Albany County, New York
|Section||201.||County Legislature; status and title.|
|202.||County legislators; qualifications; term.|
|203.||Organization; officers; committees.|
Compensation of County Legislators, Chairperson, Clerk, deputy clerk, and other employees of the County Legislature.
|207.||Change in districts.|
|208.||Powers and duties of the County Legislature.|
|209.||Filing and publication of local laws; judicial notice.|
Section 201. County Legislature; status and title. The legislative branch of the government of the County shall consist of an elective governing body which shall be known as the Albany County Legislature. Its members shall be known as County Legislators. The County Legislators shall be elected from each of the districts into which the County shall be divided as provided in this Charter. The County Legislature shall constitute the legislative, appropriating and policy determining body of the County.
It is not the intention of this Charter to abolish, supersede, curtail or in any way affect any powers or rights heretofore conferred upon or delegated to the prior County legislature, nor shall the provisions of this Charter be construed as superseding any provisions of any law, resolution, or enactment having the effect of law, relating to the functions, powers, duties, rights, methods or procedures of the prior County Legislature, unless a contrary intention is clearly manifested from the express provisions of this Charter.
Section 202. County legislators; qualifications; term. All County Legislators shall be electors of the County and have been residents continuously in the County and the district represented for at least one year prior to taking office. Each County Legislator shall reside in the district from which that County Legislator seeks election at the time of nomination for office, and continue to be a resident of the County and of the district within the County which she represents for the entire term of her office, subject, however, to the following exception: in the case of an election immediately following the reapportionment of County Legislative districts, the incumbent County Legislator representing a district redrawn in such reapportionment shall be eligible for nomination for election in either the district of residence, or any newly drawn district which is contiguous to the district of residence, provided that the County Legislator shall become a resident of the district represented prior to taking office. Members of the County Legislature shall be nominated at the primary election in the same manner other County officers are nominated pursuant to the provisions of the Election Law.
Except as provided in this Section 202, or as otherwise provided by law, the term of office for each member of the County Legislature shall begin on January 1st following the member's election. The elections for County Legislators shall be conducted at the general election of 1995 and at general elections every fourth year thereafter.
Section 203. Organization; officers; committees. (a) The County Legislature shall meet on or before January 8th following its election, and in each even numbered year thereafter, for the purpose of organization and for the transaction of such other business as may come before it. After such organizational meeting, the County Legislature shall hold monthly meetings on the days designated in the rules of the County Legislature, and at such other times as it may fix by resolution, duly adopted by a vote of a majority of the Whole Number of the County Legislature, or as authorized by its rules.
(b) At the organizational meeting of the County Legislature a permanent Chairperson shall be elected. The Chairperson shall serve until the next organizational meeting of that County Legislature. In case of her death, removal, resignation or retirement from the County Legislature, a successor Chairperson shall be elected for the unexpired term. In the event of a failure to elect a permanent chairperson on any day provided in this Charter, the County Legislature shall adjourn from day to day, Sundays and holidays excepted, until a Chairperson is elected.
(c) The Chairperson shall have and may cast the vote to which she is entitled as a member of the County Legislature.
(d) At the organizational meeting of the County Legislature in January 1996, and at each organizational meeting thereafter, the County Legislature shall appoint a Clerk, a deputy clerk, and such majority and minority counsels as it may deem appropriate, together with such other employees as it may deem necessary. Such officers and employees of the County Legislature shall serve until the next organizational meeting of the County legislature. Any majority and minority counsels which may be appointed shall be appointed in the manner provided for in the rules of the County Legislature. The deputy clerk shall perform the duties of the Clerk in the Clerk's absence and such other duties in connection with that office as directed by the County legislature or Clerk. The Clerk and deputy clerk shall each give a bond in amount, and with such sureties as the County Legislature shall require.
(e) The County Legislature shall have power to enact local laws, resolutions or rules fixing the dates and time of its sessions, which shall govern the conduct of the members at such sessions and the manner of transacting business, prescribe penalties for the failure of members to attend stated or adjourned meetings and the manner of enforcing or collecting such penalties, and fix the time when and the form in which reports shall be made to the County Legislature by any officer of the County.
(f) The standing committees prescribed by the rules of the County Legislature, or by any local law adopted by the County Legislature, or which may hereafter be adopted by the County Legislature, shall be appointed by the Chairperson within twenty days of the Chairperson's election. Such appointments shall be in writing and filed with the Clerk of the County Legislature, who shall give notice of such appointments to the members of the County Legislature. The committee members shall continue in office until successors have been appointed, but no member of the County Legislature whose term shall have expired, or who shall have resigned or been removed from office, shall continue to serve on any committee after she has ceased being a member of the County Legislature.
(g) The rules of the County Legislature shall indicate the proportionate make up of majority and minority members of committees.
Section 204. Compensation of County legislators, Chairperson, Clerk, deputy clerk, and other employees of the County Legislature. The County Legislature shall have the power to fix the compensation of its members and the Chairperson, which compensation shall be a stated annual salary to be paid in equal monthly installments by the County director of finance (the "Director of Finance"). The County Legislature may, however, fix the initial compensation of the County Legislature prior to the next election of such County Legislature. The compensation of the members and the Chairperson shall not be increased nor decreased during the term of office.
Expenses actually incurred by any County Legislator under the authority or direction of the County Legislature, outside the limits of the County, may be paid in the manner as other County charges, but no claims for expenses shall be audited or allowed which are not fully itemized and verified by affidavit of the claimant in the manner prescribed by law.
The Clerk, deputy clerk, and any majority and minority counsels and other employees of the County Legislature shall each receive a stated annual salary which shall be fixed by the County Legislature and paid in the same manner as other County salaries are paid.
The County Legislature shall have sole responsibility for the organization, appointment and removal of its staff. The County Legislature shall also have responsibility for the compensation to be paid for such legislative staff positions within the appropriations approved by the County Executive for such staff.
Section 205. Vacancies. A vacancy in the County Legislature shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the County Legislature within forty days of the vacancy. The appointee shall serve until the January lst following the next general election., at which election such vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term. Any successor so appointed or elected shall possess all the qualifications required of members of the County Legislature as set forth in this Charter.
Any vacancy in any committee of the County legislature shall be filled by appointment by the Chairperson.
Section 206. Districts. For the purpose of electing County Legislators, the County shall be divided into thirty nine districts. One County Legislator shall be elected to the County Legislature of the County from each of the districts. The thirty nine districts within the County shall be as described in apportionment plans duly adopted by the County legislature.
Section 207. Change in districts. The County Legislature shall appoint a reapportionment commission of seven persons evaluate the existing County legislative districts for equity and representation in relation to population: (a) within six months after the publication of census tracts and block statistics based upon each federal census taken in the County; or (b) within six months after the publication of census tracts and block statistics based upon any federal or special population census, taken pursuant to Section 20 of the General Municipal Law, and held not more than once every five years; or (c) after any annexation which has the effect of increasing or decreasing the population of any County Legislative district by more than ten percent. The reapportionment commission shall include representation of the two principal political parties, and residents of the County in such proportion so as to reasonably reflect the demographic composition of the County.
The reapportionment commission shall review the population data and within three months after appointment shall make recommendations, if necessary, in the form of a proposed local law as to changes in the boundaries of County Legislative districts. In its deliberations to redesign County Legislative districts, the reapportionment commission shall consider the application of the "one person, one vote" concept and the equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1, Sections I and II, of the New York State Constitution.
Section 208. Powers and duties of County Legislature. The County Legislature shall have and exercise all of the powers and duties conferred upon the County Legislature as set forth in this Charter and now or hereafter generally conferred by applicable law, as well as all powers necessarily incidental thereto, and shall, for the purposes of general laws conferring powers upon boards of supervisors, be deemed a board of supervisors, and be the policy making body of the County.
The County Legislature shall also have, but not by way of limitation, the following powers and duties:
(a) determining policy for the County and to adopt all necessary rules and regulations for its conduct and procedure;
(b) making appropriations, levy taxes, and incur indebtedness;
(c) equalizing real property taxes consistent with standards prescribed by State law and on the basis of information supplied by the New York State Board of Equalization and Assessment and the County Real Property Tax Service Agency;
(d) exercising all powers of local legislation in relation to enacting, amending or rescinding local laws, legalizing acts, ordinances or resolutions, subject to the veto of the County Executive as set forth in Section 309 of this Charter;
(e) adopting, amending or repealing by local law an Administrative Code, subject to the veto of the County Executive as set forth in Section 309 of this Charter, which shall set forth the details of administration of the County government, consistent with the provisions of this Charter. The Administrative Code may contain revisions and restatements of special laws, local laws, resolutions, rules and regulations as are consistent with this Charter;
(f) establishing a schedule of compensation for officers and employees paid from County funds. This schedule of compensation may establish a minimum and maximum for any class of employees, and an increase in compensation, within the limits provided for by any class of employees, as may be granted at any time by the County Executive or other appointing authority;
(g) fixing the amount of bonds of officers and employees paid from County funds;
(h) legalizing and validating any act had and taken in connection with a lawful municipal purpose by the governing board or other local body, officer or agency of a municipality wholly within the County, in the manner provided by Section 227 of the County Law;
(i) exercising legislative oversight of County programs and Administrative Units;
(j) adopting a budget in the manner set forth in the Charter;
(k) confirming, pursuant to Section 302 of this Charter, Administrative Unit Heads appointed by the County Executive;
(l) creating, altering, combining or abolishing Administrative Units within County government, provided that such Administrative Units are not headed by elected officials;
(m) approving contracts for the purchase and sale of real property, contracts for intergovernmental services and collective bargaining agreements, and those contracts subject to and in accordance with Article 13 of this Charter;
(n) determining and making provision for any matter of County government not otherwise provided for;
(o) preparing a Legislative Operational Budget; and
(p) designating on an annual basis, official newspapers for the publication of all enactments, notices and other matters required by law to be published.
Section 209. Filing and publication of local laws; judicial notice. The filing and publication of local laws shall be as provided in Section 27 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, and the courts shall take judicial notice all local laws adopted in such manner.
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