City council members are in charge of appointing city administrators, passing ordinances and developing budgets. City councils are essentially the legislative body of local governments.
City council members' salaries vary based on the population size of their respective towns or cities. The larger the local population, the higher the compensation typically is. Council members in small towns can even work as volunteers in some cases, in which case their expenses are usually covered.
City council candidates must typically be 18 years or older and a city resident for one to three years prior to election. In addition, they must typically be debt-free to the local government and must have never been convicted of a crime. Campaigning for city council positions usually involves knocking on doors to garner face-to-face recognition. Since local politics are small and intimate, individuals need little money to fund their campaigns. The larger the city, the tougher it is to get elected.
City councils can have anywhere from five to 51 members. A council member's workload depends on the size and diversity of its population. The mayor usually serves as the chairman of the city council and has the veto power over city council legislation. City councils are a vital part of preserving America's democratic identity.