The city council in a city under the commission plan of government shall, at its first meeting or as soon as possible thereafter, elect as many of the city officers provided for by the laws or ordinances governing such city as may, in the judgment of the city council, be essential and necessary to the economical but efficient and proper conduct of the government of the city and shall at the same time fix the salaries of the officers so elected either by providing that such salaries shall remain the same as previously fixed by the laws or ordinances for such officers or may then raise or lower the existing salaries of any such officers. The city council may modify the powers or duties of any such officers, as provided by the laws or ordinances, or may completely define and fix such powers or duties, anew. Any such officers or any assistant or employee elected or appointed by the city council may be removed by the city council at any time, except that in cities of the metropolitan class no member or officer of the fire department shall be discharged for political reasons, nor shall any person be employed in such department for political reasons. Before any such officer or employee can be discharged, charges must be filed against him or her before the city council and a hearing had thereon, and an opportunity given such officer or employee to defend against such charges. This section shall not be construed to prevent peremptory suspension of such officer or employee by the city council in case of misconduct, neglect of duty, or disobedience of orders. Whenever any such suspension is made, charges shall be at once filed by the city council with the officer having charge of the records of the city council and a trial had thereon at the second meeting of the city council after such charges are filed. For the purpose of hearing such charges the city council shall have power to enforce attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers and to administer oaths to witnesses in the same manner and with like effect and under the same penalty, as in the case of magistrates exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction under the statutes of the State of Nebraska.