What does City Council do? A city council is the legislative branch of a city government. Like the US Senate, they pass laws, ordinances and budgets that are then enforced by the executive branch.
The city council…
…determines big picture budget priorities.
…debates and makes decisions around zoning and development issues.
…passes city ordinances.
…hires or approves the top level executives, such as city manager, police chief, or fire chief, for the city government.
…approves certain kinds of licenses and business permits.
…appoints residents to the various advisory commissions and committees such as Planning, Human Rights, Budget Advisory, Parks and Recreation, and Long-range Planning.
…serves as the board of directors for the Economic Development Authority.
…approves certain capital expenditures and awards related contracts to vendors.
…provides oversight and accountability to all city departments.
The decisions of the council are then executed by the various departments of the city government.