The Park Ridge City Government
The City of Park Ridge has a Council-Mayor-City Manager form of government which combines the political leadership of elected officials with the administrative experience of a city manager.
The City Council meets the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30 pm at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public. Citizens are given an opportunity to address the City Council on agenda and non-agenda items.
Park Ridge (population 37,480) is a home rule community with authority to act independently on all legislative matters not in conflict with state laws. The city is governed by ordinances adopted by the City Council pursuant to its home rule powers. Park Ridge adopted the city form of government in 1910, and celebrated its City Centennial Year, May 24, 2010 to May 24, 2011.
City officials are elected for four-year terms. The mayor and city clerk are elected by the community at large. The City Council is composed of the mayor, city clerk and seven aldermen, one from each of the city’s seven wards. Link to ward map
The Mayor is responsible to all citizens of the community. The mayor presides at council meetings, serves as a spokesperson for the city, facilitates communication and understanding between elected and appointed officials, assists the council in setting goals and advocating policy decisions, and serves as a promoter and defender of the community. In addition, the mayor serves as a key representative in intergovernmental relations. The mayor, council, and manager constitute a policy-development and management team.
A primary responsibility of the City Clerk is conducting municipal elections and the registration of voters. The clerk is the official secretary for the city and maintains all official documents and records.
In the council-manager form of government, the council is the governing body of the city elected by the public, and the manager is hired by council to carry out the policies it establishes. The City Manager is appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council and is directly responsible to the Mayor and City Council. He is the chief administrative officer of the city, carrying out the policies of the Mayor and City Council in all matters pertaining to the operation of all departments. City Department heads report directly to the City Manager.
The council provides legislative direction while the manager is responsible for day-to-day administrative operation of the city based on the council’s recommendations. The mayor and council as a collegial body are responsible for setting policy, approving the budget, and determining the tax rate. The manager serves as the council’s chief advisor. The City Manager serves at the pleasure of the council and is responsible for presenting the budget, directing day-to-day operations, and hiring and firing personnel.
The Mayor is recognized as the political head of the City, and is a member of the legislative body, however, he does not vote except in matters of a tie. The mayor does have the power to veto legislative actions.
Committee of the Whole
The City of Park Ridge City Council meets as a Committee of the Whole on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. Four standing Council committees operate within the Committee of the Whole framework:
The Procedures & Regulations Committee considers all matters of policy related to the general health and welfare of the community, and issues not specifically relating to the other standing committees.
The Public Works Committee considers all matters of policy relating to capital improvements, and the construction and maintenance of public ways, including streets, sidewalks, curbs, alleys, public parking lots, parkways, sewers, water usage, traffic control, parking and engineering.
The Finance & Budget Committee considers all financial proposals, revenues, expenditures and budget appropriations.
The Public Safety Committee considers all matters relating to police and fire protection to maintain the safety of the citizenry.
In addition to the matters reviewed within the Committee of the Whole, the Council hears land use matters referred by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Council also receives reports on a variety of other commissions, groups and other local governments.
The City does not engage in any specific lobbying activities. However, like most Cities in Illinois, the City of Park Ridge belongs to the Illinois Municipal League and the Northwest Municipal Conference (Cities northwest of Chicago) that lobby for legislative issues on behalf of its members.