Chapter 17 – Council


The Council consists of two Council Members elected at large and one Council Member from each of three wards as established by the Code of Ordinances, elected for overlapping terms of four years.


The powers and duties of the Council include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. General. All powers of the City are vested in the Council except as otherwise provided by law or ordinance.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.2[1])
  2. Wards. By ordinance, the Council may divide the City into wards based upon population, change the boundaries of wards, eliminate wards or create new wards.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[7])
  3. Fiscal Authority. The Council shall apportion and appropriate all funds, and audit and allow all bills, accounts, payrolls and claims, and order payment thereof. It shall make all assessments for the cost of street improvements, sidewalks, sewers and other work, improvement or repairs which may be specially assessed.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.2[1], 384.16 & 384.38 [1])
  4. Public Improvements. The Council shall make all orders for the construction of any improvements, bridges or buildings.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.2[1])
  5. Contracts. The Council shall make or authorize the making of all contracts. No contract shall bind or be obligatory upon the City unless adopted by resolution of the Council.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 384.100)
  6. Employees. The Council shall authorize, by resolution, the number, duties, term of office and compensation of employees or officers not otherwise provided for by State law or the Code of Ordinances.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])
  7. Setting Compensation for Elected Officers. By ordinance, the Council shall prescribe the compensation of the Mayor, Council members, and other elected City officers, but a change in the compensation of the Mayor does not become effective during the term in which the change is adopted, and the Council shall not adopt such an ordinance changing the compensation of any elected officer during the months of November and December in the year of a regular City election. A change in the compensation of Council members becomes effective for all Council members at the beginning of the term of the Council members elected at the election next following the change in compensation.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[8])


The Council shall exercise a power only by the passage of a motion, a resolution, an amendment or an ordinance in the following manner:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.3[1])

  1. Action by Council. Passage of an ordinance, amendment or resolution requires a majority vote of all of the members of the Council. Passage of a motion requires a majority vote of a quorum of the Council. A resolution must be passed to spend public funds in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) on any one project, or to accept public improvements and facilities upon their completion. Each Council member’s vote on a measure must be recorded. A measure which fails to receive sufficient votes for passage shall be considered defeated.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.4)
  2. Overriding Mayor’s Veto. Within thirty (30) days after the Mayor’s veto, the Council may pass the measure again by a vote of not less than two-thirds of all of the members of the Council

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.6[2])
  3. Measures Become Effective. Measures passed by the Council become effective in one of the following ways:
    1. An ordinance or amendment signed by the Mayor becomes effective when the ordinance or a summary of the ordinance is published, unless a subsequent effective date is provided within the ordinance or amendment.

      (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.6[1a])
    2. A resolution signed by the Mayor becomes effective immediately upon signing.

      (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.6[1b])
    3. A motion becomes effective immediately upon passage of the motion by the Council.

      (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.6[1c])
    4. If the Mayor vetoes an ordinance, amendment or resolution and the Council repasses the measure after the Mayor’s veto, a resolution becomes effective immediately upon repassage, and an ordinance or amendment becomes a law when the ordinance or a summary of the ordinance is published, unless a subsequent effective date is provided within the ordinance or amendment.

      (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.6[2])
    5. If the Mayor takes no action on an ordinance, amendment or resolution, a resolution becomes effective fourteen (14) days after the date of passage, and an ordinance or amendment becomes law when the ordinance or a summary of the ordinance is published, but not sooner than 14 days after the date of passage, unless a subsequent effective date is provided within the ordinance or amendment.

      (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.6[3])

“All of the members of the Council” refers to all of the seats of the Council including a vacant seat and a seat where the member is absent, but does not include a seat where the Council member declines to vote by reason of a conflict of interest.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.4)


Procedures for giving notice of meetings of the Council and other provisions regarding the conduct of Council meetings are contained in Section 5.06 of this Code of Ordinances. Additional particulars relating to Council meetings are the following:

  1. Regular Meetings. The City Council meets in regular session on
    the first and third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. All such regular meetings will be held at such place as the City Council elects in its discretion to hold regular meetings. Reasonable notice, as defined by State law, shall be provided regarding the place of each meeting. In the event a regular meeting falls on a legal holiday, then said regular meeting shall not be held.
  2. Special Meetings. Special meetings shall be held upon call of the Mayor or upon the written request of a majority of the members of the Council submitted to the Clerk. Notice of a special meeting shall specify the date, time, place and subject of the meeting and such notice shall be given personally or left at the usual place of residence of each member of the Council. A record of the service of notice shall be maintained by the Clerk.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[5])
  3. Quorum. A majority of all Council members is a quorum.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[1])
  4. Rules of Procedure. The Council shall determine its own rules and maintain records of its proceedings.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[5])
  5. Compelling Attendance. Any three members of the Council can compel the attendance of the absent members at any regular, adjourned or duly called meeting, by serving a written notice upon the absent members to attend at once.


The Council shall appoint the following officials and prescribe their powers, duties, compensation and term of office:

  1. City Clerk
  2. City Attorney
  3. Fire Chief
  4. Planning and Zoning Commission
  5. Historic Preservation Commission
  6. Airport Commission
  7. Airport Zoning Commission Members
  8. Airport Zoning Board of Adjustment Members


Each member of the Council shall receive as compensation for attendance at any regular or special meeting of the Council the sum of fifty dollars ($50.00).

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[8])