Section 9: Council President and Council

  1. The council president shall preside at all meetings of the city council. The council president shall be a member of the city council with equal rights and privileges and entitled to vote on all matters coming before the city council, but shall possess no veto power. The council president shall exercise such other powers and perform such other duties consistent with the office as are conferred by this Charter and by the city council.
  2. The city council shall establish its own rules and order of business, including the establishment by the council of temporary committees to assist the council in the performance of its duties. In establishing such committees, the city council shall determine the membership, qualifications, and appointment process, and whether the city council will need the assistance of city staff.
  3. Four council members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business, but in the absence of a quorum the members present may adjourn the meeting to a later date.
  4. The city council shall have authority to employ such staff as it may deem necessary. Such employees shall serve at the pleasure of the city council and shall not be under civil service while so employed.

Effective Date: August 31, 2011
Ordinance C34625 Section 1

Section 10: Meetings

The city council shall meet at the time and place fixed by ordinance, but must hold regular weekly meetings unless prior notification of the meeting cancellation is provided. Special meetings shall be called by the city clerk on the written request of the mayor, council president, or a majority of the council members. Such request shall state the matter(s) to be considered and no other matter(s) shall be considered at such special meeting. At least twenty-four hours' notice of the time and place of such special meeting and the matters to be considered shall be given to each council member and to others as may be provided by state law. All meetings of the city council shall be public, except as otherwise provided by state law.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 8

Section 11: Voting Power

Every ordinance and resolution shall require an affirmative vote of at least four council members for passage, and the ayes and nays shall be taken and recorded by the city clerk. Upon the request of any member, the ayes and nays shall be taken on any question and recorded by the city clerk.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 9

Section 12: Form and Manner of Legislation

All legislation and appropriations of money shall be by ordinance; save where there is a special fund created for a particular purpose, payments from such fund shall be made on order of the city council. Every ordinance and resolution shall be in writing and filed with the city clerk before a vote is taken thereon.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 10

Section 13: Subject of Ordinance

The subject of every ordinance shall be set out clearly in the title thereof, and no ordinance except one making appropriations shall contain more than one subject. Ordinances making appropriations shall be confined to the subject of appropriations.

Effective Date: 1910

Section 14: Enacting Clause

The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be in the words: “The City of Spokane does ordain.”

Effective Date: 1910

Section 15: Time of Passage

  1. Every ordinance except those enacted under the provisions of Section 19(a) of this Charter shall have two public readings by title, which readings shall not be on the same day. At least three consecutive business days shall elapse between the introduction and the final passage of any ordinance, except as otherwise provided in this Charter or state law.
  2. Every ordinance appropriating moneys for any purpose shall be considered and passed in the manner prescribed by state law. Every ordinance, except those enacted under the provisions of Section 19(A) of this Charter, authorizing the entering into of any contract involving a liability on the part of the City in excess of five thousand dollars shall remain on file at least five calendar days before its passage.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 11

Section 16: Ordinances – Signing and Attesting

  1. Every ordinance, except those which become emergency ordinances, passed by the city council shall, within five days thereafter, be presented to the mayor.
  2. Within ten days after its presentation, the mayor shall either sign the ordinance and return it to the city clerk or veto the ordinance and return it to the city clerk with a written and signed statement of the reasons for the mayor's veto or sign and partially veto an appropriation ordinance and return it to the city clerk with a written and signed statement of the reasons for the partial veto. If an ordinance is not returned by the mayor within ten days after its presentation it shall be deemed enacted without the mayor's signature. Within thirty days after an ordinance has been vetoed and returned or partially vetoed and returned, the city council may override the veto or partial veto by enacting the ordinance by a minimum five affirmative votes.
  3. Every ordinance passed by the city council shall be signed by the mayor, or the council president or two city council members in the event of prior mayoral veto, and attested by the city clerk.
  4. An ordinance passed by a majority plus one of the whole membership of the council, designated as a public emergency ordinance necessary for the protection of public health, public safety, public property, or the public peace as provided in Section 19(A)(1), may be made effective upon passage and shall not be subject to veto by the mayor.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 12

Section 17: Ordinances – Publication of

Every ordinance shall be published once in the Official Gazette, hereinafter provided for, within ten days after its passage by the city council.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 13

Section 18: Ordinances – Recording and Authentication

Every ordinance shall be attested by the city clerk and recorded in the city clerk's office.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 14

Section 19: Ordinances – When Effective

  1. The following ordinances may be passed by the city council on the first reading by title and shall take effect immediately upon passage, unless otherwise provided in the ordinance:
    1. An ordinance necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety or for the immediate support of City government and its existing public institutions; provided, it has in its preamble or body a statement of the facts giving rise to the necessity for immediate effectiveness and it is passed by a vote of one more than a majority of the council.
    2. An ordinance or resolution setting the annual tax levy.
    3. An ordinance adopting the annual budget.
    4. An ordinance making appropriations.
    5. An ordinance implementing local improvement districts or confirming assessments therefor.
    6. An ordinance which has been approved by the electors by referendum or initiative.
  2. The effective date of an ordinance shall be thirty days after its enactment unless a later day is specified in the ordinance or this Charter. An ordinance which is subject to the veto power of the mayor and which is not vetoed, or the approved portions of an ordinance which has been partially vetoed, shall be deemed enacted on the date that it is approved by, or ten days after it is presented to, the mayor. An ordinance which is vetoed, or the vetoed portions of an ordinance, shall be deemed enacted on the date that the city council overrides the veto or partial veto. An ordinance which is not subject to the veto power of the mayor shall be deemed enacted on the date it is approved by the city council.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 15

Section 20: Direct Legislation – When Effective

Ordinances passed by the electorate of the City shall take effect at the time fixed therein, or, if no such time is designated therein, at the date of the election certification.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 16

Section 21: Amendments and Repeals

Amendments and repeals of ordinances or sections thereof shall be by ordinance. An amending ordinance shall contain the entire ordinance or section amended.

Effective Date: 1910

Section 21.5: Councilmanic Tax Measures and Increases

After March 1, 2013, a new councilmanic tax may be levied and an existing councilmanic tax increased only by a majority plus one vote of the city council. For purposes of this section, “new councilmanic tax” means a tax for which the city council has the authority to levy but has not or is granted to the city council after March 1, 2013. A councilmanic tax does not include fees, rates and charges, or special assessments. This section does not apply to existing councilmanic taxes levied by the city council as of March 1, 2013 or any renewal or reauthorization of those taxes that does not increase the tax rate.

Effective Date: February 26, 2013
Ordinance C34950 Section 1