How Stamford Government Works

Here’s a summary of how our Stamford government works.

Government Departments

Stamford government has about 3182 employees. The proposed budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year is $202.1 million. There are 11 government departments: Mayor’s Office, Legal Affairs, Operations, Land Use, Engineering, Office of Administration, Public Services, Public Safety, Health& Welfare, Administration Bureau, Elected Officials

Elected Officials are: Mayor, Registrar of Voters, Board of Representatives, Board of Finance, Town Clerk, Board of Education

Board of Representatives

The Board of Representatives is made up of forty (unpaid) elected volunteers. There are twenty districts, and each district elects two representatives every four years, concurrent with the Mayor’s term. The next election will be in November of 2013. There are currently twenty-four (24) Democrats and sixteen (16) Republicans.

Because the Board is made up entirely of volunteers, most of its official meetings takes place during the weekday evenings. The full Board meets regularly the first Monday of every month at 8 PM. The Steering Committee (which sets the next month’s agenda) typically meets the 2nd Monday of every month at 7 PM. Board committees typically meet the on weekday evenings during the remainder of the month (see Board Calendar).

The Board of Representatives is led by a President and a Clerk of the Board, both of whom are elected by the entire Board membership at the Board’s first organizational meeting after an election.  The Majority and Minority Leaders, two Deputy Majority leaders and two Deputy Minority leaders are also part of the Board’s leadership.

Board of Representative Committees

The Board of Representatives operates on a committee system.  All agenda items are assigned to one of the Board’s twelve standing committees by the Steering Committee. Most committees meet once a month – and sometimes more frequently if required by the committee agenda.

Membership and leadership of all committees are determined by the President of the Board. Both Democrats and Republicans serve on all committees – and both Democrats and Republicans serve in leadership positions among the committees.

Most (excluding ordinances and controversial items) items submitted to the Board are processed and acted upon in one month.

All committee and full Board meetings are open to the public and dates and times are published in advance of the meeting. Minutes and votes are published subsequent to each meeting.

Committees are as follows: Steering, Appointments, Fiscal, Legislative& Rules, Personnel, Land Use and Urban Redevelopment, Operations, Public Health and Safety, Parks and Recreation, Education, Housing-Community Development & Social Services, State and Commerce, Transportation, North Stamford Water Quality, Special Redistricting

The Role of Regulatory & Policy Making Bodies

The purpose of the Boards, Commissions and Authorities is to research and formulate policy related to the operation of the various units of the municipal government and the agencies which work in collaboration with the City and receive City monies for their operations. The Mayor submits to the Board of Representatives nominations of members to each appointive Board, Commission or other similar appointive position.

Qualifications – Members of appointive Boards and Commissions or members of any panel of alternates must be resident electors of the City and not more than a bare majority of any appointive Board or Commission or panel of alternates can be from the same political party.

Terms – Generally members serve for 3 years and receive no salary or payment for their duties.

Chairperson- Appointive bodies generally select a Chairperson from within their own membership.

Records – The Board or Commission keeps a complete record of its resolutions and other proceedings of the Board or Commission and shall have custody of its correspondence, files and other records. When ordered by the Board or Commission records are to be filed with the Town and City Clerk. All such records are open for public inspection at reasonable hours.

Meetings – Each Board or Commission meets as frequently as necessary to perform its duties. The Chairperson, any two members, or the Mayor may call a meeting of any appointive Board or Commission, provided each member is given twenty-four (24) hours notice. A majority of the members of a Board or Commission is sufficient to conduct business.

Join the Stamford conversation at: http://www.meetup.com/CityBuzz/

One thought on “How Stamford Government Works

  1. Hi Patricia — it was nice to talk with you at the last City Buzz meeting. I was just skimming over this page and thought I should mention that the Stamford city budget is roughly $500 million with roughly 50% ($250 million) of it for education. Roughly two-thirds of the 3000+ city employees are for education. The following link has information that many people might find useful in Stamford: http://www.city-data.com/city/Stamford-Connecticut.html . See you soon, Patricia!

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