- Adopt local laws (ordinances) to protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare. Ordinances may provide for infraction penalties with a civil fine of up to $100 and misdemeanor criminal penalties with up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000 (Idaho Code 50-302).
- Annex territory into the city by ordinance (Idaho Code 50-222).
- Adopt a comprehensive plan by resolution, which serves as the city’s plan for future growth and development (Idaho Code 67-6503; 67-6508; 67-6509).
- Adopt a zoning ordinance to regulate land uses within the city, including permitted, conditionally permitted and prohibited land uses within each zone. The zoning ordinance also outlines application procedures, fees and standards of approval for rezones, conditional use permits, and variances (Idaho Code 67-6511; 67-6512; 67-6516; 67-6518; 67-6519).
- Adopt a subdivision ordinance setting forth the process for subdivision applications, fees and approval; standards for streets, curb and gutter, water, sewer and other infrastructure; and offsite improvements and other requirements (Idaho Code 67-6513; 67-6518; 67-6519).
- Negotiate with the county commissioners an area of city impact for future urbanization and annexation into the city and the land use regulations which will apply within the area (Idaho Code 67-6526).
- Creation of an urban renewal agency to plan and undertake economic development projects within specific areas of the city, (Idaho Code 50-2006; 50-2007) approval of urban renewal plans (Idaho Code 50-2008) and authorization of revenue allocation financing for urban renewal projects by ordinance.(Idaho Code 50-2906).
- A majority of the full council may override mayoral veto of an ordinance (Idaho Code 50-611).
- Establish the place and time of regular council meetings by ordinance (Idaho Code 50-705).
- A majority of the full council may call special council meetings (Idaho Code 50-706).
- Authorizing and holding executive sessions, which are meetings of the council closed to the public, to consider any of the following: hiring a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent; evaluation, dismissal, discipline or hearing complaints or charges against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent; deliberations concerning labor negotiations; acquiring an interest in real property not owned by a public agency; considering records exempt from public disclosure; preliminary negotiations involving matters of trade or commerce; communicating with legal counsel concerning pending litigation or controversies imminently likely to be litigated; communicating with the city’s risk manager or insurance provider to discuss the adjustment of a pending claim or prevention of a claim imminently likely to be filed; and labor negotiations if either side requests closed meetings (Idaho Code 67-2345).
- Determine which services should be provided by the city, (Idaho Code Title 50, Chapter 3) the fees for such services, and whether a service is more appropriately provided by the city with its own employees or by contract with a private entity. Adopt ordinances and regulations to protect public health and prevent contagious diseases, and adoption of quarantine laws (Idaho Code 50-304).
- Adopt franchise ordinances granting use of public rights-of-way for power, natural gas, water and cable providers and setting franchise fees at a percentage of the utility’s gross revenues (Idaho Code 50-329; 50-329A).
- Adopt personnel, financial, investment, purchasing, and other policies governing city operations by resolution. Licensing and regulation of businesses and occupations within the city and setting license fees (Idaho Code 50-307).
- May adopt building, residential, energy conservation, mechanical and fuel gas codes (Idaho Code 39-4109; 39-4116; 54-5001).
- Regulate, establish license fees up to the maximum allowed by state law and approve licenses for retail sale of liquor by the drink (Idaho Code 23-904; 23-916; 23-927), beer (Idaho Code 23-1012; 23-1016) and wine (Idaho Code 23-1315; 23-1318).
- Vacating streets and public rights-of-way (Idaho Code 50-1306A).
- Prepare a budget outlining the city’s projected revenues and expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year (Idaho Code 50-1002).
- Approve an appropriations ordinance establishing spending authority for specific funds or departments for the upcoming fiscal year (Idaho Code 50-1003).
- Approve the city’s property tax levy for the upcoming fiscal year (Idaho Code 50-1007).
- Receive a monthly report on city finances from the city treasurer (Idaho Code 50-208).
- Examine, at least quarterly, the accounts of officers responsible for managing the monies, property or business of the city (Idaho Code 50-708).
- Provide for audits of the city’s financial statements in accordance with Idaho Code 67-450B (Idaho Code 50-1010).
- Establish, by ordinance, the place(s) of deposit for city funds (Idaho Code 50-1013).
- Approve, by resolution, investment of city funds (Idaho Code 50-1013).
- Decisions on rezones, conditional use permits, variances, and subdivision preliminary plats.
- Denial of licenses for retail sale of beer,99 wine and liquor by the drink (Idaho Code 23-1016).
The City Council is governed by Title 50 Chapter 7 of the Idaho statutes.
Title 50 Chapter 7
50-701. Composition — Powers. The legislative authority of each city in the state of Idaho, except those operating under the provisions of section[s] 50-801 through 50-812 shall be vested in a council consisting of either four (4) or six (6) members, one half (1/2) of whom shall be elected at each general city election. Councils shall have such powers and duties as are now or may hereafter be provided under the general laws of the state of Idaho.
50-702. Qualification of councilmen — Terms — Installation. Any person shall be eligible to hold the office of councilman of his city who is a qualified elector at the time his declaration of candidacy or declaration of intent is submitted to the city clerk, and remains a qualified elector under the constitution and laws of the state of Idaho. Each councilman elected at a general city election, except as otherwise specifically provided, shall hold office for a term of four (4) years, and until his successor is elected and qualified. Councilmen elected at each general city election shall be installed at the first meeting in January following election. The manner of conducting that meeting shall be as herein set forth and not otherwise: the incumbents shall meet and conduct such business as may be necessary to conclude the fiscal matters of the preceding year; the newly elected shall then subscribe to the oath of office, be presented certificates of election, assume the duties of their position, and conduct such business as may be necessary, one (1) item of which shall be the election of a member as president of the council.
50-703. Change in number of councilmen. A. Any city may change to the greater or lesser number of councilmen after an election instituted by resolution of the council or by petition as provided for initiative in sections 50-502 through 50-517, Idaho Code, such election to be held not less than sixty (60) days before any general city election. When the proposition submitted to the electors shall receive a favorable vote, officials shall be elected at the succeeding general city election, provided however, that should such election be conducted in a year when no general city election is to be held, such new positions shall be filled by appointment within thirty (30) days.
(a) When the number of councilmen to be elected is to be reduced from six (6) to four (4), there shall be elected one (1) councilman, to serve a term of four (4) years. At the next succeeding general city election, there shall be elected two (2) councilmen, each to serve a term of four (4) years, and one (1) councilman to serve a term of two (2) years.
(b) When the number of councilmen to be elected is to be increased from four (4) to six (6), there shall be elected three (3) councilmen, each to serve a term of four (4) years, and one (1) councilman to serve a term of two (2) years.
B. Any city operating under the city manager form of government may change to the greater or lesser number of councilmen after an election instituted under subsection (A).
(a) When the number of councilmen to be elected is to be reduced from seven (7) to five (5);
1. If there are four (4) councilmen up for election at the next general city election, there shall be elected two (2) councilmen, each to serve a term of four (4) years.
2. If there are three (3) councilmen up for election at the next general city election, there shall be elected one (1) councilman, to serve a term of four (4) years. At the next succeeding general city election, there shall be elected three (3) councilmen, each to serve a term of four (4) years and one (1) councilman, to serve a term of two (2) years.
(b) When the number of councilmen to be elected is to be increased from five (5) to seven (7);
1. If there are two (2) councilmen up for election at the next general city election, there shall be elected four (4) councilmen, each to serve a term of four (4) years.
2. If there are three (3) councilmen up for election at the next general city election, there shall be elected four (4) councilmen, each to serve a term of four (4) years and one (1) councilman to serve a term of two (2) years.
50-704. Vacancies — Appointment. A vacancy on the council shall be filled by appointment made by the mayor with the consent of the council, which appointee shall serve only until the next general city election, at which such vacancy shall be filled for the balance of the original term.
50-705. Meetings of council — Quorum — Discipline. Regular meetings of the city council shall be held each month at such place and times as the council may establish by ordinance. At all meetings of the council a majority of the full council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business; unless otherwise provided by law, a question before the council shall be decided by a majority of the members present.
For the purpose of holding regular or special meetings a number less than a majority may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as the council may, by ordinance, have previously prescribed. Regular or special meetings of the council may be recessed until further notice.
50-706. Special meetings of council. One[-]half (1/2) plus one (1) of the members of the full council shall have the power to call special meetings of the city council, the object of which shall be submitted to the council in writing; the call and object, as well as the disposition thereof, shall be entered upon the journal of the clerk.
50-707. Assignment of council seats. Any city, by ordinance, may assign a number to each council seat. Upon the adoption of such an ordinance, and at least one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the next general election, the city clerk shall assign a number for each council seat. Any candidate seeking election to the council shall file for one (1) of the assigned council seats.
50-707A. Election of councilmen by districts. (1) Any city may, by ordinance, provide for districts and the election of councilmen by districts. Upon the adoption of such an ordinance and at least one hundred twenty (120) days prior to each general election, the governing body of the city shall establish the territory of council districts in accordance with this section.
(2) Each district shall consist of one or more contiguous election precincts and each district shall, to the nearest extent possible, contain the same number of people based upon the most recent federal census.
(3) Each city providing for the election of councilmen by districts shall establish the number of districts corresponding to the number of council seats determined by the city pursuant to section 50-701, Idaho Code, or for any city having a governing body governed by the provisions of sections 50-801 through 50-812, Idaho Code, the number of council seats determined by the city pursuant to section 50-805, Idaho Code.
(4) Upon adoption of such an ordinance, a council shall determine, not less than ninety (90) days before the next general city election, if council members are to be elected by electors from the entire city, or by the electors of the said geographic district. The council shall also determine, not less than ninety (90) days before the next general election, the method of the implementation of this ordinance.
50-707B. Majority may be required for election — Runoff election. A city may, by ordinance, provide that a majority of the votes for any candidate running for a council seat adopted by a city in accordance with section 50-707 or 50-707A, Idaho Code, shall be required for election to that office. In the event no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, there shall be a runoff election between the two (2) candidates receiving the highest number of votes cast. Such runoff election shall be conducted by the county clerk as in the general election in a manner consistent with chapter 14, title 34, Idaho Code, and at such time within thirty (30) days of the general election, as prescribed by the city and shall be exempt from the limitation upon elections provided in sections 34-106 and 50-405, Idaho Code. The ballot shall be prepared by the county clerk not less than twenty-two (22) days preceding the runoff election. The designation of polling places shall be made by the county commissioners not less than twenty (20) days preceding any runoff election, and sample ballots shall be printed not less than eighteen (18) days preceding the runoff election.
50-708. Examination of accounts of fiscal officers. At least once in each quarter of each year, the council shall examine, either in open session or by committee, the accounts and doings of all officers or other persons having the care, management or disposition of moneys, property or business of the city.