City Council's 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.
The Mayor presides over the City Council meetings, which are held weekly in open public session in the Council Chambers.
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 of the Office of the Mayor and City Council provide support in a variety of ways, including routing and responding to numerous calls, emails, and letters from citizens each week, greeting office visitors, coordinating meetings with the Mayor and Councilmembers, and assisting with the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Mayor and City Council.
City Council meetings are typically held on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm in Council Chambers, located upstairs in City Hall. There are occasionally variances in the meeting dates and times, such as cancellations due to holidays, scheduled City Hall closures, etc, so the public is encouraged to confirm specific meeting details, such as date, time, and location, through the City's online calendar.