The Common Council is the legislative branch of City government. Its primary purpose is the passage of laws, ordinances and policies, establishment of pay ranges for City employees and official management of the City's financial affairs; its budget, its revenues, and the raising of funds for the operation of the City. The Common Council is comprised of the Mayor and 6 members representing the 6 Aldermanic Districts, serving 3-year overlapping terms. One Alderman is elected and serves as Common Council President.
The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City, responsible for ensuring that all City ordinances and State laws are observed and enforced, and that all City Officers, Boards and Commissions properly discharge their duties. The Mayor is the head of the Police and Fire Departments. The Mayor nominates to Council the appointment of certain City employees, Board and Commission members, and is chairman of the Plan Commission and the Community Development Authority. The Mayor presides at the meetings of the Common Council, voting only in cases relating to tie votes. The Mayor is elected for a 3-year term of office. City Ordinances designate eight cabinet officers, as well as other unclassified positions within City government, that are appointed by the Mayor subject to the confirmation by a majority of all members of the Common Council.