How does City Council work?
Council meets regularly to discuss issues, set priorities, establish policy and make decisions based on information from many groups and citizens. The information is most often provided to Council in the form of written reports.
Council meetings consist of reviewing reports and approving or editing recommendations contained within them. This is done through a process of information sharing, inquiry, deliberation and voting. Each member of Council has an equal vote in the decision-making process. The mayor has the tie-breaking vote and votes last so as not to influence Councillors.
Reports are usually provided in advance in the Council meeting agenda. Subject matter experts and the general managers from The City’s departments attend Council meetings to present report information and answer questions from Council.
Members of the public may also attend and can provide input on reports during public hearings.
Boards, commissions and committees
Reports are often shared with, and worked on, by a Council committee before going to Council. There are four Standing Policy Committees (SPCs) that report directly to Council:
- Community and Protective Services Committee (SPC on CPS)
- Planning and Urban Development (SPC on PUD)
- Transportation and Transit (SPC on T&T)
- Utilities and Corporate Services (SPC on UCS)
Additionally, City Councillors and the public participate in over 60 boards, commissions and committees that make reports and recommendations to City Council on a variety of topics. Public members for many of the boards, commissions and committees are recruited annually.
More about boards, commissions and committees - including committee descriptions, members, mandates, recruitment and meeting dates.
Council’s legislative process
The City Clerk
The city clerk is responsible for managing Council’s legislative process and for delivering open, accessible and impartial government to Calgarians, Council and The Corporation.
As the chief administrative officer of The City of Calgary, the city manager provides leadership and direction to all administrative departments and City of Calgary staff. The city manager reports directly to Council.
The city auditor is an officer appointed by Council and is independent from City administrative staff. The city auditor's office assists Council in its oversight of the city manager’s Administration and accountability for public funds. The city auditor reports to Council through the Audit Committee.