Section 22: Administrative Branch

  1. Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, neither the council president, the city council, nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinate of the City under the jurisdiction of the mayor, either publicly or privately. However, the city council and the council president are not precluded from requesting information from city staff. The council president or any council member shall not attempt to coerce or influence a city employee regarding any contract or the purchase of any supplies.
  2. While fulfilling the duties of city employment, no city employee shall actively engage in a political campaign for mayor, council president, council, or other elective city office or take an active part in securing or contributing moneys toward the election of any candidate for elective city office. No city employee shall use such position, office, facilities, or public resources to attempt to persuade any other employee or person to participate in or contribute to any political campaign for mayor, council president, city council member, or other elective office.
  3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the city council in proper cases from ratifying or confirming any action by the mayor.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 17

Section 23: Mayor Pro Tem

  1. In case of the absence or incapacity of the mayor, which renders the mayor unable to perform the duties of the office or if a vacancy shall occur in the office, the council president shall serve as the mayor pro tem and perform the duties of the mayor until the mayor shall return to duty or until the appointment of his or her successor shall have been made. While acting as mayor pro tem due to either the mayor's incapacity or a vacancy, the council president shall cease acting as council president and shall not participate in legislative matters as a member of the city council.
  2. The mayor may submit a written declaration to the council president that he or she will be unable to perform the duties of the office of mayor due to his or her absence or incapacity and that the council president is to perform the duties of the mayor as mayor pro tem for a specific period of time or until the mayor indicates that he or she has returned to the duties of the office of mayor.
  3. The mayor's incapacity to perform the duties of the office may also be judicially determined by the Superior Court of Spokane County upon a petition to the Court. Such judicial declaration shall be rescinded upon determination by the Court that the cause of the mayor's incapacity no longer exists.

Effective Date: August 31, 2011
Ordinance C34626 Section 1

Section 24: Mayor

The mayor shall be the executive officer of the City. In addition to the powers and duties granted a chief executive and/or administrative officer under the law of the State of Washington, the mayor shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. The power to appoint and remove the administrative heads and assistant administrative heads in each department of the City government, provided the appointment of an administrative head shall be subject to the approval of the city council and, further provided, that the head or assistant head of any department shall not be deprived by any such removal of any standing under the civil service provisions of this Charter which the employee may have had before appointment as head or assistant head of a department.
  2. The power to appoint and remove a city clerk, provided such appointment shall be subject to the approval of the city council.
  3. The power to appoint and remove the city attorney, provided such appointment shall be subject to the approval of the city council.
  4. The power to appoint and remove, subject to the civil service provisions of this Charter, all other officers and employees of the City of Spokane or to authorize the head of a department or officer responsible to the mayor to appoint and remove subordinates in such department or office.
  5. The power to make all other appointments required to be made by the mayor by the laws of the State of Washington and in the manner provided thereby.
  6. The power to appoint and remove a chief administrative officer whose title may be determined by the mayor. The chief administrative officer shall, under general supervision of the mayor, assist the mayor in administering City government. The salary of the chief administrative officer shall be fixed in the discretion of the mayor, subject to the approval of the city council.
  7. The power to appoint and remove an executive secretary and assistants not subject to civil service, whose compensation shall be fixed by the city council.
  8. Whenever the city council shall be required to appoint any member of a board, commission, or other body, unless the appointee is a council member, it shall be the duty of the mayor to nominate a suitable person for such appointment. If the city council refuses to appoint any nominee of the mayor, then the mayor shall, within ninety days thereafter, nominate another person to fill the office, and may continue to nominate until appointment. If the mayor fails to make another such nomination within ninety days, then the city council shall select a suitable person to fill the office.
  9. The power to initiate the removal of a council appointee, other than a council member appointee to a committee of the council, by recommending such removal to the city council. The council shall consider the request. If a majority of the council is in favor, the appointee shall be removed. Upon such removal, the vacancy for the unexpired term, if any, shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as if at the beginning of the term, except as otherwise provided in this Charter.
  10. The duty to see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced and that law and order are maintained in the City.
  11. The duty of the mayor annually at the second meeting of the city council in October to communicate by message to the city council a statement of the conditions and affairs of the City, and to recommend the adoption of such measures he or she may deem expedient and proper. The mayor shall make special communication to the city council from time to time as he or she may deem useful and proper, and shall submit reports on City matters when so requested by the city council.
  12. The duty to prepare and present to the city council a budget and a budget message setting forth the programs proposed for the City during the next fiscal year.
  13. The power to recommend to the city council for adoption such measures and ordinances as may be deemed expedient and to make such other recommendations to the city council concerning the affairs of the City as may seem desirable.
  14. The power to veto ordinances or parts of ordinances passed by the council and submitted to him or her as provided herein but such veto may be overridden by the vote of a majority of all council members plus one more vote.
  15. The power to make investigation into the affairs of the City.
  16. The power to make recommendations in connection with the awarding of public contracts and shall see that all contracts made by the City of Spokane are faithfully performed.
  17. The duty to hold no employment other than that of the City.
  18. The duty to approve for payment and submit to the city council at each meeting for its allowance all claims and bills.

Effective Date: August 31, 2011
Ordinance C34627 Section 1

Section 25: Administrative Departments

Administrative departments shall be created or discontinued by the city council at the time of the adoption of the annual budget, as the public business may demand. The rights, powers, and duties of the departments shall be prescribed, distributed, assigned, established, or discontinued by ordinance.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 19

Section 26: Salary

Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, city officers, assistants, and employees shall receive such salary or compensation as the city council shall fix by ordinance and the same shall be payable at such times as the city council shall determine.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 20

Section 27: Duties of City Clerk

The city clerk shall perform the duties required by this Charter and by the council; keep a record of the proceedings of the council, and of every matter and thing before, presented to, or acted upon by the council; certify all accounts ordered paid by the council; be the custodian of the official seal of the City and affix the same to all documents when authorized so to do.

Effective Date: 1910

Section 28: City Attorney – Qualifications

The city attorney shall be a member of the Bar of the State of Washington, and shall have practiced law within the State of Washington not less than five years immediately preceding his or her appointment.

Effective Date: November 1983
Ordinance C27115 Section 1

Section 29: City Attorney – Duties

The city attorney shall be the legal advisor of the city officers; shall conduct all cases in court and all other actions and proceedings not in charge of special counsel, to which the City may be a party or in which it may be interested; and shall perform such other duties as may be required by the city council. The city attorney shall keep a docket and record of all cases and of the proceedings therein, shall keep copies of all official written communications, and shall deliver the same to any successor in office.

Effective Date: November 1983
Ordinance C27115 Section 1

Section 30: City Engineer – Qualifications

The city engineer shall be a licensed civil engineer and shall have practiced engineering not less than five years immediately preceding his or her appointment.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 21

Section 32: City Attorney – Assistants

The city attorney shall have the power to appoint and remove assistants.

Effective Date: November 1983
Ordinance C27115 Section 1

Section 33: Special Counsel

The mayor, at any time, may employ other or special counsel to take charge of special matters or to assist the city attorney.

Effective Date: August 31, 2011
Ordinance C34627 Section 1

Section 34: Oath of Office

Every elected officer, before entering upon the duties of office, shall make and file with the city clerk an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Washington, and to perform faithfully, honestly, and impartially the duties of office.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 22

Section 35: Bonds of Officers

Such officers and employees of the City as the city council may determine by ordinance shall furnish and file surety bonds in the amounts fixed by such ordinance. The bonds shall be approved by the city council, mayor, and city attorney.

Effective Date: November 2000
Ordinance C32717 Section 11

Section 36: Officers or Employees Not to be Interested in Contracts

  1. Any member of the city council having a personal interest in any matter brought before the council shall declare the same to the council president and shall not vote or otherwise participate on said matter.
    1. No officer or employee of the City of Spokane having the power to perform an official act related to a contract or transaction which is or may be the subject of an official action of the City shall:
    2. have or acquire any interest in such contract or transaction; or
    3. have solicited, accepted, or granted a present or future gift, favor, service, or other thing of value from or to any person involved in a contract or transaction with the City of Spokane.
  2. All contracts of the City shall be free from all influence of or benefit to, directly or indirectly, any officer or employee of the City. This shall apply to the solicitation or receiving of any pay, commission, money, or other thing of value, or any benefit, profit, or advantage, directly or indirectly, from or by reason of any improvement, alteration, or repair required by authority of the City, or any contract to which the City shall be a party, except for the lawful compensation or salary as such officer or employee, and except as hereinafter provided.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 23

Section 37: Procurement of Public Works, Goods and Services

Subject to the general laws of the State of Washington, the city council shall by ordinance regulate the manner in which the City contracts for public works, personal services, and the acquisition and disposition of property. The city council shall employ accepted procurement principles, reserving in all cases the right to reject all bids, proposals, or other offers, and, as trustee of public funds, shall in all procurements of public works, goods, and services promote the public interest.

Effective Date: November 1983
Ordinance C27100 Section 1

Section 38: Contracts and Documents – Execution of

All written contracts, bonds, and instruments of every kind and description to which the City shall be a party shall be executed in the name of the City by the mayor or the council president under the direction of the city council, or their respective designees, and attested by the city clerk, and when necessary, shall be acknowledged.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 24

Section 39: Publicity Provisions – Official Gazette

  1. The mayor shall cause to be issued each week a document entitled the Official Gazette, in which shall be published a summary of the council's proceedings. The Official Gazette may be published on the City's official web site or other reasonable medium.
  2. All official City matters which by this Charter, or by order of the mayor or city council, are or may be required to be published shall be published in the Official Gazette, unless other publication is required by the laws of the State of Washington or the United States.
  3. A copy of the Official Gazette shall be furnished without charge to the State Library, the Spokane Public Library, the newspapers of Spokane and to persons requesting a copy.

Effective Date: March 25, 2009
Ordinance C34385 Section 25