Department

2014 “If I Were Mayor…” Student Contest

City Council meets on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays each month at 1:00pm & 7:00pm in Council Chambers.

The City of St. Helens currently has a Council-Mayor form of government consisting of a Mayor, elected to a two-year term, and four Council members, elected to four-year terms. At each biennial general election, the Mayor and two Councilors are elected.

The City Council is governed by the City Charter and adopts ordinances which enact laws known as the St. Helens Municipal Code. They also adopt resolutions that set policy or regulation of matters within the City. Other meetings and public hearings, as needed, are scheduled and also require their attendance.

The Council conducts work sessions on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 1:00 p.m. These meetings are informal and allow Council and staff to discuss, in detail, policy and other issues of relevance to the City.

Also on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m., the Council meets in a formal regular session which is where they vote on official items before the Council, including ordinances, resolutions, contracts, expenditures, minutes, etc.

Periodically, a public forum is held at 6:00 p.m. which addresses a topic pertinent to the City and its residents.  Occasionally, a public hearing will also come before the City Council.

The Mayor assigns to each Council member (and to him/herself) departments, boards and commissions, communications, and other responsibilities. Council members are commissioners for their assignments and are responsible to report back to the rest of the Council.

Council members are compensated with a $500 per month stipend.

The Mayor and Councilor positions are all non-partisan. They represent all residents of the City. They are not elected by wards or districts. The City Charter requires that the Mayor and Councilors be registered voters within the city limits and have lived in St. Helens for one year prior to the election.

Council members also have custodial responsibility for all City property including buildings, equipment, and land. They also direct the financing, maintenance, and operation of all City departments: Administration, Community Development, Library, Police, and Public Works. Council members also represent the City on several outside committees involving everything from economic development to law enforcement.