The Common Council is both the city’s legislative and fiscal body. Members of the Common Council (often referred to as the City Council) are part-time elected officials who serve for four years. They are not subject to term limits and may run for re-election as many times as they wish. As individual Council members, they do not have statutory powers. As the city’s legislative body, however, the Council can pass ordinances, resolutions and appropriate dollars. The Council fixes the annual salaries of all elected officials and city employees. It has the authority to reduce, but not to increase, any other items in the city budget as submitted by the mayor for its approval.
A Council member must have been a resident of the district from which he or she is elected for at least six months prior to the election, and must have been a resident of the city for at least one year before being on the ballot. If the Council member moves from the city or the district from which they were elected, the Council member forfeits their office.