Lakewood operates under a City Charter that provides for a Mayor/Council form of government and designates City Council as the legislative branch of Lakewood’s city government. Seven council members (3 at-large and 1 for each of the city’s four wards) hold meetings in open public forums on the first and third Monday of every month (recess in August) at 7:30 P.M. in the City Hall auditorium. Council members serve four-year staggered terms.
A Citizen’s Guide to Lakewood City Council, meeting dockets, minutes and referrals are available to the public by calling (216) 529-6055, visiting the Council offices at Lakewood City Hall, 12650 Detroit Avenue, or by email.
Receive information about meeting dates and times 24 hours a day by calling the Lakewood Legislative Information Line at (216) 529-6055.
Pictured: Standing (R to L): Shawn Juris, David Anderson, Cindy Marx,
Sam O'Leary and Tom Bullock
Seated: Mary Louise Madigan and Ryan Nowlin
Lakewood City Council Roster
THE ROLE OF COUNCIL
As the legislative arm of Lakewood City government, the chief function of City Council is the making of laws. While serving as the city’s lawmaking body, Council also monitors the operation and performance of the city budget. In addition, Council members serve as their constituents’ links to their local government. When a constituent has a question or concern with city policy or services, they are encouraged to contact their ward Council representative, or any Council at Large member.
The legislative powers of the City, except as limited by the Charter, are vested in City Council. As the legislative body, Council makes and passes the laws governing the city. The legislative process comprises a number of steps, and includes committee action during which the most intense consideration is given to the proposed measures; this is also the time when citizens are given their opportunity to be heard. Each piece of legislation is referred to the committee that has jurisdiction over the area affected by the measure. Council members serve on at least two committees and all serve on the Committee of the Whole. Most committee meetings are held in the Court’s jury room or in the Council Chambers.
Legislation is introduced in the following manner:
- Legislation is proposed by Council members, the Mayor or administration or by citizen initiative (petition). Under Article III, Section 8 of the City Charter, “each proposed ordinance shall be introduced in written or printed form and shall not contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly stated in the title,” with the exception of general appropriation ordinances.
- Proposed legislation is introduced to Council during a regularly scheduled public Council meeting and referred to the appropriate committee.
- A committee hearing is held, during which Council members consider the proposed legislation and public commentary.
- If necessary, the proposed legislation is amended.
- The committee votes on the legislation.
- If passed, the legislation is sent to full Council for discussion and a final vote.
- If passed, the legislation is sent to the Mayor.
- The Mayor signs the legislation.
- The proposed legislation becomes a local law.
If the Mayor disapproves and vetoes it, the legislation comes back to Council with the Mayor’s written objections. Council can override the Mayor’s veto by a two-thirds vote. If the Mayor does not sign or veto the legislation within ten days after receiving it from Council, it is considered approved.
Under Article III, Section 14 of the City Charter:
“On or before the fifteenth day of November in each year, the Mayor, Director of Public Works and Director of Finance shall prepare an estimate of the expense of conducting the affairs of the City for the following year; this estimate shall be compiled from detailed information obtained from the various departments.”
This estimate itemizes the expense of conducting each department, comparisons with corresponding items of expenditures for the last two complete fiscal years, reasons for proposed increases or decreases compared with the current fiscal year, departmental schedules, payroll increases, anticipated revenue from taxes and other sources, debt interest and bond retirement funds, long-term financial obligations of the City and “such other information as may be required by Council.” Upon receipt of the estimate, Council initiates the budget approval process to monitor the operation and performance of the City’s budget, establish priorities and allocate resources for the year, and thereafter pass temporary or permanent appropriation ordinances.