The federal government, state governments, county governments, and city governments are set up to have checks and balances.

The structure of local governments generally reflects the federal model.  These videos will give you an idea about how government works. 




Each city council member earns a base salary of $148,500 a year. If they chair a committee they can receive more money.

The Speaker of the Council, who is elected by the members, makes $164,500 a year.

The Mayor earns $258. 750 a year. 

Let’s look at what the mayor does to earn the salary.








  • elected citywide to a term of four years with a limit of two consecutive terms.
  • makes a salary of $258,750 per year
  • chief executive officer of the city,
  • can sign or veto laws passed by the City Council, including land-use changes via the ULURP process
  • proposes the city’s annual budget
  • appoints all agency heads, like the police commissioner and schools chancellor, and can reorganize departments and their duties
  • appoints Criminal Court Judges, Family Court Judges, and Interim Civil Court Judges.
  • makes appointments to boards like the Civilian Complaint Review Board and Panel for Education Policy
  • appoints or nominates people to sit on the boards of non-city entities, like the MTA Board
  • issues a number of reports each year mandated by the City Charter, including the Mayor’s Management Report
  • From City Limits

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