What Are the Duties of a City Councilman?

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A city council person is an elected legislative official. The primary responsibility of the position is to make and enforce laws. As a part of a city council, the member votes with a board to pass bills on a wide range of city-related matters. He or she can represent a constituency of voters within a city, as delineated by districts, or the member may have been elected to represent voters at-large.

1 Significance

City council members vote on various zoning matters, oversee city agencies and programs to determine if and how money is being budgeted optimally, and they vote to approve the budget created by the mayor as well.

2 Size

There can be anywhere between five and 50 city council members, depending upon the size of the city.

3 Types

In bigger cities like New York, an executive role may be created to serve as president or council speaker of the city council. And for even greater oversight, subcommittees may be created for optimal vigilance of city agency and program affairs.

4 Fun Fact

Los Angeles city council members are among the highest paid in the nation, bringing in $14,304 each month (as of 2008).

5 Famous Ties

Harvey Milk, subject of the Academy Award winning biopic Milk, was a member of the consolidated city-county San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Melissa Cole began writing as a local newspaper reporter in 2008. Her work also appears on various websites. Cole is a public-television producer and media professional, as well as a vegan and former varsity track-and-field MVP and team captain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and politics from New York University.