Form of Government
The City of St. Joseph is considered a Plan B Statutory City which operates under the statutory city code contained in Chapter 412 of the Minnesota Statutes and a number of other statutes that cover special cases. Statutory cities lack the power to change the city guidelines and are dependent upon the Legislature for such. The regulations outlined in MN Statutes is the primary source of authority for the actions taken by the City Council.
As a Plan B Statutory City, the form of government is considered a weak mayor-council. The City Council consists of the Mayor and four Councilors elected at large. The Council may appoint independent boards or commissions and advisory bodies. The Council posses all legislative and administrative powers; it cannot delegate the power to enact ordinances or to prescribe rules and regulations.
The basic powers of all Statutory Cities, regardless of type, include the following:
- Create Departments, advisory boards, and appoint officers, employees, and agents for the City to conduct city affairs.
- Prescribe duties, compensation, and employment conditions for its employees.
- Make the annual tax levy, and exercise full authority over the financial affairs of the City.
- Own and operate any waterworks, gas, light, power or heat.
- Purchase gas, electric, water or heat for wholesale prices and resell it to local customers.
- Provide parks, parkways, recreational facilities, and it cities of more than 1,000, a park board for the maintenance of parks.
- Designate a legal newspaper
- Prosecute people who violate ordinances
- Plan for future development of the City and take steps to implement
- Carry out a program of housing and redevelopment in the city.
- Levy special assessments for public improvements
- Borrow money
- Control the Subdivision of Land
- Provide off-street parking facilities
The City Administrator is responsible for providing overall direction and guidance for the City including, directing the operation and provides supervisory authority over all municipal departments in accordance with the goals and policies as esablished by the City Council. The City Administrator and administration department also provide assistance to the Mayor and Council in research, problem resolution and presents annual budget. The administration department also prepares council proceedings and agendas, keeps records of all council meetings and advisory boards/commissions, enforces the Ordinances, and directs the preparation of departmental budgets. The city administrator also serves as the liaison between the city and outside agencies.