Southfield's residents are represented by their elected municipal officials, who are responsible for setting city government policy and serve as the direct citizen link to City Hall. Southfield voters elect the seven-member (7) City Council at-large as the governing body of the City. The City Council is active in local, county, state and federal levels of government and takes particular interest in being fully advised of legislation that affects Southfield’s residential and business communities. All powers of the City shall be vested in and exercised by the Council, which shall constitute the legislative body of the City, and which shall have the power and authority to adopt such laws, ordinances and resolutions as it may deem proper.
The Mayor, who serves a four-year term, is responsible for reviewing the annual budget prepared by the City Administrator and presents it, with his recommendations, to City Council for their approval. Mayoral duties include representing the city at official functions; appointing the City Planner, City Assessor, City Attorney, and members to several citizen boards and commissions; and validating all bonds, notes, contracts and council-authorized items. The Mayor has veto power over council actions, with at least five affirmative votes by council required to override a Mayoral veto.
The seven-member City Council is the city's legislative and policy-making body. Council is responsible for adopting the annual city budget, contracts, laws, ordinances and resolutions; approving purchases, zoning and planning requests; and granting permit and license terms. Council members are elected at large to four-year terms, with the low vote-getter in each election receiving a two-year term. Elections are held biennially in odd-numbered years.
The Council President is chosen by the Council members and presides over the Council meetings. The President Pro Tem is also elected by the Council members. The City Council considers and evaluates major policy concerns through a study committee structure consisting of Finance, Legislative, Neighborhood Services, Boards & Commissions and the Site Plan Committees.
The City Clerk is the official records-keeper for the City of Southfield whose responsibilities include, but are not limited to City Council proceedings, actions, agenda items, ordinances and resolutions. The City Clerk is also the director of elections, voter registration, licenses, birth and death records, files on easements, payback agreements and rights-of way, as well as special assessment and zoning notices. The City Clerk also examines and audits all accounts and claims against the city and classifies, approves, signs, and records all vouchers for payment from budget accounts. The clerk is elected to a four-year term.
The treasurer is accountable for all city monies, including taxes, assessments, license fees, and water bill payments. The treasurer helps generate additional income through the investment of municipal funds with the assistance of an investment counselor. The treasurer also administers the Police and Fire Retirement Fund and serves as ex-officio member of several city boards and commissions. The treasurer is elected to a four-year term.
City Council meetings are generally held at 6 p.m. All regular meetings are cablecast live on City Cable 15 and can be streamed here. Meeting dates and times are listed in the calendar and are subject to change.
For requests to be recognized by Council, complete the City Council Procedures Form and submit it to the City Clerk's Office by Noon of the week previous to the meeting at which you would like to speak.
City Council Procedures Request for Recognition Form