Municipal Accountability Act (HB1891)

The act provides a mechanism whereby a municipality is called to account for the continued failure to provide basic services (at least 75% of the list below) to its constituency. The trigger for the process is a petition signed by 30% of the voters in the subject municipality. After the petition is certified by a the election authority and circuit court the first consequence is a mentoring program in which a board of elected officials and senior management employees from other area municipalities that has been appointed by a local university reviews the services in question and recommends remedies.

Should the sub-par services continue to be a problem the petition may be presented to the circuit court within 12 months of election authority certification. The court will conduct a hearing to determine whether the municipality is operating below minimum standards. If the hearing finds that the municipality is operating below minimum standards then the municipality will have 90 days to rectify the deficiencies. If they do not the court has the authority to:

  1. Appoint an administrative authority for the municipality (and suspend pay to members of the governing body of that municipality)
  2. At the end of 180 days, if standards are still not met, remove from office any or all elected officials in the municipality and appoint new ones
  3. At the end of another 90 days, if standards are still not being met, place on the ballot a proposal to merge with an adjacent municipality, if one exists.
  4. If such a merger is not successful (it must be approved by voters in both municipalities) then, if 40% of the voters submit a petition for disincorporation, the court shall place on the ballot a proposal to order the disincorporation of the municipality, effective on a date set by the court.

List of Basic Services:

  • Balanced Budget
  • Capital expenditure plan
  • Annual Audit (or report on transactions and internal controls for municipality of less than 400,000)
  • Cash management and accounting system
  • Adequate insurance
  • Complete and publically accessible set of ordinances
  • Two peace officers on duty at all times’
  • Written pursuit policy
  • Written use of force policy
  • Construction code review
  • Refuse and recycling collection
  • Annual online report on compliance with these standards