Cambridge City Council
From left to right: Howard "Howie" Lewis, Tiffany Kafer, Marlys Palmer, Joe Morin, and Lisa Iverson. Picture courtesy of Rachel Kytonen, Editor for Isanti County News.
The Cambridge City Council is composed of one (1) Mayor and four (4) City Council members who are elected at large to four-year (4-year) terms. Their terms of office are staggered so there are elections every two years in even years. Municipal elections are non-partisan and names are placed on the ballot without party designation.
City Council Meetings
City Council meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 3:00 pm and the third Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Special meetings and work sessions may also be called to conduct city business with a minimum of three days notice. The City Council also serves as the Cambridge Economic Development Authority.
The Mayor receives an annual salary of $5,000. Council Members each receive an annual salary of $4,100.
Duties and Responsibilities
As individuals, council members have no administrative authority. Individual Council Members cannot give orders or otherwise supervise city employees unless specifically directed to do so by the council. The council as a whole, however, has complete authority over all administrative affairs in the city of Cambridge. In other words, the Council, not individual members, must supervise administrative officers, formulate policies, and exercise city powers. The City Council has ultimate authority of the hiring, discipline and termination of all City employees.
Areas of Responsibility for Individual Council members:
- Act as liaisons between the city and the public
- Balance the conduct of daily affairs of the city with the consideration of future development
- Fully participate at city council meetings. Each councilmember, including the mayor, has full authority to make and second motions, participate in discussions, and vote on every matter before the council
Areas of Responsibility for the Council as a Whole:
- Judging the qualification and election of its own members
- Setting and interpreting rules governing its own proceedings
- Preserve Order during its meetings
- To compel the attendance of members at meetings
- Exercising all the powers of cities that the law does not delegate to others
- Legislating for the city
- Directing the enforcement of city ordinances
- Appointing administrative personnel
- Transacting city business
- Managing the city’s financial operations
- Appointing members to various commissions and boards
- Conducting the city’s intergovernmental affairs
- Protecting the welfare of the city and its inhabitants
- Providing community leadership
- Other specific powers in the areas of:
- Fire prevention
- Code Enforcement
- Public Safety (police and fire)
- Sewer and water connections
- General welfare of the public
- And more
Additional Duties of the Mayor:
In addition to being a full member of the city council with all of the duties and responsibilities that come with that office, the mayor is also the official head of the city. As the official head of the city, the mayor has three main responsibilities:
- To serve as the city’s representative before the Minnesota Legislature, federal agencies, and other local governments
- To perform ceremonial duties on behalf of the community and to be prepared to explain and defend city problems and programs
- To exert leadership in city affairs. Because mayors of statutory cities lack significant individual authority, this responsibility often calls for tact more than overt acts of direction or supervisory control
The mayor is also responsible to:
- Execute official documents by signing ordinances, claims for payment, and contracts authorized by the city council.
- Make appointments to fill vacancies in elective offices if the council vote to fill the vacancy is tied.
- Serve as the presiding officer at council meetings.
- Declare emergencies.
- Perform or delegate the duties of Official Weed Inspector.
- Perform or delegate fire investigation duties as required by statute.
- And more