CHECK YOUR KNOWLEGE. DO YOU KNOW THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OAKLAND'S GOVERNANCE?
The following is a broad overview of the structure of Oakland’s city government and the roles and responsibilities of its elected and appointed officials. For more detail, please refer to the City Charter contained in the City of Oakland’s Municipal Code.
Our Mission Statement
Form of Government
Since 1998, the City of Oakland has had a Mayor-Council form of government. The authority, duties, and responsibilities of the City’s elected and appointed officials are established in the City Charter, which provides the legal framework for City government.
Elected and appointed officers of the City include the Mayor, City Councilmembers, the City Administrator, the City Attorney, the City Auditor and the City Clerk.
The Mayor is elected at-large for a four-year term and can be re-elected only once. The Mayor oversees the Executive Branch of government and appoints the City Administrator, subject to confirmation by the City Council. The Mayor is not a member of the City Council, but he/she may cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of a deadlock. It is the Mayor’s responsibility to:
The City Council is the legislative body of the City and is comprised of eight Councilmembers. One Councilmember is elected at-large, and the other seven Councilmembers represent specific geographic districts. All Councilmembers are elected to serve four-year terms. Each year the Councilmembers elect one member as President of the Council and one member to serve as Vice Mayor. The City Council has no administrative powers. It is the role of the City Council to:
The City Administrator is appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council. Responsible for the day-to-day administrative and fiscal operations of the City, the City Administrator directs City agencies and departments to ensure the goals and policy directives of the Mayor and City Council are implemented.
The Office of the City Administrator works hand in hand with the Mayor’s Office to deliver services and programs to the community. The City Administrator’s Office is directly accountable to the Mayor.
The City Administrator's Office has many responsibilities, including:
The City Attorney is elected at-large for a four-year term and serves as legal counsel for the municipal corporation. The City Attorney’s duties are to:
The City Auditor is elected at-large for a four-year term. He/she helps to ensure that City operations are effective and efficient and acts as a deterrent to fraud, waste and mismanagement of City resources. The City Auditor:
The City Clerk is appointed by the City Administrator, subject to confirmation by the City Council. The City Clerk’s duties are to:
Municipal elections are held every two years to select City officers for four-year terms. Elections are grouped as follows:
The Mayor and City Council are assisted by numerous boards, commissions, and committees. With the exception of the Planning Commission, which is required by state law, Oakland’s advisory bodies are established by local law to provide citizen input and advice in specific areas.