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City Charter


*Editor's note:  Part I contains the city's Charter as adopted August 7, 1984. The absence of a history note following a particular section indicates that such section is set out as adopted by the electorate on August 7, 1984; conversely, a history note enclosed in parentheses indicates an amendment to a section on the date shown in such history note. Formerly, Part I contained the city's Charter as adopted November 4, 1924, as amended on the following dates: November 5, 1946; April 7, 1969; November 6, 1973; November 8, 1977; and August 4, 1981.

State constitutional law reference--Power to adopt and amend Charter, Mich. Const. 1963, art. VII, § 22.
State law references:  Home rule cities generally, MCL 117.1 et seq.


Appendix A-Preamble
We, the people of Petoskey, Michigan, committed to the principles of citizen participation in framing public policy, the accountability of municipal service as a public trust, and the mutual effort for the well-being of our residents in a unique environment, do ordain this Charter.

Chapter 1--Incorporation and Powers

Sec. 1.1.  Incorporation
The municipal corporation now existing and known as the "City of Petoskey" as its limits now are or may be established shall continue as a municipal corporation under the laws of the State of Michigan.
Sec. 1.2.  Boundaries
The City shall be comprised of the territory constituting the City of Petoskey on the effective date of this Charter (January 1, 1985) as described in Appendix A attached. Any lawful changes in these boundaries shall not require amendment of this section.
Section 1.3.  Form of Government and Powers
The form of government provided for in this Charter is the "council-manager" form. The City has the powers granted to any city by the constitution and laws of the State of Michigan including the power to own and operate public utilities and services. The mention of specific powers in this Charter is not meant to exclude other powers.
Sec. 1.4.  Powers Regarding Property
The City shall have power to acquire, use, and dispose of property for any lawful purpose by any lawful means, however, all public grounds used for park purposes shall be inalienable and in no event shall the city council sell, lease, encumber, trade, or divert to another public use any public park grounds without first securing the approval of a majority of the voters of the City voting on the question in any general or special election.
Sec. 1.5.  Intergovernmental Cooperation
The City shall have power to join with any other unit of government, by contract or in any way permitted by law, in the financing and ownership of any property or facility, or in the performance of any service, which each would have the power to own, operate, or perform separately.

Chapter 2.  Representation

Section 2.1.  Wards
The City of Petoskey shall be divided into four (4) wards. The boundaries of these wards shall be fixed by ordinance and shall be as nearly equal as possible in population based on the decennial census.
Sec. 2.2.  Elected Councilmembers
Each ward shall be represented by one (1) councilmember elected for a two-year term under the provisions of this Charter.

Chapter 3.  Elections

Sec. 3.1.  Qualifications for Voters
Residents of the City of Petoskey who qualify as voters under the constitution and laws of the State of Michigan shall be the voters in the City.
Section 3.2. Supervision of Elections
Under the general supervision of the city clerk, the registration of voters, preparation of ballots or machines, and the conduct of elections shall be in accordance with this Charter and with state election laws.
Section 3.3.  Nominations for Councilmembers and City Convention Delegates
There shall be an annual nonpartisan convention in each ward of the City at a time to be set by city council in accordance with state law. Convenient places for the ward conventions will be determined by the city council. Each convention shall nominate two (2) candidates for councilmember (in the year in which a vacancy occurs from that ward). The voters present may determine to nominate only one (1) candidate for councilmember.

Each ward convention shall select fifteen (15) delegates and five (5) alternates to the annual city convention. The city clerk shall give notice of ward conventions in a newspaper of general circulation in the City during the week preceding and on the day of the ward conventions. The notice shall state the time, place, and purpose of each ward convention.
Section 3.4.  Conducting the Ward Convention
Each ward convention shall open at 8:00 p.m. and may be called to order by any voter of that ward present. The voters present shall select eligible voters to be chairperson and clerk of that convention.
Section 3.5.  Certifying Nominees
The names of the candidates for city councilmember chosen by the convention, and the names of delegates and alternates to the city convention shall be certified by the chairperson and clerk of the convention and filed with the office of the city clerk before 5:00 p.m. of the following day. The names of candidates for councilmember so filed shall be placed on the ballot of the next general city election. The certified delegates and alternates shall be the representatives from each ward to the city convention and entitled to vote on all questions before that convention.
Section 3.6.  City Convention
An annual nonpartisan city convention shall be held at a time to be set by city council in accordance with state law. The city council shall determine the convenient place and it shall be opened at 8:00 p.m. The city clerk shall give notice of the time, place, and purpose of the city convention in a newspaper of general circulation in the City on at least one (1) day prior to and on the day of the convention. The convention may be called to order by any city officer or certified delegate present and shall proceed to select a chairperson and a clerk. Each delegate shall have one (1) vote.
Section 3.7.  Nomination of Mayor
Two (2) candidates for mayor shall be selected by the delegates to the city convention. The delegates may agree to choose only one (1) candidate for the office of mayor. A candidate for mayor shall not at the same time be a candidate for councilmember.
Section 3.8.  Certification of Candidates
The names of the candidates for mayor shall be certified by the chairperson and clerk of the city convention and shall be filed with the city clerk before 5:00 p.m. on the day following the convention. The city clerk shall place them on the ballot of the next general city election.
Section 3.9.  Other Convention Business
While convened, the delegates to the city convention, along with any other qualified voters of the City present, may hear reports, inquire of city officers or candidates for office, and may conduct advisory votes on any issues and questions affecting the welfare of the City and its citizens.
Section 3.10.  Nominating Petitions
Legally qualified persons may have their names placed on the general election ballot for the office of mayor or councilmember by filing nominating petitions with the city clerk before 5:00 p.m. on the Monday following the city convention. A petition for the office of mayor shall be signed by not less than fifty (50) and not more than seventy-five (75) registered voters of the City. A petition for councilmember shall be signed by not less than fifty (50) and not more than seventy-five (75) registered voters in the petitioner's ward. If the city clerk determines the petition to be valid, that name shall be placed on the ballot.
Section 3.11.  Nominating Petition Forms
The city clerk shall have forms for nominating petitions available for use. Completed and filed petitions shall be available for public inspection.
Section 3.12.  General Elections
Nonpartisan general elections shall be held in the City on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November each year. The city council shall designate a convenient place in each ward for voting. Each voter shall vote in the ward in which the voter resides.
Section 3.13.  Special Elections
By resolution the city council may call for a special election in the City. Voters shall have no less than thirty (30) days notice and the resolution shall state clearly the purpose of the election and the question to be decided.
Section 3.14.  Qualifications for City Office
A candidate for the office of mayor or councilmember shall be a qualified voter and a resident of the City for no less than one (1) year. A candidate for the office of councilmember shall be a resident of the ward that the candidate seeks to represent. If a councilmember moves from a ward, that seat on the council shall be declared vacant. No member of the city council shall be employed by the City during the councilmember's term of office.
Section 3.15.  Election Commission
The city election commission shall consist of the city clerk as chairperson, the city attorney, and one other registered voter appointed by the council who is not a councilmember nor a candidate for election. To maintain a membership of three (3) on this commission, the city council shall have power to fill vacancies if the city clerk or city attorney are disabled or if that office is vacant.
Section 3.16.  Duties of Election Commission
The election commission shall have those duties prescribed by state law. Unless otherwise provided, they shall determine disputes as to adequacy of petition, appoint election inspectors, and prescribe procedures to be followed in tallying the votes of the people. The rate of compensation for election inspectors shall be fixed by the city council. The polls shall be open between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Section 3.17.  Recall
The citizens of the City are assured by this Charter as to the responsiveness of public officials to the duties of their office, to the democratically determined will of the people, and to the importance of public trust. Any elected official may be removed from office by the voters of the City in the manner prescribed by state law.
Section 3.18.  Vacancies
Any vacancy in the office of mayor or councilmember shall be filled within thirty (30) days by a majority vote of the remaining councilmembers. If a mayor is chosen from among the councilmembers, the council shall appoint another voter from that ward to represent that ward on the city council. A vacancy need not be filled if it occurs less than sixty (60) days before a city election. A vacancy of office shall be determined to have taken place upon the death, resignation, recall, moving from the ward, conviction of a felony, conflict-of-interest disqualification, or the finding of mental incompetency by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Section 3.19.  Oath of Office
Before assuming the office of mayor or councilmember, an elected or appointed person shall publicly subscribe an oath in writing, promising to uphold and defend the constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Michigan and to faithfully discharge the duties of such office.

Chapter 4.  The City Council

Section 4.1.  Composition and Powers
The City of Petoskey shall be governed by a council composed of five (5) members: the mayor and four (4) councilmembers, one (1) representing each ward. Except as provided elsewhere in this Charter or by general law, the city council shall exercise all the powers conferred upon cities by state law, to adopt all ordinances and resolutions and to otherwise govern. The city council shall provide through the city manager for the public peace and health and for the safety of persons and property.
Section 4.2.  Terms of Office
The mayor shall be elected for a term of one (1) year. The councilmembers shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and the terms shall be arranged so that two (2) wards elect a councilmember each year. Terms shall begin on January 1 of the year following the election.
Section 4.3.  Duties of the Mayor
The mayor shall preside at the meetings of the city council and shall be considered the executive of the City for all ceremonial purposes. The mayor shall have voice and vote in all deliberations of the city council and no power of veto. The mayor shall appoint the members of all commissions and committees. The mayor, along with the city clerk, and under the authority of the city council shall sign all deeds, bonds, contracts, leases, and other legal papers in which the City is made a party. The Mayor shall supervise the contracts, agreements, and obligations of the City and serve to protect the interests of the City.
Section 4.4.  City Council Meetings
The city council shall meet regularly, preferably in the city council chambers in the city hall, on the first and third Mondays of each month. The city council shall provide for special meetings as its duties require. All meetings shall be in compliance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act, and a written journal of its proceedings shall be kept in the English language. All records of the City shall be made available to the general public in compliance with state law.
Section 4.5.  Quorum
Three (3) members of the city council shall constitute a quorum. The affirmative vote of three (3) members shall be necessary to adopt any motion, resolution, or ordinance unless a greater number is provided for elsewhere in this Charter. Every vote shall be taken by roll call and shall be recorded by the city clerk. The city clerk shall read the written version of any motion or resolution before it is voted upon.
Section 4.6.  Notice of Special Meetings
Special meetings of the city council shall be called by the city clerk on the written request of the mayor, or of any three (3) councilmembers. Written notice of the meeting shall be served personally to each councilmember or left at his place of residence no less than twenty-four (24) hours before the time the meeting is to begin. The notice shall include the purpose of calling the meeting, and no other business shall be considered.
Section 4.7.  Compensation
The mayor shall receive the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each city council meeting attended, regular or special, provided that the compensation does not exceed the sum of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) per year. Councilmembers shall receive a sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00) for each meeting attended, regular or special, provided that the compensation does not exceed four hundred fifty dollars ($450.00) per year. The mayor and councilmembers may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred in the course of their official duties. An itemized statement of such expenses shall be submitted to the city council and payment authorized by its vote.
Section 4.8.  Appointments
The city council shall appoint a city manager, a city attorney, and a city assessor and such other officials as general law may require.
Section 4.9.  City Council and Personnel
Neither the city council, nor any of its members shall dictate the appointment of any person to office or employment by the city manager, or in any manner interfere with the city manager in the city manager's control over the administrative service. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the council and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the city manager, and neither the council nor any member shall give orders to any of the subordinates of the city manager.
Section 4.10.  Mayor Pro tempore
The city council shall elect from among its members a mayor pro tempore who shall act in the absence or incapacity of the mayor.

Chapter 5.  Administrative Services

Section 5.1.  City Manager
The city council shall, by a majority vote, appoint a city manager for an indefinite term, fix the compensation, and execute an employment contract. The city manager shall be appointed solely on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications. The city manager need not be a resident of the City at the time of appointment, but shall become a resident within six (6) months. Before entering the duties of office, the city manager shall subscribe the official oath.
Section 5.2.  Powers and Duties
The city manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the City, responsible to the city council for the administration of all city affairs placed in the city manager's charge by or under this Charter including, but not limited to the following:

(a)   Appoint, suspend, or remove all city employees except as otherwise provided for by this Charter, law, or personnel rules adopted in accordance with this Charter. The city manager may authorize any administrative officer subject to the city manager's supervision to exercise these powers with respect to subordinates;
(b)   Attend all meetings of the city council with the right of voice, but not vote;
(c)   Provide for the execution and enforcement of laws, provisions of this Charter, and acts of the city council;
(d)   Prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the city council;
(e)   Submit to the city council and make available to the public a complete report of finances and administrative activities at the end of each fiscal year;
(f)   Make such reports as the city council shall require regarding the operation of the City, its departments, and agencies;
(g)   Keep the city council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the City and make recommendations as to courses of action; and
(h)   Perform the duties prescribed by this Charter or required by the city council.
Section 5.3.  Acting City Manager
The city manager shall designate by letter filed with the city clerk a qualified city administrative officer to serve as acting city manager in case of the city manager's absence or disability. This appointment shall be approved by the city council.
Section 5.4.  City Attorney
The city council shall appoint a city attorney who shall serve as chief legal advisor to the city council, the city manager, and all departments and agencies of the City. The city attorney shall represent the City in any legal proceedings. The city attorney shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan. The city council may engage one (1) or more attorneys with expertise for particular cases. The salary shall be fixed by city council.
Section 5.5.  City Assessor
The city council shall appoint a city assessor meeting statutory qualifications, who shall possess all the powers vested in, and shall be charged with all the duties imposed [upon] assessing officers by statute, or by ordinance of the City, or by resolution of the council. The salary shall be fixed by city council.
Section 5.6.  City Clerk
A city clerk shall be appointed by the city manager with approval of the city council solely on the basis of administrative qualifications. The salary shall be fixed by the city manager in accordance with budget appropriations. The city clerk shall be clerk of the council and shall, with the mayor, sign all ordinances. The city clerk shall keep a permanent journal of all council proceedings and ordinances; shall keep and preserve the corporate seal and all official documents; and shall administer oaths of office. In addition, the city clerk shall perform all other duties prescribed by law, this Charter, and as directed by the city manager.
Section 5.7.  City Treasurer
A city treasurer shall be appointed by the city manager with approval of the city council solely on the basis of administrative qualifications. The salary shall be fixed by the city manager in accordance with budget appropriations. The city treasurer shall have custody of all monies of the City and shall perform all other duties prescribed by law, this Charter, and as directed by the city manager.
Section 5.8.  Clerk-Treasurer
The city council may at any time by resolution combine, or separate from combination, the office of city clerk and the office of city treasurer.

Chapter 6.  Legislation

Section 6.1.  Existing Legislation
All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations of the City of Petoskey that are consistent with the provisions of this Charter shall continue in full force at the adoption of this Charter unless repealed or amended.
Section 6.2.  Resolutions and Ordinances
All actions of the city council shall be by resolution or ordinance. Resolutions shall be official actions of the city council in the form of a motion pertaining to internal affairs or concerns of the City. Acts that carry a penalty for violation shall be by ordinance.
Section 6.3.  Enactment of Ordinances
All legislation of the City of Petoskey shall be by ordinance. Each ordinance shall be identified by a number and a short title. Each proposed ordinance shall be introduced in written or printed form. The style of all ordinances passed by the city council shall be: "The City of Petoskey ordains." With the exception of emergency ordinances, no ordinance shall be finally passed by the city council at the same meeting at which it is introduced. All ordinances shall be recorded in "The Ordinance Book" when enacted and shall be authenticated by the signatures of the mayor and the city clerk. With the exception of emergency ordinances, all ordinances shall specify an effective date no less than fourteen (14) days after enactment.
Section 6.4.  Repeal of Ordinances
An ordinance may be repealed by the adoption of a repealing ordinance in the same manner as provided for enactment.
Section 6.5.  Emergency Ordinances
The city council may adopt one (1) or more emergency ordinances to meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property, or the public peace. The city council must first declare the existence of the emergency and describe it in specific terms. Ordinances enacted for an emergency may not levy taxes; grant, renew or extend a franchise; or regulate the rate charged by any public utility for its services. An emergency ordinance may be adopted at the same meeting at which it is introduced, may have immediate effect, and shall be published and printed in the same manner as prescribed for other ordinances. Every emergency ordinance shall automatically stand repealed as of the sixty-first (61st) day following the date of adoption, but may be reenacted if the emergency continues to exist. An emergency ordinance may also be repealed by the enactment of an emergency ordinance.
Section 6.6.  Penalties
The city council shall provide in each ordinance for the punishment of those who violate its provisions.
Section 6.7.  Publication
Each ordinance passed by the city council shall be published at least once within seven (7) days after adoption. This publication shall be in a newspaper of general circulation within the City.
Section 6.8.  Technical Codes
The council may adopt into an ordinance by citation any provision of state law or any detailed technical regulations. The adopting ordinance shall clearly identify and state the purpose of the provisions adopted in this way. Copies of the regulations cited shall be available for free inspection at the office of the city clerk and for purchase at reasonable cost.
Section 6.9.  Codification
Copies of all ordinances that are in effect and all amendments to this Charter shall be prepared by the city clerk and available for distribution. At least once each year the council shall direct the compilation or codification of the Charter and of all the ordinances of the City then in force and available at reasonable charge.

Chapter 7.  Initiative and Referendum

Section 7.1.  Initiation of Petitions
Citizens of the City may initiate legislation or call for a referendum on legislation by means of petition. An initiative or referendum petition shall be signed by at least ten (10) percent of the registered voters of the City as of the date of the last regular city election before the filing of the petition. All signatures shall be obtained within thirty (30) days before the filing. A referendum petition shall be filed within thirty (30) days of the enactment of the ordinance that it seeks to repeal.
Section 7.2.  Form of Petitions
An initiative or referendum petition shall be addressed to the city council. The petition need not be on one (1) paper, but if it is the aggregate of two (2) or more papers, they shall be identical as to contents. A referendum petition shall clearly identify the ordinance or a portion of it that is proposed for repeal. An initiative petition shall clearly state the ordinance that it proposes to see enacted. No petition shall propose more than one (1) ordinance.
Section 7.3.  Circulating Petitions
Each signer of the petition shall include his residence address and the date of signature. To each page of the petition there shall be attached a sworn affidavit of the circulator that each signature on the page is genuine and that the circulator believes each signer to be a registered voter in the City of Petoskey. Completed petitions shall be filed with the city clerk.
Section 7.4.  Canvass by the City Clerk
The city clerk shall canvass the signatures on any initiative or referendum petition to determine if the signatures are in sufficient number and are not more than thirty (30) days old. The canvass shall be completed within five (5) days and the city clerk shall notify the circulator of any deficiency. The city clerk shall then allow ten (10) days from the notification of deficiency to permit the filing of supplemental petition papers. When a petition of sufficient signatures is filed within the allowed time and is in compliance with provisions of this Charter, the city clerk shall present the petition at the next regular meeting of the city council. The filing of a referendum petition shall suspend effectiveness of the ordinance in question until the issue is determined.
Section 7.5.  City Council Action
Upon receiving an initiative or referendum petition from the city clerk, the city council shall, within thirty (30) days, either:

  1. If it be an initiative petition, enact the ordinance as submitted in the petition;
  2. If it be a referendum petition, repeal the ordinance or portion of the ordinance referred; or
  3. Submit the proposal to the voters.
Section 7.6.  Submission to Voters
Should the city council submit the proposal to the voters, it shall be submitted at the next election held in the City for any other purpose, or, at the discretion of the city council, at a special election called for that specific purpose. In the case of an initiative petition, if no election is to be held in the City for any other purpose within one hundred fifty (150) days from the time the petition is presented to the city council and the city council does not adopt the ordinance, then the city council shall call a special election within sixty (60) days from such time for the submission of the initiative proposal. The result shall be determined by a majority vote of the voters voting thereon, except in cases where otherwise required by the general laws of the State of Michigan. If two (2) or more ordinances adopted at the same election shall have conflicting provisions, the provisions in the ordinance receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall govern.
Section 7.7.  Limitation
An ordinance adopted by the electorate through initiative proceedings may not be amended or repealed for a period of two (2) years after the date of the election at which it was adopted. An ordinance repealed by the voters may not be reenacted within a period of two (2) years after the date of the election in which it was repealed.

Chapter 8.  Budget and Finance

Section 8.1.  Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the City shall begin January 1 and end December 31.
Section 8.2.  Budget Procedure
The city manager shall be responsible to submit to the city council at its first regular meeting in November of each year a recommended budget that shall include:

  1. Detailed estimates, with supporting explanations, of all proposed expenditures for each department and office of the City for the coming year, along with statements of expenditures for those items in the previous fiscal year and anticipated expenses for the current year;
  2. Statements of the bonded and other indebtedness of the City, showing requirements of debt redemption and interest, debt authorized but unissued, and the details of sinking funds;
  3. Detailed estimates of all revenues anticipated by the City from sources other than taxes, with a comparative statement of amounts received in the previous fiscal year and anticipated revenues for the current year;
  4. A statement of the anticipated balance or deficit for the current year;
  5. An estimate of the amount of money to be raised from current and delinquent taxes, and the amount to be raised from bonds issued in order to meet the proposed expenditures;
  6. Such other supporting information as may be requested by the city council and required by state law.
Section 8.3.  Budget Hearing
A public hearing on the budget shall be held before its adoption. The city council shall direct the time and place for the hearing and notice of it shall be published at least six (6) days in advance.
Section 8.4.  Adoption of Budget
After the hearing, but not later than December 31 of each year, the city council shall adopt a budget for the ensuing year by resolution. After realistic consideration of all other revenues, the city council shall declare the amount of money necessary to be raised by taxes on property, which amount shall not be greater than that granted by state law or this Charter.
Section 8.5.  Budget Bonds
Any capital improvement items contained in the budget may be financed by the issuance of bonds as a part of the budget system, provided that the amount of such bonds together with the taxes levied for the same year shall not exceed the limit of taxation authorized by law.
Section 8.6.  Budget Control
No money shall be drawn from the city treasury unless there be an appropriation for it. No obligation for expenditure shall be incurred without an appropriation covering all payments that will be due for such an obligation in that fiscal year.
Section 8.7.  Transfers
The city council may, by resolution, transfer any unencumbered appropriation balance, or any portion of it, from one account, department, fund, or agency to another.
Section 8.8.  Additional Appropriations
The city council may make additional appropriations during the fiscal year for unanticipated expenses, but such additional appropriations shall not exceed the amount by which revenues exceed budget estimates unless the appropriations are necessary to relieve an emergency endangering the public health, safety, or peace.
Section 8.9.  Quarterly Reports
At the end of each quarterly period during the fiscal year the city manager shall summarize the financial condition of the City and if it appears that revenues are less than anticipated, the city council may reduce appropriations, except for amounts required for debt reduction and interest charges.
Section 8.10.  Depositories
The city council shall designate depositories for city funds and shall provide for the regular deposit of all city monies.
Section 8.11.  Disbursements
All funds from the treasury shall be drawn only by authorization and appropriation of the city council and by checks executed by not less than two (2) officers designated by the city council.
Section 8.12.  Internal Audit
The city clerk shall keep books of account of the receipts and expenditures of the City. The system of accounts of the City shall conform to such uniform system as may be required by law.
Section 8.13.  Independent Audit and Annual Report
An independent audit shall be made of all city accounts at least annually by a certified public accountant experienced in municipal finance and selected by the city council. The city manager shall be responsible for submitting an annual report of the state of the City, including a financial report. Copies of the annual report and the audit shall be made available at the office of the city clerk within thirty (30) days of receipt.

Chapter 9.  Taxation

Section 9.1.  Power to Tax
In order to carry out the duties of city government as established by this Charter, the City shall have power to assess, levy, and collect taxes, rents, tolls, and excises. City taxes shall be levied, collected, and returned in the manner provided by state law unless otherwise provided for in this Charter.
Section 9.2.  Tax Limit
The annual general ad valorem tax levy shall not exceed ten (10) mills (one (1) percent) of the assessed value of all real and personal property subject to taxation in the City, exclusive of any levies authorized by law beyond this Charter limitation; provided, however, that in any year the city council may levy up to five (5) mills additional (one-half () of one (1) percent) to be used exclusively for maintenance operations and public improvements within street rights-of-way.

(Ord. of 5-3-1988)
Section 9.3.  Subjects of Taxation
The subjects of ad valorem taxation for city purposes shall be the same as for state, county, and school purposes under general law.
Section 9.4.  Exemption from Taxes
No exemptions from taxation shall be allowed except for those required or permitted by state law.
Section 9.5.  Tax Day
The taxable status of persons and property shall be determined as of December 31 in each year, which shall be called the "Tax Day." Exceptions shall be those permitted or required by state law.
Section 9.6.  Preparation of the Assessment Roll
On or before the first Monday in March each year, the city assessor shall submit a certified assessment roll of all property in the City subject to taxation, available for examination in the city offices.
Section 9.7.  Notice of Assessment
Ten (10) days prior to the second Monday in March the city assessor shall give notice by first class mail of any increase in assessed valuation over the previous year. Failure to give or receive this notice shall not invalidate the roll or the assessment.
Section 9.8.  Board of Review
There shall be a board of review of the assessment roll composed of three (3) residents of the City who are qualified voters. Appointed by the city council to serve three-year staggered terms, they shall not be elected or appointed officials of the City. They shall meet and complete their duties as required by law. Their compensation shall be fixed by the city council.
Section 9.9.  Meetings of the Board of Review
The board of review shall meet on the Tuesday after the first Monday in March to review and correct the assessment roll. They shall meet on the second Monday in March to hear appeals and remain in session until all appellants have had an opportunity to be heard. Notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be published by the city clerk at least ten (10) days prior.
Section 9.10.  Reviewed Assessment Roll
Not later than the first Monday in April, the board of review shall, by majority vote, endorse the corrected assessment roll and deliver it to the city assessor who shall spread upon it the general ad valorem city tax, and the county and school taxes.
Section 9.11.  Tax Roll Certified for Collection
After spreading the taxes, the city assessor shall certify the tax roll, and the mayor shall add his warrant directing the city treasurer to proceed to collect the taxes, assessments, and charges levied.
Section 9.12.  Tax Lien
On July 1 the assessed taxes shall become a debt due to the City and a lien on the property along with any charges, fees, or penalties. This lien shall take precedence over all other claims to the extent provided by state law and shall continue until all taxes, interest, and penalties are paid.
Section 9.13.  Notification of Tax Due
City taxes shall be due on July 1 of each year. The city treasurer shall mail a bill to each person named on the tax roll, but in cases of multiple ownership, only one (1) bill need be mailed. The city treasurer shall publish notice at least ten (10) days before July 1 that taxes will be due.
Section 9.14.  Penalty and Interest Fees.
The taxes levied and due on July 1 of each year shall be collected before August 31 of that year. As of September 1, a collection fee of four (4) percent shall be charged, and on the first of each month thereafter an interest charge and penalty of one (1) percent in addition shall be charged. On December 1 any and all unpaid summer taxes shall be included in the winter tax bill shown as "delinquent summer," and the six (6) percent penalty due shown as "penalty."
Section 9.15.  Failure or Refusal to Pay Personal Property Tax
If any person, firm, or corporation shall fail or refuse to pay any personal property tax assessed by March 1, the city treasurer shall collect it by seizing and selling that personal property in an amount sufficient to pay the tax, fees, and charges. The city treasurer shall, if unable to collect the tax on personal property in any other way, sue the person, firm, or corporation in accordance with state law.
Section 9.16.  Jeopardy Assessment
Whenever the proper conditions exist, the city treasurer shall accelerate the date on which personal property taxes shall be collected as provided by state law.
Section 9.17.  Delinquent Tax Roll to County Treasurer
On March 1 of the following year, the city treasurer shall turn over to the county treasurer a roll of unpaid taxes together with charges, fees, and penalties, who shall proceed to collect them in the manner provided by state law. Delinquent taxes shall remain a lien on the property assessed until paid.
Section 9.18.  County and School Taxes
The city treasurer shall have the same powers as provided by state law for township treasurers as regard assessing and collecting taxes for county and school purposes.

Chapter 10.  Borrowing

Section 10.1.  General Powers
Subject to the applicable provisions of law, the City may, by ordinance, borrow money for any purpose within the scope of its powers. The City may also issue bonds or other evidence of indebtedness including, but not limited to:

  1. General obligation bonds pledging for their payment the full faith and credit of the City;
  2. Special assessment bonds issued in anticipation of the payment of special assessments for public improvements in a special assessment district or combination thereof. These bonds may be either an obligation solely on the special assessment district or districts, or both an obligation of such district and a general obligation of the City;
  3. Revenue bonds as authorized by law;
  4. Mortgage bonds for the acquiring, owning, purchasing, constructing, improving, or operating of any public utility that the City is authorized by law to finance in this manner, or for such other purposes as may be authorized by law;
  5. Tax anticipation notes as authorized by law;
  6. Calamity bonds issued in case of fire, flood, or other calamity as authorized by law;
  7. Bonds for the City's share of the cost of local improvements. These bonds may be issued as a part of, or independently of, any issue of special assessment bonds which are issued for the same improvements;
  8. Bonds for refunding the indebtedness of the City;
  9. Bonds issued in anticipation of future payments from the motor vehicle highway fund or any other fund of the state that the City may be permitted by law to pledge for the payment of principal and interest thereof;
  10. Deferred payment contracts. The City may enter into installment or lease-purchase contracts for the acquisition or sale of real or personal property or capital equipment. All such deferred payments shall be included in the budget for the year in which the installment is payable; and
  11. Any other bonds or notes authorized by state law.
Section 10.2.  Preparation and Record of Bonds
Each bond or other evidence of indebtedness shall contain on its face a statement specifying the purpose for which the same is issued. It shall be unlawful for any officer of the City to use the proceeds thereof for any other purpose. Any officer who shall violate the provision shall be deemed guilty of misconduct in office. All bonds and other evidences of indebtedness issued by the City shall be signed by the mayor and countersigned by the city clerk, under the seal of the City. Interest coupons may be executed with the facsimile signatures of the mayor and city clerk. A complete and detailed record of all bonds and other evidences of indebtedness issued by the City shall be kept by the city treasurer. Upon the payment of any bond or other evidences of indebtedness, it shall be marked "cancelled."

Chapter 11.  Special Assessments

Section 11.1.  Power of Special Assessment
The city council shall have the power to determine that the whole or any part of the expense of a public improvement shall be defrayed by special assessments on the property benefited and shall so declare by resolution. The resolution shall state the estimated cost of the improvement, what portion of the cost shall be paid by special assessments, what part, if any, shall be a general obligation of the City, the number of installments in which the assessment may be paid, and shall designate the district or premises on which special assessments shall be levied.
Section 11.2.  Special Assessment Procedure
The city council shall prescribe by ordinance a complete special assessment procedure to include public hearings concerning: The necessity of the improvement, plans and specifications, estimate of costs, the interest to be paid, if any, up to the limits of state law, the making of the assessment roll and correction of errors, the collection of special assessments, and any other matters concerning the making of improvements by the special assessment method.
Section 11.3.  Assessment Lien
From the date of confirmation of any assessment or reassessment roll the same shall constitute a lien on the property assessed and a charge against the person assessed until paid. In case of delinquency, the lien shall be enforced, either by addition to the next City property tax billing, or by suit.

Chapter 12.  Franchises, Contracts, Licenses, and Permits

Section 12.1.  General
A franchise shall be granted by ordinance.
Section 12.2.  Short-Term Franchise
A short-term franchise may be granted by the city council for a period not longer than three (3) years.
Section 12.3.  Long-Term Franchises
A long-term franchise may be granted for four (4) to thirty (30) years but must be approved at a regular or special election by three-fifths of the voters voting on it at such election. No long-term franchise shall be ordained by the city council for referral to the electorate until thirty (30) days after application has been filed with the city council, until a public hearing has been held on the matter, and until the grantee has filed with the city clerk an unconditional acceptance of all the terms of such a franchise. Before a special election is called to approve a franchise, the grantee shall pay to the city treasurer the expense of the election as determined by the city council.
Section 12.4.  Right of Regulation
All franchises shall be subject to the following rights of the City:
  1. To repeal the franchise for misuse or non-use or for failure to comply with agreed provisions;
  2. To require proper and adequate extension of plant and service, maintaining them at the highest practical standard of efficiency;
  3. To establish reasonable standards of service and quality of product, and to prevent unjust discrimination in service or rates;
  4. To examine accounts and require independent audit and annual reports;
  5. To require continuous and uninterrupted service to the public in accordance with the franchise and throughout its duration;
  6. To approve rates to be charged in exercising the franchise;
  7. To impose such other regulations as determined by the city council as will be conducive to the safety, welfare, and accommodation of the public.
Section 12.5.  Uses of Public Property
Every public utility franchise shall be subject to the right of the City to use, control, and regulate the use of its streets, alleys, bridges, and public places, and the space above and beneath them. Every public utility shall pay such part of the cost of maintaining streets and public places as shall arise from its use of them, and shall keep the City harmless from damages arising from their use. A franchised utility may be required by the City to permit joint use of property by other utilities when practical and on the payment of reasonable rental. The city council shall provide the conditions for such joint use and determine the compensation.
Section 12.6.  Contracts
The city council may by resolution authorize the mayor and city clerk to enter into contracts on behalf of the City.
Section 12.7.  Licenses and Permits
The city council shall prescribe by ordinance the terms and conditions on which licenses may be granted or revoked regulating businesses, trades, and occupations. The city council shall provide for the punishment by fine or imprisonment, or both, of any person who, without license, shall exercise any occupation or trade, or do anything for which a license is required.
Section 12.8.  Existing Franchises, Contracts, Licenses, and Permits
All franchises, contracts, licenses, and permits to which the City is a party when this Charter becomes effective shall remain in full effect.

Chapter 13.  Library Commission

Section 13.1.  Establishment
There shall be a library commission consisting of five (5) residents of the City of Petoskey appointed by the mayor. They shall serve for five (5) years in staggered terms without compensation.
Section 13.2.  Duties
The library commission shall have care, custody, control, and management of the public library, together with all buildings containing the same, and may employ all necessary personnel. The library commission shall make an annual report to the city council at a time specified by the city manager indicating the condition of the library. The library commission shall prepare an itemized budget including anticipated revenues and expenses at a time specified by the city manager.

Chapter 14.  General Provisions

Section 14.1.  Rights and Obligations
The corporation created by this Charter shall pay all the debts and obligations of the City of Petoskey; and all property, real and personal, and the rights of the City are hereby absolutely vested in the corporation.
Section 14.2.  City Not to Own Stock
The City shall not become the owner or holder of stock or shares in any incorporated company.
Section 14.3.  Prima Facie Evidence of Publication
Whenever this Charter calls for publication, a proof of publication shall be prima facie evidence of sufficient notification.
Section 14.4.  Issuing Bonds to Pay Judgment in Excess of Taxation Powers
Whenever the judgment of any court shall be rendered against the City and it shall be unable to pay by reason of tax limitation, it shall be lawful for the City to issue bonds up to that amount, including costs and interest. The city council shall prescribe the manner of sale and rate of interest.
Section 14.5.  Amendments
This Charter may be amended at any time as provided by state law.
Section 14.6.  Saving Clause
If any portion or provision of this Charter is held to be unconstitutional, that shall not invalidate any other portion nor this Charter as a whole.

Chapter 15.  Implementation

Section 15.1.  Charter Election
This Charter shall be submitted to the voters of the City of Petoskey at a special election to be held on August 7, 1984. It shall be published once in the Petoskey News-Review between July 10 and July 24, 1984.
Section 15.2.  Style of Ballot
The question shall be submitted to the voters in the following manner: "Shall the proposed Charter of the City of Petoskey drafted by the charter commission be adopted?"


Yes ________ No ________
Section 15.3.  Time of Effect
If approved by a majority of the voters this Charter shall come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 1985. Certified copies of the Charter shall be filed with the secretary of state of the State of Michigan, and the county clerk for the County of Emmet.
Section 15.4.  Current Officers
All officers, employees, and members of boards and commissions appointed under the present Charter shall continue in their duties and responsibilities until their successors are chosen and qualified.
Section 15.5.  Ward Vacancies
The nominating conventions shall be held as scheduled in 1984 and the same rotation of ward vacancies on the city council shall prevail as under the present Charter.
Section 15.6.  Saving Clause
Any details of transition not covered by the Charter shall be provided for by action of the city council.
Section 15.7.  Termination of this Chapter
This chapter on implementation may be dropped from further publication of the Charter once its provisions are fulfilled.

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