
11-26 employee who shall have any private financial interest,
11-27 directly or indirectly, in any contract or matter pending
11-28 before or within any department of the city shall disclose
11-29 such private interest to the mayor and council. The mayor
11-30 or any councilmember who has a private interest in any
11-31 matter pending before the mayor and council shall disclose
11-32 such private interest and such disclosure shall be entered
11-33 on the records of the mayor and council, and such mayor or
11-34 councilmember having a private interest shall disqualify
11-35 himself or herself from participating in any decision or
11-36 vote relating thereto. Any elected official, appointed
11-37 officer, or employee of any agency or political entity to
11-38 which this charter applies who shall have any private
11-39 financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract
11-40 or matter pending before or within such entity shall
11-41 disclose such private interest to the governing body of such
11-42 agency or entity.
12- 1 (c) Use of public property. No elected official, appointed
12- 2 officer, or employee of the city or any agency or entity to
12- 3 which this charter applies shall use property owned by such
12- 4 governmental entity for personal benefit, convenience, or
12- 5 profit except in accordance with policies promulgated by the
12- 6 mayor and council or the governing body of such agency or
12- 7 entity.
12- 8 (d) Contracts voidable and rescindable. Any violation of
12- 9 this section which occurs with the knowledge, express or
12-10 implied, of a party to a contract or sale shall render said
12-11 contract or sale voidable at the option of the mayor and
12-13 (e) Ineligibility of elected official. Except where
12-14 otherwise authorized by law, neither the mayor nor any
12-15 councilmember shall hold any other elective or compensated
12-16 appointive office in the city or otherwise be employed by
12-17 said government or any agency of the city during the term
12-18 for which he or she was elected.
12-19 (f) Political activities of certain officers and employees.
12-20 No appointive officer and no employee of the city shall
12-21 continue in such employment upon qualifying as a candidate
12-22 for nomination or election to any public office within the
12-23 city government.
12-24 (g) Penalties for violation.
12-25 (1) Any city officer or employee who knowingly conceals
12-26 such financial interest or knowingly violates any of the
12-27 requirements of this section shall be guilty of
12-28 malfeasance in office or position and shall be deemed to
12-29 have forfeited his or her office or position; and
12-30 (2) Any officer or employee of the city who shall
12-31 forfeit his or her office or position as described in
12-32 paragraph (1) above shall be ineligible for appointment
12-33 to, election to, or employment in a position in the city
12-34 government for a period of three years thereafter.
12-35 SECTION 2.15.
12-36 Inquiries and investigations.
12-37 The mayor and council may make inquiries and investigations
12-38 into the affairs of the city and conduct of any department,
12-39 office, or agency of the city and for this purpose may
12-40 subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and
12-41 require the production of evidence. Any person who fails or
12-42 refuses to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of
13- 1 these powers by the mayor and council shall be punished as
13- 2 provided by ordinance.
13- 3 SECTION 2.16.
13- 4 General power and authority of the mayor and council.
13- 5 Except as otherwise provided by other provisions of this
13- 6 charter, the mayor and council shall exercise that authority
13- 7 and those powers as provided by Article I of this charter.
13- 8 SECTION 2.17.
13- 9 Eminent domain.
13-10 The mayor and council is empowered to acquire, construct,
13-11 operate and maintain public ways, parks, public grounds,
13-12 cemeteries, markets, market houses, public buildings,
13-13 libraries, sewers, drains, sewage treatment, waterworks,
13-14 electrical systems, gas systems, airports, hospitals, and
13-15 charitable, educational, recreational, sport, curative,
13-16 corrective, detentional, penal and medical institutions,
13-17 agencies and facilities; any other public improvements
13-18 inside or outside the city; and to regulate the use thereof
13-19 and for such purposes, property may be condemned under
13-20 procedures established under general law applicable now or
13-21 as provided in the future.
13-22 ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES
13-23 SECTION 2.18.
13-24 Organizational meetings.
13-25 The mayor and council shall hold an organizational meeting
13-26 on the first Tuesday in January next following the election
13-27 of the mayor and council. The meeting shall be called to
13-28 order by the city clerk, and the oath of office shall be
13-29 administered to the newly elected members as follows:
13-30 "I do solemnly (swear)(affirm) that I will faithfully
13-31 perform the duties of (mayor or councilmember) of this
13-32 city and that I will support and defend the charter
13-33 thereof as well as the Constitution and laws of the State
13-34 of Georgia and of the United States of America."
13-35 SECTION 2.19.
13-36 Regular and special meetings.
13-37 (a) The mayor and council shall hold regular meetings at
13-38 such times and places as prescribed by ordinance.
13-39 (b) Special meetings of the mayor and council may be held on
13-40 call of the mayor or of any three members of the city
14- 1 council. Notice of such special meetings shall be served on
14- 2 all other members personally, or by telephone personally, at
14- 3 least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Such notice to
14- 4 the mayor and councilmembers shall not be required if five
14- 5 of the six members of the council are present when the
14- 6 special meeting is called. Such notice of any special
14- 7 meeting may be waived by a councilmember in writing before
14- 8 or after such a meeting, and attendance at the meeting shall
14- 9 also constitute a waiver of notice on any business
14-10 transacted in such councilmember's presence. Only the
14-11 business stated in the call may be transacted at the special
14-13 (c) All meetings of the mayor and council shall be public to
14-14 the extent required by law, and notice to the public of
14-15 special meetings shall be made as fully as is reasonably
14-16 possible prior to such meetings as provided by state law.
14-17 SECTION 2.20.
14-18 Rules of procedure.
14-19 (a) The mayor and council shall adopt rules of procedure and
14-20 order of business consistent with the provisions of this
14-21 charter and shall provide for keeping a journal of
14-22 proceedings, which shall be a public record.
14-23 (b) All committees and committee chairpersons and officers
14-24 of the mayor and council shall be appointed by the mayor and
14-25 shall serve at the mayor's pleasure. The mayor shall have
14-26 the power to appoint new members to any committee at any
14-28 SECTION 2.21.
14-29 Quorum: voting.
14-30 (a) Four of the councilmembers shall constitute a quorum and
14-31 shall be authorized to transact business of the mayor and
14-32 council. Voting on the adoption of ordinances shall be by
14-33 voice vote and the vote shall be recorded in the journal,
14-34 but any member of the council shall have the right to
14-35 request a roll call vote, and such vote shall be recorded in
14-36 the journal. Except as otherwise provided in this charter,
14-37 the affirmative vote of a majority of the Councilmembers
14-38 present at an official meeting shall be required for the
14-39 adoption of any ordinance, resolution, or motion.
14-40 (b) In the event vacancies in office result in less than a
14-41 quorum of the councilmembers holding office, then the
14-42 remaining councilmembers in office shall constitute a quorum
15- 1 and shall be authorized to transact business of the mayor
15- 2 and council. In this event, a vote of a majority of the
15- 3 remaining councilmembers present at an official meeting
15- 4 shall be required for the adoption of any ordinance,
15- 5 resolution or motion.
15- 6 SECTION 2.22.
15- 7 Ordinance form; procedures.
15- 8 (a) Every proposed ordinance should be introduced in writing
15- 9 and in the form required for final adoption. No ordinance
15-10 shall contain a subject which is not expressed in its title.
15-11 The enacting clause shall be "The mayor and council of the
15-12 City of Donalsonville hereby ordains. . . ." and every
15-13 ordinance shall so begin.
15-14 (b) An ordinance may be introduced by any councilmember and
15-15 may be read at a regular or special meeting of the mayor and
15-16 council. Ordinances shall be considered and adopted or
15-17 rejected by the mayor and council in accordance with the
15-18 rules which it shall establish; provided, however, an
15-19 ordinance shall not be adopted the same day it is
15-20 introduced, unless a written copy of the ordinance shall
15-21 have been provided to each councilmember not less than 24
15-22 hours prior to the meeting at which it shall be considered
15-23 for adoption, or for emergency ordinances as provided in
15-24 Section 2.24. Upon introduction of any ordinance, the clerk
15-25 shall as soon as possible distribute a copy to the mayor and
15-26 each councilmember and shall file a reasonable number of
15-27 copies in the office of the clerk and at such other public
15-28 places as the mayor and council may designate.
15-29 SECTION 2.23.
15-30 Action requiring an ordinance.
15-31 Acts of the mayor and council which have the force and
15-32 effect of law shall be enacted by ordinance.
15-33 SECTION 2.24.
15-34 To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property,
15-35 or public peace, the mayor and council may convene on call
15-36 of the mayor or three councilmembers and promptly adopt an
15-37 emergency ordinance, but such ordinance may not levy taxes;
15-38 grant, renew, or extend a franchise; regulate the rate
15-39 charged by any public utility for its services; or authorize
15-40 the borrowing of money except for loans to be repaid within
15-41 30 days. An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the
16- 1 form prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it
16- 2 shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and
16- 3 shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration
16- 4 stating that an emergency exists and describing the
16- 5 emergency in clear and specific terms. An emergency
16- 6 ordinance may be adopted, with or without amendment, or
16- 7 rejected at the meeting at which it is introduced, but the
16- 8 affirmative vote of at least three Councilmembers shall be
16- 9 required for adoption. It shall become effective upon
16-10 adoption or at such later time as it may specify. Every
16-11 emergency ordinance shall automatically stand repealed 90
16-12 days following the date upon which it was adopted, but this
16-13 shall not prevent reenactment of the ordinance in the manner
16-14 specified in this section if the emergency still exists. An
16-15 emergency ordinance may also be repealed by adoption of a
16-16 repealing ordinance in the same manner specified in this
16-17 section for adoption of emergency ordinances.
16-18 SECTION 2.25.
16-19 Codes of technical regulations.
16-20 (a) The mayor and council may adopt any standard code of
16-21 technical regulations by reference thereto in an adopting
16-22 ordinance. The procedure and requirements governing such
16-23 adopting ordinance shall be as prescribed for ordinances
16-24 generally except that:
16-25 (1) The requirements of Section 2.22(b) for distribution
16-26 and filing of copies of the ordinance shall be construed
16-27 to include copies of any code of technical regulations,
16-28 as well as the adopting ordinance; and
16-29 (2) A copy of each adopted code of technical
16-30 regulations, as well as the adopting ordinance, shall be
16-31 authenticated and recorded by the clerk pursuant to
16-32 Section 2.26.
16-33 (b) Copies of any adopted code of technical regulations
16-34 shall be made available by the clerk for distribution or for
16-35 purchase at a reasonable price.
16-36 SECTION 2.26.
16-37 Signing; authenticating; recording; codification; printing.
16-38 (a) The mayor shall sign and the clerk shall authenticate
16-39 the mayor's signature and record in full in a properly
16-40 indexed book kept for that purpose all ordinances adopted by
16-41 the mayor and council.
17- 1 (b) The mayor and council shall provide for the preparation
17- 2 of a general codification of all the ordinances of the city
17- 3 having the force and effect of law. The general
17- 4 codification shall be adopted by the mayor and council by
17- 5 ordinance and shall be published promptly, together with all
17- 6 amendments thereto and such codes of technical regulations
17- 7 and other rules and regulations as the mayor and council may
17- 8 specify. This compilation shall be known and cited
17- 9 officially as "The Code of the City of Donalsonville,
17-10 Georgia." Copies of the code shall be furnished to all
17-11 officers, departments, and agencies of the city and made
17-12 available for purchase by the public at a reasonable price
17-13 as fixed by the city council.
17-14 (c) The mayor and council shall cause each ordinance and
17-15 each amendment to this charter to be printed promptly
17-16 following its adoption, and the printed ordinances and
17-17 charter amendments shall be made available for purchase by
17-18 the public at reasonable prices to be fixed by the city
17-19 council. Following publication of the first code under this
17-20 charter and at all times thereafter, the ordinances and
17-21 charter amendments shall be printed in substantially the
17-22 same style as the code currently in effect and shall be
17-23 suitable in form for incorporation therein. The mayor and
17-24 council shall make such further arrangements as deemed
17-25 desirable with reproduction and distribution of any current
17-26 changes in or additions to codes of technical regulations
17-27 and other rules and regulations included in the code.
17-28 SECTION 2.27.
17-29 City manager; appointment; qualifications; compensation.
17-30 The mayor and council shall appoint a city manager for an
17-31 indefinite term and shall fix the compensation of the city
17-32 manager. The manager shall be appointed solely on the basis
17-33 of his or her executive, administrative, and technical
17-35 SECTION 2.27.
17-36 Removal of city manager.
17-37 (a) The mayor and council may remove the manager from office
17-38 in accordance with the following procedures:
17-39 (1) The mayor and council shall adopt by affirmative
17-40 vote of a majority of all its members a preliminary
17-41 resolution which must state the reasons for removal and
17-42 may suspend the manager from duty for a period not to
18- 1 exceed 45 days. A copy of the resolution shall be
18- 2 delivered promptly to the manager;
18- 3 (2) Within five days after a copy of the resolution is
18- 4 delivered to the manager, the manager may file with the
18- 5 mayor and council a written request for a public
18- 6 hearing. This hearing shall be held within 30 days
18- 7 after the request is filed. The manager may file with
18- 8 the mayor and council a written reply not later than
18- 9 five days before the hearing; or
18-10 (3) If the manager has not requested a public hearing
18-11 within the time specified in paragraph (2) above, the
18-12 mayor and council may adopt a final resolution for
18-13 removal, which may be made effective immediately, by an
18-14 affirmative vote of a majority of all its members. If
18-15 the manager has requested a public hearing, the mayor
18-16 and council may adopt a final resolution for removal,
18-17 which may be made effective immediately, by an
18-18 affirmative vote of a majority of all its members at any
18-19 time after the public hearing.
18-20 (b) The manager shall continue to receive his or her salary
18-21 until the effective date of a final resolution of removal.
18-22 SECTION 2.29.
18-23 Acting city manager.
18-24 By letter filed with the city clerk, the manager shall
18-25 designate subject to approval of the mayor and council a
18-26 qualified city administrative officer to exercise the powers
18-27 and perform the duties of manager during the manager's
18-28 temporary absence or disability. During such absence or
18-29 disability, the mayor and council may revoke such
18-30 designation at any time and appoint another officer of the
18-31 city to serve until the manager shall return or the
18-32 manager's disability shall cease.
18-33 SECTION 2.30.
18-34 Powers and duties of the city manager.
18-35 The city manager shall be the chief administrative officer
18-36 of the city. The manager shall be responsible to the mayor
18-37 and council for the administration of all city affairs
18-38 placed in his or her charge by or under this charter. The
18-39 manager shall have the following powers and duties:
18-40 (1) To appoint and, when he or she deems it necessary
18-41 for the good of the city, suspend or remove all city
18-42 employees and administrative officers he or she
19- 1 appoints, except as otherwise provided by law or
19- 2 personnel ordinances adopted pursuant to this charter.
19- 3 The manager may authorize any administrative officer who
19- 4 is subject to his or her direction and supervision to
19- 5 exercise these powers with respect to subordinates in
19- 6 that officer's department, office, or agency.
19- 7 (2) To direct and supervise the administration of all
19- 8 departments, offices, and agencies of the city, except
19- 9 as otherwise provided by this charter or by law.
19-10 (3) To attend all meetings of the mayor and council and
19-11 to have the right to take part in discussion but not to
19-13 (4) To see that all laws, provisions of this charter,
19-14 and acts of the mayor and council, subject to
19-15 enforcement by the manager or by officers subject to his
19-16 or her direction and supervision, are faithfully
19-18 (5) To prepare and submit the annual operating budget
19-19 and capital budget to the mayor and council.
19-20 (6) To submit to the mayor and council and make
19-21 available to the public a complete report on the
19-22 finances and administrative activities of the city as of
19-23 the end of each fiscal year.
19-24 (7) To make such other reports as the mayor and council
19-25 may require concerning the operations of city
19-26 departments, offices, and agencies subject to his or her
19-27 direction and supervision.
19-28 (8) To keep the mayor and council fully advised as to
19-29 the financial condition and future needs of the city and
19-30 to make such recommendations to the mayor and council
19-31 concerning the affairs of the city as he or she deems
19-33 (9) To perform other such duties as are specified in
19-34 this charter or as may be required by the mayor and
19-36 SECTION 2.31.
19-37 Council interference with administration.
19-38 Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations under
19-39 Section 2.15, the mayor and council or its members shall
19-40 deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the
19-41 direction and supervision of the manager solely through the
20- 1 manager, and neither the mayor and council nor its members
20- 2 shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either
20- 3 publicly or privately.
20- 4 SECTION 2.32.
20- 5 Selection of mayor pro tempore.
20- 6 By a majority vote of all its members, the mayor and council
20- 7 shall elect a councilmember to serve as mayor pro tempore,
20- 8 and such councilmember shall serve at the pleasure of the
20- 9 mayor and council. The mayor pro tempore shall continue to
20-10 vote and otherwise participate as a councilmember.
20-11 SECTION 2.33.
20-12 Powers and duties of mayor.
20-13 The mayor shall:
20-14 (1) Preside at all meetings of the mayor and council;
20-15 (2) Be the head of the city for the purpose of service
20-16 of process and for ceremonial purposes and shall be the
20-17 official spokesperson for the city and the chief
20-18 advocate of policy;
20-19 (3) Have power to administer oaths and to take
20-21 (4) Sign as a matter of course on behalf of the city all
20-22 written and approved contracts, ordinances, and other
20-23 instruments executed by the city which by law are
20-24 required to be in writing; and
20-25 (5) Serve as a tie breaker and cast a vote only in the
20-26 event of a tie vote of the council.
20-27 SECTION 2.34.
20-28 Mayor pro tempore; duties.
20-29 The mayor pro tempore shall preside at all meetings of the
20-30 mayor and council in the absence of the mayor and shall
20-31 assume the duties and powers of the mayor upon the mayor's
20-32 disability or absence. The mayor and council by a majority
20-33 vote shall elect a new presiding officer from among its
20-34 members for any period in which the mayor pro tempore is
20-35 disabled, absent, or acting as mayor. Any such absence or
20-36 disability shall be declared by majority vote of all mayor
20-37 and council.
21- 1 ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS
21- 2 SECTION 3.10.
21- 3 Administrative and service departments.
21- 4 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this charter, the mayor
21- 5 and council by ordinance shall prescribe the functions or
21- 6 duties, and establish, abolish or alter all nonelective
21- 7 offices, positions of employment, departments, and agencies
21- 8 of the city, as necessary for the proper administration of
21- 9 the affairs and government of this city.
21-10 (b) Except as otherwise provided by this charter or by law,
21-11 the directors of departments and other appointed officers of
21-12 the city shall be appointed solely on the basis of their
21-13 respective administrative and professional qualifications.
21-14 (c) All appointive officers and directors of departments
21-15 shall receive such compensation as prescribed by the mayor
21-16 and council.
21-17 (d) There shall be a director of each department or agency
21-18 who shall be its principal officer. Each director shall,
21-19 subject to the direction and supervision of the city
21-20 manager, be responsible for the administration and direction
21-21 of the affairs and operations of the department or agency.
21-22 (e) All directors under the supervision of the city manager
21-23 shall be nominated by the city manager with confirmation of
21-24 appointment by the mayor and council. The manager may
21-25 suspend, with or without pay, or remove directors under his
21-26 or her supervision, but such a removal shall not be
21-27 effective for ten calendar days following the city manager
21-28 giving written notice of such action and the reasons for
21-29 such action to the director involved and to the mayor and
21-30 council. The director involved may appeal to the mayor and
21-31 council which, after a hearing, may override the action of
21-32 the city manager by a vote of four of the councilmembers.
21-33 SECTION 3.11.
21-34 Boards, commissions, and authorities.
21-35 (a) The mayor and council shall create by ordinance such
21-36 boards, commissions, and authorities to fulfill any
21-37 investigative, quasi-judicial or quasi-legislative function
21-38 the mayor and council deem necessary, and shall by ordinance
21-39 establish the composition, period of existence, duties and
21-40 powers thereof.
22- 1 (b) All members of boards, commissions, and authorities of
22- 2 the city shall be appointed by the mayor and council for
22- 3 such terms of office and in such manner as shall be provided
22- 4 by ordinance, except where other appointing authority,
22- 5 terms, office, or manner of appointment is prescribed by
22- 6 this charter or by law.
22- 7 (c) The mayor and council by ordinance may provide for the
22- 8 compensation and reimbursement for actual and necessary
22- 9 expenses of the members of any board, commission, or
22-11 (d) Except as otherwise provided by this charter or by law,
22-12 no member of any board, commission, or authority shall hold
22-13 any elective office in the city.
22-14 (e) Any vacancy on a board, commission, or authority of the
22-15 city shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner
22-16 prescribed for original appointment, except as otherwise
22-17 provided by this charter or by law.
22-18 (f) No member of a board, commission, or authority shall
22-19 assume office until he or she has executed and filed with
22-20 the clerk of the city an oath obligating himself or herself
22-21 to faithfully and impartially perform the duties of office,
22-22 such oath to be prescribed by ordinance and administered by
22-23 the mayor.
22-24 (g) Any member of a board, commission, or authority may be
22-25 removed from office for cause by a vote of four members of
22-26 the council.
22-27 (h) Except as otherwise provided by this charter or by law,
22-28 each board, commission, or authority of the city shall elect
22-29 one of its members as chairperson and one member as vice
22-30 chairperson and may elect as its secretary one of its own
22-31 members or may appoint as secretary an employee of the city
22-32 or such other individual as its bylaws permit. Each board,
22-33 commission, or authority of the city government may
22-34 establish such bylaws, rules, and regulations not
22-35 inconsistent with this charter, ordinances of the city, or
22-36 law, as it deems appropriate and necessary for the
22-37 fulfillment of its duties or the conduct of its affairs.
22-38 Copies of such bylaws, rules, and regulations shall be filed
22-39 with the clerk of the city.
23- 1 ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
23- 2 SECTION 3.12.
23- 3 City attorney.
23- 4 The mayor and council shall appoint a city attorney,
23- 5 together with such assistant city attorneys as may be
23- 6 authorized, and shall provide for the payment of such
23- 7 attorney or attorneys for services rendered to the city.
23- 8 The city attorney shall be responsible for representing and
23- 9 defending the city in all litigation in which the city is a
23-10 party, may be the prosecuting officer in the municipal
23-11 court, shall attend the meetings of the mayor and council as
23-12 directed, shall advise the mayor and council and other
23-13 officers and employees of the city concerning legal aspects
23-14 of the city's affairs, and shall perform such other duties
23-15 as may be required by virtue of his or her position as city
23-17 SECTION 3.13.
23-18 The city manager may nominate, and the mayor and council
23-19 shall appoint, a city clerk who shall not be a
23-20 councilmember. The city clerk shall be custodian of the
23-21 official city seal, maintain such records as are required by
23-22 this charter, and perform such other duties as may be
23-23 required by the city manager.
23-24 SECTION 3.14.
23-25 City treasurer.
23-26 The city manager may nominate, and the mayor and council
23-27 shall appoint, a city treasurer to collect all taxes,
23-28 licenses, fees, and other monies belonging to the city
23-29 subject to the provisions of this charter and the ordinances
23-30 of the city, and to enforce all laws of Georgia relating to
23-31 the collection of delinquent taxes and sale or foreclosure
23-32 for nonpayment of taxes by the city. The city treasurer
23-33 shall also be responsible for the general duties of a
23-34 treasurer and fiscal officer.
23-35 SECTION 3.15.
23-36 City accountant.
23-37 The city manager may nominate, and the mayor and council
23-38 shall appoint, a city accountant to perform the duties of an
24- 1 PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION
24- 2 SECTION 3.16.
24- 3 The city manager shall annually be responsible for the
24- 4 preparation of a pay plan which shall be submitted to the
24- 5 mayor and council for approval. Such plan may apply to all
24- 6 employees of the city and any of its agencies, departments,
24- 7 boards, commissions, or authorities. For purposes of this
24- 8 section, all elected and appointed city officials are not
24- 9 city employees.
24-10 SECTION 3.17.
24-11 Personnel policies.
24-12 The mayor and council shall adopt rules and regulations
24-13 consistent with this charter concerning:
24-14 (1) The method of employee selection and probationary
24-15 periods of employment;
24-16 (2) The administration of the position classification
24-17 and pay plan, methods of promotion and application of
24-18 service ratings thereto, and transfer of employees
24-19 within the classification plan;
24-20 (3) Hours of work, vacation, sick leave, and other
24-21 leaves of absence, overtime pay, and the order and
24-22 manner in which layoffs shall be effected;
24-23 (4) Such dismissal hearings as due process may require;
24-25 (5) Such other personnel notices as may be necessary to
24-26 provide for adequate and systematic handling of
24-27 personnel affairs.
24-28 JUDICIAL BRANCH
24-29 SECTION 4.10.
24-30 Creation; name.
24-31 There shall be a court to be known as the Municipal Court of
24-32 the City of Donalsonville.
24-33 SECTION 4.11.
24-34 Municipal judge; associate judge.
24-35 (a) The municipal court shall be presided over by a chief
24-36 judge and such part-time, full-time, or stand-by judges as
25- 1 shall be provided by ordinance. The method of selection and
25- 2 terms of such judges shall be provided by ordinance.
25- 3 (b) No person shall be qualified or eligible to serve as a
25- 4 judge on the municipal court unless he or she shall have
25- 5 attained the age of 21 years, and such person shall be a
25- 6 member of the State Bar of Georgia. All judges shall be
25- 7 nominated by the city manager and appointed by the mayor and
25- 8 council.
25- 9 (c) Compensation of the judges shall be fixed by ordinance.
25-10 (d) Judges may be removed for cause by a vote of four
25-11 members of the council.
25-12 (e) Before assuming office, each judge shall take an oath,
25-13 given by the mayor, that he or she will honestly and
25-14 faithfully discharge the duties of office to the best of his
25-15 or her ability and without fear, favor, or partiality. The
25-16 oath shall be entered upon the minutes of the journal of the
25-17 mayor and council required in Section 2.20.
25-18 SECTION 4.12.
25-19 The municipal court shall be convened at regular intervals
25-20 as provided by ordinance.
25-21 SECTION 4.13.
25-22 Jurisdiction; powers.
25-23 (a) The municipal court shall try and punish violations of
25-24 this charter, all city ordinances, and such other violations
25-25 as provided by law.
25-26 (b) The municipal court shall have authority to punish those
25-27 in its presence for contempt, provided that such punishment
25-28 shall not exceed $200.00 or ten days in jail.
25-29 (c) The municipal court may fix punishment for offenses
25-30 within its jurisdiction not exceeding a fine of $1,000.00 or
25-31 imprisonment for six months or both such fine and
25-32 imprisonment or may fix punishment by fine, imprisonment, or
25-33 alternative sentencing as is now or hereafter provided by
25-35 (d) The municipal court shall have authority to establish a
25-36 schedule of fees to defray the cost of operations and shall
25-37 be entitled to reimbursement of the cost of meals,
25-38 transportation, and caretaking of prisoners bound over to
25-39 superior courts for violations of state law.
26- 1 (e) The municipal court shall have authority to establish
26- 2 bail and recognizances to ensure the presence of those
26- 3 charged with violations before said court and shall have
26- 4 discretionary authority to accept cash or personal or real
26- 5 property as surety for the appearance of persons charged
26- 6 with violations. Whenever any person shall give bail for
26- 7 his or her appearance and shall fail to appear at the time
26- 8 fixed for trial, such person's bond shall be forfeited by
26- 9 the judge presiding at such time, and an execution issued
26-10 thereon by serving the defendant and his or her sureties
26-11 with a rule nisi, at least two days before a hearing on the
26-12 rule nisi. In the event that cash or property is accepted
26-13 in lieu of bond for security for the appearance of a
26-14 defendant at trial, and if such defendant fails to appear at
26-15 the time and place fixed for trial, the cash so deposited
26-16 shall be on order of the judge declared forfeited to the
26-17 city, or the property so deposited shall have a lien against
26-18 it for the value forfeited, which lien shall be enforceable
26-19 in the same manner and to the same extent as a lien for city
26-20 property taxes.
26-21 (f) The municipal court shall have the same authority as
26-22 superior courts to compel the production of evidence in the
26-23 possession of any party; to enforce obedience to its orders,
26-24 judgments and sentences; and to administer such oaths as are
26-26 (g) The municipal court may compel the presence of all
26-27 parties necessary to a proper disposal of each case by the
26-28 issuance of summonses, subpoenas, and warrants which may be
26-29 served as executed by any officer as authorized by this
26-30 charter or by law.
26-31 (h) Each judge of the municipal court shall be authorized to
26-32 issue warrants for the arrest of persons charged with
26-33 offenses against any ordinance of the city, and each judge
26-34 of the municipal court shall have the same authority as a
26-35 magistrate of the state to issue warrants for offenses
26-36 against state laws committed within the city.
26-37 (i) The municipal court is specifically vested with all the
26-38 jurisdiction and powers throughout the geographic area of
26-39 this city granted by law to mayor's, recorder's and police
26-40 courts, and particularly by such laws as authorize the
26-41 abatement of nuisances and prosecution of traffic
27- 1 SECTION 4.14.
27- 2 Appeal and certiorari.
27- 3 (a) A review on a decision of the municipal court, in the
27- 4 case of traffic violations, may be by direct appeal to the
27- 5 superior court, and any bond as may be required to secure
27- 6 the costs of appeal to the Superior Court of Seminole
27- 7 County, Georgia, from the municipal court shall lie as
27- 8 prescribed by law. An appeal to the superior court shall
27- 9 not be a de novo proceeding.
27-10 (b) The right of certiorari from the decision and judgment
27-11 of the municipal court shall exist in all criminal cases and
27-12 ordinance violation cases, and such certiorari shall be
27-13 obtained under the sanction of a judge of the Superior Court
27-14 of Seminole County under the laws of the State of Georgia
27-15 regulating the granting and issuance of writs of certiorari.
27-16 SECTION 4.15.
27-17 Rules for court.
27-18 With the approval of the mayor and council, the judge shall
27-19 have full power and authority to make reasonable rules and
27-20 regulations necessary and proper to secure the efficient and
27-21 successful administration of the municipal court; provided,
27-22 however, that the mayor and council may adopt in part or in
27-23 toto the rules and regulations applicable to superior
27-24 courts. The rules and regulations made or adopted shall be
27-25 filed with the city clerk, shall be available for public
27-26 inspection, and, upon request, a copy shall be furnished to
27-27 all defendants in municipal court proceedings at least 48
27-28 hours prior to said proceedings.
27-29 ELECTIONS AND REMOVAL
27-30 SECTION 5.10.
27-31 Applicability of general law.
27-32 All primaries and elections shall be held and conducted in
27-33 accordance with the Title 21, Chapter 3 of the O.C.G.A., the
27-34 "Georgia Municipal Election Code" as now or hereafter
27-36 SECTION 5.11.
27-37 Voting districts.
27-38 The city shall be divided into two voting districts,
27-39 District I and District II, with three councilmembers being
27-40 elected from District I and three councilmembers being
28- 1 elected from District II. District I shall contain Council
28- 2 Posts 1, 2, and 3; and District II shall contain Council
28- 3 Districts 4, 5, and 6. The mayor shall run at large,
28- 4 representing both districts.
28- 5 SECTION 5.12.
28- 6 Regular elections; time for holding.
28- 7 The board of commissioners shall cause an election to be
28- 8 held at the city hall or such other place in the city as the
28- 9 mayor and council shall direct and designate. All general
28-10 municipal elections shall be held on the Tuesday next
28-11 following the first Monday in November, 1993, and on such
28-12 day biennially thereafter. Each elected officer shall serve
28-13 for a term of four years, the term beginning on January 1 of
28-14 the year following the officer's election. Notwithstanding
28-15 any provision of this charter, no term of office to which a
28-16 person has been elected prior to the effective date of this
28-17 charter shall be shortened or lengthened except pursuant to
28-18 the procedures established by state law.
28-19 SECTION 5.13.
28-20 Qualifying; absentee ballots; other provisions.
28-21 Except as otherwise provided by this charter, the mayor and
28-22 council, by ordinance, may prescribe rules and regulations
28-23 governing qualifying fees, absentee ballots, write-in votes,
28-24 challenge of votes, and such other rules and regulations as
28-25 it deems necessary to fulfill any options and duties under
28-26 Chapter 3 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A., the "Georgia
28-27 Municipal Election Code," as now or hereafter amended.
28-28 SECTION 5.14.
28-29 Election by majority vote.
28-30 The candidate for office shall be elected by a majority vote
28-31 of the votes cast for each position. The procedures and
28-32 requirements for election of all elected officers of the
28-33 city shall be in conformity with the provisions of Chapter 3
28-34 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A., the "Georgia Municipal Election
28-35 Code," as now or hereafter amended.
28-36 SECTION 5.15.
28-37 Special election; vacancies.
28-38 In the event that the office of mayor shall become vacant
28-39 for any cause whatsoever, the council shall order a special
28-40 election to fill the balance of the unexpired term of the
28-41 office. In the event that the office of councilmember shall
28-42 become vacant for any post, the mayor and council shall
29- 1 appoint a successor for the unexpired term of that office.
29- 2 However, no more than two so appointed councilmembers shall
29- 3 hold office at any one time. If one-third or more council
29- 4 posts shall become vacant for any cause whatsoever, the
29- 5 mayor and council shall call a special election to fill the
29- 6 third and succeeding council posts for the unexpired term or
29- 7 terms of that office or succeeding offices. In all other
29- 8 respects, the special election shall be held and conducted
29- 9 in accordance with Chapter 3 of Title 21 of the O.C.G.A.,
29-10 the "Georgia Municipal Election Code," as now or hereafter
29-12 SECTION 5.16.
29-13 Removal of officers.
29-14 (a) The mayor, councilmembers, or other appointed officers
29-15 provided for in this charter shall be removed from office
29-16 for any one or more of the following causes:
29-17 (1) Incompetence, misfeasance, or malfeasance in office;
29-18 (2) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;
29-19 (3) Failure at any time to possess any of the
29-20 qualifications of office as provided by this charter or
29-21 by law;
29-22 (4) Knowingly violating any express prohibition of this
29-24 (5) Abandonment of office or neglecting to perform the
29-25 duties of office; or
29-26 (6) Failure for any other cause to perform the duties of
29-27 office as required by this charter or by state law.
29-28 (b) Removal of an officer pursuant to subsection (a) of this
29-29 section shall be accomplished by one of the following
29-31 (1) By the vote of four of the councilmembers after an
29-32 investigative hearing. In the event an elected officer
29-33 is sought to be removed by the action of the mayor and
29-34 council, such officer shall be entitled to a written
29-35 notice specifying the ground or grounds for removal and
29-36 to a public hearing which shall be held not less than
29-37 ten days after the service of such written notice. Any
29-38 elected officer sought to be removed from office as
29-39 provided in this paragraph shall have the right of
29-40 appeal from the decision of the mayor and council to the
29-41 Superior Court of Seminole County. Such appeal shall be
30- 1 governed by the same rules as govern appeals to the
30- 2 superior court from the probate court; or
30- 3 (2) By an order of the Superior Court of Seminole County
30- 4 following a hearing on a complaint seeking such removal
30- 5 brought by any resident of the City of Donalsonville.
30- 6 SECTION 6.10.
30- 7 Property tax.
30- 8 The mayor and council may assess, levy, and collect an ad
30- 9 valorem tax on all real and personal property within the
30-10 corporate limits of the city that is subject to such
30-11 taxation by the state and county. This tax is for the
30-12 purpose of raising revenues to defray the costs of operating
30-13 the city government, of providing governmental services, for
30-14 the repayment of principal and interest on general
30-15 obligations, and for any other public purpose as determined
30-16 by the mayor and council in their discretion.
30-17 SECTION 6.11.
30-18 Millage rate; due dates; payment methods.
30-19 The mayor and council by ordinance shall establish a millage
30-20 rate for the city property tax, a due date, and the time
30-21 period within which these taxes must be paid. The mayor and
30-22 council by ordinance may provide for the payment of these
30-23 taxes by installments or in one lump sum, as well as
30-24 authorize voluntary payment of taxes prior to the time when
30-26 SECTION 6.12.
30-27 Occupation and business taxes.
30-28 The mayor and council by ordinance shall have the power to
30-29 levy such occupation or business taxes as are not denied by
30-30 law. Such taxes may be levied on individuals, corporations,
30-31 and other entities in accordance with the provisions of
30-32 Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 48 of the O.C.G.A. and
30-33 other general law. The mayor and council may classify
30-34 businesses, occupations, professions, or callings for the
30-35 purpose of such taxation in any way which may be lawful and
30-36 may compel the payment of such taxes as provided in Section
31- 1 SECTION 6.13.
31- 2 Licenses; permits; fees.
31- 3 In accordance with Article 1, Chapter 13, Title 48 of the
31- 4 O.C.G.A. and other general law, the mayor and council shall
31- 5 have the power by ordinance to require any individuals or
31- 6 corporations who transact business in this city or who
31- 7 practice or offer to practice any profession or calling in
31- 8 this city to obtain a license or permit for such activity
31- 9 from the city and pay a reasonable fee for such license or
31-10 permit where such activities are actually regulated by the
31-11 city and are not now regulated by general law in such a way
31-12 as to preclude city regulations. Such fees may reflect the
31-13 total cost to the city of regulating the activity and, if
31-14 unpaid, shall be collected as provided in Section 6.18. The
31-15 mayor and council by ordinance may establish reasonable
31-16 requirements for obtaining or keeping such licenses as the
31-17 public health, safety, and welfare necessitate.
31-18 SECTION 6.14.
31-19 The mayor and council shall have the power to grant
31-20 franchises for the use of this city's streets and alleys for
31-21 the purposes of railroads, street railways, telephone
31-22 companies, electric companies, cable telecommunications, gas
31-23 companies, transportation companies, and other similar
31-24 organizations. The mayor and council shall determine the
31-25 duration, terms, whether the same shall be exclusive or
31-26 nonexclusive, and the consideration for such franchises;
31-27 provided, however, that no franchise shall be granted for a
31-28 period in excess of 35 years, and no franchise shall be
31-29 granted unless the city receives just and adequate
31-30 compensation therefor. The mayor and council shall provide
31-31 for the registration of all franchises with the city clerk
31-32 in a registration book kept by the city clerk. The mayor and
31-33 council may provide by ordinance for the registration within
31-34 a reasonable time of all franchises previously granted.
31-35 SECTION 6.15.
31-36 Service charges.
31-37 The mayor and council by ordinance shall have the power to
31-38 assess and collect fees, charges, and tolls for sewers,
31-39 sanitary and health services, or any other services provided
31-40 or made available within and without the corporate limits of
31-41 the city for the total cost to the city of providing or
32- 1 making available such services. If unpaid, such charges
32- 2 shall be collected as provided in Section 6.18.
32- 3 SECTION 6.16.
32- 4 Special assessments.
32- 5 The mayor and council by ordinance shall have the power to
32- 6 assess and collect the cost of constructing, reconstructing,
32- 7 widening, or improving any public way, street, sidewalk,
32- 8 curbing, gutters, sewers, or other utility mains and
32- 9 appurtenances from the abutting property owners under such
32-10 terms and conditions as are reasonable. If unpaid, such
32-11 charges shall be collected as provided in Section 6.18.
32-12 SECTION 6.17.
32-13 Construction; other taxes.
32-14 This city shall be empowered to levy any other tax allowed
32-15 now or hereafter by law, and the specific mention of any
32-16 right, power, or authority in this article shall not be
32-17 construed as limiting in any way the general powers of this
32-18 city to govern its local affairs.
32-19 SECTION 6.18.
32-20 Collection of delinquent taxes and fees.
32-21 The mayor and council by ordinance may provide generally for
32-22 the collection of delinquent taxes, fees, or other revenue
32-23 due the city under Sections 6.10 through 6.17 by whatever
32-24 reasonable means as are not precluded by law. This shall
32-25 include providing for the dates when the taxes or fees are
32-26 due; late penalties or interest; issuance and execution of
32-27 fi.fa.'s; creation and priority of liens; making delinquent
32-28 taxes and fees personal debts of the persons required to pay
32-29 the taxes or fees imposed; revoking city licenses for
32-30 failure to pay any city taxes or fees; and providing for the
32-31 assignment or transfer of tax executions.
32-32 SECTION 6.19.
32-33 General obligation bonds.
32-34 The mayor and council shall have the power to issue bonds
32-35 for the purpose of raising revenue to carry out any project,
32-36 program, or venture authorized under this charter or the
32-37 laws of the state. Such bonding authority shall be exercised
32-38 in accordance with the laws governing bond issuance by
32-39 municipalities in effect at the time said issue is
33- 1 SECTION 6.20.
33- 2 Revenue bonds.
33- 3 Revenue bonds may be issued by the mayor and council as
33- 4 state law now or hereafter provides. Such bonds are to be
33- 5 paid out of any revenue produced by the project, program, or
33- 6 venture for which they were issued.
33- 7 SECTION 6.21.
33- 8 Short-term loans.
33- 9 The city may obtain short-term loans and must repay such
33-10 loans not later than December 31 of each year, unless
33-11 otherwise provided or allowed by law.
33-12 SECTION 6.22.
33-13 The mayor and council shall set the fiscal year by
33-14 ordinance. This fiscal year shall constitute the budget year
33-15 and the year for financial accounting and reporting of each
33-16 and every office, department, agency, and activity of the
33-17 city government.
33-18 SECTION 6.23.
33-19 Preparation of budgets.
33-20 The mayor and council shall provide an ordinance on the
33-21 procedures and requirements for the preparation and
33-22 execution of an annual operating budget, a capital
33-23 improvement program, and a capital budget, including
33-24 requirements as to the scope, content, and form of such
33-25 budgets and programs.
33-26 SECTION 6.24.
33-27 Submission of operating budget to mayor and council.
33-28 On or before a date fixed by the mayor and council but not
33-29 later than 30 days prior to the beginning of each fiscal
33-30 year, the city manager shall submit to the mayor and council
33-31 a proposed operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year.
33-32 The budget shall be accompanied by a message from the city
33-33 manager containing a statement of the general fiscal
33-34 policies of the city, the important features of the budget,
33-35 explanations of major changes recommended for the next
33-36 fiscal year, a general summary of the budget, and such other
33-37 comments and information as the city manager may deem
33-38 pertinent. The operating budget, the capital improvements
33-39 budget, the budget message, and all supporting documents
34- 1 shall be filed in the office of the city clerk and shall be
34- 2 open to public inspection.
34- 3 SECTION 6.25.
34- 4 Action by mayor and council on budget.
34- 5 (a) The mayor and council may amend the operating budget
34- 6 proposed by the city manager, except that the budget as
34- 7 finally amended and adopted must provide for all
34- 8 expenditures required by state law or by other provisions of
34- 9 this charter and for all debt service requirements for the
34-10 ensuing fiscal year, and the total appropriations from any
34-11 fund shall not exceed the estimated fund balance, reserves,
34-12 and revenues.
34-13 (b) The mayor and council by ordinance shall adopt the final
34-14 operating budget for the ensuing fiscal year not later than
34-15 the May 20 of each year. If the mayor and council fail to
34-16 adopt the budget by this date, the amounts appropriated for
34-17 operation for the current fiscal year shall be deemed
34-18 adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month-to-month
34-19 basis, with items prorated accordingly until such time as
34-20 the mayor and council adopt a budget for the ensuing fiscal
34-21 year. Adoption of the budget shall take the form of an
34-22 appropriations ordinance setting out the estimated revenues
34-23 in detail by sources and making appropriations according to
34-24 fund and by organizational unit, purpose, or activity as set
34-25 out in the budget preparation ordinance adopted pursuant to
34-26 Section 6.23.
34-27 (c) The amount set out in the adopted operating budget for
34-28 each organizational unit shall constitute the annual
34-29 appropriation for such organizational unit, and no
34-30 expenditure shall be made or encumbrance created in excess
34-31 of the otherwise unencumbered balance of the appropriations
34-32 or allotment thereof to which it is chargeable.
34-33 SECTION 6.26.
34-34 Following adoption of the operating budget, the mayor and
34-35 council shall levy by ordinance such taxes as are necessary.
34-36 The taxes and tax rates set by such ordinance shall be such
34-37 that reasonable estimates of revenues from such levy shall
34-38 at least be sufficient, together with other anticipated
34-39 revenues, fund balances, and applicable reserves, to equal
34-40 the total amount appropriated for each of the several funds
34-41 set forth in the annual operating budget for defraying the
34-42 expenses of the general government of the city.
35- 1 SECTION 6.27.
35- 2 Changes in appropriations.
35- 3 The mayor and council by ordinance may make changes in the
35- 4 appropriations contained in the current operating budget at
35- 5 any regular, special, or emergency meeting called for such
35- 6 purpose, but any additional appropriations may be made only
35- 7 from an existing unexpended surplus.
35- 8 SECTION 6.28.
35- 9 Capital improvements budget.
35-10 (a) On or before the date fixed by the mayor and council but
35-11 no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of each fiscal
35-12 year, the city manager shall submit to the mayor and council
35-13 a proposed capital improvements budget with recommendations
35-14 as to the means of financing the improvements proposed for
35-15 the ensuing fiscal year. The mayor and council shall have
35-16 power to accept, with or without amendments, or reject the
35-17 proposed program and proposed means of financing. The mayor
35-18 and council shall not authorize an expenditure for the
35-19 construction of any building, structure, work, or
35-20 improvement, unless the appropriations for such project are
35-21 included in the capital improvements budget, except to meet
35-22 a public emergency as provided in Section 2.24.
35-23 (b) The mayor and council shall adopt by ordinance the final
35-24 capital improvements budget for the ensuing fiscal year not
35-25 later than May 20 of each year. No appropriation provided
35-26 for in a prior capital improvements budget shall lapse until
35-27 the purpose for which the appropriation was made shall have
35-28 been accomplished or abandoned; provided, however, that the
35-29 city manager may submit amendments to the capital
35-30 improvements budget at any time during the fiscal year,
35-31 accompanied by recommendations. Any such amendments to the
35-32 capital improvements budget shall become effective only upon
35-33 adoption by ordinance.
35-34 SECTION 6.29.
35-35 Independent audit.
35-36 There shall be an annual independent audit of all city
35-37 accounts, funds, and financial transactions by a certified
35-38 public accountant selected by the mayor and council. The
35-39 audit shall be conducted according to generally accepted
35-40 accounting principles. Any audit of any funds by the state
35-41 or federal government may be accepted as satisfying the
35-42 requirements of this charter. Copies of all audit reports
35-43 shall be available to the public at printing costs.
36- 1 SECTION 6.30.
36- 2 Contracting procedures.
36- 3 No contract with the city shall be binding on the city
36- 4 unless it is:
36- 5 (1) In writing;
36- 6 (2) Drawn by or submitted and reviewed by the city
36- 7 attorney and, as a matter of course, is signed by the
36- 8 city attorney to indicate such drafting or review; and
36- 9 (3) Made or authorized by the mayor and council, and
36-10 such approval is entered in the journal of the mayor
36-11 and council of proceedings pursuant to Section 2.21.
36-12 SECTION 6.31.
36-13 Centralized purchasing.
36-14 The mayor and council shall by ordinance prescribe
36-15 procedures for a system of centralized purchasing for the
36-17 SECTION 6.32.
36-18 Sale of city property.
36-19 (a) The mayor and council may sell and convey any real or
36-20 personal property owned or held by the city for governmental
36-21 or other purposes as now or hereafter provided by law.
36-22 (b) The mayor and council may quitclaim any rights it may
36-23 have in property not needed for public purposes upon report
36-24 by the city manager and adoption of a resolution, both
36-25 finding that the property is not needed for public or other
36-26 purposes and that the interest of the city has no readily
36-27 ascertainable monetary value.
36-28 (c) Whenever in opening, extending, or widening any street,
36-29 avenue, alley, or public place of the city, a small parcel
36-30 or tract of land is cut off or separated by such work from a
36-31 larger tract or boundary of land owned by the city, the
36-32 mayor and council may authorize the city manager to execute
36-33 and deliver in the name of the city a deed conveying said
36-34 cut off or separated parcel or tract of land to an abutting
36-35 or adjoining property owner or owners in exchange for
36-36 rights-of-way of said street, avenue, alley, or public place
36-37 when such swap is deemed to be in the best interest of the
36-38 city. All deeds and conveyances heretofore and hereafter so
36-39 executed and delivered shall convey all title and interest
36-40 the city has in such property, notwithstanding the fact that
36-41 no public sale after advertisement was or is hereafter made.
37- 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS
37- 2 SECTION 7.10.
37- 3 Bonds for officials.
37- 4 The officers and employees of this city, both elective and
37- 5 appointive, shall execute such surety or fidelity bonds in
37- 6 such amounts and upon such terms and conditions as the mayor
37- 7 and council shall from time to time require by ordinance or
37- 8 as may be provided by law.
37- 9 SECTION 7.11.
37-10 Prior ordinances.
37-11 All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations now in
37-12 force in the city not inconsistent with this charter are
37-13 hereby declared valid and of full effect and force until
37-14 amended or repealed by the mayor and council.
37-15 SECTION 7.12.
37-16 Existing personnel and officers.
37-17 Except as specifically provided otherwise by this charter,
37-18 all personnel and officers of the city and their rights,
37-19 privileges, and powers shall continue as is beyond the time
37-20 this charter takes effect, unless the existing city council
37-21 shall pass a transition ordinance detailing the changes in
37-22 personnel and appointive officers required or desired and
37-23 arrange such titles, rights, privileges, and powers as may
37-24 be required or desired to allow a reasonable transition.
37-25 SECTION 7.13.
37-26 Pending matters.
37-27 Except as specifically provided otherwise by this charter,
37-28 all rights, claims, actions, orders, contracts, and legal or
37-29 administrative proceedings shall continue, and any such
37-30 ongoing work or cases shall be completed by such city
37-31 agencies, personnel, or offices as may be provided by the
37-32 mayor and council.
37-33 SECTION 7.14.
37-35 (a) Section captions in this charter are informative only
37-36 and are not to be considered as a part of the charter.
37-37 (b) The word "shall" is mandatory and the word "may" is
38- 1 (c) The singular shall include the plural, the masculine
38- 2 shall include the feminine, and vice versa.
38- 3 SECTION 7.15.
38- 4 Severability.
38- 5 If any article, section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, or
38- 6 part thereof of this charter shall be held to be invalid or
38- 7 unconstitutional, such invalidity or unconstitutionality
38- 8 shall not affect or impair other parts of this charter
38- 9 unless it clearly appears that such other parts are wholly
38-10 and necessarily dependent upon the part held to be invalid
38-11 or unconstitutional, it being the legislative intent in
38-12 enacting this charter that each article, section,
38-13 subsection, paragraph, sentence, or part thereof be enacted
38-14 separately and independent of each other.
38-15 SECTION 7.16.
38-16 Effective date.
38-17 This charter shall become effective on January 1, 1998.
38-18 SECTION 7.17.
38-19 An Act incorporating the City of Donalsonville in the County
38-20 of Seminole, approved April 10, 1971 (Ga. L. 1971, p. 3844),
38-21 is hereby repealed in its entirety and all amendatory acts
38-22 thereto are likewise repealed in their entirety. All other
38-23 laws and parts of laws in conflict with this charter are
Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98