Council holds great powers regarding their colleagues

Leader Herald Staff Report

The city council can play quite a razor thin game when it comes to who serves and who doesn’t, who is removed and who remains, according to the City Charter, a reading of it reveals.

For instance, the Charter allows for the mayor or a council member to forfeit their position, if he or she cases to have the qualifications prescribed for such office by law, charter and ordinance, or if he or she is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or a felony, or an offense involving a violation of the oath of office.

This is written in Section 2.6 of the City Charter.

In other words, the council could make the case, if it collectively so wished, to determine that a councilor no longer has the qualifications to be on the council.

It can do so for the mayor under the same exact circumstances.

In the unlikely circumstance of the mayor being the focal point of an FBI investigation into municipal corruption, he could be removed by the council if the council decided the mayor was no longer fit to serve in the office because of the scope of the investigation and the serious effects it would have on his ability to lead.

In the event this happened, a mayor pro tempore is appointed from the Council.

It does specify that while a pro temper mayor sits in the corner office, the administrative assistant to the mayor cannot be removed without the consent of the council.

In addition, a council member shall forfeit office if he or she fails to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the council without being excused by the council.

Last week, when Councilor Fred Capone was ill and could not attend the council meeting, he informed his colleagues with a written notice asking them to be excused, thus acting in concert with the charter.

Had he not asked and missed two additional meetings without asking and or informing his colleagues, he could be removed from office.

Last, if a mayor or councilor is incapacitated  and unable to perform the ordinary or usual tasks of the office for an extended period, he or she can be removed by the Council.

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