About the City Council
The City of Portland operates under a Council-Manager form of government with a nine-member City Council, comprised of a popularly elected mayor, five district councilors and three at-large members. The mayor is elected by a majority of voters through ranked choice voting and serves a four-year term. The city’s five voting districts each elect one council member to represent their district and three at-large members are elected citywide. The eight councilors serve three-year staggered terms.
The City Charter grants to the City Council all powers to enact, amend, or repeal rules, ordinances, and resolutions relating to the city’s property, affairs and government, to preserve the public peace, health and safety, to establish personnel policies, and giving effect to any vote of the city and to authorize the issuance of debt. The council adopts an annual budget for both municipal and school operations and provides for an annual audit. The council appoints the city manager, corporation counsel, and city clerk.
The mayor serves as the official head of the city. The mayor provides community leadership and develops policies to guide the city by setting strategic goals and priorities for the city with the council. The mayor provides guidance to the city manager for preparation of city budgets and capital improvement plans and has veto authority over the municipal budget, which is subject to council override by a vote of at least six members. The mayor appoints council standing committees, serves as chair of the council, and directs the agenda for council meetings.
The city manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the city, serves as the administrative head of the city and is responsible to the council for the administration and management of all departments. The city manager in consultation with the mayor prepares the annual budget and presents it to the council for approval.