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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCILMEMBERS
FROM: ASSISTANT TO THE CITY MANAGER
DATE: NOVEMBER 21, 2006
SUBJECT: COUNCIL DISASTER SUCCESSION PROPOSAL
Consider establishing a City Council succession plan by appointing standby officers to reconstitute the City Council, if Councilmembers are unavailable to perform their duties during a state of war emergency and state or local emergency.
The City Council is asked to consider succession planning for the off chance that three or more Councilmembers may be killed, missing, or seriously injured as to be unable to perform their Council duties during a major emergency or disaster. The Government Code authorizes the Council to appoint Council alternates in advance or allow either surviving Councilmember(s) or the Chair of the County Board of Supervisors to make temporary appointments for a Council quorum when necessary. Should the Council approve to establish a succession plan, each Councilmember may select three alternates. Pending successful investigation clearance of all candidates’ qualifications, staff will prepare a Resolution for Council adoption.
The City Council’s role during a disaster situation is to provide continuity of government through effective leadership, authority, and policy direction of emergency and recovery operations. Depending upon the severity and nature of the situation, the level of involvement by the City Council will vary from none to full-scale participation. During a full-scale disaster, a Council quorum will be necessary to ratify local emergency proclamations, approve emergency purchases, mandate city-wide curfews to preserve law and order, and consider other policy actions.
If no Council quorum of three Councilmembers (either physical presence or teleconference) exists during an emergency, the California Emergency Services Act provides instructions and the authority for reconstituting the City Council by outside elected officials (such as the Chair of the County Board of Supervisors) or surviving Councilmember(s) depending on whether all or some Councilmembers are unavailable.
The “unavailability” of City Councilmembers as defined in the California Emergency Services Act means that a Councilmember is either killed, missing or seriously injured as to be unable to perform his Council duties. Any question as to whether a particular City Council member is unavailable is settled by the City Council or any remaining available members of the City Council (including standby officers who are serving on the Council).
Rather than place the appointment burden upon one or two Councilmembers or rely upon outside elected officials during times of crisis, the City Council may consider appointing standby officers in order of succession for each Councilmember in advance of a crisis by Resolution.
If City Council approves the concept of standby officer appointments, the adoption of a City Council succession plan would involve the following steps:
1. Each Council member would prepare a list of three qualified, willing candidates to be his standby officers in order of succession. Staff would compile the lists and present all proposed appointments at an upcoming Council meeting.
Qualification Criteria for Appointees
2. Obtain permission from each candidate before conducting an investigation of qualifications.
3. Conduct investigations with assistance from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
4. Report the results of the investigation to the Council.
5. Adopt the resolution appointing the selected standby officers.
6. Administer oath of office and provide each standby officer with a copy of Article 15 (Government Code Sections 8635 et seq).
7. Councilmembers would keep their alternates informed and provide updates as appropriate.
8. City would arrange for NIMS (National Incident Management System) executive training and other informational meetings for standby officers.
Standby Officers’ Duties
1. To inform him/herself of the duties of office for which he/she is a standby officer.
2. To keep informed of the business and affairs of the City.
3. To immediately report as ready for duty in the event of a state of war emergency, state of emergency or a local emergency, at the place and in the method designated by the City Council.
4. To fill the post for which he/she has been appointed when the regular officer is unavailable during a state of war emergency, state of emergency, or a local emergency and to serve until the regular officer becomes available or until the election or appointment of a new regular officer.
When a standby office becomes vacant because of removal, death, resignation or other cause, the City Council has the power to appoint another person to fill that standby office (Government Code Section 8638).
Succession of City Council
According to the California Emergency Services Act (CESA), in the event that all Councilmembers and standby officers are unavailable, temporary officers shall be appointed to serve until a regular Councilmember or standby officer becomes available or until the election or appointment of a new regular Councilmember or standby officer. The following individuals in order may appoint temporary officers for a Council quorum:
1. Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, or if that person is unavailable,
2. Chair of another County Board of Supervisors of any County within 150 miles of the City, starting with the nearest and most populated County to the farthest and least populated County, if that person is unavailable,
3. Mayor of any neighboring City within 150 miles, starting with the nearest and most populated City to the farthest and least populated.
The City Council does not have to take any action to codify temporary officers. A city ordinance is not necessary, as CESA empowers the individuals listed above to appoint temporary officers.
As a side note, the lines of succession for the City Manager and Department Heads during a state of emergency have already been established by position titles in the City’s Emergency Operations Plan, which is currently being updated. Attachment “1” provides the current lines of succession for City Services and Departments. Should the City Council wish to formalize the City Manager line of succession by Resolution, the Council may direct staff to do so.
None associated with this report.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED BY:
RESOLUTION NO. 2006-__
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
WHEREAS, Government Code Section 8635 et seq., entitled “Preservation of Local Government,” sets forth a procedure for local governments to provide for the continued functioning of local governments in the event of a state of war emergency, state of emergency or local emergency;
WHEREAS, Government Code Section 8638 authorizes the City Council to provide for the continuance of the City’s legislative and executive departments during a state of war emergency, state of emergency or local emergency by appointing standby officers for each member of the City Council;
WHEREAS, Government Code Section 8638 provides that standby officers shall be designated numbers, 1, 2, and 3 in descending order of succession;
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Government Code Section 8641, a standby officer is to fill the appointed post when the regular officer is unavailable as defined in Government Code Section 8636, and is to serve in such a post until such time as the regular officer becomes available or a new regular officer is elected or appointed; and
WHEREAS, the qualification of each standby officer named in Section 2 below have been carefully reviewed and each designated person has been determined to be an appropriate designee.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE AND RESOLVE that the following persons are appointed as standby officers for the City Council:
IT IS FURTHER PROCLAIMED AND ORDERED that standby officers shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties as standby officers except as provided for by law.
IT IS FURTHER PROCLAIMED AND ORDERED that the City Clerk is directed to administer the oath of office to the standby officers and to provide each standby officer with a copy of Article 15 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the California Government Code.
PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED THE 21st DAY OF NOVEMBER 2006.
I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2006-XX was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on November 21, 2006.