About City Council
About City Council
The following Sanibel City Charter sections outline the composition, election, and powers and duties of City Council.
Article III. Legislative. Section 3.01 City Council – Composition
There shall be a City Council with all legislative powers of the City vested therein, consisting of five (5) members who shall be electors of the city elected by the electors of the City at large.
Article III. Legislative Section 3.02 Elections
The regular election of City Council members, beginning in March 2003, shall be held on the first Tuesday in March, in the manner provided in Article V of the Sanibel City Charter, and shall be for four-year terms. Terms of sitting council members shall be extended to coincide with the change in election date.
Article III. Legislative Section 3.03 Compensation and Expenses
Council members shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to receive their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.
Article III. Legislative Section 3.04 Mayor
The council shall elect from among its members a mayor and a vice mayor. Election of the Mayor and Vice Mayor shall be done annually at the first regular council meeting after the city election and in non-election years at the first regular council meeting in December provided, however, that in non-election years beginning in 2004, such elections shall occur at the first regular council meeting in April. The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the council, shall be recognized as head of city government for all ceremonial purposes, by the Governor for military law and for service of process, but shall have no administrative duties. The Vice Mayor shall act as Mayor during the absence or disability of the mayor. If the office of Mayor shall become vacant upon death, incapacitation due to long-term illness, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of office, the Vice Mayor shall serve as acting mayor in the event of such vacancy until the next regular council meeting, at which time the council shall elect a Mayor and Vice Mayor if the vice mayor is elected Mayor pursuant to the procedures in Section 3.04.
Article III Legislative Section 3.05 General Powers and Duties
All legislative powers of the City shall be vested in the City Council, which shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the City by law. The council may delegate to the City Manager the power to execute contracts, deeds and other documents approved by the council, and to represent the City in all agreements with other governmental entities or certifications to other governmental entities.
Article III Section 3.06 Prohibitions
(a) Holding other office. No former elected city official shall hold any compensated appointive city office or employment until one year after the expiration of the term for which he or she was elected, except by four-fifths ( 4/5) vote of the council.
(b) Appointments and removals. Neither the council nor any of its members shall in any manner dictate the appointment or removal of any city administrative officers or employees whom the manager or any subordinates are empowered to appoint, but the council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.
(c) Interference with administration. Except for questions involving routine council business, the council and its members shall not interfere with the administration and shall deal directly with the city manager. Investigation of activities and performance of the city administration, manager and staff, may be done only by the vote of at least three (3) council members.
Article III Section 3.07 Vacancies, Forfeiture of Office; Filling of Vacancies
(a) Vacancies. The office of a council member shall become vacant upon death, incapacitation due to long-term illness, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of the council member's office.
(b) Forfeiture of office. A council member shall forfeit office if he or she:
(1) Lacks at any time during the term of office any qualifications for the office prescribed by this Charter or by law;
(2) Violates any standard of conduct or code of ethics established by law for public officials; or
(3) Is absent from three (3) consecutive regular council meetings without being excused by the council.
(c) Filling of vacancies. A vacancy on the council shall be filled in one of the following ways:
(1) If there is less than six (6) months remaining in the unexpired term or if there is less than six (6) months before the next regular City election, the council, by a majority vote of the remaining members, shall choose a successor to serve until the newly elected council member is qualified. If two (2) years remains in the term of the vacated seat at the time of the next regular election, that seat shall be filled by election for the remaining two (2) years;
(2) If there is more than six (6) months remaining in the unexpired term and no regular city election is scheduled within six (6) months, the council shall fill the vacancy on an interim basis as provided in (1), and shall schedule a special election to be held not sooner than sixty (60) days, nor more than ninety (90) days following the occurrence of the vacancy. If a run-off election is necessary, it shall be scheduled two (2) weeks following the election.
Notwithstanding any quorum requirements established herein, if at any time the membership of the council is reduced to less than a quorum, the remaining members may, by majority vote, appoint additional members under either (1) or (2) above.
(d) Extraordinary vacancies. In the event that three (3) or more vacancies occur on the council, for whatever reason and by whatever cause, the governor shall appoint interim council members to fill the vacancies who shall call a special election as provided in (c) above, and such election shall be done in the following manner: Qualification of candidates shall be in accordance with Section 5.03, and the election held in accordance with Section 5.04 of the Sanibel City Charter. Council members elected shall, by lot at their first meeting, determine which shall serve for the two-year terms open and which for the four-year terms open.
Article III Legislative Section 3.09 Procedure
(a) Meetings. The council shall meet regularly at least once in every month at such times and places as the council may prescribe by rule. Special meetings may be held on the call of any individual council member, whenever practicable, upon no less than twelve (12) hours' notice to each member and the public. All meetings shall be public.
(b) Rules and journal. The council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a journal containing all minutes of meetings.
(c) Voting. Voting, on ordinances and resolutions, shall be by roll call and shall be recorded in the journal. A majority of the council shall constitute a quorum; but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner and subject to the penalties prescribed by the rules of the council. No action of the council, except as otherwise provided in the preceding sentence and in Section 3.07, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of the majority of a quorum present. All council members shall vote on all matters before the council except on those matters on which the council member announces a conflict of interest.