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.
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.
There can be anywhere between five and 50 city council members, depending upon the size of the city.
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.
Los Angeles city council members are among the highest paid in the nation, bringing in $14,304 each month (as of 2008).
Harvey Milk, subject of the Academy Award winning biopic Milk, was a member of the consolidated city-county San Francisco Board of Supervisors
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images