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Plan of Government

Chapter 1
General Provisions

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Chapter 2
Governing Bodies

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Chapter 3
Governing Bodies -
Powers and Duties

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Chapter 4
Mayor President

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Chapter 5
Department of
Public Works

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Chapter 6
Police Department

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Chapter 7
Fire Department

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Chapter 8
Finance

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Chapter 9
Personnel

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Chapter 10
Planning and Zoning

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Chapter 11
Miscellaneous

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Plan of Government This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from www.adobe.com
January, 2008
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ADOPTED
AUGUST 12, 1947
EFFECTIVE
JANUARY 1, 1949

AMENDED

JULY 29, 1952
NOVEMBER 6, 1956
NOVEMBER 3, 1964
NOVEMBER 8, 1966
NOVEMBER 3, 1970
FEBRUARY 1, 1972
OCTOBER 27, 1979
SEPTEMBER 11, 1982
APRIL 16, 1988
OCTOBER 6, 1990
NOVEMBER 18, 1995
NOVEMBER 5, 1996
NOVEMBER 3, 1998
OCTOBER 20, 2007

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Chapter 2: Governing Bodies

SECTION 2.01
Metropolitan Council Parish of East Baton Rouge and the City of Baton Rouge
Creation and Composition

(a) The consolidation of the governing body of the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge by the creation of Metropolitan Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and the City of Baton Rouge (hereinafter sometimes referred to as "Council"), is hereby authorized and directed, said consolidation to become effective January l, l983 (the "l983 Effective Date"). If approved by the qualified voters of the Parish at the Special Election to be called and held on September 11, 1982, in accordance with the Louisiana Election Code; and Section ll.09 hereof, from and of the l983 Effective Date, the Metropolitan Council shall be the governing authority of the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge. All powers, functions and duties vested in the City Council of the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, respectively, by (1) this Plan of Government, particularly, but without limitation, Chapter 3 hereof; (2) Article VI, Section 4, of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 and Section 3A of Article 14 of the Louisiana Constitution of l92l; and (3) the Laws of the State of Louisiana are hereby transferred to and shall be vested in the Metropolitan Council as of the 1983 Effective Date. (Electorate approved September 11, 1982.) Requirements for the adoption of proceedings by the governing authority of the City and Parish after the effective date of the Metropolitan Council shall be as provided for in the Plan of Government. Duties, functions, responsibilities, and status of the officers of the City and Parish and all of the officers, departments, divisions, administrative officers, directors, boards, administrators and commissions of the City of Baton Rouge and/or the Parish of East Baton Rouge and the right to amend the duties, functions and status thereof under the Plan of Government are not altered by the effect of consolidation herein authorized, but to the extent that such right of amendment vests in the City Council of the City of Baton Rouge or in the Parish Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, such right shall upon the l983 Effective Date of the consolidation be vested in the Metropolitan Council.

(b) For the period from the l983 Effective Date to January l, l985, the Metropolitan Council shall consist of the l2 persons elected to the Parish Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and the City Council of the City of Baton Rouge, respectively, in the general election of November 4, l980, whose terms of office commenced January l, l98l, or their successors in office as provided for by this Plan of Government and general law. On and after January l, l985, the Metropolitan Council shall consist of twelve (l2) persons elected from l2 single member districts within the Parish of East Baton Rouge, based on Federal decennial census of l980 or special census authorized in paragraph (e) in this section; such districts to be determined by the Metropolitan Council no later than the year l982, so that each member of the Metropolitan Council after January l, l985, will represent approximately the same number of persons, notwithstanding anything herein contained, the single member districts, as provided for by this paragraph, shall become effective with respect to the Metropolitan Council for the terms of office to commence January l, l985.

(c) After each Federal decennial census, the Parish of East Baton Rouge shall be reapportioned in compliance with the constitutional requirement of equal representation.

(d) It shall be the duty of the Metropolitan Council to undertake to reapportion itself as provided in paragraph (b) above within ninety (90) days after the promulgation of each Federal decennial census, and to complete such reapportionment within a period of one (l) year.

(e) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein the Metropolitan Council may at any time undertake to reapportion itself pursuant to a special census of the Parish of East Baton Rouge conducted and/or approved by the Metropolitan Council.

(f) The creation of the Metropolitan Council for the consolidation of the City Council and the Parish Council as hereby provided, shall not affect the continued existence of the City of Baton Rouge, the City of Baker, the City of Zachary, the City of Central, or Parish of East Baton Rouge all of which municipalities and parish are continued in existence as provided for in Section l.02, l.03 and l.05 and other provisions of this Plan of Government. The continuation of said municipalities and parish and the exercise of powers and functions thereof, as authorized by general law, and this Plan of Government, is hereby recognized and left unchanged. (As amended October 20, 2007)

(g) The Metropolitan Council as the governing authority of the City and the governing authority of the Parish, respectively, shall constitute the "Authority" of the Greater Baton Rouge Airport Authority and the governing body of the Greater Baton Rouge Consolidated Sewerage District. In addition, the Metropolitan Council shall constitute the governing body of any district heretofore or hereafter created within the limits of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, which, under applicable general or special law, the governing body of which would otherwise consist of the governing body of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and/or the governing body of the City of Baton Rouge.

SECTION 2.02
Method of Election and Term

As provided in paragraph 2.0l(b) above, the members of the Metropolitan Council elected in the general election of November 4,l980, and whose terms of office commenced January l, l98l, and their successors in office (if any) for the terms of office ending December 3l, l984, and the nomination and election of such members and their successors in office be and the same are hereby ratified, approved and confirmed. The members of the Metropolitan Council shall thereafter be nominated and elected in l984 and every fourth year thereafter at the same time as representatives in Congress of the United States and shall hold office for terms of four years from the first day of January following their election; provided that the members of the Parish and City Council elected in l980 shall take office as members of the Metropolitan Council for a term to extend to December 3l, l984, as provided in this chapter, except that such members of the Metropolitan Council shall not be subject to residency requirements of the single member district.

A person who has been elected to serve as a member of the Metropolitan Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and City of Baton Rouge, the governing authority of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and City of Baton Rouge, for three (3) consecutive full terms of office, such service being during a term of office that began on or after January 1, 1997, shall not be eligible for election to the Metropolitan Council of the Parish of East Baton Rouge and City of Baton Rouge for the succeeding term. (As Amended on November 18, 1995)

SECTION 2.03
Qualifications

The members of the Metropolitan Council elected from single member districts with the terms of office to commence on January l, l985, shall be qualified voters of the Parish and of the district and shall be a resident of the district from which each is elected and shall remain both a qualified voter and resident of the Parish and District during their term of office.. No member of the Metropolitan Council or the Mayor-President shall, while he holds such office, hold any other office of profit under the United States, the State of Louisiana or any political subdivision thereof, except that of notary public or an office in the National Guard or the military or Naval Reserve in the United States. No such member shall, during the term for which he was elected and two years thereafter, be appointed to any office of profit under the Parish of East Baton Rouge or the City of Baton Rouge, or any unit of local government therein. If any of them shall cease to possess the qualification above required, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, his office shall at once become vacant. (As amended October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.04
Governing Body of City

The governing body of the City of Baton Rouge shall consist of the Metropolitan Council as hereinabove provided for.

SECTION 2.05
Compensation

The salary of each councilman shall be $1,000.00 per month effective January 1, 2009. Except for travel allowances authorized by law, the members of the Metropolitan Council shall receive no other compensation. (As amended on November 6, l956, November 8, 1966.) (As amended October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.06
Vacancies

A vacancy in the membership of the Metropolitan Council, from whatever cause arising, occurring within one year of the expiration of the term of any member shall be filled by appointment by majority vote of the remaining members of the Council by a qualified voter residing in the same district as his predecessor. If the vacancy occurs more than one year prior to the expiration of the term of any member it shall be filled by the vote of the qualified voters of the district in which the former member resided and to be determined at the next scheduled election (As amended September ll, l982 and October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.07
Organization

On the second day of January, l985, and on the second day of January of every fourth year thereafter, or if such second day of January falls on a Sunday then on the succeeding business day, the newly elected Metropolitan Council shall meet at ll:00 a.m. at such place as may be designated by the Council as its place of meeting and shall take the oath of office before a judge of the District Court or other person authorized to administer oaths. Thereupon, the Council shall proceed to elect one of their own number to be a President Pro Tempore for a term of four years.

SECTION 2.08
Council Administrator

The Metropolitan Council shall appoint and fix the compensation of a Council Administrator who shall act as administrator of the Council. It shall be the duty of the Council Administrator to keep a journal of the proceedings of the Council and such journal shall be open to public inspection in the administrator's office during regular business hours. The administrator shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Plan of Government or by resolution of the Council. The administrator shall appoint, subject to the provisions of Chapter 9 of this Plan of Government, all employees in said office. The cost of this office shall be included in the City and Parish budgets.

SECTION 2.09
Voting

Unless specified otherwise herein, no ordinance, resolution, motion or vote, shall be adopted, or any appointment or removal made, by the Metropolitan Council, unless it shall have received the affirmative votes of not less than seven (7) members of such council. No such action shall be taken except in a meeting open to the public. All voting shall be by roll call and the yeas and nays shall be recorded. (As amended October 20, 2007)

Effective September 30, 2006, a notice shall be placed at least once, in a newspaper of general circulation in the Parish and on the official website of the City and the Parish, advising that a position on any board and commission in the Parish is open, at least sixty (60) days prior to the appointment, and that applications shall be accepted from residents registered to vote in the Parish and each person who has submitted an application and who meets the qualifications for the position shall be considered as nominated for the position, along with any person nominated by a member of the Metropolitan Council, and that the nominee who receives a majority of votes shall be the appointee to the position. (Amended September 30, 2006. Requirement to advertise for appointments to boards and commissions.)

SECTION 2.10
Members of Councils Interested in Proposed Ordinance or Resolution
Duty to Refrain from Voting

Any member of the Metropolitan Council who shall have any personal or private pecuniary interest in the adoption or passage of any ordinance, resolution, motion or measure, by the Council, shall declare such fact to said body, and shall refrain from voting on the same at any time, whether on final passage or otherwise. Any person who shall violate the above provision shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not more than sixty days, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court, and shall forfeit his office.

SECTION 2.11
Rules of Procedure

The Metropolitan Council shall have power to adopt rules of procedure not inconsistent with this Plan of Government. Such rules shall provide for the time and place of holding regular meetings, shall also provide for the calling of special meetings of the Council by the Mayor-President or any three members of the Council, and shall prescribe the method of giving notice thereof; provided that the notice of each special meeting shall contain a statement of the specific item or items of business to be transacted, and no other business shall be transacted at such meeting.

SECTION 2.12
Procedure for Passing Ordinances and Resolutions

All ordinances and resolutions shall be introduced in typewritten or printed form. They shall be confined to a single subject which shall be clearly expressed in the title, except in the case of a codification or revision of ordinances, annual budget ordinances, or ordinances proposing related amendments to this plan of government or proposing the substitution of an entirely new form of government, in which case they shall be deemed to embrace but one subject, and their title need only refer to the general purpose and scope thereof. No ordinance or resolution which makes an appropriation, authorizes the borrowing of money, levies a tax, creates a district which may levy a tax, requires the payment of a license or permit fee, establishes any rule or regulation for the violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed, grants a franchise, creates or abolishes any office or employment, or places any burden upon or limits the use of private property, shall be adopted at the same meeting at which it was introduced, but shall be read by title a first time and a time, not less than six days after such introduction, fixed, at which the Council or a committee thereof shall hold a public hearing thereon. Such hearing may be held separately or in connection with the regular or special meeting of such Council and may be adjourned from time to time. The Council Administrator shall cause the title of the proposed ordinance or resolution and a notice of the time and place of the hearing to be published in the Parish Journal at least four days prior to the time fixed for such hearing. The Council Administrator shall cause copies of the proposed ordinance or resolution to be mimeographed, printed or otherwise reproduced within three business days after its introduction so that copies may be available to the members of the Council and the public. A proposed ordinance or resolution, unless it be an emergency ordinance as hereinafter defined shall be read a second time by title, and may be finally passed at any regular or special meeting of the Council after the conclusion of the hearing on such ordinance or resolution. An emergency ordinance for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety may be passed at any regular or special meeting, after having been published in full in the official journal of the parish. An emergency ordinance shall contain a specific statement of the emergency claimed and shall be adopted by at least seven affirmative votes of the Council. No ordinance levying a tax, authorizing the borrowing of money, or granting a franchise shall be adopted as an emergency ordinance. (As amended October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.13
Removals

The Metropolitan Council may remove any officer or employee appointed by it for an indefinite term, provided it shall first give such officer or employee notice in writing of its intention to remove him, containing a clear statement of the grounds for such removal and fixing the time and place, not less than ten days after the service of the notice, at which he shall be given an opportunity to be heard thereon. After the hearing, which shall be public at the option of the person sought to be removed, and at which he may be represented by counsel, the decision of the Council shall be final. Members of unsalaried boards and commissions and other persons appointed by this Council for fixed terms may be removed in the same manner except that the only grounds on which they may be removed shall be neglect of duty or misconduct in office as determined by the Metropolitan Council. (As amended October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.14
Power of Investigation

The Metropolitan Council, or any committee thereof when authorized by such Council, shall have power to investigate the official conduct of any department, office or agency under its jurisdiction. For the purpose of conducting any such investigation or any hearing in connection with the contemplated removal of any officer or employee any Council member shall have power to administer oaths, and the Council or an authorized committee thereof may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers. Any person refusing to obey such an order, if lawfully given, shall upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction be subject to a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than sixty days or both. (As amended October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.15
Submission of Ordinances to the Mayor-President

(l) Every ordinance, except those hereinafter enumerated, adopted by the Metropolitan Council shall be signed by the Council Administrator and presented by said office to the Mayor-President within two (2) calendar days of its adoption.

(2) The Mayor-President, within twelve (12) calendar days of the adoption of an ordinance, shall return it to the Council Administrator with or without his approval, or with his disapproval. If the ordinance has been approved, it shall become law upon its return to the Council Administrator; if the ordinance is neither approved or disapproved, it shall become law at l2:00 o'clock Noon on the twelfth (12th) calendar day after its adoption; if the ordinance is disapproved, the Mayor-President shall submit to the Metropolitan Council through the Council Administrator a written statement of the reasons for his veto. The Council Administrator shall record upon the ordinance the date of its delivery to and receipt from the Mayor-President.

(3) Ordinances vetoed by the Mayor-President shall be presented by the Council Administrator to the Council at its next regular meeting, and should the Council then, or at its next regular meeting, adopt the ordinance by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of all of its members, said ordinances shall become law irrespective of the veto thereof by the Mayor-President.

(4) The right of veto, as provided in this section shall not apply to the following, which shall become effective upon adoption (As amended October 20, 2007):

(a) Any action of the Council relating to the conduct of the Council business or the exercise of its authority pursuant to the provisions of Section 2.l3 or 2.l4 hereof.

(b) The making of appointments or the establishment of boards and divisions of government by the Council as provided by any of the provisions of the Plan of Government, or of Act l69 of l898, as amended, or the general laws of the State of Louisiana.

(c) The granting of licenses, permits, or franchises, and ordinances or amendments to ordinances relating thereto.

(d) The ordering of streets or other improvements to be paved or constructed at the cost and expense of abutting property owners, pursuant to the general laws of the State of Louisiana or of Act l69 of l898, as amended and the various procedures relating to the awarding of contracts and the levying of special assessments under such local assessment statutes.

(e) Zoning ordinances or amendments to said ordinances.

(f) Any action which the government authority is required by law to take or perform where required to take or perform such action by a petition, or by the provisions of the Plan of Government, the general laws of the State of Louisiana, or of Act l69 or l898, as amended.

(g) The adoption of current expense budgets, as provided for in Chapter 9 of the Plan of Government, except that any increase, decrease, deletion of any item in, or any new item added to, or subdivision of items of appropriations in the preliminary budget as submitted by the Mayor-President shall be approved by two-thirds of the entire membership of the Council.

(h) The fixing of the number or the compensation of the members of the classified and nonclassified services.

(I) The prescribing of general regulations for the proper operation of the departments of governments when such regulations are specifically required by the Plan of Government to be approved or adopted by the Council.

This amendment shall become effective as of midnight, December 3l, l956. (As amended on November 6, l956)

SECTION 2.16
Council Budget Officer

There shall be a Council Budget Officer who shall be an unclassified employee appointed by the Council for an indefinite term. The Council Budget Officer shall have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university, with courses in accounting, or have at least five years of responsible work in the field of public administration, governmental accounting, or general accounting supervision. He shall perform the duties hereinafter enumerated and shall have such other authority and power and perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Council, subject only to the limitation that such authority not directly conflict with the authority vested in the Director of Finance by the provisions of Chapter 8 of this Plan of Government. The Council Budget Officer shall:

(a) Study and analyze City and Parish revenues and expenditures on a continuing basis, and report thereon to the members of the Council.

(b) Study and analyze budget requests of the various departments, agencies and offices to which the Parish and City makes appropriations, and make specific recommendations thereon to the members of the Council.

(c)  Determine and have available at all times the status of the general funds of the Parish and City and of all special accounts and funds; the status of appropriations and the amount actually expended or transferred out of all such appropriations; the amount appropriated but not expended and unencumbered during each fiscal year by each budget unit; and the amount which is encumbered but not expended at the close of each fiscal year by each budget unit; and such other budgetary information as may be requested by the members of the Council from time to time.

(d) Review the budget of receipts and expenditures, as recommended by the Mayor-President, and participate in the budget hearings conducted by the Council and make specific recommendations thereon to the members of the Council.

(e) Review all audit reports and make specific recommendations with respect thereto.
In the performance of his duties, the Council Budget Officer, or a member of his staff designated by him, shall have the power to inspect and make copies of any books, records, documents, or files of any department, agency or office to which the Parish and City make appropriations. The Budget Officer may call upon all such departments, agencies, or offices for assistance and advice, and shall coordinate his work with that of the Director of Finance in providing budget information to the members of the Council. He shall appoint, subject to the provisions of Chapter 9 of this Plan of Government, all employees of his office. The cost of the office shall be borne by the Parish and City budgets in such proportions as the Councils may designate. (As amended November 8, l966.)

SECTION 2.17
Uniform Term Length for Boards and Commissions

Attendance Requirements for Board and Commission Members

The term of office of any board and commission member shall be four years, unless otherwise required by the laws of the State of Louisiana. Any board or commission member who fails to attend 75% of all regularly scheduled meetings of their board or commission in any calendar year is no longer eligible to serve on such board and commission and the director of the board or commission shall notify the Council Administrator-Treasurer no later than February 1 of any vacancies created in the prior year by violation of this provision. ( As amended on September 30, 2006. Requires uniformity of terms of office for all boards and commissions.) (As amended October 20, 2007)

SECTION 2.18
Term Limits for Members of Boards and Commission
s

Members of boards and commissions in the Parish whose members are appointed by the members of the Metropolitan Council, other than those who serve as a result of being an elected official or serve as ex officio members, and other than with respect to members of any fire protection district, are limited to serve for two consecutive terms or eight consecutive years, whichever is greater, and may serve a third consecutive term if approved by a vote of three-fourths of the members of the Metropolitan Council, and any member of a board or commission appointed for a second or subsequent consecutive term prior to the September 30, 2006 (the effective date of this amendment), may serve the remainder of such term and may be reappointed to one additional term if approved by a vote of three-fourths of the members of the Metropolitan Council. (Amended September 30, 2006. Requirement of term limitations for all members of boards and commissions in the Parish.)

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