The Office of the Mayor and six City Councilmembers comprise the City Council. The Mayor presides over the City Council meetings held weekly in open public session in the Council Chamber.
The City Council, a seven-member governmental body, serves the City at large. Its duties under the City Charter include approval of the Annual Budget and oversight of the financial affairs of the City. The City Council has the power to adopt ordinances and resolutions, make appointments to advisory boards and commissions, establish policy and approve programs, act on program and administrative recommendations of City staff, appropriate funds and approve contracts, and respond to concerns and needs of residents.
Together, the City Council and the Mayor establish policy, approve programs, and oversee the financial affairs of the City to govern Santa Barbara. They also appoint the City Administrator and the City Attorney as well as serve as the Board Members of the Redevelopment Agency. Individually, Councilmembers may represent the City by serving on state and regional boards and local civic organizations.
Staff to the Mayor and City Councilmembers assist in responding to numerous calls and letters from citizens each week, including conducting research and drafting responses.