City Charter


Springfield operates under a Council/Manager form of government first adopted when voters approved the City's Charter on March 17, 1953.

Under the City Charter, the Mayor must run for re-election every two years while Councilmembers serve four-year terms. The City Manager and City Clerk are the two city employees directly under the supervision of the City Council. The City Manager is the chief executive and administrative officer and is responsible for the administrative affairs of the city.


In Order to Secure the Benefits and Advantages of the Constitution of the State of Missouri, Adopted in the Year 1945, and to Establish Home Rule for the City Under the Provisions Thereof, the People of Springfield, Missouri, Hereby Adopt the Following Charter.


Article I Incorporation, Form of Government, Powers, Zones
1.1 Incorporation
1.1.1 Extended Corporate Limits
1.2 Form of government
1.3 Powers of the city
1.4 Zones
1.5 Extended City Limits
Article II The Council
2.1 Number and term
2.2 Qualifications
2.3 Salary
2.4 Rules of order
2.5 Vacancies
2.6 Mayor; Election and duties
2.7 Appointment and removal of city manager
2.8 Prohibition of interference
2.9 City Clerk
2.10 Creation of new departments or offices; change of duties
2.11 Meetings
2.12 Legislative proceedings
2.13 Revision of ordinances
2.14 Annual audit
2.15 Investigator
2.16 Enumeration of certain powers
Article III The City Manager
3.1 Qualifications; term of office
3.2 Compensation
3.3 Powers and duties
3.4 Administrative assistants
Article IV Administrative Service
4.1 Departments and boards
4.2 Appointment, removal and duties of department heads
4.3 Police department--Establish- ment; director
4.4 Same-Function; operation; organization; jurisdiction
4.5 Fire department--Establish- ment; director
4.6 Same Function; operation; organization.
Article V Department of Finance
5.1 Director--Appointment; qualifications
5.2 Same--Powers and duties
5.3 Division of purchases
5.4 Competitive bidding
5.5 Representation on board of equalization
5.6 Fiscal year
5.7 Tentative budget
5.8 Final budget and budget message
5.9 Budget a public record
5.10 Public hearing
5.11 Adoption of the budget
5.12 Effective date, certification and copies of the budget
5.13 Appropriations
5.14 Expenditures limited to budget
5.15 Contracts
5.16 Tax rates and tax rolls
5.17 Transfer of unexpended appropriations
5.18 General provisions
5.19 Incurring indebtedness
5.20 Specific purposes
5.21 Vote required for issuance of bonds
5.22 Conduct of election
5.23 Debt statement
5.24 Sale of bonds
5.25 Issuance of refunding bonds
Article VI Department of Personnel
6.1 Director--Appointment; qualifications
6.2 Same--Powers and duties
6.3 Personnel board--generally
6.4 Same--Powers and duties
6.5 Classification of personnel
6.6 Merit system rules
6.7 Application register
6.8 Retirement plans
6.9 Present employees continued in office
6.10 Rights of employees
6.11 Prohibitions
6.12 Violations
Article VII Department of Law
7.1 City attorney--Appointment; qualifications
7.2 Same--Powers and duties
7.3 Assistants--special counsel
Article VIII Department of Public Works
8.1 Director--Appointment and qualifications
8.2 Same--Powers and duties
Article IX Department of Public Health and Welfare
9.1 Director--Appointment; qualifications
9.2 Same--Powers and duties
Article X Public Improvements
10.1 Power to make public improvements
10.2 Property subject to special assessment
10.3 Method of payment
10.4 Letting of contracts
10.5 Proceedings relative to improvements
10.6 Notice of public improvement and remonstrances
10.7 Finding of council to be conclusive
10.8 Intervening street connections
10.9 Sidewalk repair
10.9.5 Assessment of water main extensions
10.10 Sewers
10.11 Acquiring private sewers
10.12 Method of levying assessments
10.13 Levy of assessment
10.14 Erroneous or invalid assessments
10.15 Passage of ordinances
10.16 Additional provisions
10.17 Public improvement fund
10.18 Special assessment bonds and temporary notes
10.19 Completion of existing public improvements
Article XI Planning and Zoning
11.1 Planning and Zoning Commission--Organization
11.2 The Planning and Zoning Commission--Powers and duties
11.3 Director of planning
11.4 Board of adjustment
11.5 The master plan generally
11.6 Adoption of master plan
11.7 Legal status of master plan.
11.8 Regulations governing subdivisions and development of land
11.9 Tentative approval of plats
11.10 Lines of mapped streets
11.11 Official map
11.12 Modification of official map
11.13 Buildings in mapped street
11.14 Hearings on building in mapped streets
11.15 Legal effect of official map
11.16 Zoning
11.17 Powers of council in replanning and redevelopment of neighbor- hoods and disaster areas
11.18 Procedure for adoption of plans by council
Article XII The Municipal Court
12.1 Jurisdiction and powers
12.2 Judge of the municipal court
12.3 Place of holding court
12.4 Compensation of municipal judge; disposition of costs and fines
12.5 Marshal
12.6 Proceedings
12.7 Jury trial and costs
Article XIII Nominations and Elections
13.1 Time of elections
13.2 Regulations of elections
13.3 When magistrate may conduct election
13.4 Vacancies created by recall--election
13.4.1 Nomination by petition
13.5 Preparation of ballots
13.6 Voting machines
13.7 Returns; canvass
13.8 Tie vote
13.9 Voting precincts
Article XIV Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
14.1 Initiative
14.2 Referendum
14.3 Petitions
14.4 Filing and certification of petition
14.5 Amended petitions
14.6 Effect of an initiative petition
14.7 Effect of a referendum petition
14.8 Voting
14.9 Effect of vote
14.10 Recall petition
14.11 Recall election
14.12 Recall ballot
14.13 Effect of election
14.14 Limitation on recall
14.15 Conduct of initiative, referendum and recall elections
Article XV Boards
15.1 Definitions and classification
15.2 Power to establish boards
15.3 Applicability of article
15.4 Power of the council
15.5 Members; terms; qualifications and restrictions
15.6 Appointment and removal
15.7 Personnel
15.8 Purchases and contracts
15.9 Finances
15.10 Budget
15.11 Disbursement of funds
15.12 Organization and procedure
15.13 Reports and audit
15.14 Gifts and donations
15.15 Powers and duties of the boards
15.16 Park board
15.17 Library board
15.18 Children's home board
15.19 Airport board
15.20 Art museum board
Article XVI Board of Public Utilities
16.1 Definitions
16.2 Composition of the board
16.3 Appointment of board
16.4 Organization of the board
16.5 Restrictions on the board
16.6 Duties
16.7 Powers
16.8 Budget provision
16.9 Disbursements
16.10 Funds
16.11 Accounting
16.12 Purchases and contracts
16.13 The rate making provisions
16.14 Employees of public utilities
16.15 Payment into city treasury and services furnished
16.16 Disposition of net income
16.17 Sale of public utilities
16.18 Condemnation
16.19 Area of service
Article XVII Franchises
17.1 Granting of franchises
17.2 Right of regulation
17.3 Purchases; condemnation
17.4 Revocable permits
17.5 Operation beyond franchise period
Article XVIII Licensing of Occupations and Business
18.1 Occupations
18.2 Reservation
18.3 Liability to taxation
18.4 Classification
18.5 Period of issue
18.6 Exclusions
Article XIX Miscellaneous Provisions
19.1 Judicial notice of the Charter
19.2 Ordinances to remain in force
19.3 Proof of ordinance
19.4 Pending actions and proceedings
19.5 Continuance of contracts, public improvements, and taxes
19.6 Transfer of records and property
19.7 Salaries
19.8 Oath of office
19.9 Official bonds
19.10 Notice of suits
19.11 Judicial bonds
19.12 Rate of taxation
19.13 Security of deposits
19.14 Remitting taxes prohibited
19.15 Officers; employees; qualification
19.16 Officers and employees interested in contracts
19.17 Power to administer oaths
19.18 Condemnation proceedings
19.19 Use of equipment and supplies
19.20 Terms of present boards
19.21 Dissolution of boards
19.22 Appointment of boards
19.23 Assessed valuations
19.24 Compensation of county assessor
19.25 Effect of unconstitutional provisions
19.26 Contracts and ordinances contrary to Charter
19.27 Use of the masculine pronoun
19.28 Amending the Charter

Includes additions approved by the voters covering all elections through August 2012.

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Springfield, MO 65802