Salt Lake City

City Council

801-535-7600 | council.comments@slcgov.com

Council Duties

Below is an overview of the City Council and its main functions.

Mayor/Council Form of Government

Salt Lake City operates under a Mayor/Council form of government. The Mayor is the chief executive and the City Council is the legislative body. This system is modeled after the Federal Constitution structure of government. The Mayor and Council Members are elected by Salt Lake City residents in separate elections.

Download the Council’s guide to local government for the City’s young constituents.

Council Duties

Council Members serve four-year terms, work for the City part-time, and are paid. Each Council Member represents one of the City’s seven geographical Council Districts of similar population size.

The City Council exercises the legislative powers of city government, including adopting the annual City budget, ordinances and resolutions; setting appropriate tax levies; establishing sewer and water rates, setting other general tax and service rates; Mayoral veto override authority, and setting the Council agenda. Other responsibilities for City Council Members include introducing legislation, setting City policy, and giving advice and consent on appointments made by the mayor to City boards, commissions and departments. Council Members also serve as the board of directors of the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency.

The Council follows a Council Member policy manual. Read the manual.

Mayor Duties

The Mayor is elected by residents separately from the Council and serves a four-year term. The position is full-time and paid. The Mayor’s authority includes; proposing the annual City budget, appointing City Department Directors, exercising veto authority, and managing day-to-day operations of the City.

Chair and Vice Chair Roles

Every January, the Council elects one of its Members to serve as Chairperson and one member to serve as Vice Chairperson

Chair duties include; signing documents such as adopted ordinances and resolutions, representing the position of the Council to the media and the Mayor’s Administration, oversees management of the Office of the City Council including monitoring and guiding the Council priorities, and scheduling items on the City Council meeting agendas. The Vice Chair acts as backup to the Chairperson in the event that the Chairperson is unavailable for any reason.

In addition, the Council Chair and Vice Chair represent the Council in meetings with stakeholders, including the Mayor, Salt Lake City School Board, and the Salt Lake Chamber Board.

Council Meetings

Check out our Council Meeting FAQ for more information.

Council Priorities

Each January, the Council choose priorities on which they want to make significant progress during the coming year.

The priorities inform the Mayor, City Administration and the public about the items Council Members feel are of highest importance to ensure that quality of life remains high for Salt Lake City residents and businesses; that the City is accommodating, vibrant and safe for those whose live, work, visit and play here; and that the City’s financial underpinnings are solid and fair for all taxpayers.

Budget

The budget is one of the Council’s strongest policy-making tools. Each year, the Mayor and City Council adopt an annual budget and some budget amendments (changes) throughout the year. Check out our Budget FAQ for more information.

Ceremonial Resolutions

A ceremonial resolution of support, appreciation or recognition can either be a joint resolution supported and signed by the City Council and the Mayor of Salt Lake City or a resolution supported and signed only from the City Council.

The City Council receives a large number of requests and, unfortunately, cannot adopt every requested resolution. The Salt Lake City Council has made it a practice to decline to pass resolutions on issues outside its sphere of responsibilities.

Please complete the online request form at least one month from the date you hope to have your resolution considered.

Resolution language is determined by the City Council but suggested language is requested. Please provide information in bullet point format or as “whereas” clauses. Also, please specify whether you intend for the resolution to: recognize a person or cause, urge others to action, support a position, declare a month or week a day in recognition of an event or person, etc. View an example of a resolution that has been adopted by the Council.

Guidelines:

  • Order of the bullet points or “whereas” clauses should be organized in a manner to help the resolution flow in telling the story/background of the topic
  • Keep the language of the resolution to one page
  • Language and tone can be inspirational or celebratory in nature
  • Provide sources of any fact-based language

One signed original of the resolution will be made available. Allow two weeks to receive a confirmation regarding your request.