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before a regular municipal election. If, in any city, a sufficient petition is filed requiring that the question of adopting Article V of Chapter 52, of the Reivsed [Revised] Statutes of Nebraska for 1913, called the "Commission Plan of City Government," or the question of choosing a convention to frame a charter, be submitted to the electors thereof, or if an ordinance providing for the election of such a charter convention be passed by the city council, the proposition to adopt the plan of government provided in this act shall not be submitted in that city so long as the question of adopting such plan of government, or of choosing such convention or adopting a charter framed by it is pending.
Sec. 8. Election-ballots. In submitting the question of adopting the plan of government provided in this act the city council shall cause to be printed on the ballots the following question, "Shall the City Manager Plan of Government as provided in (giving the legal designation of this act as published) be adopted?" Immediately following such question there shall be printed on the ballots the following propositions in the order. here set forth:
"For the adoption of the City Manager Plan of Government."
"Against the adoption of the City Manager Plan of Gov
Immediately to the left of each proposition shall be placed a square in which the electors may vote by making a cross (X) mark.
Sec. 9. Effect of election. If the plan of government provided in this act is approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, it shall go into effect immediately, in so far as it applies to the nomination and election of officers provided for herein, and in all other respects it shall go into effect on the first Monday following the next regular municipal election. If the proposition to adopt the provisions of this act is rejected by the electors, it shall not again be submitted in that city within two years thereafter.
Sec. 10. Abandonment of plan-election.-Any city which shall have operated four years under the plan provided in this
act may abandon such organization and either accept the provisions of the general laws applicable to such city, or adopt any other optional plan of organization open thereto. The petition for abandonment shall designate the plan desired, and the following proposition shall be submitted: "Shall the City of ( . . . . . . ..) abandon the City Manager Plan of Government and adopt the (name of plan) as provided in (giving the legal designation of the law as published)?" If a majority of the votes cast thereon be in favor of such proposition, the officers elected at the next regular municipal election shall be those prescribed by the law designated in the petition, and upon the qualification of such officers the city shall become organized under said law. Such change shall not affect the property, right or ability of any nature of such city, but shall extend merely to its form of government.
Sec. 11. Adopting local charter.-Nothing in this act shall be construed to interfere with or prevent any city at any time from framing and adopting a charter for its own government as provided by the state constitution. In exercising the right to frame its own charter, it shall not be obligatory upon any city to adopt or retain any of the provisions of this act.
ARTICLE III-THE CITY COUNCIL
Sec. 12. Council.-The governing body of the city shall be the city council, which shall exercise all the powers which have been or may be conferred upon the city by the constitution and laws of the state, except as herein otherwise provided.
Sec. 13. Same-number. The number of councilmen shall be determined by the class and population of the city as follows: In all cities having not more than twenty-five thousand inhabitants, five; in cities of the first class having more than forty thousand inhabitants, seven. Councilmen shall be elected from the city at large and shall serve for a term of four years and until their successors are elected and have qualified, except that at the first election hereunder the bare majority of councilmen receiving the highest number of votes shall serve for four years and the others for only two years.
Sec. 14. Same Same qualifications. Members of the council shall be residents and qualified electors of the city. They shall
not hold any other public office or employment except that of notary public or member of the state militia, and shall not be interested in the profits or emoluments of any contract, job, work or service for the city. Any such contract in which any member is or may become interested may be declared void by the council. Any councilman who shall cease to possess any of the qualifications herein required, or who shall have been convicted of a crime while in office, shall forthwith forfeit his office. The Council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members, subject to review by the courts.
Sec. 15. Vacancies-how filled.-Vacancies in the council except as otherwise provided herein, shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members until the next regular city election, when a successor shall be chosen by the electors for the unexpired term. If for any reason the seats of a majority of the council shall become vacant, the city clerk shall call a special election to fill the vacancies for the unexpired portion of each term, which election shall be conducted as provided for the regular city election. A vacancy in any office to which the council elects shall be filled by the council for the unexpired term.
Sec. 16. Meetings. At eight o'clock p. m. of the first Monday following a regular city election, the council shall meet in the usual place for holding meetings and the newly elected councilmen shall assume the duties of their office. Thereafter the council shall meet at such time and place as it may prescribe by ordinance, but not less frequently than once in each two weeks in cities of the first class. The mayor, any two councilmen, or the city manager may call special meetings of the council upon at least six hours written notice. The meetings of the council and sessions of committees of the council shall be public. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum, but a majority vote of all the members elected shall be required to pass any measure or elect to any office.
Sec. 17. Compensation of council.-The annual compensation of mayor and councilmen in cities adopting this act shall be payable quarterly in equal installments, and may be fixed by the council in any sum not exceeding the following: In cities of the second class, mayor, one hundred fifty dollars; councilmen, one hundred dollars; in cities of the first class, (a) having not more than twenty-five thousand inhabitants, mayor three hun
dred dollars, councilmen two hundred dollars; (b) having more than forty thousand inhabitants, mayor five hundred dollars, councilmen three hundred dollars. For each absence from regular meetings of the council, unless authorized by a two-thirds vote of all members thereof, there shall be deducted a sum equal to 2 per cent of such annual salary. Absence from five consecutive regular meetings shall operate to vacate the seat of a member unless the absence is excused by the council by resolution setting forth such excuse and entered upon the journal.
Sec. 18. Organization.-At its first meeting and every second year thereafter, the council shall elect one of its members as president, who shall be ex-officio mayor, and another as vice-president, who shall serve in the absence of the president. The president shall preside over the council and have a voice and vote in its proceedings but no veto. He shall be recognized as the official head of the city for all ceremonial purposes, by the courts for the purpose of serving civil process, and by the governor for military purposes. In addition he shall exercise such other powers and perform such duties, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, as are conferred upon the mayor of the city.
Sec. 19. Officers and employes.-The council shall choose a city manager, a city clerk and, where required, a civil service board, but no member of the council shall be chosen as manager, or as a member of the civil service board. Neither the council nor any of its committees or members shall dictate the appointment of any person to office or employment by the city manager, or in any manner seek to prevent him from exercising his own judgment in the appointment, of officers and employees in the administrative service. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the council and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the city manager, and neither the council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any of the subordinates of the city manager, either publicly or privately. The council or a committee thereof, may investigate the affairs of any department or the official acts and conduct of any city officer. It shall have power to administer oaths, compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers and may punish for contempt any person failing to obey its subpoena or refusing to testify. No person shall be excused from testifying, but his testimony shall not be used against him in any criminal proceeding other than for perjury.
Sec. 20. City expenditures apportioned.-If at the beginning of the term of office of the first council elected under this act the appropriations or distribution of the expenditures of the city government for the current fiscal year have been made the council shall have power, by ordinance, to repeal or revise such distribution or to make additional appropriations within the limit of the total taxes levied for the year.
Sec. 21. Same. The council shall have authority, subject to the provisions of this act, to create and discontinue departments, offices and employments, and by ordinance or resolution to prescribe, limit or change the compensation of such officers and employees. Provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to interfere with or to affect the office or powers of city school or school district officers, or of any officer named in the state constitution.
ARTICLE IV-NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Sec. 22. When held.-Regular municipal elections in any city adopting this act shall be held on the date fixed by law. Primary elections in cities having not more than twenty-five thousand inhabitants shall be held on the third Tuesday, and in cities having more than forty thousand inhabitants, on the fourth Tuesday preceding the regular municipal election therein.
Sec. 23. Ballots.-The ballots used in all elections provided for in this act shall be without party marks or designation. The ballot shall be printed in as many series as there are candidates. The whole number of ballots to be printed shall be divided by the number of series and the quotient shall be the number of ballots in each series. The names of the candidates shall be arranged in alphabetical order and the first series printed. The first name shall then be placed last and the second series printed, and this process shall be repeated until each name shall have been first. These ballots shall then be combined into tablets with no two of the same order of names together. The ballots shall in all other respects conform as nearly as may be to the ballots prescribed by the general election laws of the state.
Councilmen-how nominated.-Candidates for the office of councilmen shall be nominated only by a non-partisan primary election. The name of any elector of the city shall be