Porter City Ordinances
PART 3: ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENTS, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Chapter 30: General Provisions
City Council meetings
Order of business
Ordinance, resolutions, motions, petitions and communications
Suspension or amendment of rules
Compensation of Mayor and Council Members
Compensation of officers and employees
Quorum for conducting business
Fees and charges
§ 30.01 CITY
Regular meetings of the City Council shall be held at least once each month
at a date, time and place as established by the City Council.
Any regular meeting falling upon a holiday shall be held on the next
following business day at the same time and place.
All meetings, including special and adjourned meetings, shall be held
in the city hall unless the City Council decides otherwise at a prior
meeting, or meeting in the city hall is impossible.
The Mayor or any two members of the City Council may call a special meeting
of the City Council upon at least 24 hours written notice to each member of
the City Council. This notice
shall be delivered personally to each member or shall be left at the
member's usual place of residence with some responsible person.
Pursuant to M.S. § 471.705, as it may be amended from time to time,
written notice of any special meeting shall be posted giving the date, time,
place and purpose of the meeting at least three days before the meeting.
Written notice shall be mailed at least three days before the meeting
to anyone who has filed a written request for notice of special meetings.
In calculating the three days, if the last day falls on a Saturday,
Sunday or legal holiday, the next regular business day shall be counted as
the third day.
Notice of emergency meetings shall be given as required by M.S.
§ 471.705, Subd. 1c(c), as it may be amended from time to time.
An emergency meeting is a meeting defined by M.S. § 471.705, Subd.
1c(c), as it may be amended from time to time.
At the first regular City Council meeting in January of each year, the City
Designate the depositories of city funds;
Designate the official newspaper;
Choose one of the Council Members as Acting Mayor, who shall perform
the duties of the Mayor during the disability or absence of the Mayor from
the city or, in case of a vacancy in the office of Mayor, until a successor
has been appointed and qualifies;
Appoint officers and employees and members of departments, boards,
commissions and committees as may be necessary;
Establish and appoint Council Members to those City Council
committees as are deemed appropriate for the efficient and orderly
management of the city.
All City Council meetings, including special, emergency and adjourned
meetings and meetings of City Council committees, shall be conducted in
accordance with the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, M.S. § 471.705, as it may be
amended from time to time.
Who presides. The
Mayor shall preside at all meetings of the City Council.
In the absence of the Mayor, the Acting Mayor shall preside.
In the absence of both, the City Clerk shall call the meeting to
order and shall preside until the Council Members present at the meeting
choose one of their number to act temporarily as presiding officer.
presiding officer shall preserve order, enforce any rules of procedure
adopted by the City Council, and determine without debate, subject to the
final decision of the City Council on appeal, all questions of procedure and
Any member may appeal to the City Council a ruling of the presiding officer.
If the appeal is seconded, the member may speak once solely on the
question involved and the presiding officer may explain the ruling, but no
other Council Member shall participate in the discussion.
The appeal shall be sustained if it is approved by a majority of the
members present, including the presiding officer.
Minutes of each City Council meeting shall be kept by the City Clerk or, in
the City Clerk's absence, by the Deputy City Clerk.
In the absence of both, the presiding officer shall appoint a
secretary pro tem. Ordinances,
resolutions and claims need not be recorded in full in the minutes if they
appear in other permanent records of the City Clerk and can be accurately
identified from the description given in the minutes.
minutes of each meeting shall be reduced to typewritten form, shall be
signed by the City Clerk, and copies thereof shall be delivered to each
Council Member as soon as practicable after the meeting.
At the next regular City Council meeting following the delivery,
approval of the minutes shall be considered by the City Council.
The minutes need not be read aloud, but the presiding officer shall
call for any additions or corrections.
If there is no objection to a proposed addition or correction, it may
be made without a vote of the City Council. If there is an objection, the
City Council shall vote upon the addition or correction.
If there are no additions or corrections, the minutes shall stand
ORDER OF BUSINESS.
Each meeting of the City Council shall convene at the time and place
appointed therefore. The City
Council has the power to regulate its own procedure.
City Council business may be conducted in the following order unless
varied by the City Council:
Call to order.
Approval of minutes.
Petitions, requests, and communications.
Ordinances and resolutions.
Reports of officers, boards, and committees.
Petitions and agenda.
Petitions and other papers addressed to the City Council shall be
read by the City Clerk upon presentation of the same to the City Council.
All persons desiring to present new business before the City Council
shall inform the City Clerk thereof at least 24 hours before new business is
to be heard. The City Clerk may
prepare an agenda of the new business for submission to the City Council on
or before the time of the next regular meeting.
The votes of the Council Members on any question may be
taken in any manner which signifies the intention of the individual members,
and the votes of the Council Members on any action taken shall be recorded
in the minutes. The vote of
each Council Member shall be recorded on each appropriation of money, except
for payments of judgments, claims and amounts fixed by statute.
If any Council Member is present but does not vote, the minutes, as
to his or her name, shall be marked “Present-Not Voting.”
§ 30.06 ORDINANCE, RESOLUTIONS, MOTIONS, PETITIONS AND
Signing and publication proof.
Every ordinance and resolution passed by the City Council shall be
signed by the Mayor, attested by the City Clerk, and filed by the City Clerk
in the ordinance or resolution book.
Proof of publication of every ordinance shall be attached and filed
with the ordinance.
Repeals and amendments.
Every ordinance or resolution repealing a previous ordinance or
resolution or a section or subdivision thereof shall give the number, if
any, and the part of the ordinance or code number of the ordinance or
resolution to be repealed in whole or in part.
Each ordinance or resolution amending an existing ordinance or
resolution or part thereof shall set forth in full each amended section or
subdivision as it will read with the amendment.
SUSPENSION OR AMENDMENT OF RULES.
These rules may be suspended only by a two-thirds vote of
the members present and voting.
COMPENSATION OF MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS.
The compensation of the Mayor and the compensation of
each Council Member shall be established from time to time by City Council
ordinance pursuant to M.S. § 415.11, as it may be amended from time to time.
COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES.
Officers and employees of the city shall be compensated
at a rate as established from time to time by City Council ordinance.
QUORUM FOR CONDUCTING BUSINESS.
A quorum shall consist of a majority of the entire City Council,
including the Mayor. A quorum
shall be necessary to transact the business of the City Council.
If no quorum is present, the City Council shall not thereby stand
adjourned, but the members present shall adjourn or recess the City Council
by a majority vote.
§ 30.11 FEES
The City Council may enact an ordinance establishing
those fees and charges that are authorized by this code.
Until that ordinance becomes effective, all fees and charges
established by ordinance or resolution prior to the adoption of this code
shall remain in effect. All
fees and charges established by the ordinance establishing fees and charges
may be amended from time to time by amendment of that ordinance.
DEPARTMENTS, BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Volunteer Fire Department
Volunteer Fire Department continued
Duties of Chief
Duties of Fire Marshal
Loss of membership
Interference with Volunteer Fire Department
Establishment of the Planning Commission
Organization, meetings, minutes and expenditures
Powers and duties; comprehensive plan
VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT CONTINUED
There is continued in this city a Volunteer Fire Department, which
department shall have the following officers: a Chief, and Assistant Chief,
and a Fire Marshal.
DUTIES OF CHIEF.
The Chief shall have control of all fire fighting
apparatus and shall be responsible for its care and condition.
The Chief shall make a report semi-annually to the City Council at
its meeting in March and in September as to the condition of the equipment
and needs of the Volunteer Fire Department.
The Chief may submit additional reports and recommendations at any
meeting of the City Council, and he or she shall report each suspension by
him or her of a member of the Volunteer Fire Department at the first meeting
of the City Council following the suspension.
The Chief shall be responsible for the proper training and discipline
of the members of the Volunteer Fire Department and may suspend any member
for refusal or neglect to obey orders pending final action by the City
Council on his or her discharge or retention.
DUTIES OF FIRE MARSHAL.
The office of Fire Marshal may be held by the Chief if
the City Council approves. The
Fire Marshal shall be charged with the enforcement of all city ordinances
and laws of the state for fire prevention including, if authorized by the
City Council, the Uniform Fire Code, Minn. Rules Ch. 7510, as it may be
amended from time to time. The
Fire Marshal shall have full authority to inspect all premises and to cause
the removal or abatement of all fire hazards.
The Chief shall keep in convenient form a record of all
fires. The record shall include
the time of the alarm, location of fire, cause of fire if known, type of
building, name of owner or tenant, purpose for which occupied, value of
building and contents, members of the Volunteer Fire Department responding
to the alarm and other information as he or she may deem advisable or as may
be required from time to time by the City Council or state law or
It shall be the duty of the Chief, when the weather
permits, to hold practice drills for the Volunteer Fire Department and to
give the firefighters instruction in approved methods of fire fighting and
In the absence or disability of the Chief of the
Volunteer Fire Department, the Assistant Chief shall perform all functions
and exercise all of the authority of the Chief.
Firefighters shall not be less than 18 years of age and
§ 31.27 LOSS
Loss of membership shall be determined and enforced by
the Volunteer Fire Department according to the bylaws as stated in § 31.30.
The members and officers of the Volunteer Fire Department
may receive compensation as provided by the City Council.
INTERFERENCE WITH VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT.
It shall be unlawful for any person to give or make, or
cause to be given or made, an alarm of fire without probable cause, or to
neglect or refuse to obey any reasonable order of the Chief or other
firefighter at a fire, or to interfere with the Volunteer Fire Department in
the discharge of its duties.
Penalty, see § 10.99
The existing bylaws shall remain in effect.
The Volunteer Fire Department may amend these bylaws for its
government, which bylaws shall be effective upon approval by the City
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION.
A Planning Commission for the city is hereby established.
The Planning Commission shall be the city planning agency authorized
by M.S. § 462.354(1), as it may be amended from time to time.
The Planning Commission shall consist of five members from the
resident population of the city to be appointed by the Mayor with the
approval of the City Council.
Terms shall commence on the first day of January in the year of appointment.
Upon expiration of a term, the appointee shall continue until
reappointed or a successor is appointed.
Absences from any three meetings in a year, unless excused in advance
by the Chair, constitutes a vacancy.
In the event of any vacancy, the Mayor, with the approval of the City
Council, shall appoint a person to complete the unexpired term.
Two members shall be from the membership of the City Council, to be
appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.
The members from the City Council shall serve for a one year term to
expire on December 31 of each year.
Terms of office for members other than Council members shall be for
three years, except that two members shall initially serve a term of two
years; and thereafter terms of three years.
Other persons may serve in an ex officio capacity as the City Council
may, in its discretion, deem appropriate.
Each of the five regular Planning Commission members shall have equal
voting privileges. Any member
may be removed for cause by majority vote of the City Council upon written
charge and after a public hearing.
ORGANIZATION, MEETINGS, MINUTES AND EXPENDITURES.
At the first regular meeting in each calendar year, the Planning
Commission shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson from among its
appointed members, each for a term of one year.
The secretary of the Planning Commission shall be the City Clerk.
The Planning Commission may create and fill other offices as it may
The Planning Commission shall schedule at least one meeting each
month at the time and place as they may fix by resolution.
Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chairperson, or in
the case of the Chairperson's absence, by the Vice-Chairperson.
Written minutes of meetings shall be kept and filed with the City
Clerk prior to the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting, but shall
be subject to approval at the next Planning Commission meeting.
No expenditures by the Planning Commission shall be made unless and
until authorized for the purpose by the City Council.
POWERS AND DUTIES; COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.
Planning Commission shall exercise the duties conferred upon it by this
The planning commission may prepare a comprehensive plan as deemed
Pursuant to M.S. § 462.357(3), as it may be amended from time to time, the
Planning Commission shall review all proposed amendments to the zoning
ordinance, take part in public hearings, and make recommendations to the
City Council as may be prescribed by the zoning ordinance.
The Planning Commission may make recommendations on all requests for a
conditional use permit under the terms of the zoning ordinance.
The Planning Commission shall report its recommendations to the City
Council for action.
The Planning Commission may make recommendations in relation to the
subdividing of land as prescribed by the ordinance.
The Planning Commission shall report its recommendations to the City
Council for action.
Variances and Appeals.
All applications for variances and appeals shall be referred to the
Planning Commission which shall have the powers of a Board of Appeals and
adjustments as provided for in M.S. § 462.357, Subd. 6 , as it may be
amended from time to time, and forwarded with or without recommendations
directly to the City Council for its decision.
The Board of Appeals shall be advisory to the City Council.
Variances may be granted from the literal provisions of an ordinance
only where strict enforcement would cause undue hardship because of
circumstances unique to the individual property under consideration as
authorized by M.S. § 462.357, Subd. 6(2) as it may be amended from time to
Chapter 32: Emergency
Policy and purpose
Establishment of emergency management organization
Powers and duties of Director
Emergency management a government function
Participation in labor disputes or politics
§ 32.01 POLICY AND PURPOSE.
Because of the existing possibility of the occurrence of
disasters of unprecedented size and destruction resulting from fire, flood,
tornado, blizzard, destructive winds or other natural causes, or from
sabotage, hostile action, or from hazardous material mishaps of catastrophic
measure; and in order to insure that preparations of this city will be
adequate to deal with those disasters, and generally, to provide for the
common defense and to protect the public peace, health, and safety, and to
preserve the lives and property of the people of this city, it is hereby
found and declared to be necessary:
To establish a city emergency management organization responsible for
city planning and preparation for emergency government operations in time of
To provide for the exercise of necessary powers during emergencies
To provide for the rendering of mutual aid between this city and
other political subdivisions of this state and of other states with respect
to the carrying out of emergency‑preparedness functions.
To comply with the provisions of M.S. § 12.25, as it may be amended
from time to time, which requires that each political subdivision of the
state shall establish a local organization for emergency management.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following
definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a
A situation which creates an immediate and serious impairment to the
health and safety of any person, or a situation which has resulted in or is
likely to result in catastrophic loss to property, and for which traditional
sources of relief and assistance within the affected area are unable to
repair or prevent the injury or loss.
An unforeseen combination of circumstances which calls for immediate
action to prevent from developing or occurring.
The preparation for and the carrying out of all emergency functions,
other than functions for which military forces are primarily responsible, to
prevent, minimize, and repair injury and damage resulting from disasters
caused by fire, flood, tornado, and other acts of nature, or from sabotage,
hostile action, or from industrial hazardous material mishaps.
These functions include, without limitation, fire-fighting services,
police services, emergency medical services, engineering, warning services,
communications, radiological, and chemical, evacuation, congregate care,
emergency transportation, existing or properly assigned functions of plant
protection, temporary restoration of public utility services and other
functions related to civil protection, together with all other activities
necessary or incidental for carrying out the foregoing functions.
Emergency management includes those activities sometimes referred to
as “civil defense” functions.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FORCES.
The total personnel resources engaged in city‑level emergency
management functions in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or
any rule or order thereunder.
This includes personnel from city departments, authorized volunteers, and
private organizations and agencies.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION.
The staff responsible for coordinating city‑level planning and
preparation for disaster response.
This organization provides city liaison and coordination with
federal, state, and local jurisdictions relative to disaster preparedness
activities and assures implementation of federal and state program
ESTABLISHMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION.
There is hereby created within the city government an
emergency management organization which shall be under the supervision and
control of the City Emergency Management Director, called the Director.
The Director shall be appointed by the Mayor with approval of the
City Council for an indefinite term and may be removed by him or her at any
time. The Director shall serve
with a salary as established by the City Council and shall be paid his or
her necessary expenses. The
Director shall have direct responsibility for the organization,
administration and operation of the emergency preparedness organization,
subject to the direction and control of the City Council.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF DIRECTOR.
The Director, with the consent of the Mayor, shall represent the city
on any regional or state conference for emergency management.
The Director shall develop proposed mutual aid agreements with other
political subdivisions of the state for reciprocal emergency management aid
and assistance in an emergency too great to be dealt with unassisted, and
shall present these agreements to the Council for its action.
These arrangements shall be consistent with the State Emergency Plan.
The Director shall make studies and surveys of the human resources,
industries, resources, and facilities of the city as deemed necessary to
determine their adequacy for emergency management and to plan for their most
efficient use in time of an emergency or disaster.
The Director shall coordinate the emergency management activities of
the city to the end that they shall be consistent and fully integrated with
the emergency plans of the federal government and the state and correlated
with emergency plans of the county and other political subdivisions within
In accordance with the State and City Emergency Plan, the Director
shall institute training programs, public information programs and conduct
practice warning alerts and emergency exercises as may be necessary to
assure prompt and effective operation of the City Emergency Plan when a
The Director shall utilize the personnel, services, equipment,
supplies, and facilities of existing departments and agencies of the city to
the maximum extent practicable.
The officers and personnel of all city departments and agencies shall, to
the maximum extent practicable, cooperate with and extend services and
facilities to the city's emergency management organization and to the
Governor upon request. The head
of each department or agency in cooperation with the Director shall be
responsible for the planning and programming of those emergency activities
and will involve the utilization of the facilities of the department or
The Director shall, in cooperation with those city departments and
agencies affected, assist in the organizing, recruiting, and training of
emergency management personnel, which may be required on a volunteer basis
to carry out the emergency plans of the city and state.
To the extent that emergency personnel are recruited to augment a
regular city department or agency for emergencies, they shall be assigned to
the departments or agencies and shall be under the administration and
control of the department or agency.
Consistent with the state emergency services law, the Director shall
coordinate the activity of municipal emergency management organizations
within the city and assist in establishing and conducting training programs
as required to assure emergency operational capability in the several
services as provided by M.S. § 12.25, as it may be amended from time to
The Director shall carry out all orders, rules, and regulations
issued by the Governor with reference to emergency management.
A local emergency may be declared only by the Mayor or his or her
legal successor. It shall not
be continued for a period in excess of three days except by or with the
consent of the Council. Any
order, or proclamation declaring, continuing, or terminating a local
emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed in
the office of the City Clerk.
A declaration of a local emergency shall invoke necessary portions of
the response and recovery aspects of applicable local or
inter-jurisdictional disaster plans, and may authorize aid and assistance
No jurisdictional agency or official may declare a local emergency
unless expressly authorized by the agreement under which the agency
functions. However, an
inter-jurisdictional disaster agency shall provide aid and services in
accordance with the agreement under which it functions.
Whenever necessary, to meet a declared emergency or to prepare for an
emergency for which adequate regulations have not been adopted by the
Governor or the Council, the Council may by resolution promulgate
regulations, consistent with applicable federal or state law or regulation,
respecting: the conduct of
persons and the use of property during emergencies; the repair, maintenance,
and safeguarding of essential public services, emergency health, fire, and
safety regulations, drills or practice periods required for preliminary
training; and all other matters which are required to protect public safety,
health, and welfare in declared emergencies.
Every resolution of emergency regulations shall be in writing; shall
be dated; shall refer to the particular emergency to which it pertains, if
so limited; and shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk.
A copy shall be kept posted and available for public inspection
during business hours. Notice
of the existence of these regulations and their availability for inspection
at the City Clerk's Office shall be conspicuously posted at the front of the
city hall or other headquarters of the city or at other places in the
affected area as the Council shall designate in the resolution.
By resolution, the Council may modify or rescind a regulation.
The Council may rescind any regulation by resolution at any time.
If not sooner rescinded, every regulation shall expire at the end of
30 days after its effective date or at the end of the emergency to which it
relates, whichever comes first.
Any resolution, rule, or regulation inconsistent with an emergency
regulation promulgated by the Council shall be suspended during the period
of time and to the extent conflict exists.
During a declared emergency, the city is, under the provisions of
M.S. § 12.31, as it may be amended from time to time and notwithstanding any
statutory or Charter provision to the contrary, empowered, through its
Council, acting within or without the corporate limits of the city, to enter
into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat the disaster by
protecting the health and safety of persons and property and providing
emergency assistance to the victims of a disaster.
The city may exercise these powers in the light of the exigencies of
the disaster without compliance with the time-consuming procedures and
formalities prescribed by law pertaining to the performance of public work,
entering rental equipment agreements, purchase of supplies and materials,
limitations upon tax levies, and the appropriation and expenditure of public
funds, including, but not limited to, publication of resolutions,
publication of calls for bids, provisions of personnel laws and rules,
provisions relating to low bids, and requirement for bids.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT A GOVERNMENT FUNCTION.
All functions and activities relating to emergency
management are hereby declared to be governmental functions.
The provisions of this section shall not affect the right of any
person to receive benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled under
this resolution or under the worker's compensation law, or under any pension
law, nor the right of any person to receive any benefits or compensation
under any act of Congress.
PARTICIPATION IN LABOR DISPUTES OR POLITICS.
The emergency management organization shall not
participate in any form of political activity, nor shall it be employed
directly or indirectly for political purposes, nor shall it be employed in a
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or
any regulation adopted thereunder relating to acts, omissions, or conduct
other than official acts of city employees or officers is guilty of a