Council Meetings – An Inside Look

Image of Council Chambers

It takes the active involvement of every citizen to effectively govern a community.

Seven Vandalia citizens make up your City Council. Each serves a four-year term on a staggered term basis with elections held in odd-numbered years. Council members run for election at large and represent the city as a whole, rather than small wards or districts.

One member of Council is the mayor, who also serves a four-year term and is elected on a separate ballot by the municipality at-large. Though Vandalia mayors have no veto power nor independent authority, they do serve as chairperson of council are are frequently called upon to represent the city in community activities and inter-governmental affairs.

As Vandalia’s legislative body, council determines all municipal polices that are not set forth in the City Charter or by state legislation, adopts ordinances and resolutions, votes appropriations, approves the city budget, determines the tax rate and appoints citizens to serve on various advisory boards and commissions. Council members earn $5,000 annually, the mayor earns $5,500.

Meetings are generally held the first and third Mondays of each month (except for the summer schedule). Meetings are held in Council Chambers at the municipal building beginning at 7:00 p.m. Typically, Council holds a workshop prior to the meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the large lobby conference room. All meetings and workshops of Council (except for executive sessions) are open to the public.

If you would like to address Council at the meeting, a portion has been set aside at the beginning of the agenda called Comments from Interested Citizens. You may also contact any council member before or after the meeting with any concerns or contact them by email or telephone. Click HERE to get contact information.

An ordinance prescribes a permanent rule for the conducting of Vandalia government. Once enacted, an ordinances takes the effect of law. An ordinance is introduced in writing by the city attorney and is given two separate readings. After Council’s approval of the first reading, a summary of the ordinance is published in the classified section of the Vandalia Drummer, including the date and time Council will conduct its second reading. Council’s second reading includes a public hearing which gives citizens the opportunity to speak on the proposed legislation. An affirmative vote of at least four members of Council is necessary for the final passage of any ordinance. Once approved, the ordinance is again published in the newspaper and becomes effective after 21 days. The affirmative vote of at least five council members is required for the passage of emergency ordinances – measures needing immediate attention. Emergency ordinances require only one reading and becomes effective immediately.

A resolution is Council legislation of a special or temporary nature. It is also introduced in writing, requires one reading and can be enacted on a formal motion by a majority vote of council members. Resolutions take effect immediately and are published in the classified section of the Vandalia Drummer upon their passage.

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