What is a council meeting?

Read Time: 5 minutes

Bobby Rae

Bobby Rae

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

business man

What is a council?

Generally, a council is a local authority elected by the people who live in a particular area. In the United States, for instance, most cities have councils that are elected every few years to manage local affairs. This can be things like garbage collection, schools and law enforcement. 

Unlike state or federal legislatures, councils are far more limited in the powers they have and some who serve on them do so voluntarily. 

Though it can vary from city to city, most councils are presided over by a mayor. It's the job of councilors to scrutinize the mayor’s work as well as debate and pass local ordinances. 

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What happens at a council meeting?

Although the substance can vary depending on the subject being discussed, most council meetings will follow a very particular format - often set by law. 

Council meeting agendas are often published several weeks in advance. This allows the public time to review what is going to be discussed and if they wish to attend. If someone has a particular issue they want to raise with the council, they might want to be present when it’s discussed. 

The chair of the meeting will often be the mayor, deputy mayor or head of a committee. Generally, the subject matter will

determine who takes on this role. For example, a council planning meeting would likely be chaired by the planning committee chair, whereas a vote on the budget would likely see the mayor in charge. 

It’s the responsibility of the chair to ensure the agenda and any rules in place are followed. Often, the council’s solicitor will be present to advise the chair when objections are raised. 

Once the business of the council meeting has been concluded, detailed minutes outlining what everyone said and any decisions made will be published. Generally, anyone has the right to request these and most local authorities make them available on their websites.

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How to schedule a council meeting? 

Are you someone who has to set up a council meeting? Struggling to find a time to get councilors’ busy schedules to line up? Well, look no further than Doodle

With Group Poll you can easily sync everyone’s calendars in minutes. Select a range of times you’d like to have your meeting and send it to the councilors, officers and stakeholders you need. They’ll let you know what works for them and in no time you’ll have a time to meet. 

A Doodle Professional Teams plan can also help you manage councilors’ schedules. As well as being able to get rid of ads and set deadlines on your own account, you can use our Hosts feature to book meetings on their behalf and then have it automatically appear in their diaries. 

You can also add your favorite video conferencing tool, which will link automatically to any invites you send.

Doodle makes it easy for you to arrange any type of council meeting, whether it’s a regular event or a one-off. No more back and forth, just more free time for you to focus on the important things. Try it for free today.

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