About The City Council
The Oak Park City Council is the legislative and governing body for the City of Oak Park. City Council is comprised of a Mayor, a Mayor Pro tem, and three City Council Members that are elected at-large. The voters elect the Mayor and the City Council Members, while the Mayor Pro Tem position is determined by the greatest number of votes by the voters in the previous election.
The Mayor is elected at every regularly scheduled city election and serves in office on a two-year term. The remaining City Council Members are elected to four-year terms staggered during election years, whereby two are up for election during any given regularly scheduled city election. City elections are usually held in odd-numbered years (i.e., 2013 and 2015), however if a position becomes vacant during the elected official's term of office, a special election may be held to fill the vacancy. Other elected officials of the City include the Municipal Judge and an Associate Municipal Judge, each elected to serve four-year terms in the 45th District Court.
To qualify as a City Council Member under the eligibility requirements of the City's Charter, the individual:
- must be a resident of the City of Oak Park for at least two years immediately prior to the last day for filing original petitions for office, or prior to the time of appointment to fill a vacancy;
- must be a qualified and registered elector of the City on the last day for filing or at time of appointment and throughout tenure of office;
- must be a citizen of the United States; and
- must not be in default to the City or to any other governmental unit of the State.
Every officer, elected or appointed, must take an Oath of Office prescribed by Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution of the State before they can fill the duties of office. For more information on the qualifications of City Council members, please visit the City Charter, Chapter 5.
City council has the power and authority to adopt laws, ordinances and resolutions. The city council also appoints the city manager and the city attorney for an indefinite period of time. The City of Oak Park operates under a council-manager form of government, whereby the city council appoints the city manager who is charged with the day-to-day operations of the city, including the employment and supervision of city directors and staff. Both the city manager and the city attorney serve and are responsible to city council.
The Mayor of Oak Park is authorized to exercise the powers as outlined in the City's Charter. For example, the Mayor is considered the executive head of the City for ceremonial purposes and is considered the presiding officer of City Council although the Mayor has the same voice and vote as other City Council members in all proceedings of the City Council. Although the Mayor presides over City Council meetings and authenticates the signature for council, the Mayor does not have veto powers over City Council. In the event City Council declares a state of emergency, the Mayor may be declared by City Council as the conservator of peace to suppress riot and disorder and have the authority to command assistance in the enforcement of the ordinances and to suppress riot and disorder. In the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Mayor Pro tem performs the duties of the Mayor.