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NO. M-17. AN ACT RELATING TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF RUTLAND.

(H.769)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. APPROVAL OF CHARTER AMENDMENT

The charter of the City of Rutland is amended as provided in this act. Proposals of amendment were approved by the voters on March 3, 1998.

Sec. 2. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 2.2(b) is amended to read:

(b) The mayor shall call a special city meeting for any purpose upon being petitioned to do so by two-thirds of the members of the board of aldermen voting and present at a regular meeting, or by two-thirds of the members of the *[School Board]* board of school commissioners, voting and present at a regular meeting.

Sec. 3. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 2.6 is amended to read:

§ 2.6 Checklists

Sec. 4. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 3.1(65) is added to read:

(65) To establish and regulate campaign contributions and expenditures for local elections held within the city; provided that the provisions of Title 24 relating to the procedures for adopting ordinances and permissive referendums shall apply to ordinances adopted, amended or repealed under this subdivision.

Sec. 5. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 8.5 is amended to read:

§ 8.5 Assessment of taxes

The board of aldermen shall annually, during the first twenty (20) days of July, assess upon the grand list of the city, taxes sufficient to meet the following requirement:

(A) Taxes required by the general laws of the State of Vermont.

(B) Taxes required for general city purposes, which shall not exceed $.85 upon the dollar of the grand list except if a larger sum has been authorized by the legal voters of the city in a meeting warned for that purpose; but the tax for general city purposes shall not include the tax annually assessed on the grand list for the support of the schools in the city.

(C) Taxes required to service any bonded debt owed by the city.

(D) *[Taxes required to meet the appropriations for the use of the schools, but the sum shall not exceed the amount which would be raised by a tax of $1.25 upon the grand list of the city except if a larger sum has been authorized by the legal voters thereof.]*

(E) Taxes required for the replacement for fire equipment, which shall not exceed $.004 on the dollar of the grand list, except if a larger sum has been authorized by the legal voters of the city in a meeting warned for that purpose.

(F) Taxes required for the municipal employees pension fund, which shall not exceed $.06 on the dollar of the grand list, except if a larger sum has been authorized by the legal voters of the city in a meeting warned for that purpose.

(G) Taxes required for the replacement of public works, police, and recreation equipment, which shall not exceed $.012 on the dollar of the grand list, except if a larger sum has been authorized by the legal voters of the city in a meeting warned for that purpose.

(H) Taxes required for a capital fund for the repair of school buildings, repair and replacement of school equipment which shall not exceed $.03 on the dollar of the grand list, except if a larger sum has been authorized by the legal voters of the city in a meeting warned for that purpose.

Sec. 6. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 10.3 is amended to read:

§ 10.3 Statutory powers

The city treasurer shall have the same powers and be subject to the same liabilities, as are prescribed by the laws of this state for town treasurers; shall perform all duties relating to *[the issuing and paying of school bonds, and]* bonds to retire outstanding indebtedness, and such other duties as are specified herein or by ordinance.

Sec. 7. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 10.4 is amended to read:

§ 10.4 School monies and bonds

The city treasurer shall keep a separate account of all the moneys appropriated for the use of schools which moneys shall consist of the income accruing in every legal way*[, and all money appropriated by the board of aldermen for that purpose]* and the city treasurershall pay out of any moneys mentioned in this section, all warrants drawn by the board of school commissioners for the use of schools.

Sec. 8. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 11.3 is amended to read:

§ 11.3 City budget

The mayor shall annually on or before the first Monday in each June, prepare an estimate of the necessary appropriations to operate all departments and branches of the city government except the board of school commissioners. This budget shall be submitted to the board of aldermen for their guidance and action in making the annual appropriations and the tax levy. The board of aldermen may reduce the items of such budget but shall not increase them.

Sec. 9. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 23.1 is amended to read:

§ 23.1 Fire chief, appointment, removal

The mayor shall appoint a chief engineer of the fire department subject to the approval of the board of aldermen, who shall hold that position for a term not to exceed five (5) years, and so long as the chief shall render efficient service to the city, unless sooner removed as herein provided. Retirement of the chief engineer appointed under this section shall be mandatory upon reaching the age of 65. *[The chief engineer shall appoint a first assistant chief engineer, a second assistant chief, two (2) captains and two (2) lieutenants. The chief may make such other appointment of subordinate officers as he or she deems necessary. All qualifications being equal, the chief shall appoint senior officers in the time of service to said subordinate offices.]* The chief engineer shall appoint subordinate officers as he or she deems necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the department. Members considered for appointment as an officer shall meet minimum standards for the rank as established by the chief engineer and shall be tested in accordance with guidelines established by the chief engineer. These officers shall hold office so long as in the opinion of the chief engineer each is capable of performing his or her duties and is conscientiousand efficient in the discharge of the same. Such officers may be removed by the chief engineer *[by approval of the board of civil authority at any time, after notice and hearing before the board of civil authority]* for any incapacity or misconduct *[which such board may find sufficient]*. The officer shall have a right to appeal to the board of civil authority within ten (10) days of the removal unless the time period is extended by the parties in writing.

Sec. 10. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 23.3 is amended to read:

§ 23.3 *[Temporary absence]* Absence of fire chief

In the event of temporary (24 hours or less) absence of the chief of the fire department, the duties of the chief shall fall upon the subordinate officers, according to their rank, as established by the rules and regulations of the fire department. In the event the absence will be for a period of greater than 24 hours, the chief engineer shall designate a subordinate officer as the acting chief engineer, who shall assume the duties of the chief engineer.

Sec. 11. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 31.2 is amended to read:

§ 31.2 Duties

(a) The superintendent of schools shall be the purchasing agent for the school department and shall perform such other duties in connection with the public schools as shall be assigned him by the board of school commissioners. *[He/she shall annually report to the board of aldermen such statistics as are required by the law of this state and such other information as he shall deem proper or the school commissioners shall direct, or the board of aldermen may require.]*

(b) As purchasing agent for the school department, the superintendent, or his/her designated representative, shall work in a cooperative and coordinative purchasing effort with the Rutland City purchasing agent when such effort will result in a benefit to the City of Rutland.

Sec. 12. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 33.2 is amended to read:

§ 33.2 Purchase

Sec. 13. 24 App. V.S.A., chapter 9, § 34.1 is amended to read:

§ 34.1 Appropriations and expenditures

Approved: April 27, 1998