does "codify" mean?
means to systematically organize a municipality's legally adopted laws.
Each ordinance is assigned a permanent number and
entered into an indexed book called the "code of ordinances".
This kind of ordinance is called a "code" ordinance.
As stated in
a 1966 attorney general's opinion, the minimum codification
requirements are that ordinances ".have been topically arranged
under a logical and systematic set of chapters and subchapters."
They have ". a table of contents, an index, and a system
of cross-referencing," and have ". a current supplement.."
The most important
reason for codifying ordinances is to make it easy for people
to find the laws they are expected to obey, or in the case
of municipal employees, the laws they are expected to enforce,
and to make it clear what will happen if the law is not obeyed.
Also, state law (AS
29.25.050) requires codification and, if a municipality
does not codify its ordinances, the State can withhold State
Revenue Sharing and other forms of aid and assistance to municipalities.
What is the
difference between a code and a non-code ordinance?
The basic difference
is that a code ordinance is permanent and general in nature
and a non-code ordinance is temporary and/or accomplishes
a single action. The ordinance should state whether it is
a code ordinance or a non-code ordinance.
Code Ordinance - A permanent ordinance that establishes procedures or
rules of conduct must be codified (AS
29.25.050(a)). Codified means the legally adopted ordinance
has been assigned a permanent number and entered into an
book called the code of ordinances. As used in this text,
legally adopted means the date of adoption and adopting authority
information required under AS 29. 25.050(c)(1) is available
and all other requirements for adoption have been met. The "Local Government Handbook" has
detailed information on codification.
Ordinance - A non-code ordinance is not incorporated into
the main body of the code of ordinances, but should be included
in the supplement. A non-code ordinance is an act of the governing
body that authorizes a specific act or transaction, or authorizes
the enforcement of rules or procedures for a limited period
of time (e.g. less than a year). Also, a non-code ordinance
may be used when state law (AS
29.25.010) or local law requires the action to be authorized
by an ordinance. A common example of a non-code ordinance
is the ordinance adopted each year to authorize the annual
budget. State law requires budgets be authorized by ordinance,
but the authority to spend money established in the ordinance
expires at the end of the fiscal year. Because the authority
to spend money granted by the ordinance approving the budget
only lasts one year, it is not considered a permanent ordinance
that would be included in the code of ordinances. Another
example is an ordinance authorizing the sale of public land.
The sale of a parcel of land is a one-time transaction that
communities require be authorized by ordinance.
The annual "City
Budget Manual" (NOTE: 2.8 MB Adobe Acrobat) produced
by the Department of Community and Economic Development provides
an example of a non-code budget appropriations ordinance.
Ordinance - An emergency ordinance is another form of
non-code ordinance that is not included as a permanent ordinance.
State law (AS
29.25.030) allows municipalities to approve ordinances
and bypass the normal procedures for enacting an ordinance
when there is a public emergency that requires quick action.
Emergency ordinances cannot last longer than 60 days and must
include a statement of the facts upon which the emergency
ordinance be numbered by the fiscal year or the calendar year?
is free to adopt any numbering system it chooses for keeping
track of ordinances. Because fiscal years often overlap calendar
years, and this can be confusing for members of the public,
many municipalities find it easier to track the passage of
ordinances and resolutions by calendar year.
The "Local Government
Handbook" chapter on ordinances contains
detailed information about ordinance numbering. State law
simply requires that the ordinance be "codified," meaning
it must be given a permanent number, the date of adoption
must be noted,
and the ordinance must be entered in a properly indexed book.
keep the original signed copy of the ordinances after they
have been put into a code?
Yes. Keep the
original copy of the ordinance as passed by the governing
body with the Mayor's signature in a permanent ordinance file.
Original copies could become important if the ordinance is
challenged in court. Information on retaining these records
can be found in the "Local Government Handbook" and
the State's Local
Government Records Retention Schedule. Using an Ordinance
Tracking sheet is very helpful in organizing and later
researching adoption information for an ordinance.
should we update our code of ordinances?
29.25.050(b) requires that a municipality's ordinances
be codified within three years after incorporation
and reprinted at least every five years.
Who is responsible
for maintaining the code of ordinances?
municipal clerk. State law (AS
29.20.380(a)(5)) provides that the municipal clerk
shall maintain an indexed file of all permanent municipal
for codification of the ordinances.