City Charter

ALBANY'S FIRST CHARTER WAS GRANTED ON JULY 22, 1686 AND WAS KNOWN AS THE DONGAN CHARTER, AFTER THOMAS DONGAN, LIEUTENANT AND GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF NEW-YORK. A CHARTER COMMISSION, JOINTLY APPOINTED BY THE MAYOR AND THE COMMON COUNCIL, REVISED THE CITY CHARTER, WHICH WAS ADOPTED BY THE VOTERS OF ALBANY IN NOVEMBER, 1998. ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS SERVE FOUR YEAR TERMS AND ARE ALL ELECTED AT THE SAME TIME. MAYOR'S POWERS AND DUTIES GENERALLY (CITY CHARTER, SECTION 301)

  • (a) There shall be a Mayor who shall be the chief executive officer and administrative head of the City government. The executive power of the City is vested in the Mayor and in such executive offices and departments as are presently set forth in the Code of the City of Albany, or as subsequently created, modified, combined or discontinued by a duly enacted local law of the Common Council.
  • (b) The Mayor shall be responsible for the day to day administration and supervision of all City affairs, executive officers, and departments, offices and agencies of the City, except offices headed by an elected official.

COMMON COUNCIL; STATUS AND TITLE (CITY CHARTER, SECTION 401)

The legislative power of the City is vested in the Common Council which shall be authorized to adopt, amend or repeal local laws, ordinances, resolutions and rules and regulations in the exercise of its functions, powers and duties pertaining to the property, affairs or governments of the City and other matters not inconsistent with State law.
MEMBERS (CITY CHARTER, SECTION 402)

The Common Council shall be an elective body comprised of the President of the Common Council and not more than one "Council Member" duly elected from each ward within the City. Each "Council Member" shall be a resident of the ward from which he or she is elected. There shall not be more than fifteen (15) wards within the City.

PRESIDENT OF THE COMMON COUNCIL (CITY CHARTER, SECTION 403)

The President of the Common Council shall be elected in the City at large, and shall succeed the Mayor in the event of death, resignation, absence or disability as set forth in the General City Law; except that the powers and duties of the Office of the Mayor shall not devolve upon the President of the Common Council during a limited period of either absence of the Mayor from the City or inability of the Mayor to perform his or her powers and duties. The President shall preside over the meetings of the Common Council and perform such functions as set forth in the Second Class Cities Law.

COMPTROLLER (CITY CHARTER, SECTION 601)

Except as otherwise stated in (the) this Charter, the Comptroller shall be responsible for the management of City funds as authorized by State law, including the authorization for payment of all vouchers, claims, and payroll and the maintenance of City accounts. The Comptroller shall perform internal auditing for City accounts, claims processing an debt management services as authorized by State law, and as otherwise conferred by a resolution, ordinance or local law duly enacted by the Common Council, not inconsistent with State law.

TREASURER (CITY CHARTER, SECTION 602)

The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection, receipt, and care and custody of all taxes and other monies due the City, except as otherwise provided by law. The Treasurer shall be responsible to deposit all monies received in the manner set forth in the Second Class Cities Law. The Treasurer shall be responsible, upon authorization by warrant of the City Comptroller or, effective January 1, 2010, the Chief City Auditor, as the case may be, for payment of all vouchers, claims, payroll and other authorized disbursements. The Treasurer shall perform such other services as authorized by state law, and as otherwise conferred by a resolution, ordinance or local law duly enacted by the Common Council, not inconsistent with state law.

[Effective January 1, 2002.] The Treasurer shall be responsible for making all temporary investments of City funds as authorized by the General Municipal Law.

[Effective January 1, 2010.] The Treasurer shall be the City’s “Chief Fiscal Officer” within the meaning of the Local Finance Law and shall have such investment and debt management authority as is authorized by state law and as is otherwise conferred by resolution, ordinance or local law duly enacted by the Common Council, not inconsistent with state law.