Article 8 General Provisions

Section 8.1 Form of ordinances

No ordinance shall contain more than one (1) subject. The subject shall be clearly expressed in the title. Ordinances may, by reference, adopt Washington state statutes or any recognized printed codes or compilations in whole or in part. All county ordinances shall become part of Clark County Code. The council shall establish by ordinance procedures to codify ordinances, correct deficiencies and conflicts, make technical revisions, and remove obsolete provisions.

Section 8.2 Enactment of ordinances

Proposed ordinances may be introduced by any council member or mini-initiative. Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced in its entirety in writing. Brief summaries of proposed ordinances shall be published before consideration. The council shall hold at least one (1) public hearing after due notice to consider the proposed ordinance. A proposed ordinance may be amended by motion at hearing without publication, provided the amendments do not change the scope and object of the proposed ordinance. Final passage by council requires a roll call vote with a minimum of three (3) affirmative votes required for adoption. Ordinances, or summaries of them, shall be published after enactment. Except as otherwise provided by this charter, ordinances shall take effect ten (10) days after enactment, or at a later date if stated in the ordinance.

Section 8.3 Repeal and amendment of ordinances

Amendment of an ordinance requires presentation of the amended section, in writing, at full length. Ordinances repealing provisions of county code shall include ordinance references to the affected code.

Section 8.4 Emergency ordinances

Any proposed ordinance may be enacted as an emergency ordinance if the council finds as a fact, and states in the ordinance, the ordinance is necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health or safety or for the support of county government and its existing public institutions. A minimum of four (4) affirmative votes shall be required to enact an emergency ordinance. All emergency ordinances shall be effective immediately upon passage.

Section 8.5 Resolutions

The council may pass resolutions to express its opinion of items of business or administration within its powers. Resolutions shall not have the force of law, and the council, in passing resolutions, needs not comply with procedure requirements for the introduction, consideration and passage of ordinances.

Section 8.6 Motions

The council may pass motions to confirm or reject nominations or appointments, approve inter-fund loans, organize and administer the legislative branch, perform other administrative acts related to their legislative responsibilities, and request information from any other agency of county government. Motions shall not be subject to the requirements for the introduction, consideration and passage of ordinances.

Section 8.7 Nondiscrimination

In the exercise of its powers or performance of its duties, the county shall ensure no person is discriminated against because of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed or color. No person shall be discriminated against because of national origin, veteran or military status, citizenship, immigration status, families with children or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or any other legally protected status, unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification. The prohibition against discrimination because of disability shall not apply if the particular disability prevents the proper performance of the particular worker involved. The council shall take whatever action necessary to accomplish this purpose as defined in the state and federal constitutions, laws, regulations and applicable court interpretations.

[Amended, Sec. 16, Res. 2021-7, Nov. 2021]

Section 8.8 Purchasing, contracts, claims and bonds

The council shall by ordinance establish procedures for purchasing supplies, services, materials, equipment, awarding contracts and processing claims and for the sale or refunding of bonds. The ordinance shall provide direction about when bids are required and how invitations for bids are advertised. All purchases, contracts and bonds subject to bid procedures shall be advertised and, unless all bids are rejected, shall be awarded on the basis of sealed bidding to the lowest responsible bidder. Elected or appointed officials and employees shall not directly benefit from contracts made by, through or under their supervision. No county elected official shall accept any employment or compensation from any county contractor during a term of office.

Section 8.9 Franchises

All franchises granted by the council shall be for a fixed term not to exceed twenty-five (25) years. No exclusive franchise shall be granted for the use of any street, road or public place. All franchises shall be subject to the power of eminent domain and right of the council or people acting through initiative or referendum to repeal, amend or modify the franchise in the public's interest. Every ordinance granting a franchise shall contain a reservation of these rights. In a proceeding under eminent domain, the franchise itself shall have no value.

Section 8.10 Public disclosure

Public disclosure of the financial interests of Clark County officials and employees shall be governed by county ordinance and general law.

Section 8.11 Severability

If any section, subsection, clause, word or phrase of this charter is held invalid, unconstitutional or inapplicable to any person by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity, unconstitutionality or inapplicability to any person shall not affect the validity or constitutionality or applicability to all other persons of the remaining portions of this charter.

Section 8.12 Code of Ethics

On or before July 31, 2022, the County Council shall adopt an ordinance establishing a code of ethics, and shall establish penalties for the violation of this code. The ethics code must be adhered to by all departments and entities that receive funding through the County budget, and all officials elected or appointed to administer County government.

[New, Sec. 1, Res. 2021-5, Nov. 2021]

Section 8.13 Ethics Review Commission and Oversight Office

On or before July 31, 2022, the County Manager, in conjunction with the County Council and as per Section 3.3B of this charter, shall appoint an autonomous ethics review commission comprised of qualified individuals in the area of ethical conduct in government which will be charged with hearing and ruling on complaints of violations of the code of ethics. An ethics oversight office shall be established by the County Manager to operate an ethics complaint hotline, accept and investigate potential ethics complaints and provide staff support to the ethics review commission.  The ethics review commission and oversight office will be administered through the office of the County Manager.

[New, Sec. 2, Res. 2021-5, Nov. 2021]