Mayoral Duties According to Our City Charter
The the duties and responsibilities for position of mayor in the city of Rochester can be found in the City Charter. The greatest responsibility is chief magistrate. This role involves overseeing the police department. The other major duty is appointing members of all of the boards and commission prescribed by the City Charter and City Code. It is critical that voters are aware of what the City Charter does and does not allow the mayor to do. The mayor is also the chief ambassador of the city.
SECTION 4.00. - (Mayor; duties)
Except as otherwise provided in this Charter, the mayor shall have those duties and powers provided in this section.
The mayor shall be chief magistrate or executive officer of the city. The mayor shall take care that the laws of the state, the provisions of this charter and the ordinances of the city are duly observed and enforced within the city. They mayor shall have general supervision and control of all of the officers and departments of the city government. The mayor shall take care that all other officers of the city discharge their respective duties, and to that end may maintain any action of mandamus or other appropriate action, against any delinquent city officer. The mayor shall from time to time give the common council such information and recommend such measures as the mayor shall deem advantageous to the city. The mayor may, whenever the mayor shall deem necessary, require of any city officer an exhibit of his books and papers. The mayor shall possess such further powers and perform such further duties as may be conferred or prescribed by this charter, or by any act of the legislature of the State of Minnesota, which is or shall be applicable to the City of Rochester, or by any city ordinance or regulation duly passed or adopted in pursuance thereof.
(Amended by Ord. No. 3065, effective February 8, 1997)
· SECTION 4.01. - (Execution of documents).
The mayor shall sign all appointments, commissions, licenses and permits granted by the common council, and all warrants, certificates of indebtedness and orders drawn on the treasurer by order of the common council for the payment of money except as provided in Section 11.01. The mayor shall sign all bonds and other obligations on behalf of the city.
All deeds, leases or other conveyance or written transfers of property made, and all written contracts entered into by the city, and all bonds or other evidence of debt issued by the city, shall on behalf of the city, be signed by the mayor and attested by the city clerk.
Notwithstanding any provision in this section to the contrary, the common council may by resolution adopt such procedures or policies it deems advisable for the approval and execution of contracts.
(Ord. No. 4163, August 4, 2014)
· SECTION 4.02. - (Service of process).
Upon service of notice, summons or process in any action or proceeding against the city, the mayor shall forthwith inform the city attorney and the common council thereof.
· SECTION 4.03. - (Veto power).
The mayor shall possess the veto power over all ordinances, resolutions, findings of fact, conclusions of law and orders, and motions of the common council. Such veto power shall be exercised in the manner and subject to the restrictions hereinafter set forth.
(Amended by Ord. No. 3770, effective June 5, 2006)
· SECTION 4.04. - (Vacancy in office).
(Repealed by Ord. No. 3032, effective August 10, 1996)
· SECTION 4.05. - (Absence from city).
During the absence of the mayor from the city, or in case of the mayor's disability for any reason to discharge the duties of his office, the councilmember-at-large shall, for the time being, exercise all powers and discharge all duties of the mayor. The councilmember-at-large while discharging the duties of mayor shall be styled the "acting mayor" and whose acts in that capacity shall have the same force and validity as if performed by the mayor.
During the absence of both the mayor and the councilmember-at-large from the city or in case of the disability for any reason of the person then discharging the duties of the office of mayor, a councilmember selected by the council shall, for the time being, exercise all powers and discharge all duties of the office of mayor. The selected councilmember, also acting as mayor, shall be styled the "acting mayor" whose acts in that capacity shall have the same force and validity as if performed by the mayor.
The councilmember-at-large or the selected councilmember serving as "acting mayor" shall not possess the power of veto as set out in Section 4.03.
During the absence of the councilmember-at-large from the city, or in case of the councilmember-at-large's disability for any reason to discharge the duties of the office, a councilmember selected by the council as hereinafter provided shall, for the time being, exercise all powers and discharge all duties of the councilmember-at-large.
At its annual meeting, the common council shall establish an order of succession to discharge the duties of the councilmember-at-large in the event of the councilmembers-at-large's absence or disability.
CHAPTER IX. - POLICE DEPARTMENT
· SECTION 9.00. - (Department established).
There shall be in the city a police department, of which the mayor shall have such control and supervision as is not vested by law in the police civil service commission and of which department the mayor shall be the chief executive officer and head. Said department shall consist of a chief of police and such patrol officers as from time to time may be authorized by the common council. All members of said department shall be appointed by the mayor. In the event the police civil service commission shall at any time be abolished, the powers of such commission shall be exercised by the common council and the department shall operate under rules and regulations established by the common council.
· SECTION 9.01. - (Citizenship required).
Any person to be eligible to appointment in the police department shall be a citizen of the United States, shall be able to read and write the English language, and shall not have been convicted of a felony.
· SECTION 9.02. - (Chief of police).
The chief of police shall possess the powers of the constable at common law and under the statutes of this state. The chief shall have ability to pursue and arrest, in the city or beyond the limits thereof, or in any part of the state, any person charged with or who has committed any violation of any state law or ordinance of the city, and the violation of any city ordinance shall be deemed a public offense.
· SECTION 9.03. - (Prohibitions).
Any member of the police department who shall accept, directly or indirectly, from any person while in their custody or after discharge, any gratuity or reward, or any kind of food, refreshment or intoxicating drink; or who shall receive from any person, without the written permission of the mayor, any reward for the arrest of any thief, or for any recovery of any foods, money, compensation for damages sustained while in the discharge of his duties, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
· SECTION 9.04. - (Compensation).
Except as herein otherwise provided, the compensation of the chief of police, patrol officers and other employees of the police department shall be fixed by the common council in the same manner as the compensations of other appointive city officers are fixed.
Mayor Veto Power
SECTION 6.031. - (Veto of actions taken by motion).
If the mayor objects to any action taken by the common council by motion, the mayor shall within seven days of approval of that action, provide a written notice of veto to the city clerk with a statement of his objections to that action.
(Ord. No. 3770, June 5, 2006; Ord. No. 4327, December 14, 2017)
· SECTION 6.04. - (Override of veto).
Upon the return of an ordinance, resolution, or findings of fact, conclusions of law and order to the common council without the mayor's approval, or upon the receipt of a written notice of veto of a motion from the mayor, the question shall again be put upon the passage of the same, notwithstanding the objections of the mayor, and if upon such vote, which shall be taken by a call for the ayes and nayes, five-sevenths ( 5/7 ) of all the members of the common council shall vote in favor of such ordinance, resolution, findings of fact, conclusions of law and order or motion, the same shall be declared enacted, and shall have the same force and effect as if approved by the mayor.
(Amended by Ord. No. 3770, effective June 5, 2006)
CHAPTER XV. - UTILITY BOARD (for example)
· SECTION 15.00. - (Utility board created).
A public utility board is hereby created to control, manage, and operate the public utility systems of the city as hereinafter provided. The board shall consist of five members. Four members shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the common council from among the resident citizens of the city. No person who holds another public office or who is an employee of the city shall serve as a resident citizen member. The term of office of each resident citizen shall be four years. One member shall be appointed by the common council from among its own membership and the term of office of such member shall be two years. All terms shall begin and expire on the second Tuesday in January, except that any term of office in effect on January 1, 1996, shall be extended to the second Tuesday in January of the year following the term's original expiration date.
Organizational Structure Police Civil Service Commission
The Police Civil Service Commission will consist of three members appointed by the Mayor. One regular meeting is required annually. Special meetings to be held as called.
Police Policy Oversight Commission
City Ordinance 19D: An ordinance that establishes the Police Policy Oversight Commission.
Prior to the Pandemic, Commission met in City Hall Conference Room 104 the second Monday of every month at 6 PM. Due to COVID, meetings are held virtually via Microsoft Teams with dates and times that vary. Virtual meetings occur every month and are recorded. Meeting notices get posted on the city website. Additional information can be found in the meetings portion of the www.rochestermn.gov website.