Ever wonder what a Council person actually does?

City Council Duties:




One of the most important city council duties is to select and hire the top administrators for the city manager or chief of police.  Smaller cities will have a city council staff of at least one or two individuals to assist city council members in identifying and vetting candidates, preparing for meetings and drafting bills and regulations.  City councils in larger cities might have a staff of dozens.




Another essential part of the job description of a city council member is to pass local ordinances.  Most city councils have broad powers to write laws in any area that does not impinge on state or federal prerogatives.  Traffic ordinances, noise control regulations, anti-pollution measures and ordinances and ordinances regarding land development are all examples of ordinances passed by city councils.  New city ordinances must go through a legislative process just as federal or state laws do.  A bill must be introduced by at least one city council member.  Colleagues discuss and may modify the bill and it is voted upon at a later date.  




City Council members are responsible for the development of an annual city budget.  Larger cities will typically have a separate budget committee that is responsible for writing a budget to submit in the overall council for discussion and approval.  There might be a separate budget for a capital improvement plan or regarding funds approved in bond packages.  In some places, a mayor or other administrator prepares a budget and presents it to city council for approval.

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Oath of office

Chattanooga City Charter