Section 99-01 Charter.
Prior to the adoption of Ord. 16745 on 04/03/2001, Section 99-01 read as follows.
PART I CHARTER*
*Editor's note--The home rule charter of the city is set out in this
Part as revised and
readopted on November 11, 1974. Other amendments are noted in history notes following
Art. I. Incorporation; Form of Government; Powers; Wards, §§ 1--4
Art. II. The Council, §§ 5--18
Art. III. The City Manager, §§ 19--21
Art. IV. Administrative Service, §§ 22--24
Art. V. Department of Finance, §§ 25--52
Art. VI. Department of Personnel, §§ 53--64
Art. VII. Department of Law, §§ 65--68
Art. VIII. Department of Public Works, §§ 69, 70
Art. IX. Public Improvements, §§ 71--88
Art. X. Franchises, §§ 89--93
Art. XI. Planning and Zoning, §§ 94--98
Art. XII. Department of Water and Light, §§ 99--103
Art. XIII. Health Officer; Health Board, §§ 104--107
Art. XIV. Department of Parks and Recreation, §§ 108--113
Art. XV. The Municipal Court, §§ 114--118
Art. XVI. Nominations and Elections, §§ 119--126
Art. XVII. Initiative, Referendum and Recall, §§ 127--141
Art. XVIII. General Provisions, §§ 142--166
We, the citizens of the City of Columbia, Missouri, in order to secure
the benefits of
constitutional home rule under the Constitution of the State of Missouri, maintain a democratic
form of government, establish the basic governmental structure of the City, maintain an
economical city manager form of city administration, provide for full publicity and openness in
the conduct of affairs of city government, public meetings and records, provide for equality of
citizenship for all Columbians, and promote the common welfare, do ordain and establish this
HOME RULE CHARTER FOR THE CITY OF COLUMBIA, MISSOURI.
ARTICLE I. INCORPORATION; FORM OF GOVERNMENT; POWERS; WARDS
Section 1. Incorporation.
The inhabitants of the City of Columbia, within the corporate limits as now
established, or as
hereafter established in the manner then provided by law, shall continue to be a municipal body
politic and corporate in perpetuity, under the name of the City of Columbia.
(Ord. No. 13412, § 1, 8-17-92; passed by voters November 3, 1992)
Sections 1.1--1.6. Repealed by Ord. No. 13412, § 1, 8-17-92; passed by the voters on
November 3, 1992.
Section 2. Form of Government.
The municipal government provided by this charter shall be known as the "council-manager
government." Pursuant to the provisions of this charter and subject only to the limitations
imposed by the state constitution and by this charter, all powers of the city shall be vested in an
elective council, hereafter referred to as "the council," which shall enact local legislation,
budgets, determine policies, and appoint the city manager, who shall execute the laws and
administer the government of the city.
Section 3. Powers of the City.
The city shall have all powers which the general assembly of the State of Missouri
authority to confer upon any city, provided such powers are consistent with the Constitution of
this state and are not limited or denied by this charter or by statute. The city shall, in addition
its home rule powers, have all powers conferred by law.
The powers of the city shall be liberally construed. The specific mention of
a particular power
in this charter shall not be construed as limiting the powers of the city.
Section 4. Wards.
The city shall be divided into (6) wards, the boundaries of which shall be established
ordinance. Wards shall comprise compact and contiguous territory and contain, as nearly a
possible, an equal number of inhabitants. Ward boundaries shall be reviewed and revised from
time to time, as may be necessary to maintain as nearly as possible an equal number of
inhabitants in each ward.
ARTICLE II. THE COUNCIL
Section 5. Number and Term.
The council shall consist of seven (7) members, each of whom shall be elected
for a term of
three (3) years and shall serve until a successor shall be elected and qualified, except as
otherwise provided herein. One of the seven (7) council members shall be elected by the
qualified voters of the city at large and shall be the mayor. The other six (6) council members
shall be elected, one from each ward, by the qualified voters thereof. The terms of the council
members shall be staggered in such a manner that two (2) of the council members shall be
elected each year, provided that the council member-at-large shall be elected every third year as
Prior to the effective date of this section, a lottery shall be conducted in
a manner established
by ordinance to determine which council members by ward are to be elected for one-, two- and
three-year terms, such foreshortened terms being established for the purpose of staggering terms
thereafter. The council member-at-large shall be elected to a three-year term. The elections
conducted at the effective date of this ordinance shall provide for the respective one-, two- and
three-year terms. Each council member thereafter elected shall be elected to a full three-year term
unless sooner removed in accordance with the other provisions herein. The effective date of this
section shall be April 5, 1983.
(Passed by voters April 7, 1981; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 6. Qualifications.
A council member shall be a qualified and registered voter of the city. The
six (6) council
members elected by wards shall be residents and qualified voters of the respective wards from
which they are elected. Council members shall hold no other lucrative public office nor any
lucrative position in the city government during their terms as council members. If a council
member shall cease to possess the above qualifications or shall be convicted of a crime involving
moral turpitude, the council member's office shall immediately become vacant.
(Passed 1-20-75, effective 4-7-75; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 7. Salary.
Council members shall receive no salary, but they shall be reimbursed for necessary
incurred in their capacity as council members.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 8. Rules of Order.
The council shall determine by ordinance its own rules and order of business.
It shall keep a
journal of its proceedings, which shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable hours. It
shall be the judge of qualifications of its members, and may punish its members for disorderly
behavior. A majority thereof shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may
adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and
under such penalties as the council may provide. The affirmative vote of a majority of the entire
council shall be necessary to adopt any ordinance, resolution or motion. The "ayes" and "nays"
on any question shall, at the request of any member, be entered in the journal and the "ayes"
"nays" shall be recorded on the final passage of every ordinance or resolution.
(Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 9. Vacancies.
Every vacancy in any elective office shall be filled by the council for a period
running to the
next regular election, unless such period exceeds one year. In the latter case, the council shall
make provision for a special election.
Section 10. Mayor.
The council member elected at large shall be the mayor, but shall have no regular
administrative duties. The council member-at-large shall preside at all meetings of the council,
and shall be recognized as head of the city government for all legal and ceremonial purposes and
by the governor for purposes of military law. The council member-at-large shall have the same
right to vote as any other member of the council, but shall have no veto power. The council shall
also select from among the council members a mayor "pro tempore," who shall act as mayor
during the absence or disability of the mayor. If a vacancy should occur, the mayor "pro
tempore" shall become mayor for the completion of the unexpired term unless that term is for a
period exceeding one year.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 11. Appointment and Removal of City Manager.
The council shall appoint an officer who shall have the title of city manager
and who shall
have the powers to perform the duties provided in this Charter. No council member shall receive
such appointment during the term for which the council member shall have been elected or
within one year after the expiration of the term. The appointment of the city manager shall be for
an indefinite term, at the pleasure of the council.
(11-11-74; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 12. Prohibiting Interference.
Neither the council nor any of its members shall direct or request the appointment
person to, or the removal of any person from office by the city manager or any of the manager's
subordinates, nor in any way interfere with the appointment or removal of officers and
employees in the administrative service of the city. Except for the purpose of inquiry, or as
otherwise provided in this charter, the council and its members shall deal with the administrative
officers and services solely through the city manager, and neither the council nor any member
thereof shall give orders to the subordinates of the city manager, either publicly or privately. The
office of any council member violating the provisions of this section shall be forfeited.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 13. City Clerk.
The council shall elect an officer who shall have the title of city clerk. The
clerk shall keep the
journal of its proceedings, and authenticate all ordinances and resolutions and record them in full
in a book kept for that purpose. The clerk shall perform such other duties as may be required by
statute, by this charter or by the council. The city clerk shall hold office at the pleasure of the
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 14. Meetings.
The council shall meet regularly at such times as prescribed by its rules, but
not less frequently
than once each month. Written agendas shall be distributed, in the chambers where the council
regularly meets, prior to each regular meeting of the council. No action by the council shall have
legal effect unless the motion for the action and the vote by which it is disposed of take place at
proceedings open to the public.
(11-11-74; Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 15. Legislative Proceedings.
A. In the transaction of legislative business, the council shall act by ordinance,
following procedure shall be used: Every ordinance shall be by bill, which shall be in written or
printed form, and the enacting clause shall be: "Be It Ordained by the Council of the City of
Columbia." No bill, except those making appropriations and those codifying or rearranging
existing ordinances, shall relate to more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in the
title. Ordinances making appropriations shall be confined to the subject matter of the
appropriation. All bills shall be read by title or council bill numbers three (3) times before
passage, not more than two (2) of which readings shall be at the same legislative session; and at
least one week shall elapse between introduction and final passage of any bill, except in the area
of an emergency bill.
B. An ordinance may be passed as an emergency measure on the day of the introduction
bill, provided that it contain[s] the statement that an emergency exists and specify [specifies]
distinctly the facts and reasons constituting the emergency. No ordinance granting, enlarging or
affecting any franchise shall be passed as an emergency measure. The emergency procedure shall
be restricted to the following:
1. Bills concerning the immediate preservation of public
peace, property, health, safety or
2. An appropriation for payment of principal or interest
of the public debt.
3. An appropriation for the payment of current expenses
of city government.
4. Calling an election or providing for the submission
of a proposal to the people.
The vote of six-sevenths of the members of the council shall be required to pass an ordinance as
an emergency measure.
C. Every bill introduced shall be filed with the city clerk on the day of its
first reading and
shall remain on file in the clerk's office for public inspection until it is finally adopted or fails
passage. Prior to the final passage of any bill, other than an emergency bill, all persons interested
therein shall be given an opportunity to be heard before the council, in accordance with such
rules and regulations as the council may adopt. After the third reading of any bill and compliance
with the other provisions herein, the council may finally pass the bill with or without
amendment; except that if the council shall make an amendment which constitutes a change in
substance, the bill, as amended, shall be filed in the office of the city clerk for one additional
week, and an opportunity afforded for a further public hearing, after which final action may be
D. An ordinance, when passed by the council, shall be signed by the presiding
attested by the city clerk; shall be immediately filed and thereafter preserved in the office of the
city clerk; and except as otherwise provided herein, shall be subject to the referendum as
provided in Article XVII of this charter. Unless otherwise specified, every ordinance shall
become effective twenty (20) days after its final passage. If an ordinance be submitted at a
referendum election or as a result of an initiative petition, it shall become effective upon the
certification of the election authority that it has received the favorable vote of a majority of those
(11-11-74; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97; Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 16. Revision of Ordinances.
Within three years after the adoption of this charter, all ordinances of the
city of a general and
permanent nature shall be revised, digested, codified and promulgated, and a system of
continuous numbering and revision shall be established and maintained thereafter in accordance
with provisions to be prescribed by ordinance.
Section 17. Annual Audit.
An independent financial audit shall be made of all accounts of the city government
annually and more frequently if deemed necessary by the council. Such audit shall be made by a
qualified public accountant who is experienced in municipal accounting. Such accountant shall
have no personal or financial interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the city
government or of any of its officers. The results of such audit shall be made public in such
manner as the council may determine.
(Passed 1-20-75, effective 4-7-75)
Section 18. Powers.
Except as this charter provides otherwise, all powers of the city shall be vested
in the council.
The council shall provide for the exercise of these powers and for the performance of all duties
and obligations imposed on the city by law.
ARTICLE III. THE CITY MANAGER
Section 19. Qualifications; Term of Office.
The city manager shall be chosen by the council on the basis of executive and
qualifications with special reference to experience in, and knowledge of, city manager work. The
manager may or may not be a resident of the city or the state at the time of selection, but shall
reside within the city while serving as city manager. The manager shall be appointed for an
indefinite term, subject to removal as herein provided, and shall devote full time to the duties of
the office. The manager shall designate one of the department directors to perform the duties of
the city manager in event of the manager's absence or disability; if the manager should fail to do
so, the council shall make such designation.
(4-4-49; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 20. Compensation.
The city manager shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by ordinance.
Section 21. Powers and Duties.
The city manager shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of
the city and shall be
responsible to the council for the proper administration of all of the city's affairs. To that end the
manager shall have power and be required to:
1. Appoint and, when necessary for the good of the service,
remove all officers and
employees of the city, except as otherwise provided in the charter, and except as the manager
may authorize the head of a department or office to appoint subordinates in such department or
2. Prepare and submit to the council a statement of policy
recommendations for programs
and priorities which, in the opinion of the city manager, will be of benefit to the city. This
statement shall be submitted not less than one hundred twenty (120) days nor more than one
hundred eighty (180) days prior to the last day for the adoption of the budget.
3. Prepare the budget annually and submit it to the council
and be responsible for its
administration after adoption.
4. Prepare and submit to the council, as of the end of
the fiscal year, a complete report on the
finances and administrative activities of the city for the year.
5. Keep the council advised of the financial condition
of the city and make recommendations
concerning its future needs.
6. Attend all meetings of the council and its committees,
except when the council may be
considering the manager's removal. The manager shall have the right to take part in discussions,
but shall have no power to vote. The manager shall receive notice of all special meetings.
7. Enforce all laws and ordinances and see that all contracts
and franchises are faithfully
8. Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by
this charter or required of the manager
by the council, not inconsistent with this charter.
(Effective 4-7-75; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
ARTICLE IV. ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE
Section 22. Administrative Organization.
The council shall adopt by ordinance an administrative code providing a complete
organization and structure for the city government. The administrative code may authorize the
city manager to promulgate regulations dealing with questions of organization and structure. The
administrative code and any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be consistent with
this charter. Unless otherwise required by law, all boards and commissions provided for in the
administrative code shall be appointed by the council.
Section 23. Personnel System.
The council shall adopt by ordinance a personnel code providing a comprehensive
system for city officers and employees. The personnel code shall provide that all appointments
and promotions of city officers and employees shall be made solely on the basis of merit and
fitness. The personnel code may authorize the city manager or a personnel board, if one be
established, to promulgate regulations dealing with personnel matters. The personnel code and
any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be consistent with this charter.
Section 24. (Repealed 11-11-74)
ARTICLE V. DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Section 25. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 26. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 27. Separate Utilities Accounts.
The accounts of all utilities owned and operated and all activities performed
by the city and
dependent for their revenues upon the sale of their products or charge for their services shall be
kept separate and distinct from all other accounts of the city, and shall contain proportionate
charges for all services performed by other departments for such utilities and activities as well as
proportionate credits for all services rendered.
Section 28. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 29. Purchase Procedure.
Before the city makes any purchase or contract, or lets any contract for improvements,
shall be given ample opportunity for competitive bidding, subject to such exceptions as the
council, upon recommendation of the city manager, may prescribe by ordinance or resolution.
Section 30. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 31. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 32. Representation of Board of Equalization.
For the purpose of giving the City of Columbia representation on the county
equalization when said board is sitting for the purpose of equalizing the assessment of property
in the city, such officials of the city as may be provided by law, shall sit with the county board of
equalization, shall have a vote on said board, and shall be paid for such services as may be
provided for by law.
State law reference(s)--Board of equalization, RSMo 138.015.
Section 33. Fiscal Year.
The fiscal year of the City of Columbia, unless otherwise provided by ordinance,
on the first day of January and shall end on the last day of December of each calendar year. The
fiscal year shall constitute the budget and accounting year. As used in this charter, the term
"budget year" shall mean the fiscal year for which any particular budget is adopted and in
it is administered.
Section 34. Tentative Budget.
The city manager, at least two (2) weeks before the council undertakes to set
the tax rate for
the next fiscal year, shall prepare and submit to the city a tentative budget in sufficient detail to
enable said council to appraise the needs of the city for the next budget year. The council shall
then set a tax rate upon all taxable property in an amount sufficient to produce the revenue
Section 35. Final Budget and Budget Message.
The city manager, at least sixty (60) days prior to the beginning of each budget
year, or at such
time in each year as shall be fixed by the council, shall submit to the council a final budget with
an explanatory message. For the purpose of preparing this budget and explanatory message, the
city manager shall secure from the head of each office, department or agency who shall supply
the same, detailed estimates of revenue and expenditures of that office, department or agency.
The city manager shall also secure an estimate of all capital projects pending and those which it
is recommended should be undertaken (a) within the budget year, and (b) within the next five (5)
succeeding years. In preparing the budget, the city manager shall review and may revise the
estimates, as the manager may deem necessary.
The budget shall provide a complete financial plan for the budget year. It shall
1. An itemized statement of estimated revenues from all
sources for the year which the
budget is to cover, together with a comparative statement of revenues for the last completed
fiscal year and the year in progress.
2. An itemized statement of proposed expenditures recommended
by the city manager for
each office, department, or agency for the year which the budget is to cover, together with a
comparative statement of expenditures for the last completed fiscal year and the year in progress.
3. A statement of the amount required for the payment
of interest, amortization and
redemption charges on the debt of the city.
4. Provision for contingent expense in an amount not
to exceed five (5) per cent of the total
operating expenditures proposed under item (2) above.
5. A general budget summary.
6. Such other information as the city manager may deem
essential, or as may be required by
ordinance or by law.
The budget message shall be in full and a complete explanation of the proposed
including reasons for any major changes from the preceding year. Expenditures proposed in the
budget for each department, office or agency shall be itemized by character, object, function,
activity and fund. The classification of revenue and expenditure accounts shall conform as nearly
as local conditions permit to established and recognized standards of accounting. In no event
shall the total amount of the proposed expenditures exceed the estimated income of the city.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 36. Budget a Public Record.
The budget and budget message and all supporting schedules, exhibits and other
materials, shall be a public record in the office of the city clerk, open to public inspection. The
city manager shall cause sufficient copies of the budget and the budget message to be prepared
for distribution to interested persons.
Section 37. Public Hearing [on Budget.]
At the meeting of the council at which the budget is submitted, the council
shall determine the
place and time of the public hearing on the budget. The council shall cause to be published a
notice of the time and place of the hearing at least seven (7) days before the hearing is to be held.
At the time and place so advertised, or at any time and place to which such public hearing shall
from time to time be adjourned, the council shall hold a public hearing on the budget as
submitted, at which all interested persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
Section 38. Adoption of the Budget.
After the conclusion of such public hearing or hearings, the council may insert
new items or
may increase or decrease the various items of the budget, except for specified fixed expenditures.
If it shall increase the total proposed expenditures, the council shall also increase the total
anticipated revenue to at least equal such total proposed expenditures. The budget shall be
adopted by the favorable vote of not less than a majority of the entire council, not later than the
last Monday of the month preceding the first month of the budget year for which the budget is
intended. Should the council take no final action on or prior to that date, the budget as submitted
shall be effective without council action.
Section 39. Effective Date [of Budget]; Certification; Copies.
Upon final adoption, the budget shall be in effect for the budget year. A copy
of the budget, as
finally adopted, shall be certified by the city manager and city clerk and filed in the office of the
city clerk. The budget so certified shall be printed, mimeographed, or otherwise reproduced, and
sufficient copies thereof shall be made available for the use of all offices, departments and
agencies of the city and for the use of interested citizens and civic organizations.
Section 40. Appropriations.
From the effective date of the budget, the several amounts stated therein as
expenditures shall be and become appropriated to the several offices, departments, or agencies
for the various functions and activities specified in the budget.
Section 41. Expenditures Limited to Budget.
All allowable claims against the city shall be approved for payment by
the department or
agency head, by the director of finance, and by the city manager. Any such official who shall
approve any claim for payment for which there is not a sufficient unencumbered balance in the
fund or appropriation, or which is in any way contrary to the provisions of this charter, or law, or
ordinance, shall be personally liable and liable on the official's bond for the amount thereof, and
may be removed from office.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 42. Contracts.
No contract or order purporting to impose any financial obligation on the city
executed, nor shall the same be valid and binding upon the city, unless it be in writing, and
unless the director of finance shall first certify in writing thereon that such contract or order is
within the purpose of the appropriation to which it is to be charged and that there is an
unencumbered balance to the credit of such appropriation sufficient to pay therefor.
Section 43. Tax Rates and Tax Rolls.
The city council shall by ordinance set the tax rates to be levied on the various
property as assessed by the assessor, and the levy so established shall be certified by the city
clerk to the director of finance who shall compute the taxes and extend the same upon the tax
rolls received from the assessor. The director of finance shall, on or before November 1 of each
year, unless otherwise provided by the council, deliver the tax rolls so extended to the collector,
taking receipt therefor and charging the collector with the amount of the taxes.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 44. Transfer of Unexpended Appropriations.
The city manager, upon the recommendation of the department or agency head,
any unencumbered appropriation balance or portion thereof from one classification of
expenditure to another within an office, department or agency, and such transfer shall be reported
to the city council at the next meeting. At the request of the city manager and within the last six
(6) months of the fiscal year, the council may, by resolution, transfer any unencumbered
appropriation balance or portion thereof from one office, department or agency to another. No
transfer shall be made of specified fixed appropriations.
Section 45. General Provisions.
1. No contract for the acquisition of any property or the construction of any
which is to be financed by bond shall be executed until the issuance of such bonds shall have
been duly authorized.
2. The council, upon recommendation of the city manager, may make emergency
appropriations to meet the pressing need for public expenditures for other than a regular or
recurring requirement to protect the public health, safety or welfare. The total amount of all
emergency appropriations made in any fiscal year shall not exceed five (5) per cent of the total
operating appropriation made in the budget for that year.
3. The council may by ordinance authorize the director of finance to borrow
money to meet the
cash requirements of any fund in anticipation of the receipts from revenues for the current fiscal
year. The aggregate amount of such loans shall not exceed the estimated cash receipts of said
fund for the fiscal year then outstanding and uncollected. Such loans shall be repaid from
revenues received during the fiscal year in which the loans are made. Such loans shall be due and
payable not later than the last day of the fiscal year in which the loans are made. An affirmative
vote of at least five-sevenths (5/7) of all members of the council shall be required to pass such
ordinance. Such ordinance shall take effect immediately upon passage and shall not be subject to
4. All fees, charges and commissions for city services, and all money in the
form of rentals,
payments for concessions, or other charges for the use or occupancy of city property received by
any officer or employee, and all interest on public deposits shall belong to the city government,
shall be regularly accounted for, and shall be paid to the city treasury under such regulations as
may be prescribed by the director of finance.
5. All appropriations shall lapse at the end of the budget year to the extent
that they shall not
have been expended or lawfully encumbered.
Section 46. Incurring Indebtedness.
The city may incur indebtedness and issue its negotiable bonds in evidence thereof
purpose which may be authorized hereunder, or for any purpose which may be authorized now or
hereafter by the laws of the State of Missouri to any municipality.
Section 47. Specific Purposes [of Bonds].
Some of the purposes, hereby specifically authorized, for which the bonds of
the city may be
issued, sold, pledged or disposed of on the credit of the city, or solely upon the credit of specific
property owned by the city, or solely upon the credit of income derived from property used in
connection with any public utility owned or operated by the city, or upon any two (2) or more
such credits, shall be:
1. The acquiring of land; the purchase, construction,
reconstruction, repairs and
improvement upon or extension of the following: water systems, including lakes and reservoirs;
public sewers, sewage disposal plants; buildings and equipment for the police and fire
departments; other public buildings and equipment therefor; facilities and equipment for the
collection or disposal of garbage and refuse; bridges, viaducts, subways, tunnels, railroads, street
railroads, bus lines; terminals for bus, air and railroad travel and their equipment; warehouses,
public market facilities, airports, and equipment therefor; street lighting systems, gas or electric
utility systems, heating and power plants, telephone and telegraph systems, facilities for radio
broadcasting and reception; off-street parking facilities, or any other public utility or equipment
therefor; public housing, hospitals, orphan homes, industrial schools, jails, workhouses, and
other charitable, correctional or penal institutions and equipment therefor; golf courses,
swimming pools and other recreational facilities and their equipment; parks, parkways, streets,
boulevards, grounds or any other public improvement.
2. The paying, refunding or renewing of any bonds issued
by the city, whether general
obligation bonds or revenue bonds, and the establishment of a local improvement fund to be used
for the purpose of paying cash for local improvements, such fund to be replenished from time to
time by the payment into it of the proceeds of special assessments made on account of such local
The foregoing enumeration shall not be construed to limit any general
provision of this
charter authorizing the city to borrow money or issue and dispose of bonds, and such general
provisions shall be construed according to the full force and effect of their language, as if no
specific purposes had been mentioned; and the authority to issue such bonds for any purpose
aforesaid is cumulative and shall not be construed to impair any authority to make any public
improvements under any provision of this charter or of any law.
Section 48. Vote Required for Issuance of Bonds.
No bonds shall be issued without the assent of the requisite number of qualified
electors of the
city voting thereon, as may be required by the Constitution or statutes of the State of Missouri, at
an election held for that purpose.
Section 49. Conduct of Election.
Notice of any such election shall be given, and such election shall be held,
conducted and the
returns thereof made, canvassed and declared in the manner provided by ordinance and by the
laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri.
Section 50. Debt Statement.
Prior to the adoption of an ordinance calling or providing for the holding of
an election at
which any question of incurring indebtedness shall be submitted, the director of finance shall
prepare, swear to, and file for public inspection in the office of the city clerk, a special debt
statement which shall set forth:
1. The aggregate principal amount of all outstanding
bonds and notes of the city.
2. Deductions, if any, permitted by the constitution
and general laws.
3. The amount of existing net indebtedness.
4. The amount of net indebtedness after the issuance
of the bonds authorized by such bond
5. The assessed valuation of taxable tangible property
within the city as shown by the last
completed assessment for state and county purposes.
6. The aggregate principal amount of bonds and notes
which the city may issue pursuant to
This debt statement, after approval by a majority of the council, shall be published
notice of the bond election and shall be presumed to be accurate.
Section 51. Sale of Bonds.
A. All bonds issued under this charter shall be sold in the manner provided
by ordinance and
by the laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri.
B. In those instances where the sale of bonds shall be had by public sale, sale
shall be upon
sealed proposals after notice published at least once in a newspaper published in Columbia,
Missouri, such publication to be made at least ten (10) days prior to the date of sale. The director
of finance shall mail notices by direct mail to all parties and financial institutions who in the
director's opinion may be interested in the purchase of such bonds.
(11-7-78; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 52. Issuance of Refunding Bonds.
The city may issue refunding bonds for the purpose of refunding, extending or
whole or any part of its valid outstanding revenue bonds. The council shall determine the amount
of such refunding bonds and shall provide for the payment of interest and principal of such
refunding bonds in any manner and upon such terms which are not prohibited by the Constitution
or laws of the State of Missouri.
ARTICLE VI. DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL
Sections 53 through 64, inclusive, (Repealed 11-11-74)
ARTICLE VII. DEPARTMENT OF LAW
Section 65. City Counselor; Appointment, Qualifications, Duties.
There shall be a department of law, the director of which shall be known as
the city counselor.
The city counselor shall be appointed by the city manager by and with the consent of the council,
and may only be removed by the city manager with the advice and consent of the council. The
city counselor shall have been a duly licensed attorney of the State of Missouri for at least three
(3) years immediately prior to appointment, and shall have been actively engaged in the practice
of law during such three (3) years. The city counselor shall direct the management of all
litigation in which the city is a party or is interested. The city counselor shall, in person, or by
assistant counselors, represent the city in all legal matters and proceedings in which the city is a
party or interested, advise the council or any committee or member thereof, and the city manager
and heads of all departments, boards, commissions and offices concerning any legal questions
affecting the city's interest. The city counselor or the city counselor's assistants, shall approve,
to form, all contracts, deeds, bonds and other documents to be signed in the name of or made to
or with the city. The city counselor and the city counselor's assistants shall perform such other
duties as the council may by ordinance or resolution require. The city counselor shall, in
accordance with the rules and regulations of the personnel department, appoint such number of
assistant city counselors as may be authorized by ordinance. One or more of said assistant city
counselors as may be designated by the city counselor, shall represent the city in all cases
brought before the municipal court, and do and perform such other legal duties as may be
assigned by the city counselor from time to time. Said assistant city counselors shall be duly
licensed attorneys of the State of Missouri. Said assistant city counselors may be removed by the
city counselor with the advice and consent of the city manager.
(4-4-67; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 66. (Repealed 4-4-67)
Section 67. (Repealed 4-4-67)
Section 68. Special Counsel.
Nothing in this article shall prevent the council from employing special or
ARTICLE VIII. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Section 69. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 70. (Repealed 11-11-74)
ARTICLE IX. PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS
Section 71. Power to Make Public Improvements.
The city may establish and improve public highways of every character and parts
grading, regrading, paving, repaving, macadamizing, surfacing, resurfacing, constructing,
reconstructing, oiling, sprinkling, curbing, guttering, or repairing the same, or constructing or
repairing sidewalks thereon, or by sodding the same, or planting and caring for trees and
shrubbery on or along the same, or by constructing and maintaining bridges, viaducts, subways,
culverts, drains, sewers on or along any highway or right-of-way therefor; and may acquire,
construct, repair and maintain sewers, drains and all appurtenances thereto; improve
watercourses and the banks thereof and divert and change the channels of the same; and acquire,
construct, repair and maintain all other public improvements. Such public improvements may be
paid for in whole or in part out of the general funds, or out of the public improvement fund
herein authorized, or out of the proceeds of bonds, or in whole or in part out of special
assessments on benefited property or by special tax bills evidencing such assessments. When not
otherwise limited by law, the powers enumerated herein may be exercised by the city, within or
outside the city limits, for the benefit of the city and its inhabitants.
Section 72. Method of Payment.
All ordinances and contracts for public improvements shall specify how the same
are to be
paid for. In case payment is to be made in whole or in part to the contractor in special tax bills or
other evidence of special assessments, the city shall in no event be liable for or on account of the
work to be so paid for.
Section 73. Letting of Contracts.
All public improvements constructed or made at the expense of the city costing
twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500.00), and all work to be paid for by special tax bills or special
assessments, shall be let by contract to the lowest responsible bidder in conformity with Section
77 of this charter; provided, however, that this shall not be so construed as to prevent the council
from providing that any such work may be done by the city's own departments and employees
when no satisfactory bid is received therefor or when deemed advisable by the city manager.
Section 74. Institution of Proceedings.
All proceedings to make any public improvements, except emergency work or repairs
requiring prompt attention and ordinary maintenance work, shall be begun by the adoption of a
resolution by the council declaring the necessity for such improvement, and stating the nature
thereof and the method of payment therefor. When payment is to be made by special tax bills or
other evidence of assessments upon real property, or out of the public improvement fund as
herein provided, reimbursed by collection of such assessments, the resolution shall state the
proposed method of making assessments to pay therefor. The resolution shall also state the
estimate of the probable cost of such improvement, but any error or inaccuracy in such estimate
as compared with the actual cost of the work shall not affect the validity of the proceedings or of
any assessments made or special tax bills issued to pay for such work.
Section 75. Public Hearings.
Upon the adoption of such resolution, the council shall provide for and give
adequate notice of
a public hearing in respect to all improvements to be paid for by special assessments and all other
public improvements, the total estimated cost of which shall be seven thousand five hundred
dollars ($7,500.00) or more. Such public hearing shall be held not less than ten (10) nor more
than thirty (30) days after the adoption of such resolution, and all persons interested in such
improvement shall be given an opportunity to be heard. After such hearing, the council may
determine that it is or is not in the public interest that such improvement or any part thereof be
Section 76. Plans and Specifications.
After such hearing, if the council determines to proceed with such improvement
or any part
thereof, the city manager shall cause plans and specifications for the proposed improvement to be
prepared and submitted to the council for approval. Such plans and specifications shall not limit
the materials to be used to those of any particular producer or manufacturer, but shall be so
arranged as to permit materials and processes to enter into competition.
Section 77. Bids; Contracts.
When work is to be done by contract, the city shall advertise for bids therefor
upon such notice
as may be prescribed by ordinance. Any and all bids may be rejected. Except for such right of
rejection, the contract shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder. Before such contract shall
become binding and effective, it shall be confirmed by ordinance. The city manager shall cause
the contract to be formally executed by the contractor and by the city manager on behalf of the
Section 78. Payment.
The ordinance authorizing the making of any public improvements shall prescribe
in which payment for the same shall be made. Such payment may be in whole or in part by the
city or in whole or in part by special tax bills issued to the contractor, or by special assessment
against private property. Whenever any portion of the cost of an improvement is to be met by
special tax bills or assessments, the ordinance shall specify the portion thereof and set forth the
boundaries of the district within which private property is to be so assessed. Special assessments
may be made and collected by the city as other taxes on real estate, or special tax bills may be
issued to the contractor. Any such tax bills may be purchased by the city from the contractor out
of any funds available for such purpose.
Section 79. Special Tax Bills.
Upon completion of any public work, the payment for which is to be made by special
the council shall by ordinance direct the issuance of said tax bills. When said ordinance is
approved, the tax bills authorized thereby shall become a first lien upon the property charged
therewith; provided, however, there shall be no priority between special tax bills issued under the
charter, regardless of the date of such bills. They shall be payable to the party entitled thereto
either at the office of the director of finance or at some bank or trust company in the City Of
Columbia, at the option of the party so entitled. They shall be promptly registered in the office of
the director of finance and delivered to the person entitled. They shall be prima facie evidence of
what they contain and of their own validity, and no mere informality or clerical mistake in any of
the proceedings shall be a defense thereto. Such tax bills shall mature at such times and bear such
rate of interest as may be prescribed by the ordinance directing the issuance thereof, and at the
request of the property owner may be made payable in annual installments, not exceeding ten
Section 80. Additional Provisions.
Upon recommendation of the city manager, the council may, from time to time,
make further provision, not inconsistent herewith, for special assessments, the issuance of special
tax bills, the collection thereof and all matters incidental thereto.
Section 81. Sewers.
There shall be four (4) classes of sewers: public, district, joint district
and private, as hereafter
defined, without regard to the area drained, the size, character or purpose thereof.
Public sewers are those which have been or may be constructed or acquired
and paid for
wholly out of any public funds available for that purpose.
District sewers are those which have been or may be constructed or acquired
of ordinance, within the limits of an established sewer district, and paid for in whole or in part by
special assessments upon the property in the district.
Joint district sewers are those which have been or may be constructed
or acquired under the
authority of ordinances uniting one or more districts and unorganized territory, or uniting
districts or unorganized territory into a joint sewer district, for the purpose of providing main,
outlet, or intercepting sewers, for the benefit of such joint sewer district, and paid for in whole
in part by special assessment upon the property in such joint sewer district.
Private sewers are those paid for by private parties constructing the
All public, district and joint district sewers shall be constructed along streets,
alleys and other
public ways wherever practicable; and no such sewer shall be built or acquired by the city except
it be on a public right-of-way owned by the city. Such sewers may be connected with any other
sewer of any class or with a natural course of drainage.
Section 82. Method of Levying Assessments.
Whenever all or any part of the cost of constructing, reconstructing or acquiring
joint district sewers is to be paid for by special assessments or special tax bills, the entire amount
of such assessment shall be levied ratably by area upon all the lots or parcels of ground within
the district or joint district, excluding public highways only.
Ordinances creating joint sewer districts may provide for the construction of
the sewer or
sewers therein in one or more sections and for the levy and assessment of the cost of any section
upon the completion thereof, as a special assessment in the manner herein provided. If any
district or joint district sewer shall drain territory lying outside the city limits and not included
the district or joint district, the city shall pay that part of the cost of such sewer as would have
been assessed ratably against such territory if it were included in the district or joint district.
Section 83. Acquiring Private Sewers.
The city may by ordinance recommended by the city manager, acquire any private
gift, condemnation or purchase and provide for reimbursement by special assessment, in the
manner hereinbefore provided, to be levied against the property in the district or joint district for
which such private sewer is acquired; and an ordinance making a private sewer, or any part
thereof, a part of a proposed district or joint district sewer may provide that the contractor shall
pay for such private sewer at the price fixed in such ordinance, and the cost thereof shall be
included in the total cost of constructing such district or joint sewer district.
Section 84. Levy of Assessments.
When any public work or improvement to be paid for in whole or in part by special
is completed, the city manager shall cause to be computed the entire cost and expense thereof,
including any cost or expense incurred by the city and the council shall levy and assess such cost
and expense or the part to be paid by special assessment in accordance with the requirements of
Section 85. Invalid Assessments May Be Reassessed.
If any such special tax bill or special assessment shall fail to be valid in
whole or in part, or for
any cause, mistake or inadvertence, the amount assessed shall not be sufficient to pay the cost of
such improvements, the council shall be and is hereby authorized to cause such assessment to be
reassessed and to enforce, or authorize the enforcement of its collection.
Section 86. Sidewalks. (Repealed 4-4-67)
Section 87. Public Improvement Fund.
There is hereby created a fund to be known as the "public improvement fund."
Said fund may
be established and maintained from any or all of the following sources:
1. Appropriations from the general funds when available.
2. The proceeds from bond issues as provided in this
3. Collections of special assessments or special tax
bills, and any interest thereon, levied or
issued for public work or condemnation of land theretofore paid for out of said public
4. The proceeds from the sale of special tax bills.
5. Any other source permitted by law or provided by ordinance.
Whenever the council shall authorize the cost of any public improvement
or the purchase of
any tax bills issued for any public improvement to be paid out of the public improvement fund,
any special assessment and interest thereon, that may be levied and collected on account of such
improvement, or the proceeds from the collection of any such tax bills and interest thereon shall
be credited to and paid into said fund.
Section 88. Property Subject to Special Assessment.
All property located within any benefit district established by the council,
whether publicly or
privately owned, shall be liable for special assessments made or special tax bills issued against
such property. Any such assessment or tax bill shall constitute a personal obligation on the owner
of such property as well as a lien against the property and may be collected by suit or other
proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction, and such assessment, tax bill, or judgment
thereon, against public property shall be paid out of the general treasury of the public body,
agency, corporation or authority owning such property.
ARTICLE X. FRANCHISES
Section 89. Granting of Franchises.
All public utility franchises and all renewals, extensions and amendments thereof
granted only by ordinance. No such ordinance shall be adopted within less than thirty (30) days
after application therefor has been filed with the council, nor until a full public hearing has been
held thereon. No such ordinance shall become effective until it has been submitted to the electors
and has been approved by a majority voting thereon.
No ordinance shall be submitted at an election less than sixty (60) days after
named therein has filed its unconditional acceptance of such franchise, and it shall not be
submitted to a special election unless the expense of holding the election, as determined by the
council, shall have been paid into the city treasury by the grantee. No exclusive franchises shall
ever be granted, and no franchise shall be granted for a longer term than twenty (20) years. No
such franchise shall be transferable, directly or indirectly, except with the approval of the council
expressed by ordinance after a full public hearing.
Section 90. Right of Regulation.
All public utility franchises, whether it be so provided in the ordinance or
not, shall be subject
to the right of the council to:
1. Repeal the same for misuse or nonuse, or for failure
to comply therewith.
2. Require proper and adequate extension of plant and
service and the maintenance thereof at
the highest practicable standard of efficiency.
3. Establish reasonable standards of service and quality
of products, and prevent unjust
discrimination in service or rates.
4. Make independent audit and examination of accounts
at any time, and require reports
5. Require continuous and uninterrupted service to the
public in accordance with the terms
of the franchise throughout the entire period thereof.
6. Control and regulate the use of the city streets,
alleys, bridges and public places, and the
space above and beneath them.
7. Regulate rates, fares and charges and make readjustments
thereof from time to time if the
same are not regulated by the state.
8. Impose such other regulations from time to time as
it may determine to be conducive to
the safety, welfare and accommodation of the public.
Section 91. Purchases; Condemnation.
The city shall have the right to acquire by condemnation or otherwise the property
public utility in accordance with the general laws of the state, provided that the price to be paid
shall in no event include any value predicated upon the franchise, goodwill or prospective
Section 92. Revocable Permits.
Temporary permits for the operation of public utilities, or like permits for
a period not to
exceed two (2) years but subject to being renewed and subject to amendment, alteration or
revocation at any time at the will of the council, may be granted only by ordinance on such terms
and conditions as the council shall determine; provided that such permits shall in no event be
construed to be franchises, or extensions or amendments of franchises.
Section 93. Operation Beyond Franchise Period.
Any operation of a public utility by a franchise holder, with the tacit permission
of the city,
beyond the period for which the franchise was granted, shall under no circumstances be
construed as a renewal or extension of such franchise. Any such operation shall at most be
regarded as a mere temporary permit, subject, like other permits, to amendment, alteration or
revocation at any time at the will of the council.
Section 94. Exclusion of Cable Television System.
Cable television systems shall not constitute public utility franchises within
the meaning of
this Article X, and Article X shall not apply to cable television systems.
(Passed by voters 11-6-84)
ARTICLE XI. PLANNING AND ZONING
Sections 95 through 98, inclusive. (Repealed 11-11-74)
ARTICLE XII. DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND LIGHT
Section 99. Appointment and Qualifications of Director.
The city manager shall select the director of the water and light department,
who shall be an
engineer registered under the laws of Missouri, trained and experienced in the operation and
management of public utilities, and qualified to perform the duties required of the director by this
charter and ordinances of the city.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 100. Powers and Duties.
The director of the water and light department shall serve as the operating
engineer of the
water and light plants and shall have charge of:
1. The physical properties of the water and light plants,
all of the distribution systems
thereof, filtration plants, reservoirs, wells, generating plants and other facilities directly
connected therewith; and all plants, properties, equipment and appliances incident to or
connected with the operation of the water and light department, whether within or without the
2. The designing, construction, reconstruction, addition,
repair, replacement, maintenance,
supervision and operation of the water and light plants, physical properties, buildings and
distribution systems; and street lighting system and equipment, except as provided in item 6,
Section 70 of this charter.
3. The mechanical and engineering work of the department.
4. Meter readings, a list or copy of which shall be furnished
to the director of finance.
5. The enforcement of all rules, regulations, methods
and practices prescribed by the council
governing the furnishing and measurement of the water and light services, including the authority
to cut off any service for nonpayment, or for nonmaintenance of equipment connected with the
main supply, or noncompliance upon the part of any customer with ordinances, rules and
regulations relating to the department.
6. The records of location, direction, depth and connections
of all underground facilities and
equipment of the department.
The director of the department, shall perform such other duties not herein specifically
as may be required by the city manager, by this Charter, by law or by ordinance.
The director and employees of the department shall have authority in the necessary
of their duties to enter upon any lands, properties or premises within or without the city for the
examination or survey thereof, or for the purpose of repairing, inspecting, removing or
connecting the service, reading meters, or any other purpose whatsoever in connection with the
water and light service.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Editor's note--Section 70, referred to in this section has been repealed.
Section 101. Restriction on Sale of Water and Light Property.
The city shall not sell, lease, or in any manner dispose of the water and light
plants or systems
or any properties or equipment used in supplying water or light, unless and except the
proposition for such purpose shall first have been approved at a special election by a two-thirds
majority of those voting thereon. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the sale or
exchange of any equipment which may be worn out or unless, or which could, with advantage to
the service, be replaced by new or improved machinery or equipment.
Section 102. Rates and Finances.
The city council shall from time to time fix, establish, maintain and provide
for the collection
of such rates, fees or charges for water and electricity and water and electric service furnished by
or through the water and electric light works of the city as will produce revenues sufficient to pay
the cost of operation and the maintenance of said works in good repair and working order; to pay
the principal of and interest on all revenue bonds of the city payable from the revenues of said
works; to provide and maintain an adequate depreciation fund for the purpose of making
renewals and replacements; to provide a fund for the extension, improvement, enlargement and
betterment of said works; to pay the interest on and principal of any general obligation bonds
issued by the city to extend or improve said works; and to pay into the general revenue fund of
the city annually an amount substantially equivalent to that sum which would be paid in taxes if
the water and electric light works were privately owned. Such revenues so produced shall be
devoted to the purposes so enumerated. The provisions hereof shall be subject at all times to the
performance by the city of all covenants and agreements made by it in connection with the
issuance, sale or delivery of any revenue bonds of the city payable out of the revenues derived by
the city from the operation of its water and electric light works, whether such revenue bonds be
heretofore or hereafter issued.
In the fixing of such rates and charges it shall be the policy of the council,
so far as feasible
and consistent with the above requirements, to fix and maintain the same at a level not to exceed
charges made for the same services by privately owned utilities similarly situated.
Payments from the revenues of said water and electric light works shall be made
depreciation fund monthly in such amounts as may be required by standard engineering and
accounting practices applicable to the operation of utilities by municipalities. Said depreciation
fund shall be expended only for making renewals and replacements of said water and electric
light works or making unusual and extraordinary repairs thereto.
Payments into the fund established for the making of extensions, improvements,
and betterments of said works shall be made monthly in such sums as may be determined by the
council, subject to the provisions of the next succeeding paragraph relating to surplus, and such
fund shall be expended only for the purposes specified. Said depreciation fund and the fund
established for the making of extensions, improvements, enlargements and betterments shall be
kept invested as provided by law, or, in the discretion of the council, in bonds, certificates or
other obligations of the United States of America.
If any surplus revenue be produced from the operation of said water and electric
after meeting all of the requirements set forth above, there shall be paid into the fund established
for the making of extensions, improvements, enlargements and betterments of said works not less
than twenty (20) percent of such surplus, or an amount which, together with payments made into
such fund under the above requirements, shall equal twenty (20) percent of said surplus.
Provided, however, that such fund may be used for the redemption of any outstanding bonds
issued by the city for the same purposes, and for the meeting of any extraordinary emergencies
that may arise in the operation of said water and electric light works; and, provided further, that
said payment from surplus shall not be required to be made cumulative on and in addition to the
requirement in Section 7 of the Revenue Bond Ordinance of April 19, 1948, for the retention of
twenty-five (25) percent of the surplus for extension, improvement and bond redemption
purposes, so long as any of the revenue bonds of the city dated May 1, 1948, remain outstanding.
The remainder of any surplus shall be paid into the general revenue fund of the city and budgeted
like other revenues of the city for any proper municipal purpose, and expended through the
regular appropriation process; or such surplus may, in the discretion of the council, be made the
basis for reduction of rates in the future.
Section 103. Water and Light Advisory Board.
The water and light advisory board shall consist of five (5) members appointed
by the council.
Appointment shall be made for terms of four (4) years. Appointments to fill vacancies shall be
for unexpired terms only.
Members shall be qualified voters and residents of the City of Columbia for
at least one year
prior to their appointment. They shall be sympathetic with the principal of municipal operation of
the water and light system and with the policies set forth in this article to ensure the sound and
efficient management of said system. The board shall elect annually its own chairman. Members
shall serve without pay, but their reasonable expenses shall be paid as provided by ordinance.
The powers of the board shall be solely advisory. It shall be empowered to visit
and to inspect
the operation of the water and light system, to have access to all financial and other records
pertaining to said system, and to require from any city department or officer any information
available concerning the same. The board shall report at least annually its findings and
recommendations to the people and to the council.
(Ord. No. 14362 § 1, 2-6-95; passed by voters April 4, 1995)
ARTICLE XIII. HEALTH OFFICER; HEALTH BOARD
Sections 104 through 107, inclusive. (Repealed 11-11-74)
ARTICLE XIV. DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
Sections 108 through 111, inclusive. (Repealed 11-11-74)
Section 112. Revenues.
For the acquisition, maintenance and development of adequate recreational facilities,
the proper promotion of a recreational program, the city manager shall include in the manager's
budget an amount estimated by the manager to be sufficient for said purposes.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 113. Permanent Park Fund.
There shall be a permanent park fund which shall consist of: gifts, bequests
specified for this purpose; rents, issues and profits derived from any property which may have
been purchased or held in trust by or for the City of Columbia for recreational purposes; and the
proceeds of the sale of any such property, real, personal or mixed, so purchased or held in trust.
Moneys in this permanent park fund shall be appropriated, expended or encumbered only for
parks and other recreational property or facilities.
ARTICLE XV. THE MUNICIPAL COURT
Section 114. Municipal Court; Jurisdiction and Powers.
There shall be a municipal court which shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine
involving violations of this charter or of the ordinances of the city, subject to appeal by either
party to the circuit court in like manner as provided by law for appeals from magistrate court in
Boone County in criminal cases. Such court may punish contempts of court by fine not exceeding
fifty dollars ($50.00) or by imprisonment not exceeding ten (10) days, or both; may enforce its
process, orders and judgments in the same manner as a court of record; may issue search
warrants as authorized by law upon application of the city counselor, city attorney or chief of
police; may summon and compel the attendance of witnesses; may administer oaths; may
summon and compel the attendance of jurors, when a jury is allowed; may pass upon the
competency of evidence; and may render final judgment on any forfeited bond or recognizance
returnable to such court, subject to appeal, as in other cases.
Section 115. Judge of Municipal Court.
The municipal court shall be presided over by a municipal judge to be selected
by the council,
a majority vote of all members being required for selection. The judge shall have been a resident
of the City of Columbia for at least two (2) years, and a duly licensed attorney for the State of
Missouri for at least three (3) years prior to selection. The municipal judge shall be selected for
term of four (4) years and shall serve until a successor is selected and qualified. The judge may
be removed from office for cause. If removal is contemplated, the judge shall be suspended by a
resolution which shall set forth the reasons for suspension and proposed removal. A copy of such
resolution shall be served immediately upon the municipal judge. The municipal judge shall have
fifteen (15) days in which to reply thereto in writing, and, upon the judge's request, a public
hearing shall occur not earlier than ten (10) days nor later than fifteen (15) days after such
hearing is requested, and after full consideration, the council, by majority vote of its members,
may adopt a final resolution of removal. In case of the judge's absence or inability to serve, the
council may by resolution select a qualified attorney to act during such absence or disability and
may provide reasonable compensation for such service. The municipal court shall be held in such
place as the council by resolution may direct.
(4-7-75; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 116. Salary; Costs and Fines.
The municipal judge shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by ordinance.
fines and forfeitures imposed by the municipal court, or collected under the authority thereof,
and all other receipts so collected, shall be regularly accounted for and paid into the city treasury
for the use and benefit of the city.
Section 117. Marshal.
The chief of police and the chief's subordinates shall serve as marshal and
deputy marshals of
the municipal court and enforce its orders, judgments and decrees.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 118. Proceedings.
The forms of complaints and the conduct of all proceedings in the municipal
court shall be as
prescribed by law, or by ordinance not inconsistent with this charter.
ARTICLE XVI. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 119. Time of Elections.
A regular election for the choice of elective municipal officials shall be held
annually on the
first Tuesday after the first Monday in April. The council may by resolution order special
elections, fix the time and provide for holding the same in conformance with state law.
(Passed by voters, April 7, 1981; Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-2-01)
Section 120. Regulation of Elections.
The council shall provide by ordinance all regulations which it considers needful
not inconsistent with this charter or state laws, for the conduct of municipal elections, and the
prevention of fraud in such election. Municipal elections shall be conducted by the election
authority designated by state law.
(11-7-78; Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 121. When Election Authority May Order Election.
If at any time, by reason of nonacceptance, resignation, refusal to qualify,
or for any other
cause, there shall be no officers of the city to order an election, the election authority having
jurisdiction in the City of Columbia, is empowered to order and conduct an election for city
officers, declare the results thereof, and install the newly elected officials.
(11-7-78; Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 122. Nominations by Petition.
Nominations of candidates for all elective offices shall be by petition. Petitions
council members shall be signed by not less than fifty (50), nor more than seventy-five (75),
registered voters who are entitled to vote for the candidate so nominated. Petitions for officials
elected by the entire city shall be signed by not less than one hundred (100), nor more than one
hundred fifty (150), registered voters of the city.
No voter shall sign more than one nominating petition for the same office, and
should a voter
do so, the voter's signature shall be void except as to the petition first filed. This provision shall
not be construed as preventing a voter from signing both a petition for council member from the
voter's own ward and also for council member-at-large. Each signer of a petition shall designate
the signer's residence by street and number or by other description sufficient to identify the
signer's place of residence.
The signatures on the nominating petition need not all be appended to one paper,
separate paper shall bear a statement setting forth the election date, the office to be filled, and
name of the candidate on whose behalf the petition is being filed. In addition, there shall be
attached to each such paper a signed statement of the circulator thereof, stating the number of
signers of such paper, that each signature appended thereto was made in the circulator's presence
and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be and that the circulator
believes each signer to be a legal voter. Nominating petitions shall be filed with the city clerk not
earlier than one hundred sixty-five (165) days before the election, nor later than five (5) days
before the deadline set by state statute for notifying the election authority of an election. No
nominating petition shall be accepted by the city clerk unless it contains the signed statement of
the candidate accepting the nomination and agreeing to serve if elected. Nominating petitions
shall be in substantially the following form:
We, the undersigned registered voters of the City of Columbia, Missouri,
and request that the name of ________, residing at ________, be placed upon the ballot as a
candidate for the office of ________ to be voted for at the election to be held on ________,
20________; and we, individually, signify that our names have appeared on the roll of registered
voters within the last year, and that we are qualified to vote for this candidate:
Name Street and Number Date of Signing
(spaces for signatures and required data)
STATEMENT OF CIRCULATOR
The undersigned is the circulator of the foregoing paper containing ________ signatures. Each
signature appended thereto was made in my presence and is the genuine signature of the person
whose name it purports to be. I am a registered voter, qualified to vote for this candidate, and I
believe each signer is a registered voter qualified to vote for this candidate.
ACCEPTANCE OF NOMINATION
I hereby accept the nomination for the office of ________ and agree to serve if elected.
Date and hour of filing____
This petition is filed by____
Whose address is____
Received by ____
Signature of City Clerk
Within five (5) days after the filing of a nominating petition, the city clerk
shall notify the
candidate and the person who filed the petition whether or not it is found to be sufficient. If a
petition is found insufficient, the city clerk shall return it immediately to the person who filed it
with a statement certifying wherein the petition is found insufficient. Within the regular time for
filing petitions a new or supplemental petition may be filed for the same candidate. The petition
of each candidate nominated shall be preserved by the city clerk until the expiration of the term
of office for which the candidate has been nominated.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97; Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 123. Preparation of Ballots.
The names of candidates for elective offices shall be printed on the ballot
in order of the date
their nominating petitions, sufficiently signed and attested, were filed with the city clerk.
Section 124. (Repealed 4-3-01)
Section 125. Returns.
The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for each office shall be
elected and shall
be inducted into office at the first meeting of the council following the certification of the
election authority in accordance with state law.
(Ord. No. 16744, § 1, 4-3-01)
Section 126. (Repealed 4-3-01)
ARTICLE XVII. INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM AND RECALL*
*Annotation--See 42 Am. Jur. 2d, Initiative and Referendum, Section 9
p. 658: "Where the
required procedure for a particular ordinance involves steps such as notice and hearing, in
addition to normal legislative deliberation, such an ordinance is not subject to initiative and
referendum, International Telemeter Corp. v. City of Columbia.
Section 127. Initiative.
The electors shall have power to propose any ordinance, except an ordinance
money or authorizing the levy of taxes, and to adopt or reject the same at the polls, such power
being known as the initiative. Any initiated ordinance may be submitted to the council by a
petition signed by qualified electors of the city equal in number to at least twenty (20) per cent of
the number of votes cast for council member-at-large at the last regular municipal election,
provided, that there be not less than four hundred (400) signatures.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 128. Referendum.
The electors shall have power to approve or reject at the polls any ordinance
passed by the
council, or submitted by the council to a vote of the electors, excepting emergency ordinances as
provided for in Section 15 of this charter, ordinances for the levying of taxes, or for the issuance
of special tax bills, as provided in this charter, such power being known as the referendum.
Ordinances submitted to the council by initiative petition and passed by the council shall be
subject to the referendum in the same manner as other ordinances. Within twenty (20) days after
the enactment by the council of any ordinance which is subject to referendum, a petition signed
by qualified electors of the city equal in number to at least twenty-five (25) per cent of the
number of votes cast for council member-at-large at the last municipal election may be filed with
the city clerk, requesting that such ordinance be either repealed or submitted to a vote of the
electors; provided, however, that the number of signatures in such case be not less than five
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 129. Petitions.
All petition papers comprising an initiative or referendum petition shall be
assembled and filed
with the City Clerk as one instrument. Every petition paper shall contain the full text of the
measure proposed or referred, but the signatures to the petition need not all be appended to one
paper. Each signer, after the signer's name, shall designate the signer's residence by street and
number, or other description sufficient to identify the signer's place of residence, and the
circulator of each such paper shall make oath before an officer competent to administer oaths that
the circulator believes each signature appended to the petition to be the genuine signature of the
person whose name it purports to be, that the circulator believes each such signer to be a legal
voter, and that all signatures were affixed in the presence of the circulator.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 130. Filing and Certification of Petitions.
Within ten (10) days after a petition is filed, the city clerk shall determine
whether each paper
of the petition has a proper statement of the circulator and whether the petition is signed by a
sufficient number of qualified electors. If a petition paper is found to be signed by fewer persons
than the number certified, the signatures shall be accepted unless void on other grounds. After
completing examination of the petition, the city clerk shall certify the result thereof to the council
at its next regular meeting. If the clerk shall certify that the petition is insufficient, the clerk
set forth in the certificate the particulars in which it is defective and shall at once notify the
person filing the petition of the insufficiency.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 131. Amended Petitions.
An initiative or referendum petition may be amended at any time within
ten (10) days after the
notification of insufficiency by filing a supplementary petition upon additional papers executed
and filed as provided in case of an original petition. The city clerk shall, within five (5) days after
such an amendment is filed, make examination of the amended petition; if the petition be still
insufficient, the clerk shall file a certificate to that effect in the clerk's office and notify the
person filing the petition of the clerk's findings, and no further action shall be had on such
insufficient petition. A finding of insufficiency in a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a
new petition for the same purpose.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 132. Effect of an Initiative Petition.
When an initiative petition has been certified as sufficient, the council shall
proceed at once to
consider the proposed ordinance, taking final action thereon not later than thirty (30) days after
If the council shall fail to pass an ordinance in the form proposed by the initiative
such ordinance shall be submitted without alteration to the vote of the electors of the city at the
next election provided for by state law which is consistent with applicable notice provisions and
available for municipal elections purposes. The enacting clause of such ordinance shall be: "Be
ordained by the people of the City of Columbia."
(Passed by election, April 7, 1981)
Section 133. Effect of a Referendum Petition.
When a referendum petition has been certified as sufficient, the ordinance specified
petition shall not become effective, or, if it shall have gone into effect, further action thereunder
shall be suspended until the ordinance referred has been approved by the electors as hereinafter
provided. The council shall proceed forthwith to reconsider the referred ordinance, and its final
vote upon such reconsideration shall be taken within thirty (30) days after certification and shall
be upon the question: "Shall the ordinance specified in the referendum petition be repealed?"
If the council shall fail to repeal an ordinance specified in any referendum
petition, such repeal
ordinance shall be submitted without alteration to the vote of the electors of the city at the next
election provided for by state law which is consistent with applicable notice provisions and
available for municipal elections purposes.
(Passed 11-4-80 election)
Section 134. Voting.
Ordinances submitted to the electors in accordance with the initiative referendum
of this charter shall be submitted by ballot title, which shall be prepared by the city counselor.
The ballot title shall be a clear, concise statement, without argument or prejudice, descriptive of
the substance of such ordinance. The ballot used in voting upon any ordinance, if a paper ballot,
shall have below the ballot title the following: "For the Ordinance" and "Against the
Immediately at the left of each proposition there shall be a square in which by making a cross (X)
the elector may vote for or against the ordinance. Any number of ordinances may be voted on at
the same election and may be submitted on the same ballot, but any paper used for voting on
ordinances shall be for that purpose only.
Section 135. Effect of Vote.
If a majority of the electors voting on a proposed initiative ordinance or referred
shall vote in favor thereof, it shall thereupon be an ordinance of the city, and shall, unless
otherwise specified, become effective as indicated in Section 15 of this charter. No such
ordinance shall be amended or repealed for six (6) months, except by unanimous vote of the
council. A referred ordinance which is not approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon
shall thereupon be deemed repealed. If conflicting ordinances are approved by the electors at the
same election, the one receiving the greatest number of affirmative votes shall prevail. No
election under the initiative or referendum procedure shall be set aside because of any defect in
Section 136. Recall Petition.
Any officer elected by vote of the people may be removed by the electors qualified
to vote for
a successor to such incumbent. The procedure to effect the removal of such incumbent shall be as
follows: a petition demanding the removal of such officer shall be filed with the city clerk; such
petition shall be signed by electors entitled to participate in such petition equal in number to at
least thirty (30) percent of the number of votes cast for such office in the last election; provided,
that there be at least two hundred (200) signatures in the case of officials elected by wards and
five hundred (500) signatures in the case of officials elected at large. This petition shall contain
general statement of the grounds for removal. Such petition shall be executed, verified, filed, and
may be amended in the manner provided for initiative and referendum petitions.
Section 137. Recall Election.
When a sufficient recall petition has been filed, the city clerk shall submit
the same to the
council without delay, and the council shall call an election on said recall at the next election
provided for by state law which is consistent with applicable notice provisions and available for
municipal elections purposes.
(Passed 11-4-80 election)
Section 138. Recall Ballot.
The ballots shall be in the following form:
Shall (Name and Title) be
removed from office?
Voters in favor of the recall place a cross (X) in the square opposite the word
Voters opposed to the recall place a cross (X) in the square opposite the word
Section 139. Effect of Election.
If a majority of those voting in such recall election shall vote in favor of
the recall, then a
vacancy shall exist, regardless of any defect in the recall petition. Such vacancy shall be filled as
provided in Section 9 of this charter. If a majority of those voting in such election shall vote
against the recall, the official shall continue in office. An official who has been recalled shall be
ineligible to serve in any city office at any time during the remainder of the term for which the
official was originally elected.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 140. Limitation on Recall.
No officer shall be subject to recall within six (6) months after induction
into office, nor
during the last six (6) months of the officer's term. If an officer is retained in office by any recall
election, the officer shall not be subject to recall within a period of six (6) months thereafter.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 141. Conduct of Initiative, Referendum and Recall Elections.
Notice of initiative, referendum and recall elections shall be given and publicized,
elections shall be conducted, the returns canvassed, and the results thereof declared in all
respects as are other city elections.
ARTICLE XVIII. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 142. Judicial Notice of the Charter.
This charter is declared to be a public act, and all courts shall take judicial
Section 143. Proof of Ordinance.
Any ordinance may be proved by a copy thereof certified by the city clerk under
the seal of the
city; or, when printed and published by authority of the city, shall be received in evidence in all
courts or other places without further proof of authenticity.
Section 144. Pending Actions and Proceedings.
No action or proceeding, civil or criminal, pending at the time this charter
shall take effect,
brought by or against the city or any office, department, agency or officer thereof, shall be
affected or abated by the adoption of this charter or by anything herein contained.
Section 145. Continuance of Contracts, Public Improvements and Taxes.
All contracts entered into by the city, or for its benefit, prior to the taking
effect of this charter,
shall continue in full force and effect. Public improvements for which legislative steps have been
taken under laws existing at the time this charter takes effect may be carried to completion as
nearly as practicable in accordance with the provisions of such existing laws. All taxes and
assessments levied or assessed, all fines and penalties imposed, and all other obligations owing
to the city which are uncollected at the time this charter becomes effective, shall continue in full
force and effect and shall be collected as if no change had been made.
Section 146. Transfer of Records and Property.
All records, property and equipment of any office, department or agency or part
powers and duties of which are assigned to any other office, department or agency by this
charter, shall be transferred and delivered to the office, department or agency to which such
powers and duties are assigned.
Section 147. Salaries.
The council shall, by ordinance not inconsistent with the provisions of this
charter relating to
the department of personnel, prescribe maximum and minimum salaries or other compensation
for all officers, employees, or classes of employees of the city. The city manager may determine
the compensation to be paid to each officer or employee within the limits so established. In no
case shall the salary or compensation of any officer or employee be based upon or measured by
Section 148. Oath of Office.
Before entering upon the duties of his office, every officer shall file with
the city clerk a
certificate of election or appointment, and shall take and subscribe before, and file with the city
clerk, an oath or affirmation that the officer possesses all the qualifications for the elective or
appointed office, that the officer is not subject to any of the disqualifications set forth in this
charter, that the officer will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the
State of Missouri, and the charter and ordinances of the City of Columbia, and that the officer
will faithfully discharge the duties of the office.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 149. Official Bonds.
The city manager, city clerk, city collector, director of finance, and all other
employees receiving, disbursing or responsible for city funds, and such other officers and
employees as the council by ordinance may designate, shall, within such time after election or
appointment as may be fixed by ordinance, and before entering upon the discharge of their
duties, give bond to the city in such sums and with such sureties as shall be prescribed by
ordinance, and subject to approval by the council, conditioned upon the faithful and proper
performance of their duties and for the prompt accounting for and paying over to the city of all
moneys belonging to the city that may come into their hands. The office or employment of any
person elected or appointed to any office or employment shall be forfeited if the person fails to
give bond as herein required. The city shall pay the premiums on all such bonds. Unless
otherwise provided by ordinance, the bond of the city clerk shall be filed with the mayor, and the
bonds of all other officers and employees shall be filed with the city clerk.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 150. Notice of Suits.
No action shall be maintained against the city for or on account of any injury
growing out of
alleged negligence of the city unless notice shall first have been given in writing to the city
manager within ninety (90) days of the occurrence for which said damage is claimed, stating the
place, time, character and circumstances of the injury, and that the person so injured will claim
damages therefor from the city.
Section 151. Judicial Bonds.
The city shall not be required to give bond in any judicial proceeding or appeal.
Section 152. Rates of Taxation.
The rates of taxation levied by the council shall be within the limits prescribed
by state law
applicable to cities adopting constitutional charters.
Section 153. Security of Deposits.
The council shall require all funds of the city in any city depository to be
by a deposit of obligations of the United States government in an amount satisfactory to the
Section 154. Remitting Taxes Prohibited.
No general or special tax or assessment, or interest or penalty thereon, shall
be remitted or
abated, or the right to enforce payment thereof released, except in correction of errors.
Section 155. Officers, Employees, Qualification.
No person shall be entitled to hold any office or employment who is in arrears
for any city
Section 156. Officers and Employees Interested in Contracts.
No officer or employee of the city shall have any interest in any contract or
sale to the city of
any land, materials, supplies or services, where said interest is in violation of the laws or
Constitution of the State of Missouri or ordinance of the City of Columbia. Any violation of this
section shall render the contract or sale void. The office or employment of any officer or
employee violating this section shall be forfeited.
(11-7-78; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 157. Power to Administer Oaths.
Any council member or the city clerk may administer oaths or affirmations in
pertaining to the affairs and government of the city.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 158. Condemnation Proceedings.
All proceedings for the condemnation of property or in the exercise of the right
domain shall be in accordance with the laws of the state now or hereafter applicable to cities of
the third class, or with such laws as may be provided for constitutional charter cities.
Section 159. Departmental Interchange.
In accordance with procedure established by the city manager and subject to
the city manager's
approval, it shall be the duty of the various department directors to furnish to any other
department such service, labor, equipment, or materials as may be requisitioned by the head of
such other department. The charge for such service, labor, equipment, or materials shall be made
to the department so furnished at actual cost or reasonable depreciated value.
(Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 160. Effect of Unconstitutional Provisions.
If any provision of this charter be held to be unconstitutional or void, this
shall not affect the
validity, force or effect of any other provision.
Section 161. Contracts and Ordinances Contrary to Charter.
All contracts, agreements, and other obligations entered into, and all ordinances
resolutions passed after the adoption of this charter and contrary to the provisions thereof shall
Section 162. Amending the Charter.
Amendments to this charter may be framed and submitted to the electors by a
the manner provided by law and the constitution for framing and submitting a complete charter.
Amendments may also be proposed by the council or by petition of not less than ten (10) per cent
of the registered qualified electors of the city, filed with the city clerk, setting forth the proposed
amendment. The Council shall at once provide by ordinance that any amendment so proposed
shall be submitted to the electors at the next general election held in the city after its passage and
consistent with state election laws, or at their discretion at a special election prior to the next
general election on a date established in conformance with state law at a special election held as
provided by law and the Constitution for a charter. Any amendment approved by a majority of
the qualified electors voting thereon shall become a part of the charter at the time and under the
conditions fixed in the amendment; sections or articles may be submitted separately or in the
alternative and determined as provided by law and the Constitution for a complete charter.
(Passed by election on April 7, 1981)
Section 163. (Repealed 4-3-01)
Section 164. Campaign Financing.
A. Every candidate for municipal election shall comply with all applicable laws
of the Constitution of the State of Missouri and ordinances of the City of Columbia relating to
campaign practices and the financing and conduct of campaigns for elective office.
B. The city council may, in appropriate cases, on notice of violations of any
such provision of
the Constitution, laws, or ordinance, and in addition to other available remedies, order the office
of any candidate who was elected to be forfeited, and may enter an order making any candidate,
regardless of whether the candidate was elected, ineligible to seek an elective municipal office
for two and one-half (2 1/2) years from the date of the election in which the violation occurred.
Should a forfeiture occur under this section, a vacancy shall be filled in accordance with Section
(11-7-78; Ord. No. 15113, § 1, 1-16-97)
Section 165. Adoption of Earnings Tax.
No earnings tax may be levied or imposed without the affirmative vote of a majority
qualified electors of the city voting thereon.
Section 166. Licensing, Taxation and Regulation of Occupations and Businesses.
The council shall have power by ordinance to license, tax and regulate all businesses,
occupations, professions, vocations, activities, or things whatsoever set forth and enumerated by
the statutes of this state now or hereafter applicable to constitutional charter cities, special
charter cities, cities of the first, second, third or fourth class, or of any population group, and
which such cities are now or may hereafter be permitted by law to license, tax and regulate.
Any ordinance imposing a license tax may divide and classify any subject of
taxation, and may
impose a different tax upon each class, but the tax shall be uniform for each class. A separate
license tax may be imposed for each place of business conducted or maintained by the same
person, firm or corporation.
All licenses shall be issued for such periods as may be provided by ordinance.