Roles and Responsibilities
The City Council governs Minneapolis through its legislative, administrative, and financial power over many City functions. The Council levies taxes, enacts ordinances and resolutions, licenses businesses, and exercises budgetary and policy control over City departments.
Council Members represent the interests of their constituents. They respond to inquiries, suggestions and complaints regarding City programs and services and meet regularly with constituents to discuss developments affecting the ward that they represent and the City as a whole.
The 13 Council Members are elected by ward for four-year terms. Ward boundaries are adjusted after each federal census so that there is no more than a five percent difference in population among the wards. The Council elects its own officers. The Council President chairs its meetings and acts as mayor if the Mayor is out of town or incapacitated.
The Council meets on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. according to a calendar approved at the beginning of each year and may hold additional meetings. Its meetings, and those of Council committees, are open to the public. Meeting schedules are published in the online City Council Datebook.
The Council adopts ordinances that provide for the government and order of the City. Ordinances serve a variety of purposes, including licensing, regulating public and private activities, controlling the uses of property, preventing crime, and generally ensuring public health and welfare. The Council adopts resolutions to express policy or to direct certain administrative actions. The Council also passes on assessments, submits annual tax levy statements and has charge of City elections.
The Council functions with committees. Departments report to the Council through an assigned committee. Committee recommendations are forwarded to the full Council for its consideration. Council actions then go to the Mayor for approval or veto.
See Standing Committees for more information.
Last updated Nov. 17, 2011