BY COUNCILOR STAUBER:
WHEREAS, the Duluth City Charter acknowledges that the city attorney position is appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council; and
WHEREAS, the Duluth city attorney serves as chief counsel to both the mayor and the city council; and
WHEREAS, the Charter allows the dismissal of the city attorney by only the decision of the mayor, which really implies the attorney serves only at the pleasure of the mayor; and
WHEREAS, from time to time the council and mayor may not agree on the legality of a situation, and this leaves the city attorney with a conflict of interest and unable to represent the wishes of the council.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city council does ask the Duluth Charter commission to review and recommend whether the Charter should be changed stating the following or something similar:
(a) The mayor appoints and the council approves the position of the Duluth city attorney;
(b) In order to remove the city attorney from his position:
(1) The mayor will recommend his/her removal and the council must vote by a majority in favor of removal; or
(2) By majority, the council votes in favor of removal and the mayor does not veto the action; or
(3) The council votes in favor of removal, the mayor vetoes the action, and a subsequent legal vote by the council over-rides the veto; or
(4) The mayor, within 120 days after taking the oath of office of a general municipal election of the mayor, chooses to relieve the sitting attorney to be replaced by someone of the mayor’s choosing and approved by the majority of the council; or
(5) The city attorney voluntarily leaves the position; or
(6) Any other lawfully recognized method.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution is asking the charter commission to review the current charter and the method by which the city attorney can be removed from office and recommend for/against changing the charter to ensure the council is part of the decision process.