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A city council, town council, town board, or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality, or local government area.
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Because of the differences in legislation between the states, the exact definition of a city council varies. However, it is generally only those local government areas which have been specifically granted city status (usually on a basis of population) that are entitled to refer to themselves as cities. The official title is "Corporation of the City of ______" or similar.
Some of the urban areas of Australia are governed mostly by a single entity (see Brisbane and other Queensland cities), while others may be controlled by a multitude of much smaller city councils. Also, some significant urban areas can be under the jurisdiction of otherwise rural local governments. Periodic re-alignments of boundaries attempt to rationalize these situations and adjust the deployment of assets and resources.
The 2001 Local Government Act restyled the five county boroughs of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford, and Limerick as city councils, with the same status in law as county councils. The 2014 Local Government Act Merged Limerick City and Limerick County Council together and Waterford City and Waterford County Council together effectively abolishing Waterford and Limerick City council, While Limerick and Waterford maintain City Status.
The city councils (Malay : Majlis Bandaraya) and city halls (Malay : Dewan Bandaraya) in Malaysia are as follows.
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Local councils in New Zealand do vary in structure, but are overseen by the government department Local Government New Zealand. For many decades until the local government reforms of 1989, a borough with more than 20,000 people could be proclaimed a city. The boundaries of councils tended to follow the edge of the built-up area, so little distinction was made between the urban area and the local government area.
New Zealand's local government structural arrangements were significantly reformed by the Local Government Commission in 1989 when approximately 700 councils and special purpose bodies were amalgamated to create 87 new local authorities.
As a result, the term "city" began to take on two meanings.
The word "city" came to be used in a less formal sense to describe major urban areas independent of local body boundaries. This informal usage is jealously guarded. Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first city in the world to see the new millennium. Gisborne is administered by a district council, but its status as a city is not generally disputed.
Under the current law the minimum population for a new city is 50,000.
In the Philippines, all cities have their own city councils, and these are officially called: "Sangguniang Panlungsod" (literally "city council"), although the term "city council" is predominantly used. Municipalities have a similar but separate form of legislature called "Sangguniang Bayan" (literally "municipal council"). The Local Government Code of 1991 established the current local government structure, including city councils. City councils range from 12, in most cities, to 38 members, such as the Manila City Council. Members of city councils are called "councilors".
In the Republic of China, a city council represents a provincial city. Members of the councils are elected through local elections for provincial cities which are held every 4–5 years.
Councils for the provincial cities in Taiwan are Chiayi City Council, Hsinchu City Council, and Keelung City Council.
In the United Kingdom, not all cities have city councils, and the status and functions of city councils vary.
A city council may be:
Belfast City Council is now the only city council. Since the local government reforms of 2015 the other four cities form parts of wider districts and do not have their own councils.
A city council is the council of one of four council areas designated a City by the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994.
The three cities which are not council areas have no city council.
A city council may be:
City councils and town boards generally consist of several (usually somewhere between 5 and 50) elected aldermen or councillors. In the United States, members of city councils are typically called council member, council man, council woman, councilman, or councilwoman, while in Canada they are typically called councillor.
In some cities, the mayor is a voting member of the council who serves as chairman; in others, the mayor is the city's independent chief executive (or strong mayor) with veto power over city council legislation. In larger cities the council may elect other executive positions as well, such as a council president and speaker.
The council generally functions as a parliamentary or presidential style legislative body, proposing bills, holding votes, and passing laws to help govern the city.
The role of the mayor in the council varies depending on whether or not the city uses council–manager government or mayor–council government, and by the nature of the statutory authority given to it by state law, city charter, or municipal ordinance.
There is also a mayor pro tem councilmember. In cities where the council elects the mayor for one year at a time, the mayor pro tem is in line to become the mayor in the next year. In cities where the mayor is elected by the city's voters, the mayor pro tem serves as acting mayor in the absence of the mayor. This position is also known as vice mayor.
In some cities a different name for the municipal legislature is used. In Portland, Oregon, for example, it is known as the City Commission. In San Francisco, it is known as the Board of Supervisors; San Francisco is a consolidated city-county and the California constitution requires each county to have a Board of Supervisors.
Bicameral city councils were common in the United States until the 20th century, when many were abolished for cost cutting purposes and replaced with unicameral legislatures. Typically, bicameral city councils were divided into Common Councils and Boards of Aldermen, to reflect the structure of federal and state legislatures. The city of Everett, Massachusetts was the last to abolish its own bicameral city council (a seven-member Board of Aldermen and an 18-member Common Council) and replace it with an 11-member City Council, doing so with a November 8, 2011 referendum which took effect in 2014.
Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-localised and has limited powers. While in some countries, "government" is normally reserved purely for a national administration (government), the term local government is always used specifically in contrast to national government – as well as, in many cases, the activities of sub-national, first-level administrative divisions. Local governments generally act only within powers specifically delegated to them by law and/or directives of a higher level of government. In federal states, local government generally comprises a third or fourth tier of government, whereas in unitary states, local government usually occupies the second or third tier of government.
The council–manager government form is one of two predominant forms of local government in the United States and Ireland, the other being the mayor–council government form. Council–manager government form is also used in both county and city governments in the United States. The council–manager form is also used for municipal government in Canada and many other countries, both for city councils and county councils.
A municipality is a local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines. A municipality is called town in its archaic term: a municipality has the function of a town since its inception. It is distinct from city, which is a different category of local government unit. Provinces of the Philippines are divided into cities and municipalities, which in turn, are divided into barangays – villages. As of 7 September 2019, there are 1,488 municipalities across the country.
A councillor is a member of a local government council in some countries, e.g. England. In Finland it is a title of honour granted by the government to several categories of Finns.
An alderman is a member of a municipal assembly or council in many jurisdictions founded upon English law. The term may be titular, denoting a high-ranking member of a borough or county council, a council member chosen by the elected members themselves rather than by popular vote, or a council member elected by voters.
The administrative divisions of New York are the various units of government that provide local services in the State of New York. The state is divided into boroughs, counties, cities, townships, called "towns", and villages. They are municipal corporations, chartered (created) by the New York State Legislature, under the New York State Constitution the only body that can create governmental units in the state. All of them have their own governments, sometimes with no paid employees, that provide local services. Centers of population that are not incorporated and have no government or local services are designated hamlets. Whether a municipality is defined as a borough, city, town, or village is determined not by population or land area, but rather on the form of government selected by the residents and approved by the New York Legislature. Each type of local government is granted specific home rule powers by the New York State Constitution. There are still occasional changes as a village becomes a city, or a village dissolves, each of which requires legislative action. New York also has various corporate entities that provide local services and have their own administrative structures (governments), such as school and fire districts. These are not found in all counties.
A town council, city council or municipal council is a form of local government for small municipalities.
Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002. Broadly similar structures existed in Scotland from 1833 to 1975 with the reform of royal burghs and creation of police burghs.
Elections in the Philippines are of several types. The president, vice-president, and the senators are elected for a six-year term, while the members of the House of Representatives, governors, vice-governors, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, mayors, vice-mayors, members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod/members of the Sangguniang Bayan, barangay officials, and the members of the Sangguniang Kabataan are elected to serve for a three-year term.
Local government in the Republic of Ireland's functions are mostly exercised by thirty-one local authorities, termed County, City, or City and County Councils. The principal decision-making body in each of the thirty-one local authorities is composed of the members of the council, elected by universal franchise in local elections every five years from multi-seat local electoral areas using the single transferable vote. Local authorities are the closest and most accessible form of Government to people in their local community. Many of the authorities' statutory functions are, however, the responsibility of ministerially appointed career officials termed Chief executives. The competencies of the city and county councils include planning, transport infrastructure, sanitary services, public safety and the provision of public libraries.
A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. The term can also be used to describe municipally owned corporations.
A municipal council is the legislative body of a municipality such as a city council or a town council.
The London Government Act 1899 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the administration of the capital. The Act divided the County of London into 28 metropolitan boroughs, replacing the 41 parish vestries and District Boards of Works administering the area. The legislation also transferred a few powers from the London County Council to the boroughs, and removed a number of boundary anomalies. The first elections to the new boroughs were held on 1 November 1900.
The state of Michigan is largely divided in the same way as many other U.S. states, but is distinct in its usage of charter townships. Michigan ranks 13th among the fifty states in terms of the number of local governmental entities.
The Royal Commission on the Amalgamation of the City and County of London was a royal commission which considered the means for amalgamating the ancient City of London with the County of London, which had been created in 1889. The commission reported in 1894. The government headed by Lord Rosebery accepted the recommendations of the commission, but when a Conservative government under Lord Salisbury came to power in 1895 the reforms were almost entirely abandoned.
Municipal politics in the Netherlands is an important aspect of the politics of the Netherlands. The municipality is the lowest level of government, but this does not reflect the importance that the Amsterdam and Rotterdam governments play in Dutch political life. There are a total of 352 municipalities in the Netherlands.
Local elections in the Philippines were held on May 9, 2016. This was conducted together with the 2016 general election for national positions. All elected positions above the barangay (village) level were disputed.
The New York City Board of Aldermen was a body that was the upper house of New York City's Common Council from 1824 to 1875, the lower house of its Municipal Assembly upon consolidation in 1898 until the charter was amended in 1901 to abolish the Municipal Assembly and its upper house, and its unicameral legislature from 1875 to 1897 and 1902 to 1937. The corresponding lower house was known as the Board of Assistants or the Board of Assistant Aldermen from 1824 to 1875, while the upper house was known as the Council from 1898 to 1901. In 1938 a new charter came into effect that replaced the Board of Aldermen with the New York City Council.
Local elections in the Philippines were held on May 13, 2019. This was conducted together with the 2019 general election for national positions. All elected positions above the barangay (village) level were disputed. The following positions were disputed: