Council Job Description
Members of the City Council can be compared to a Board of Directors, answering to the electorate in the same way a Board answers to its stockholders. The City Council acts as the policy makers, as required by the council/manager form of government set forth in the Oregon Revised Statutes. The Council members provide the city manager (the chief executive officer) with policy-making guidelines and performance objectives. The city manager’s staff turns these guidelines and objectives into programs and services.
Composition of Council
The Council is composed of six councilors and a mayor who presides over all meetings. A council president is elected from the membership at its first meeting of each odd-numbered year to preside in the mayor’s absence.
- 18 years of age
- Registered voter
- Resident of the City for one year prior to the date of election/appointment
Terms of Offices
- Mayor – 2 years
- Council Members – 4 year terms
Ethics and Conflicts of Interest
Various constitutional provisions, the common law, state statutes and occasionally charter or ordinance provisions cover public officials’ ethics and conflicts of interest. Annually, Council members are required to file a Statement of Economic Interest with the Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission.
A public official may be personally liable for an action in tort. However, under the Oregon Tort Claims Act (OTCA), public officials are to be defended and saved harmless by their public body for actions taken in their official capacity, except for malfeasance in office or willful or wanton neglect of duty.
The expressed policy of the state is that every person has a right to inspect records of a public body unless the record is exempt from disclosure.
Oregon Budget Law
The Oregon Department of Revenue administers this law and publishes the Budget Manual for Municipal Corporations, which serves as a basic reference document on the local budgeting process in Oregon. The law establishes standard procedures for preparing, presenting, and administering the budget. It requires citizen involvement through a budget committee (City Council comprises one-half of the committee) and public hearings before the budget may be adopted.