NO. M-18. AN ACT RELATING TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF BURLINGTON.

(H.766)

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

Sec. 2. Sec. 3 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 3. Election of mayor and city councilors.

On the first Tuesday in March, 1975, and biennially thereafter, the legal voters of the city shall, from among the legal voters thereof, elect a mayor; and on . Notwithstanding any provision of this charter or the general statutes, no person shall be eligible to have his or her name printed on the ballot as a candidate for the office of mayor who has not submitted a nominating petition signed by at least one hundred fifty registered voters of the city within the time limits specified in chapter 55 of Title 17 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, as the same may be amended from time to time. On the first Tuesday in March, 1994, and biennially thereafter, the legal voters of wards one, two, three, five and six shall, from among the legal voters thereof, elect one city councilor and all ward officers hereinafter named; and on the first Tuesday in March, 1995, and biennially thereafter, the legal voters in wards one, two, three, five and six shall, from among the legal voters thereof, elect one city councilor and all ward officers hereinafter named.

* * * Text Not Reproduced * * *

Sec. 3. Sec. 10 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 10. Specified; selection.

The ward officers shall be a clerk and three inspectors of election, one of said inspectors to be taken from the minority party casting the largest vote at the election next preceding. All three inspectors of election may not be members of the same political party. In such event, the city council shall forthwith appoint an inspector who shall serve instead of the candidate who received the third largest number of votes. Such officers shall be chosen annually by the legal voters of each ward at the annual city election.

Sec. 4. Sec. 104 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 104. Taxes to be paid to treasurer; installments.

Except when otherwise provided, whenever any tax shall be assessed on the property grand list by the city council, the tax bill shall be delivered to the city treasurer, to whom the taxes so assessed shall be paid, one-quarter of such tax shall be paid to said treasurer within fifteen days from the time the tax bill for the same is delivered to him/her; one-quarter of such tax shall be paid to said treasurer within three months and fifteen days from the date when said tax bill is delivered to him/her; and one-quarter of such tax shall be paid to the city treasurer within seven months and fifteen days from the date when said tax bill is delivered to him/her; and one-quarter of such tax shall be paid to the city treasurer within ten months and fifteen days from the date when said tax bill is delivered to said treasurer. All installments of said taxes as received by said treasurer shall be applied by him/her first to payment of any personal property tax and next to payment of any real estate tax. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the board of finance may establish and amend from time to time a discount which shall be available to a taxpayer who pays the entirety of the real estate taxes due on a particular piece of property on or before the payment due date for the first installment of such real estate taxes, provided, however, that any such discount shall not affect the city's liability to the State for education property taxes.

Sec. 5. Sec. 106 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 106. Delinquency assessments.

Except when otherwise provided, if at the expiration of the time within which any installment of such tax is to be paid to the city treasurer under the preceding section, any person against whom such tax has been so assessed shall be delinquent in the payment of such installment thereof, the amount due from him/her on such installment shall thereafter be deemed to be the amount of such installment increased by a penalty of one percent for a period of seven days and thereafter by a penalty of five percent thereon. If such installment increased by five percent is not paid by the 12th day of the month after the date upon which it became delinquent, the city treasurer shall increase the amount due by anadditional one percent of the original installment. On the 12th day of every month thereafter that the tax or any part thereof remains due, the treasurer shall add to the total amount due an additional amount equal to one percent of the original installment, or any portion thereof, remaining unpaid. The treasurer shall apply such penalty to each installment that is delinquent. If at the expiration of ten months and twenty-five days from the date said tax bill shall be delivered to said treasurer, any person against whom a tax has been so assessed shall then be delinquent in the payment of any installment or portion thereof, the amount due from him/her on such installment or portion on which he/she is so delinquent, shall thereafter be deemed to be the amount of such installment or delinquent portion of such original tax increased by all penalties and interest accruing thereon to date and one dollar for the insertion of his/her name in the warrant hereinafter mentioned, and also twelve percent interest, compounded annually on all of such delinquent tax and any penalties and interest added thereto, from the date of such warrant.

Sec. 6. Sec. 122 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 122. Enumerated.

On the first Monday in June 1998, the mayor shall appoint a city assessor and a director of the human resources department for a one-year term commencing July 1, 1998. Commencing on the first Monday in June 1999, and biannually thereafter, the mayor shall appoint such city assessor and human resources director for a term of two years commencing on the first day of July following the appointment, and until their successors have been appointed and qualified. The mayor shall appoint on the first Monday of June, 1998 and annually thereafter, and whenever a vacancy occurs, one city assessor, a city clerk and one or more assistant city clerks, a city treasurer and one or more assistant city treasurers, a clerk/treasurer, a city attorney and one or more assistant city attorneys, a city constable and a second, third and fourth constable, a city engineer and surveyor, a city grand juror and assistant city grand juror, a harbor master, a poundkeeper or a firm or corporation to provide the services of such, a director of the community and economic development office, a director of Burlington city arts, a director of the personnel department, and civil defense director, all with the approval. All of the above-referencedappointments shall require the approval of a majority of the city council.

Sec. 7. Sec. 138 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 138. Duties of city clerk clerk/treasurer generally.

The clerk/treasurer shall, subject to the authority of the mayor as chief executive officer, have direct responsibility for those administrative, financial and record keeping responsibilities which are not assigned by this charter to another city entity. The clerk/treasurer shall have supervisory responsibility for those functions, herein outlined, which were formerly the responsibility of the city clerk and city treasurer.

The city clerk clerk/treasurer shall perform for said city the same duties devolving by the law of the state upon town clerks, except insofar as the same are changed or modified by the provisions of this act, and except that the city clerk shall not appoint any assistant city clerk, and shall receive and collect for and on behalf of the city and account for and pay to the city treasurer on the first day of each month, to be used for city purposes all and the same fees to be paid to town clerks for the performance of such duties under the general laws of the state. The city clerk clerk/treasurer shall keep a full and complete record and account of all such fees as received and as paid to the city treasurer in such form and manner as the board of finance and the city auditor may prescribe, and shall give a proper receipt for every fee collected and take the receipt of the city treasurer for all fees paid to that officer. The city clerk clerk/treasurer shall receive for his or her services only such annual salary or other compensation as shall be voted determined by the city council. He or she The clerk/treasurer shall be ex officio clerk of the city council with mayor presiding, city council, board of civil authority, board for the abatement of taxes and liquor control commissioners. He or she The clerk/treasurer shall have exclusive charge and custody of the public records of said city and of all records, papers and documents belonging to the Town of Burlington at the time the City of Burlington was organized. He or she The clerk/treasurer shall be the presiding officer for ward, city and legislative district elections.

The clerk/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 of the dutiesrelating to the issuing and paying of school bonds, and bonds to retire outstanding indebtedness and such other duties as are herein specified. In the absence or inability of the clerk/treasurer to perform his or her duties, the next ranking employee within the clerk/treasurer's office (first assistant city treasurer) shall have the same powers, be subject to the same liabilities, and perform the same duties as devolve upon the clerk/treasurer.

The clerk/treasurer shall be responsible to employ such other employees as may be approved by the city council.

Sec. 8. Sec. 139 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 139. Public records to remain in clerk's clerk/treasurer's office; council may regulate removal.

Such records shall not be taken out of or away from said city clerk's clerk/treasurer's office except upon the order or process of a court of competent jurisdiction; but said city council may, by ordinance or by-law, regulate the removal from said office of all papers and documents belonging to said city and in the custody of said city clerk clerk/treasurer as aforesaid.

Sec. 9. Sec. 140 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 140. Certified copies of records to be made.

Said clerk, clerk/treasurer shall, on being tendered therefor the fees allowed town clerks under the law of this state for similar services, and to be accounted for and paid to the city treasurer treasury for city purposes, as provided in the second preceding section, make duly certified copies of said records, papers and documents, and such copies so certified shall be legal evidence, of the same validity and effect as those of town clerks, in all courts and for all purposes.

Sec. 10. Sec. 141 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 141. Certification that notices, ordinances, etc., have been posted required.

Whenever any notice signed by the mayor, city council or any city officer or officers, or any advertisement, ordinance, resolution or by-law shall have been published in some newspaper or newspapers or publicly posted under the provisions of the general law, thischarter or the ordinances thereby authorized, the city clerk clerk/treasurer shall examine and ascertain whether such notice, advertisement or ordinance has been duly published or posted, and if such be the fact he the clerk/treasurer shall so certify upon the proper city record; and such record or a duly certified copy thereof shall be treated as prima facie evidence of the facts so certified.

Sec. 11. Sec. 142 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 142. Assistant city clerk Assistants.

Sec. 12. Sec. 143 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 143. Powers; assistant treasurer Reserved.

Sec. 13. Sec. 144 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 144. Clerk/Treasurer to keep record of notes and bonds issued.

The city clerk/treasurer shall keep a record of every note or bond issued under the provisions of this act, therein stating the number and the denomination of each note or bond, when and where payable, to whom issued, and the rate of interest thereon; and shall also keep a record of payments thereon of principal and interest; and if coupons are taken up, shall cancel and preserve the same.

Sec. 14. Sec. 145 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 145. Record of school bonds to be kept.

The city clerk/treasurer shall keep a record of all school bonds, the issuance, payment and discharge thereof, as hereinbefore provided for other bonds issued by said city.

Sec. 15. Sec. 146 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 146. Redeemed bonds, notes and interest coupons to be kept.

When old notes or bonds and any interest coupons are taken up by payment thereof, by exchange or by sale of the new notes or bonds, the clerk/treasurer shall keep a record of the same and such old notes or bonds and interest coupons shall be cancelled and kept on file in his the clerk/treasurer's office for a period of fourteen years from the date when the note or bond is taken up and cancelled and after such period of fourteen years such cancelled notes or bonds and interest coupons thereof may be destroyed.

Sec. 16. Sec. 147 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 147. Clerk/Treasurer to keep separate account of school appropriations.

The city clerk/treasurer shall keep a separate account of all moneys appropriated for the use of schools, which money shall consist of the income accruing in every legal way for the use and maintenance of schools in said city, and of all money appropriated by the city council for that purpose; and the city clerk/treasurer shall pay out of any moneysmentioned in this section all warrants drawn by the board of school commissioners for the use of schools.

Sec. 17. Sec. 198 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 198. Fire department - Created; members; appointment.

There shall be a paid fire department for said city, which shall consist of the following members, to wit: One chief engineer, and such number of assistant engineers as to said commissioners shall seem necessary; one superintendent of fire alarm telegraph, and as many engine men, hose men, hook and ladder men, fire patrol and salvage corps men, and other members, to be divided into companies, as the fire apparatus owner by the city shall from time to time require and such subordinate positions as the board of fire commissioners and the city council may authorize from time to time. The members of said fire department shall be appointed by said fire commissioners.

Sec. 18. Sec. 203 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 203. Commissioners to manage parks; composition of board.

The public parks of the City of Burlington now in existence, and those which may hereafter be established, together with all park property which may be acquired and all public recreational activities hereafter sponsored by the city, shall be under the management, care and control of a board under the name and style of the board of park and recreation commissioners, but subject in all respects to the orders and ordinances of the city council. Said board may likewise, co-sponsor recreational activities with other public and/or private agencies. Said board shall consist of five legal voters of said city, to be appointed as hereinbefore provided.

Sec. 19. Sec. 361 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 361. Creation of personnel human resources department.

There is hereby created in the City of Burlington a personnel human resources department.

Sec. 20. Sec. 362 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 362. Purposes and powers.

a. Subject to the orders and ordinances of the city council, the personnel humanresources department shall be responsible for the administration of personnel human resources policies and services.

b. In furtherance of its purpose, the personnel human resources department shall, subject to the orders and ordinances of the city council, have the following rights, powers and duties:

1. To develop and administer position classification and salary

plans;

2. To prepare, recommend and implement policies and procedures for personnel human resources administration;

3. To assist in the recruitment, testing, selection and hiring of employees;

4. To direct employee orientation, training, counseling and career development in conjunction with department heads;

5. To review performance evaluations;

6. To administer, in conjunction with the treasurer's office, the city health insurance and life insurance programs and workers' compensation plans;

7. To administer in conjunction with the chief labor negotiator, the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining plans;

8. To assist in the administration of the employee grievance procedures;

9. To do all other things necessary or convenient to carry out its purposes in accordance with Vermont Statutes Annotated.

Sec. 21. Sec. 363 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 363. Department to be under supervision of director.

The management, direction and control of the personnel human resources department shall be vested in the director, subject to the orders and ordinances of the city council.

Sec. 22. Secs. 1(b) and (d) of Article 4 of the Charter are amended to read:

(b) The term "electric plant" shall mean the complete municipal electric generating, transmission and distribution system now owned by the city, together with any improvements thereto hereafter constructed or acquired, and the complete municipal natural, manufactured or synthetic gas generating, transmission and distribution systemnow or hereafter owned by the city, together with any improvements thereto hereafter constructed or acquired, and all other facilities, including those authorized by section 604 of Title 30, equipment and appurtenances necessary or appropriate to such system, for the furnishing of electric power and energy or gas for lighting, heating, power or any other purpose for which electric power and energy or gas can be used. Such term may include facilities for the production and distribution of steam and hot or chilled water, timberlands or other fuel sources, facilities for the production, processing, transportation and storage of fuel to be used in the production of utilities furnished by the city, facilities for the processing or disposal of solid waste involving the production of such utilities (with or without other by-products) from solid waste (with or without other fuels), and innovative or experimental facilities for the utilization of conventional or other energy sources for the production of such utilities, including pilot or demonstration facilities.

(d) The term "electric service" shall mean the furnishing of the electric power and energy or gas for lighting, heating, power or any other purpose for which electric power and energy or gas can be used. Such term may include the furnishing of steam and hot or chilled water, and the processing or disposal of solid waste. Such term they may also include ownership, operation and utilization of cable television, fiber optic cable and other telecommunications; provided that the city shall have no power under Chapter 79 of Title 30 to take by eminent domain telecommunications or, cable television or natural gas property; and provided further that before the city may sell telecommunications or cable television services it shall obtain a certificate of public good under Section 231 of Title 30 from the public service board; and provided . The city shall also obtain a Certificate of Public Good under section 231 of Title 30 before it may sell natural gas services so long as such a certificate is required under Vermont law in order for other persons to be authorized to sell such natural gas services. Provided further, that the public service board shall not prohibit appropriate cost allocations among departments of the city.

Sec. 23. Sec. 2 of Article 4 of the Charter is amended to read:

Sec. 2. Electric plant; improvement of.

The city is hereby authorized and empowered to improve its electric plant for thepurpose of lighting the streets, walks, public grounds and buildings of the city, for the furnishing of the electric service or gas services within or without the corporate limits of the city and for the production of the electric energy or the acquisition, production, transmission or distribution of gas for sale to the electric or gas distribution companies, cooperative, municipal and privately owned, within and/or without the state.

Sec. 24. Sec. 4(a) of Article 4 of the Charter is amended to read:

(a) To pledge all or any part of the revenues derived from electric or gas service;

Sec. 25. REPEAL

Sec. 12 of the charter, relating to minority party representation, is repealed.

Sec. 26. GENERAL AMENDMENTS

The terms "city clerk" and "city treasurer" are amended to read "clerk/treasurer" wherever they appear in this charter, including the following sections: 2, 5, 6, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 31, 39, 42, 43, 49, 58, 63, 69, 83, 90, 91, 94, 115, 117, 154, 172, 176, 184, 190, 235, 241, 245, 246, 256, 257, 258, 265, 266, 267, 299, 300, 321, 323 and 326.

Sec. 26a. APPLICATION

The definitions of "electric plant" and "electric service" set out in Sec. 22 of this act shall apply solely to the Charter of the City of Burlington and are not intended to define those terms as they may be used elsewhere in Vermont law.

Sec. 27. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved: April 23, 1998