What We Do
- Oversee the Budget
- Enact City Ordinances
- Council Meetings
- Citizen Complaints
The City Council is a seven-member Council elected at-large by the residents of Livonia. There are four Council members elected every two years. The three receiving the highest number of votes are elected to four-year terms. The fourth highest vote receiver is elected to a two-year term. The position is part-time and Councilmembers attend meetings two or three evenings a week. Councilmembers shall be prohibited from seeking reelection after having served two consecutive terms in that particular office.
The President and Vice President of the Council are determined as a direct result of the election. The individual receiving the largest number of votes is the President and the individual receiving the second largest number of votes is the Vice President. The President and Vice President hold the positions for two years until the next City election.
The City Council has four major responsibilities:
- Approve the construction, installation or improvements of all roads, sewers and drains, sidewalks and streetlights in the City
- Enact City ordinances
- Oversee the budget and approve expenditures
- Zoning of all land
Under the City Charter, the Mayor submits a budget to the Council. The Council may approve the budget as submitted, or they may change by adding or deleting. Any dispersal of the City monies must be approved by the Council if it is not a budgeted item or if it exceeds $15,000.
The Council makes the final determination on the use of land within the City. Any developments or construction must go through a series of meetings and/or public hearings before it can receive approval. The Council follows the guidelines of the Zoning Ordinance.
Ordinances are the local laws of the City. The Council amends and enacts new ordinances each year, usually in response to recommendations from City departments aimed at solving recurrent problems or to bring City ordinances in line with State law.
The City Council approves:
- Installation or Improvement of Roads
- Sewers and Drains
New construction or improvement of all roads, sewers and drains, sidewalks and streetlights, must be approved by the Council. These improvements are paid by several different methods:
- City picks up the entire cost or may share in the cost
- Single Lot Assessment
- Special Assessment
Anyone may request a matter to appear on a Study agenda by writing a letter to the Council. No vote is taken at a Study meeting. The public may speak on any issue on or off the agenda. At the Study meetings, Councilmembers ask questions and gather information required for decision making.
REGULAR BUSINESS MEETINGS
These meetings are held twice a month as required by City Charter. After the Council has received input on agenda items at the Study meeting, or at a public hearing or Committee meeting, then they take action and vote on the issue. Generally, there is little discussion at a Regular meeting.
Public Hearings are held as required by State law or City ordinance and cannot be waived by the Council. These hearings are published in the official newspaper of the City (Livonia Observer) a designated number of days in advance of the hearings as required by law.
There are seven standing committees of the Council with three Councilmembers serving on each Committee. There is also a Committee of the Whole, chaired by the President and composed of the entire Council. The Chairperson of each Committee determines when a Committee meeting is to be held and sets the agenda for that meeting. Items that require more in-depth study are referred to Committees and the Committee makes a recommendation to the Council.
2.04.050 - Meetings—Order of business. (ORDINANCE NO. 2869)
C. The following rules for addressing the city council at all meetings of council, including but not limited to regular meetings, study sessions and public hearings, shall govern such proceedings:
1. Members of the public at the meeting shall not speak until they are recognized by the chair;
2. Each person recognized by the chair to address the council shall identify himself/herself by name and, if appropriate, group affiliation;
3. A person addressing council on an item on the agenda shall be limited to two (2) minutes, unless the period of time is extended by a majority of the council present, and shall be recognized to speak prior to council’s consideration of the item;
4. There will be an audience communications section of not more than thirty (30) minutes duration at the beginning of all council regular and study meetings where citizens may address the council. There will also be an audience communications section at the end of all regular and study council meetings where citizens may address council on any matter that is not on the agenda of that meeting. A person addressing council under the audience communications portion of the agenda will be limited to a total of three (3) minutes at each study or regular meeting unless the period of time is extended by a majority of the council present. Citizens who wish to expand upon their remarks will be asked to reduce the matter to writing and submit it to the city clerk, and such item may be placed on a future council study session for further consideration;
5. Persons addressing the council shall make responsible comments and shall refrain from making personal, impertinent, slanderous or profane remarks;
6. Any person causing a breach of the peace may be removed from the council meeting.
Complaints should first be submitted to the department involved for appropriate action. If a settlement is not received at the department level, a formal complaint can be made to the Information and Complaint Center who then forwards it to the department. The resident receives a copy with a self-addressed postcard to be returned to the Mayor, who is the Chief Elected/Administrative Official of the City if they are not satisfied with the solution.
However, any resident may make a written complaint to the City Council. The communication may be placed on a Study meeting agenda and the resident is notified to attend the meeting so that the Council can personally discuss the problem with the resident in detail. The Council then takes the appropriate action by referring the complaint to the appropriate administrative department at the Regular meeting.