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Chapter 19 – Powers & Duties of Officers





2-19-1              General Duties
2-19-2              Books and Records
2-19-3              Transfer of Records and Property To Successor
2-19-4              Powers and Duties of the Mayor
2-19-5             Powers and Duties of the City Clerk
2-19-6             Powers and Duties of the Assistant City Clerk
2-19-7             Powers of Duties of City Administrator
2-19-8             Powers and Duties of the City Attorney
2-19-9             Powers and Duties of the Director of Public Works & Working Group Leader
2-19-10           Powers and Duties of the Director of Parks & Recreation
2-19-11           Powers and Duties of the Chief of Police
2-19-12           Power and Duties of Police Department
2-19-13           Power and Duties of Fire Chief                       

SECTION 2-19-1                  GENERAL DUTIES. Each municipal officer shall exercise the powers and perform the duties prescribed by law and ordinance, or as otherwise directed by the City Council unless contrary to State law or City charter.     (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13 (4))

SECTION 2-19-2                  BOOKS AND RECORDS.  All books and records required to be kept by law or Ordinance shall be open to public inspection, subject to confidential records in accordance with State law.                                                 (Code of Iowa, Sec. 22.1, 22.2 & 22.7)

SECTION 2-19-3                  TRANSFER OF RECORDS AND PROPERTY TO SUCCESSOR.  Each officer shall transfer to the officer’s successor in office all books, papers, records, documents and property, together with an invoice of the same, in the officer’s custody and appertaining to the officer’s office.

SECTION 2-19-4                  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE MAYOR.  The powers and duties of the Mayor shall be as follows:

          1.   To evaluate all departments of the City and make recommendations to the City Administrator concerning the functions of the departments. He shall have the power to examine all functions of the municipal departments, their records, and to call for special reportsfrom department heads at any time.

            2.   With the approval of the Council make appropriate provision that duties of any absentee officer be carried on during his absence.

            3.   With the approval of the Council, represent the City in all negotiations properly entered into in accordance with law or ordinance. He shall not represent the City where his duty is specifically delegated to another officer by law or ordinance.

            4.   Whenever authorized by the Council, sign all contracts on behalf of the City.

            5.   Call special meetings of the City Council when he deems such meetings necessary to the interests of the City.

            6.   Sign all commissions, licenses and permits which have been granted by the Council, except those designated by law or ordinance to be issued by another municipal officer.

            7.   Upon authorization of the Council, he shall revoke permits or licenses granted by the Council when their terms are violated or the ordinances of the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa,         and the laws of the State of Iowa are violated by holders of said permits or licenses.

            8.   Order to be removed, at public expense, any nuisance for which no person can be found responsible and liable. This order shall be in writing. The order to remove said nuisances shall be carried out by the Chief of Police.

            9.   Appoint such other officers as the Council maybe ordinance direct him to appoint.

            10.  Preside at all meetings of the Council.

            11.  Sign every ordinance and resolution passed by the Council and have authority to veto the same in which event he shall proceed as provided by statute.

            12.  Keep an office at some convenient place in the City to be provided by the Council and provide for the keeping of the corporate seal of the City.

            13.   Sign warrants only for claims and expenses and ordered paid by the City Council.

            14.  Have such other powers as are conferred upon him by the laws of this State or by the ordinances of this City.

SECTION 2-19-5                  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CITY CLERK.   The City Clerk shall have the following powers and duties.

            1.  Draw all warrants for the City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, upon the vote of the Council.

            2.   Show on every warrant the fund on which it is drawn and the claim to be paid and keep the record of each fund separate.

            3.   Keep a warrant book, with a margin, on which margin he/she shall keep a record of the number, date, amount, payee’s name, upon what fund drawn, and for what claim each warrant is issued.

            4.   Be the chief accounting officer of the City of Belle Plaine and keep an accurate account of all money or securities received by he/she on behalf of the municipality and specify date, from whom, and upon what account received.

            5.   Keep separate account corresponding to the programs and items in the City’s adopted budget as recommended by the committee (as defined by Section 384.16, 2007 Code of       Iowa).

            6.   Report to the Council each month the status of each municipal account as of the end of the previous month.

            7.   Immediately upon receipt of monies to be held in his/her custody and belonging to the City, deposit the same in banks selected by the City Council in amounts not exceeding monetary limits authorized by the City Council.

            8.   Prepare the annual public report, publish it, and send a certified copy to the state auditor as provided by law.

            9.   Have custody and be responsible for the safekeeping of all writings or documents in which the municipality is a party in interest unless otherwise specifically directed by law        or ordinance.

            10.  File and preserve all receipts, vouchers, and other documents kept, or that may be required to be keep, necessary to provide the validity of every transaction and the identity of every person having any beneficial relation thereto.

            11.  Furnish upon request to any municipal officer a copy of any record, paper, or public document under the clerk’s control when it may be necessary for such officer in the discharge of the his/her duty. The Clerk shall furnish a copy to any citizen when requested upon payment of fifty cents, but if the copy contains more than 250 words, an additional fifty cents will be charged for every 250 words or fraction thereof.

            12.  Under the directions of the Mayor or other authorized officer, affix the seal of the corporation to those public documents or instruments which by law or ordinance are required to be attested by the affixing of the seal.

            13.  Attend all meetings of the City Council, and shall record and preserve a correct record of the proceedings of such meetings.

            14.  Publish as directed and required by law all ordinances or resolutions of the municipality.

            15.  Prepare the annual budget, under the supervision of the City Council and City Administrator.

            16.  Keep and file all communications and petitions directed to the City Council or to the City generally. The Clerk shall endorse thereon the action of the City Council taken upon         matters considered in such communications and petitions.

            17.  Issue all licenses and permits approved by the Council, and keep a record of licenses and permits issued in a book which shall show date of issuance, license or permit          number, name of person to whom issued, term of license or permit, and purpose for which issued.

             18.  Keep a record, indexed properly, of all resolutions, ordinances, and other measures passed by the City Council which are required to be recorded. Such record shall contain date of passage, date of approval, and if publication is required, the date of publication.

              19.  Authenticate all resolutions, ordinances, and measures passed by the City Council by signing the same.

              20.  Compute and mail all charges for water and sewer rental service provided by the City and shall regularly inform the Council of delinquent water and sewer accounts.

               21.  Draw and sign such warrants upon the City accounts only for claims and expenses allowed and ordered paid by the City Council.

              22.  Have such powers and shall perform such other duties as are required by law and as may be required by the Council and City Administrator.

              23.  The City Clerk shall be in attendance in the office provided for use by the Clerk or such other places as the duties hereinabove require as prescribed from time to time by resolution of the Belle Plaine City Council.

 SECTION 2-19-6                  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE ASSISTANT CITY CLERK. The duties of the Assistant City Clerk shall be to assist the Belle Plaine City Clerk in the administration of the powers and duties as defined and enumerated by Section 2-15-5 above and said Assistant City Clerk shall have all powers conferred upon the City Clerk as enumerated by Section 2-15-5 during periods of absence of the City Clerk or periods of vacancy in that office.

 SECTION 2-19-7                  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CITY ADMINSTRATOR.  The powers and duties of the City Administrator shall be as follows:

             1.  Qualifications: The City Administrator shall have a Bachelors Degree in public administration or related field. Five years experience in municipal government or public administration preferred. Must be bondable.

             2.   Implement Directives:  Implement all policy directives promulgated by the Mayor in his/her executive capacity and the City Council in its legislative capacity.

             3.  Offices and Departments:  The City Administrator will supervise all Offices and Departments of the City and provide direction to officers and department heads concerning the management and functions of office and departments.

             4.   Administration:  The City Administrator shall be responsible to the Mayor and City Council for the administration of the City government of Belle Plaine, Iowa.

             5.   Supervision:  The City Administrator will supervise and direct the official conduct of all officers and employees of the City and will have authority to employ and discharge such assistants and other employees of the City for which the City Council has approved the position. The City Administrator does not have authority to hire or discharge the City Clerk, Police Chief, Librarian, Park and Recreation Director or City Attorney.

             6.   Council and Committee Meetings:  To attend all meetings of the City Council and city committees unless officially excused by the Mayor.

             7.   Finance and Budget:  The City Administrator will keep the Council and Mayor fully advised of the financial condition of the City and its future needs, prepare and submit to the Council and Mayor annually the required City budgets.

             8.   Financial Reports:  In cooperation with the City Clerk make periodic itemized financial reports to the Council and Mayor.

             9.  Contracts:  Supervise the performance of all contracts for work to be done for the City.

             10.  Job Description:  To perform all duties required by a job description adopted by a resolution of the Council which may be changed from time to time by the Council.

             11.  Other Duties:  The administrator shall perform other duties as directed by the Mayor and Council.

 SECTION 2-19-8                  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CITY ATTORNEY. The powers and duties of the City Attorney shall be as follows:

             1.   Attend every regular meeting of the City Council and attend those special meetings of the City Council at which he/she is required to be present.

             2.   Upon request, formulate drafts for contracts, forms, and other writings which may be required for the use of the City.

             3.   Keep in proper files a record of all official opinions and a docket or register of all actions prosecuted and defended by the City Attorney accompanied by all proceedings relating to said actions.

             4.   Upon request, give his/her opinion in writing upon all questions of law relating to municipal matters submitted by the City Council, the Mayor, members of the City Council individually, municipal boards, or the heard of any municipal department.

             5.   Prepare those ordinances which the City Council may desire and direct to be prepared and report in writing to the Council upon all ordinances before their final passage by the             City Council and publication.

             6.   Act as attorney for the City in all matters affecting the City’s interest and appear on behalf of the City before any court, tribunal, commission, or board. He/She shall         prosecute or defend all actions and proceedings when so requested by the Mayor or City Council.

             7.   He/She shall not appear on behalf of any municipal officer or employee before any court or tribunal for the purely private benefit of said officer or employee. He/She shall, however, if directed by the Council, appear to defend any municipal officer or employee in any cause of action arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of his/her office or employment.

             8.    He/She shall sign the name of the City to all appeal bonds and to all other bonds or papers of any kind that may be essential to the prosecution of any cause in court, and when so signed the City shall be bound upon the same.

             9.   Make a written report to the City Council and interested department heads of the defects in all contracts, documents, authorized power of any city officer, and ordinances submitted to him/her or coming under his/her notice.

             10.  After due examination, offer a written opinion on and recommend alterations pertaining to contracts involving the City before they become binding upon the City or are published.

 SECTION 2-19-9                  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS/WORKING GROUP LEADER. The powers and duties of the Director of Public Works/Working Group Leader shall be as follows:

             1.   He shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of street and alleys and keep them in a reasonably safe condition. He shall investigate all complaints of dangerous or impassible conditions of all streets, alleys and sidewalks and he is hereby charged with the duty of correcting such unsafe and dangerous conditions.

             2.   He shall be responsible for removing snow and ice from streets and alleys within the City.

             3.   He shall be responsible for the installation and repair of all storm sewers within the  City of Belle Plaine, Iowa, in accordance with the ordinances of this City and under the instructions of the City Administrator.

             4.   He shall compile and maintain written records of purchases of equipment and supplies and of activities contemplated by City employees in regard to streets, sewers and water, and he shall make semi-monthly oral reports of said activities and proposed activities to the Mayor, Council and City Administrator.

             5.   He shall perform all other duties of a public works nature which are not specifically assigned to other City positions or employees.

 SECTION 2-19- 10               POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE DIRECTOR OF PARKS AND RECREATION. The powers and duties of the Director of Parks and Recreation shall be as follows:

             1.   Plans, directs sports, athletic and recreation programs in the city parks, playgrounds and recreational areas of the city.

             2.   Attends and participates in all meetings of the Park and Recreation Board except when own employment is under consideration.

             3.   Advises the Park and Recreation Board on the need for new and/or revised policies and programs;             implements all policies and programs the Park and Recreation Board approves.

             4.   Prepares annual operating budget recommendations to the Park and Recreation Board.

             5.   Prepares and submits to the Park and Recreation Board recommendations relative to all matters requiring Board action, placing before the Board such necessary and helpful facts, information and reports needed to ensure the making of informed decisions.

             6.   Informs and advised the Park and Recreation Board about programs and problems of the recreation             program, swimming pool, and parks and keeps the Park Board informed of the activities operating under the Board’s authority.

             7.   Advises the Board of qualified and competent employees and supervisors when needed.

             8.   Communicate with Board members on an ongoing basis about areas of concern, new programs, policies, and problems that may arise, also prior to spending any budget allocated funds.

             9.   Delegate responsibilities of appropriate tasks and duties to part-time employees when directed by the Park and Recreation Board.

             10.  Make a concerted effort to become an active part of the community (to include involvement in activities and events not directly related to parks and recreation).

  SECTION 2-19-11                POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE..   The powers and duties of the Chief of Police shall be as follows:

             1.   Be sergeant-at-arms of the Council Chamber.

             2.   Attend all council meetings unless excused by the Mayor.

             3.   Report to the Mayor, Council and City Administrator upon his activities as Chief of Police and the activities of the members of the Police Department when requested to do   so.

             4.   At the last regular meeting of the City Council in each calendar year provide to them a written itemized list of all tangible property of the City of Belle Plaine which is used by or assigned for use to the Police Department.

             5.   Keep an office to be provided by the Council and shall supervise the keeping of all police records.

             6.     The Police Chief shall make arrangements to convey any persons requiring detention to the County jail as provided by law and agreements with the County.

             7.   Have all other powers prescribed to his office by the laws of the State of Iowa and the ordinances of this City.

 SECTION 2-19-12                POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.  All members of the Police Department of the City of Belle Plaine shall have the following powers and duties:

             1.   They shall assist the City Attorney in prosecuting any persons for the violation of an ordinance by gathering all the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

             2.   They shall protect the rights of persons and property, preserve order at all  public gatherings, prevent and abate nuisances and protect persons against every manner of unlawful disorder and offense.

              3.   They shall execute all lawful orders of any board or commission established by the City Council.

             4.   They shall, when requested, aid other municipal officers and the Fire Department in the execution of their official duties when police are required.

 SECTION  2-19-13               POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMPLIANCE OFFICER POSITION.  The Compliance Officer shall exercise the following powers and duties:

             1.   He or she and his or her designess shall exercise all enforcement powers under the Belle Plaine Municipal Code, including but not limited to the investigation of complaints, issuance of notices and municipal infraction citations to violators, and the preparation and submission to the legal department of reports of violations which continue unabated after exhaustion of reasonable administrative remedies toward their abatement, for such legal             action as the facts of each report may require.

             2.   In all cases in which the city commences court action, he or she shall cooperate with the city attorney’s office by performing such additional investigative work as the city attorney’s office by performing such additional investigative work as the city attorney’s office shall require.

             3.   He or she shall attend the meetings of the City Council as requested, shall investigation and review all cases presented to the City Council and shall advise the body on those cases upon request.

             4.   If the legal department, after analysis of the report, institutes legal proceedings, the municipal code compliance officer will cooperate fully with the legal department in the perfecting of such proceedings.

             5.   The municipal code compliance officer or the officer’s designee  may provide a written determination regarding the application of the City Municipal Code and related regulations to a specific person requesting such information.

 SECTION 2-19-14                POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE FIRE CHIEF. The powers and duties of the Fire Chief shall be as follows:  Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13 (4)

             1.   The Fire Chief shall be charged with the duty of maintaining the efficiency, discipline and control of the fire department. The members of the fire department shall, at all times,       be subject to the direction of the Fire Chief.

             2.   The Fire Chief shall enforce all rules and regulations established by the City Council for the conduct of the affairs of the fire department.

             3.   The Fire Chief shall exercise and have full control over the disposition of all fire apparatus, tools, equipment and other property used by or belonging to the fire department.

             4.   The Fire Chief shall cause to be kept records for the fire department personnel, operating cost and efficiency of each element of fire fighting equipment, depreciation of         all equipment and apparatus, the number of responses to alarms, their cause and location, and an analysis of losses by value, type and location of buildings.

             5.   The Fire Chief shall make monthly written reports on or before the fifth (5th) day of each month to the Mayor and City Council concerning the general status and efficiency of the fire department, the number of alarms answered during the month previous, and additional information that may be requested by the Mayor or the City Council. The Fire Chief shall compile an annual report based upon the records maintained by the fire department and summarizing the activities of the fire department for the year. This report shall be filed with the Mayor. The annual report shall also contain recommendations for the improvement of the department.

             6.   The Fire Chief shall enforce all Ordinances and, where enabled, state laws regulating the following:  

                         a.)   Fire prevention;

                         b.)   Maintenance and use of fire escapes;

                         c.)   The investigation of the cause, origin and circumstances of fires;

                         d.)   The means and adequacy of exits in case of fire from halls, theatres, churches, hospitals, asylums, lodging houses, schools, factories and all other buildings in which the public congregates for any purpose; and

                         e.)   The installation and maintenance of private fire alarm systems and fire extinguishing equipment.

 7.   The Fire Chief shall have the right of entry into any building or premises within the Fire Chief’s jurisdiction at a reasonable time and after reasonable notice to the occupant or owner. The Fire Chief shall there conduct such investigation or inspection that the Fire Chief considers necessary in light of state law, regulations or Ordinance.  

                                    Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.12

8.   The Fire Chief shall make such recommendations to owners, occupants, caretakers or managers of buildings necessary to eliminate fire hazards.

                                    Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.13

9.   The Fire Chief shall, at the request of the State Fire Marshal, and as provided by law, aid the State Fire Marshal in the performance of the Marshal’s duties by investigating, preventing and reporting data pertaining to fires.

                                    Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.4

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