ThePressReleaseEngine.com

North Dakota League of Cities information

North Dakota League of Cities

North Dakota League of Cities
North Dakota League of Cities Departments: NDLC Executive Board;NDLC Staff;


FAQ ( frequently asked question )


Most disbursements of state funds to cities are done through the Office of the North Dakota State Treasurer . When a city changes banks, that office should be notified. They will send the city a form to complete and return with information about the new bank account. ( Audits, Banking and Investments - North Dakota League of Cities )

The state auditor is required to audit cities and park districts every two years. All political subdivisions, at the option of the local governing body, may be audited by a certified public accountant or licensed public accountant rather than by the state auditor. The audit report must be in the form and content required by the state auditor. The state auditor shall review the audit report to determine if the report is in the required form and has the required content, and if the audit meets generally accepted government accounting standards. The state auditor may charge the political subdivision a fee of up to $80 an hour, but not to exceed $500 per review. A political subdivision may not pay a public accountant for an audit until the state auditor has accepted the audit. However, a political subdivision may make progress payments to the public accountant, retaining 20% until the audit report is accepted by the state auditor. In lieu of conducting an audit every two years, the state auditor may require annual reports from cities with less than 500 population and park districts with less than $200,000 of annual receipts. (NDCC 54-10-14) ( Audits, Banking and Investments - North Dakota League of Cities )

Cities, park districts, counties, townships and school districts in North Dakota may invest moneys in their general fund or balances in any special or temporary fund in the following types of investments per NDCC 21-06-07: Bonds, treasury bills and notes, or other securities that are a direct obligation of, or an obligation insured or guaranteed by, the Treasury of the United States, or its agencies, instrumentalities or organizations created by an act of Congress Securities sold under agreements to repurchase written by a financial institution in which the underlying securities for the agreement to repurchase are of a type listed above Certificates of deposit fully insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation or by the state Obligations of the state Certificates of deposit fully insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and placed for the benefit of the public depositor by a public depository through an appropriate reciprocal deposit placement service as determined by the commissioner of financial institutions ( Audits, Banking and Investments - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city auditor, as clerk, shall keep an accurate record of all changes made in valuation and of all other proceedings. Within ten days after the completion of the equalization of the assessment, the city auditor shall deliver the assessments as equalized to the county auditor of the county in which the city is situated, with the city auditor’s certificate that the assessments are correct as equalized by the city board of equalization. (NDCC 57-11-02) ( Board of Equalization - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city board of equalization is responsible for equalizing the assessment role within the city. It may change the valuation and assessment of any real property upon the roll by increasing or diminishing the assessed valuation as is reasonable and just in order to make taxation uniform. The valuation of any property returned by the assessor may not be increased by more than twenty-five percent without first giving the owner notice of the intention of the board to increase it. The notice must state the time when the board will be in session to act upon the matter and must be given by personal notice served upon the owner or the owner’s agent or by leaving a copy at the owner’s last known place of residence. (NDCC 57-11-03) During the session of the city board of equalization, any person feeling aggrieved by anything in the assessment roll may apply to the board for the correction of the alleged errors, and the board may correct the errors as it may deem just. (NDCC 57-11-04) The board of equalization shall add to the assessment roll any real property subject to taxation that has been omitted by the assessor and shall enter the property at a valuation that will bear a just proportion of the taxation. (NDCC 57-11-05) ( Board of Equalization - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city board of equalization shall meet at the usual place of the city governing body on the second Tuesday in April in each year. The board may adjourn from day to day until its work is completed. In case a quorum is not present at any time, the city auditor may adjourn from day to day and publicly announce the time to which the meeting is adjourned. If the same person performs the duties of assessor for two or more cities or townships, the city auditor may, after consultation with the assessor involved, designate the hour and day in the month of April at which the board of equalization meeting will be held, provided that notice of the hour and day must be published in the official newspaper of the political subdivisions involved and posted at the usual place of the meeting by the city auditor at least ten days before the meeting. (NDCC 57-11-01) ( Board of Equalization - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city board of equalization consists of the members of the city governing body. The executive officer of the city governing body shall act as chairman, but in the executive officer’s absence the governing body may elect one of its members to preside. A majority of the board constitutes a quorum to transact business. (NDCC 57-11-01) ( Board of Equalization - North Dakota League of Cities )

No change in a zoning regulation, restriction, or boundary may become effective until after a public hearing at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. Notice of the hearing must be published in the official newspaper once a week for two successive weeks prior to the time set for the hearing. The notice must contain the following items: (1) the time and place of the hearing, (2) a description of any property involved in any zoning change, by street address if streets have been platted or designated in the area affected, (3) a description of the nature, scope, and purpose of the proposed regulation, restriction, or boundary, and (4) a statement of the times at which the proposal will be available to the public for inspection and copying at the office of the city auditor. (NDCC 40-47-04 and 40-47-05) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

State law provides that three years after the adoption or amendment of a resolution or the enactment or amendment of an ordinance by the governing body of a city, it is conclusively presumed that the resolution or ordinance was adopted, enacted, or amended and published as required by law. (NDCC 40-11-09.1) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

State law requires that all ordinances shall be read twice and the second reading and final passage shall not be had in less than one week after the first reading. After the first reading and before final passage, an ordinance may be amended. (NDCC 40-11-02) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

Except as otherwise specifically provided, a majority of all of the members of the governing body must concur in the passage of an ordinance. For example, if five members of a seven-member city governing body were present at a meeting, three votes would be enough to pass some motions, but four votes would be necessary to pass an ordinance. (NDCC 40-11-02) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

State law provides that the enacting clause of every ordinance adopted by a city shall be “Be it ordained by the __________ (governing body) of the city of __________. Such caption, however, may be omitted when the ordinances are published in book form. (NDCC 40-11-01) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

An ordinance adopted by the city council of a city operating under the council form of government is not enacted until it is approved by the mayor or passed over the mayor’s veto. An ordinance not approved by the mayor shall be returned to the council with written objections at the next meeting occurring not less than five days after the original passage. The veto may extend to an entire ordinance or to any one or more items contained in any ordinance making an appropriation. If the mayor fails to return any ordinance with written objections within the time specified in this section, it shall be deemed approved. Any ordinance that has been vetoed in whole or in part may be reconsidered by the city council, and if two-thirds of its members pass such ordinance, it shall be effective notwithstanding the veto. (NDCC 40-11-05) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

There is a publication requirement for any city ordinance that has a penalty. Ordinances with a penalty are not effective until the title (enough to put the public on notice about the nature of the ordinance) and the penalty clause are published in one issue of the official newspaper of the city. (NDCC 40-11-06) If the city does a revision of their ordinances which is published in pamphlet or book form, the revised ordinances are valid and effective without publication in a newspaper or posting. (NDCC 40-11-09) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

First, the city must have an ordinance in place that makes the property owner responsible for the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks. Then, if snow and ice are not removed from sidewalks within the time and in the manner provided by the ordinances of the city, the snow and ice may be removed by the city and the necessary expense thereof shall be chargeable against the abutting property. Annually, on or before May first, the street commissioner shall file with the city auditor a list showing the amount assessed against each lot and stating the name of the owner of each such lot so far as known. The city auditor shall give notice of the hearing and confirmation of the assessment report of snow and ice removal at the regular June meeting of the city governing body by publishing a notice of the hearing once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper. The last publication shall be not less than eight days before the date set for the hearing. The governing body shall hear any objection to the snow and ice removal assessment and may make corrections before confirming. The city auditor shall attach to the assessment list a certificate that the list is correct as confirmed by the governing body and shall certify the assessment to the county auditor along with other special assessments before August twentieth of each year. (NDCC 40-29-18, 19, 20) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

Ordinances adopted by the city governing body that require publication (the title and penalty clause of every ordinance imposing a penalty shall be published in one issue of the official newspaper of the city) shall take effect after the required publication unless otherwise expressly provided in the ordinance. Ordinances that are not required to be published (no fine or other penalty) shall take effect after the final approval by the governing body unless a different effective date is expressly provided in the ordinance. (NDCC 40-11-07) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

The provisions of state law relative to referring city ordinances to the voters apply only in cities operating under the commission or modern council forms of government. (NDCC 40-12-01) Most cities in North Dakota (approximately 90%) operate under the council form of government. In those cities, there are no provisions for referring a city ordinance unless the city has included that power in a home rule charter. In commission or modern council cities, an ordinance that has been adopted by the city governing body may be referred to the voters by a petition protesting against the ordinance. The petition must be signed by qualified electors of the city equal to at least ten percent of the entire vote cast for all candidates for executive officier of the city at the preceding regular city election. (NDCC 40-12-08) A different precentage may be provided for in a home rule charter. The petition shall be presented to the governing body of the city before four p.m. on the tenth day after the ordinance became effective. ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

First, the city must have an ordinance in place that makes a property owner responsible for the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks.  Then, if snow and ice are not removed from sidewalks within the time and in the manner provided by the ordinances of the city, the snow and ice may be removed by the city and the necessary expense thereof shall be chargeable against the abutting property.  Annually, on or before May first, the street commissioner shall file with the city auditor a list showing the amount assessed against each lot and stating the name of the owner of each such lot so far as known.  The city auditor shall give notice of the hearing and confirmation of the assessment report of snow and ice removal at the regular June meeting of the city governing body by publishing a notice of the hearing once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper.   The last publication cannot be not less than eight days before the date set for the hearing.  The governing body shall hear any objection to the snow and ice removal assessment and may make corrections before confirming.  The city auditor shall attach to the assessment list a certificate that the list is correct as confirmed by the governing body and shall certify the assessment to the county auditor along with other special assessments before August twentieth of each year.  (NDCC 40-29-18, 19, 20) ( City Ordinances - North Dakota League of Cities )

No public grounds, streets, alleys, or parts thereof within a city shall be vacated or discontinued by the city governing body except on a petition signed by all of the owners of the property adjoining the plat to be vacated. The petition shall set forth the reasons for the vacation, shall be accompanied by a plat of the area to be vacated, and shall be verified by the oath of at least one petitioner. (NDCC 40-39-05) If the area contains any utility lines constructed lengthwise, it may not be vacated unless the lines have been abandoned and are not in use, or unless the grantee consents thereto, or unless perpetual easements for the maintenance of these lines have been given. (NDCC 40-39-04) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

If the city governing body finds that the petition is in proper form and contains the requisite signatures, and if it deems it expedient to consider the petition, the governing body shall order the petition to be filed with the city auditor who shall give notice by publication in the official newspaper of the city at least once each week for four weeks. The notice shall state that a petition to vacate has been filed and that it will be considered by the city governing body or a committee thereof on a certain specified day which shall be not less than thirty days after the first publication of the notice. (NDCC 40-39-06) After the hearing, the city governing body, by a resolution passed by a two-thirds vote of all its members, may declare the area described in the petition vacated upon such terms and conditions as it shall deem just and reasonable. (NDCC 40-39-07) Before the resolution shall go into effect it shall be published in the official newspaper. A transcript of the resolution, duly certified by the city auditor, shall be filed for record in the office of the county recorder. (NDCC 40-39-08) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The governing body shall provide the newspaper, for publication, the minutes from its meeting within seven days after the meeting. When applicable, the minutes may be labeled as being published subject to the governing body's review and revision. (NDCC 40.01.09.1) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

When the city governing body determines that there is a surplus int he municipal utilities fund over and above any amount necessary to provide adequately for the operation and maintenance of the utility, it may transfer from the surplus in the fund to general fund or at any fund a total sum of not more than twenty percent of the gross receipts of the municipal utilities for the fiscal year during which the transfer is made. A larger amount may be transferred from the utility fund upon resolution of the governing body and approved by the voters at a regular city election. (NDCC 40-33-12) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Beginning in 1999, the State Aid Distribution Fund was allocated under a formula established by the 1997 state legislative assembly. Fifty-three and seven tenths percent (53.7%) of the revenues must be allocated to counties according to population categories. Included in the county share is the amount that will be distributed to townships. Forty-six and three tenths percent (46.3%) of the revenues must be allocated to cities according to population. Each city shall reserve a portion of its allocation for further distribution to, or expenditure on behalf of, park districts and other taxing districts within the city, excluding school districts. The share of the city allocation under this subsection to be distributed to a park district must be equal to the percentage of the city share of State Aid Distribution Fund allocations that park district received during calendar year 1996, up to a maximum of thirty percent. The governing boards of the city and park district may agree to a different distribution. A city shall deposit all revenues received under the State Aid Distribution Fund in the city general fund. (NDCC 57-39.2-26.1) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Expenses for travel within the state must be reimbursed at the following rates for each quarter of any twenty-four hour period: a. First quarter is from six a.m. to twelve noon and the sum must be $6.00. First quarter reimbursement may not be made if travel began after seven a.m. b. Second quarter is from twelve noon to six p.m. and the sum must be $9.00. c. Third quarter is from six p.m. to twelve midnight and the sum must be $15.00. d. Fourth quarter is from twelve midnight to six a.m. and the sum must be the actual lodging expenses not to exceed an amount established by policy by the director of the office of management and budget plus any additional state or local taxes. Political subdivisions may reimburse their officials and employees for actual lodging expenses beyond the state rate if they have the required lodging receipt. The allowance for out-of-state meals is based on a per diem rate for that particular city. The allowance for lodging outside the state must be the actual lodging expense. Reimbursement is allowed only for overnight travel, or other travel, away from the normal place of employment, for four hours or more. Verification of expenses by receipt is required only for lodging expenses. (NDCC 44-08-04) Most cities follow the state mileage reimbursement rates for use of personal vehicle when traveling for city business. That rate is set by rules established by the director of the office of management and budget. (NDCC 54-06-09) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The two largest sources of state revenue to cities are the State Aid Distribution Fund and the Highway Tax Distribution Fund. Four-tenths of one cent of the state sales tax is distributed to cities and counties through the State Aid Distribution Fund. Of this amount, 46.3% of the revenues is allocated to cities each quarter according to population. (NDCC 57-39.2-26.1) The Highway Tax Distribution Fund is comprised of collections of motor vehicle registration fees and fuel taxes. It is distributed on a percentage basis with 61.3% going to the state, 2.7% going to the township highway fund, 1.5 percent going to the public transportation fund, approximately 21.5% going to counties, and approximately 13% going to cities. (NDCC 54-27-19) The share that goes to counties and cities is first allocated to counties in proportion to the number of motor vehicle registrations credited to each county. The share that goes to cities is then distributed on the basis of the per capita population of all of the incorporated cities situated within the county as determined by the last official census. Therefore, your city’s revenue from the Highway Tax Distribution Fund will be impacted by changes in the number of motor vehicle registered within your county as well as changes in city population within your county. Check the June issue of CITYScan each year for the current revenue estimates. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The moneys allocated to the incorporated cities must be deposited by the cities in a separate fund and may only be used for the construction, repair, and maintenance of city streets in accordance with section 11 of article X of the Constitution of North Dakota; provided that any incorporated city may use such fund for the construction, reconstruction, repair, and maintenance of public highways within or outside such city pursuant to an agreement entered into between the city and any other political subdivision as authorized by NDCC 54-40-08. (NDCC 54-27-19) Section 11 of article X of the Constitution of North Dakota states, “Revenue from gasoline and other motor fuel excise and license taxation, motor vehicle registration and license taxes, except revenue from aviation gasoline and unclaimed aviation motor fuel refunds and other aviation motor fuel excise and license taxation used by aircraft, after deduction of cost of administration and collection authorized by legislative appropriation only, and statutory refunds, shall be appropriated and used solely for construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of public highways, and the payment of obligations incurred in the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of public highways.” ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

All employees of the state or of a political subdivision (including cities) who are members of the national guard are entitled to a leave of absence from such civil service for the period of active national guard service without loss of status or efficiency rating. If such persons have been employed by the state or political subdivision for ninety days immediately preceding the leave of absence, they shall receive twenty workdays each calendar year without loss of pay. In addition, any leave of absence necessitated by a full or partial mobilization of the reserve and national guard forces of the United State, or emergency state active duty, must be without loss of pay for the first thirty days thereof less any other paid leave of absence which may have been granted during the calendar year pursuant to this section. However, if leave is required for weekend, daily, or hourly periods of drill for military training on a day in which a public officer or employee is scheduled to perform the work of the state or of a political subdivision, the officer or employee must be given the option of time off with a concurrent loss of pay for the period missed or must be given an opportunity to reschedule the work period so that the reserve or national guard weekend, daily, or hourly drill or period of training occurs during time off from work without loss of status or efficiency rating. (NDCC 37-01-25) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

If a vacancy occurs in a city council office, the city council may call a special election to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term, or may, after fifteen days of the date of the vacancy appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next city election, at which election the unexpired term must be filled. Upon petition of five percent of the qualified electors, the council shall call a special election to fill a vacancy occurring more than six months before the next city election, if the petition has been submitted within fifteen days of the vacancy or within fifteen days of the vacancy being filled by appointment. (NDCC 40-08-08) If the vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, the city council may call a special election to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term or may, after fifteen days from the date of such vacancy, elect one of its own members to act as mayor until the next election. Upon petition of five percent of the qualified electors, the council shall call a special election to fill a vacancy occurring more then six months prior to the next city election, provided such petition is submitted within fifteen days of the date of such vacancy. During the interim between the date when a vacancy occurs and qualification of a successor, the president of the city council shall be the acting mayor. (NDCC 40-08-16) If a vacancy occurs in the office of a city commissioner or president of the board of city commissioners, the board may call a special election to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term, or may, after fifteen days from the date of such vacancy appoint a person to fill such vacancy until the next city election, at which election the unexpired term shall be filled. Upon petition of five percent of the qualified electors, the commission shall call a special city election to fill a vacancy occurring more than six months prior to the next city election, provided such petition has been submitted within fifteen days of the date of such vacancy. (NDCC 40-09-10) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Laws enacted by the North Dakota Legislative Assembly during its eighty natural meeting days take effect on August first after its filing with the Secretary of State, or if filed on or after August first and before January first of the following year ninety days after its filing, or on a subsequent date if specified in the law. If two-thirds of the members elected to each house vote to declare a measure an emergency measure, the law will become effective immediately upon being filed with the Secretary of State or on a date specified in the measure. Every appropriation measure and every tax measure that changes tax rates takes effect on July first after its filing with the Secretary of State or on a subsequent date if specified in the law unless it is passed with an emergency clause. Every law enacted during a special session of the Legislative Assembly takes effect on a date specified in the Act. (North Dakota Constitution, Article IV, section 13) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

When a petition to refer an ordinance is submitted, the city governing body shall reconsider the ordinance described, and if it is not entirely repealed, the governing body shall submit it to the vote at the next regular city election or at a special election. Unless the ordinance protested was passed by a four-fifths vote of the members of the governing body for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety and contains a statement of its urgency, it shall be suspended upon the filing of the petition. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The minimum age of employment in North Dakota is 14 years of age. (NDCC 34-07-01) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Employees ages 14 and 15 are limited in the types of work that they can perform. Examples of prohibited employment activities are operating power-driven machinery, construction work, work involving the use of chemicals, door-to-door sales, driving, cooking, and work on elevated surfaces in which the work is performed higher than six feet from the ground. (NDCC 34-07-16) Lawn mowing is also prohibited by employees aged 14 and 15 under federal law. ( 29 CFR 570.33) Federal law also restricts employees that are ages 16 and 17 from roofing, most driving, and most work involving power-driven machines. (29 CFR 5760 et seq) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Employees ages 14 and 15 may only work between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM from Labor Day through May 31 and between the hours of 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM from June 1 through Labor Day. In addition, 14 and 15 year-old employees are limited to working a maximum of 3 hours on a school day and 8 hours on a non-school day. Further, weekly hours for employees ages 14 and 15 are limited to 19 hours in a school week and 40 hours in a non-school week. A school week is condsidered any week, Sunday though Saturday, in which school attendance is required for any park of four or more days. (NDCC 34-07-15) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Every employer employing 14 and 15 year-old employees shall post, in a conspicuous place, a printed notice stating the hours of work required of the minors each day of the week, the hours of commencing and stopping work, and the hours allowed for dinner and other meals. The printed form of the notice is furnished by the North Dakota Labor Commissioner. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

In council cities, the mayor, with the approval of the city council, appoints the city auditor. (NDCC 40-14-04) In commission cities, the board of city commissioners appoints the city auditor. (NDCC 40-15-05) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

In council cities, the term of the city auditor commences on the first day of July after his or her appointment, unless otherwise provided by ordinance. The city auditor holds office for two years, and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. (NDCC 40-14-05) In commission cities, the term of the city auditor commences on the first day of July succeeding his or her appointment, unless otherwise provided by ordinance. The city auditor shall hold the office for the term by ordinance, and until her or her successor qualified. (NDCC 40-15-06) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city auditor, with the approval of the governing body of the city, may appoint a deputy. (NDCC 40-16-02) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The deputy auditor shall aid in the performance of the duties of the city auditor, or if there is a vacancy in the office of the auditor, the deputy shall perform the duties of the city auditor. (NDCC 40-16-02) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

If a contract of a governing body for the construction of a public improvement is estimated to cost in excess of two hundred thousand dollars (NDCC 48-01.2-02.1), the governing body shall advertise for bids by publishing for three consecutive weeks, the first publication to be at least twenty-one days before the date of the opening of bids. The advertisement must be published in the official newspaper and in a trade publication of general circulation, except the advertisement for a public improvement financed by special assessments need only be published once each week for two weeks in the official newspaper with the first publication being at least fourteen days before bid opening. (NDCC 48-01.2-04) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city council has two options when a vacancy in the office of may occurs. They can (1) call a special election to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term, or (2) wait fifteen days from the date of the vacancy and elect one of its own members to serve as mayor until the next election. The city council is required to wait fifteen days before electing one of their own members because, during that fifteen day period, the electors may petition the city council for a special election if the vacancy occurs more than six months before the next city election. During the interim between the date when a vacancy occurs and a successor is elected or appointed, the president of the city council shall be the acting mayor. (NDCC 40-08-16) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The city council or city commission has two options when a vacancy on the board occurs. They can either (1) call a special election to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term, or (2) wait fifteen days from the date of the vacancy and appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next city election. The governing board is required to wait fifteen days before making an appointment because, during that fifteen day period, the electors may petition the governing board for a special election if the vacancy occurs more than six months before the next city election. (NDCC 40-08-10) In city council cities, once an appointment has been made, within fifteen days of the appointment, the electors are allowed to petition for a special election again. (NDCC 40-08-08) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

State law provides that the retail sale of fireworks is allowed during the period of June twenty-seventh through July fifth and December twenty-sixth through January first. (NDCC 23-15-01) Cities may be more restrictive by local ordinance. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Fireworks may only be offered for sale to individuals who are at least twelve years of age. (NDCC 23-25-01) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Laws enacted by the North Dakota legislature assembly during its eighty natural meeting days take effect on August first after its filing with the secretary of state, or if filed on or after August first and before January first of the following year ninety days after its filing, or on a subsequent date if specified in the law. If two-thirds of the members elected to each chamber vote to declare a measure an emergency measure, the law will become effective immediately upon being filed with the secretary of state or on a date specified in the measure. Every appropriation measure and every tax measure that changes tax rates takes effect on July first after its filing with the secretary of state or on a subsequent date if the specified in the law unless its is passed with an emergency clause. Every law enacted during a special session of the legislative assembly takes effect on a date specified in the Act. (North Dakota Constitution, Article IV, section13) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The North Dakota Century Code provides that, "Whenever it becomes necessary for the general welfare, public health, fire protection, and public safety to order an owner or occupant of property to do certain work provided for by ordinance, and such owner or occupant refuses to conduct or comply with such order, the work may be done by the municipality and the owner or occupant of such property billed for the same by the municipality." (NDCC 40-05-01.1) It is imperative for the city to have a local ordinance which states (1) set standards for the length of the grass/weeds; (2) provides for a notice to the owner to comply with the ordinance; and (3) provides that if the owner does not comply, the work will be done by the city and the owner will be billed for the work. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

If the bill for the work done by the city, in accordance with the ordinance, is not paid when due, the amount thereof may be assessed against the premises and collected in the same manner as other municipal taxes are assessed, certified, collected and returned. (NDCC 40-05-01.1) The city auditor shall certify these assessments to the county auditor each year. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Yes. A city may charge a one-hundred-dollar fee for a site authorization for bingo, electronic quick shot bingo, raffles, calcuttas, pull tabs, punch-boards, twenty-one, paddlewheels, poker or sports pools. (NDCC 53-06.1-03) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

A city election candidate may begin collecting signatures on a nominating petition on January 1 for the regular city election in June. (NDCC 40-21-07) ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

The forms are available on the North Dakota Secretary of State's webpage. ( General City Questions - North Dakota League of Cities )

Visit the Staff Directory to find all department and staff contact information. ( Main - North Dakota League of Cities )

Use the FAQs module to easily find answers to the questions you ask the most. ( Main - North Dakota League of Cities )

The terms "record" and "meeting" are defined broadly. To deny public access to a record or meeting, you first have to identify the law that closes the record or meeting. Then you need to explain that law to the person requesting access. To deny access to records, you must explain to the requester within a reasonable time the legal authority for denying the request. To deny access to a meeting, you have to explain the topics to be considered and the legal authority for closing a meeting before you can ask the public to leave the meeting room. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

If a city is making a hiring decision from three or more applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for a vacant position, the city shall designate three or more applicants as finalists for future consideration before making an offer of employment to fill the position.  If the city does not wish to consider any applications and descides not to make an offer of employment, the public entity does not need to designate any finalists. (NDCC 44-04-18.27) ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

The applications and any records related to the applications that contain information that could reasonably be used to identify an application who either: does not meet the minimum qualifications for the vacancy; or was not designed as a finalist is confidential and cannot be released to the public. The city shall comply with all requirements for an executive session to discuss confidential applications. (NDCC 44-04-18.27 and 44-04-17.1(3)) If, by the close of the application period for a vacant position, a city receives applications from fewer than three applicatnts who meet the minimum qualifications, the appplications and records related to the applicatiosn are open to the public. (NDCC 44-04-18.27) ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

A member of the public may ask the attorney general to issue an advisory opinion regarding an alleged violation of the open records or meetings laws. A public entity also can be sued, and individual public officials can be prosecuted criminally if they knowingly violate the open records and meetings laws. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Yes, but only if you "knowingly" violate the open records or meetings laws. A public official who “knowingly” violates the open records and meetings laws is guilty of a misdemeanor. To “knowingly” violate these laws, a public official must know or have a firm belief that he or she is failing to fulfill the duties imposed by those laws. An honest mistake by a public official who is acting in good faith is not a "knowing" violation of these laws and is not a criminal offense. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

As used in the open meetings law, the term "meeting" means any gathering of a quorum of the members of a governing body of a public entity regarding public business. The form of the gathering is irrelevant. We only have one meeting a month, and then we get together once a week to have coffee and discuss upcoming agenda items. These aren't meetings, are they? Yes, they are. "Meeting" includes informal gatherings or work sessions, and discussions where some or all of the members of the governing body are participating in the meeting by telephone. The only time a gathering of a “quorum” is not a meeting is if it is a purely social gathering – no public business can be considered, or else it becomes a meeting ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Yes. The definition of "governing body" includes any group of persons who are getting together under authority delegated by a governing body. But I can talk to one other member of a governing body without it being a meeting, can't I? Yes, as long as the two of you are not a quorum of a three-member governing body (including committees) and the discussion is not part of a sequence of individual conversations, which collectively involve a quorum of a governing body. But be aware that if members of a governing body participate in a series of individual conversations that collectively constitute a quorum of the governing body, those conversations are a meeting. If we hold an open meeting, do we have to allow the public to address the governing body? No. The right to attend an open meeting does not include the right to participate in that meeting. However, other statutes may require a public hearing at which the public is allowed to comment on specific subjects. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

You first must convene in a properly noticed open meeting. Next, you need to announce the legal authority to close the meeting and the topics to be considered during the closed meeting. After that, unless a closed meeting is required, the governing body must vote on whether to close the meeting. Any executive session must be tape recorded for possible review by a court or the Office of the Attorney General. Remember - a recorded roll call vote is required on all votes that pertain to the merits of a matter before the governing body. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Prior written notice is required for all open meetings. The notice must be provided to the public at the same time the members of the governing body are notified of the meeting. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

For all meetings, you must: •File the notice with the appropriate central location (i.e., the secretary of state for state agencies, city auditor for city agencies, and county auditor for other public entities); •Post the notice in the entity's main office (if it has one); •Post the notice at the location of the meeting (if held somewhere other than the entity's main office); and •Give the notice to anyone who has asked for it. •For special or emergency meetings, you also must notify the entity's official newspaper and any media representatives who have asked for notice of special or emergency meetings. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

For regular meetings, new items of business can be discussed which were not included in the notice. For special or emergency meetings, the public entity's discussion is limited to the topics included in the notice. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Generally, yes. The definition of "record" includes all recorded information, regardless of physical form (paper, e-mail, computer file, photographs, audiotape, or videotape) that has a connection with how public funds are spent or with the public entity's performance of its governmental functions. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

You are required to respond to an open records request within a reasonable time, either by providing the requested record or by explaining the legal authority for denying all or part of the request. If you have a good reason why you cannot respond immediately to a request, let the requester know when you think the requested record will be available. The time in which you are required to respond to a request is generally measured in hours or a few days, rather than several days or weeks. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

If a specific statute makes certain information confidential or closed to the public, you need to tell the requester about that statute. Upon request, you have to put your denial, including the legal authority, in writing. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

No. Everyone has a right to open records, regardless of the person's reason for requesting the records. An open records request does not have to be made in person or in writing. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

No. You must maintain the integrity of original public records, even if the records are open to the public. You can watch the requester to prevent unauthorized alteration or destruction of public records, but you may not intimidate a person under the guise of “supervising” the person's access. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Yes, if a person is entitled to access a record, the person is also entitled to a copy of that record upon request and to have the copy mailed. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Access to records is generally free, but you can charge up to $25 per hour (excluding the first hour, which is free) if locating the requested records takes longer than one hour. For copies of open records, you can charge the requester the actual cost of making the copy, including labor, and you can insist on receiving the money before making or mailing the copies. Other statutes may authorize a different fee. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Yes. You are only able to deny access to the items of recorded information for which there is a specific statute closing that information to the public. The remaining information must be open to the public. You cannot charge for the time it takes to separate non-public information from an open record ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

Under the city council form of government, the council may prescribe by ordinance the manner in which special meetings may be called (NDCC 40-08-10) A typical ordinance would provide that a special meeting may be called by the mayor or any two council members. Under the city commission form of government, special meetings may be called at any time by the president or any two members of the board to consider matters mentioned in the call of such meeting. (NDCC 40-09-11) ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

State law does not have a minimum notice period required for special meetings; however, public notice needs to be provided at the same time that members of the governing body receive notice. (NDCC 44-04-20) Please note that some cities have city ordinances that set minimum notice requirements for special meetings. ( Open Meetings & Records - North Dakota League of Cities )

The amount of compensation for councilmembers is set by local ordinance per NDCC 40-08-07). Compensation for councilmembers in modern council cities is also set by ordinance per NDCC 40-04.1-02. Some cities set a fixed amount of pay per month, some pay according to meetings attended, while others pay according to a combination of these factors. The compensation for mayor is set by local ordinance per NDCC 40-08-15. In commission cities, the monthly salary of each city commissioner must be fixed by ordinance. The president of the city commission may receive a salary of up to 50% more than the level set for each commissioner upon resolution by the board of city commissioners per NDCC 40-09-06. ( Park Board - North Dakota League of Cities )

Yes, park board members may be paid. The members of the board of park commissioners shall receive compensation for their services in an amount approved by the park board in the park district annual budget. (NDCC 40-49-10) ( Park Board - North Dakota League of Cities )

The number of park commissioners may be reduced from five to three in a two step process. The first step is either a resolution approved by majority vote of the park board or a petition signed by ten percent or more of the voters, either one asking the city governing body to call an election on the question. The second step is an election in which a majority vote is necessary to change the size of the park board. If a decrease in the number of park commissioners is approved by the electors, the existing board members shall continue in office until their terms expire. (NDCC 40-49-07.1) ( Park Board - North Dakota League of Cities )

Vacancies on the board of park commissioners shall be filled through an appointment made by the park board itself until the next regular election, at which time such vacancies shall be filled by election for the unexpired term. There is no provision for a park district special election to fill a vacancy. (NDCC 40-49-09) ( Park Board - North Dakota League of Cities )

Upon the establishment of any zoning regulation, restriction, or boundary or of any changes or amendments to zoning regulations, restrictions, or boundaries, the city governing body shall file a certified copy with the city auditor and shall cause notice to be published in the official newspaper. The notice must describe the nature, scope, and purpose of the regulation, restriction, or boundary, and must state the times at which it will be available to the public for inspection and copying at the office of the city auditor. (NDCC 40-47-04, 40-47,05) ( Planning and Zoning - North Dakota League of Cities )

State law provides that a city may, by ordinance, extend the application of the city’s zoning regulations to any quarter quarter section of unincorporated territory if a majority of the quarter quarter section is located within the following distance of the corporate limits of the city: a. One mile if the city has a population of less than five thousand. A city that has exercised its authority under this subdivision has joint zoning and subdivision regulation jurisdiction from one-half mile to one mile with the other political subdivision. b. Two miles if the city has a population of five thousand or more, but less than twenty-five thousand. A city that has exercised its authority under this subdivision has joint zoning and subdivision regulation jurisdiction from one mile to two miles with the other political subdivision. c. Four miles if the city has a population of twenty-five thousand or more. A city that has exercised its authority under this subdivision has joint zoning and subdivision regulation jurisdiction from two miles to four miles with the other political subdivision. (NDCC 40-47-01.1) ( Planning and Zoning - North Dakota League of Cities )

If the county treasurer receives less than the full amount of taxes and special assessments due at any time on any lot, the county treasurer shall allocate the amount received between taxes and special assessments in proportion to the respective amounts of taxes and special assessments due. (NDCC 40-24-16) ( Special Assessments - North Dakota League of Cities )

The interest and penalties collected by the county treasurer on a city’s special assessments shall be paid over to the city auditor for deposit in the city’s special assessment fund. (NDCC 40-24-17) ( Special Assessments - North Dakota League of Cities )

The county treasurer shall add to all special assessments the same interest and penalties that are added in the case of general taxes and at the same time. (NDCC 40-24-17) ( Special Assessments - North Dakota League of Cities )
Advertisment

Advertisment