The Charter of the City of Melbourne establishes a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is the legislative body of the city and is responsible for setting municipal policy, including the passage of laws and the annual budget. The City Council hires a City Manager to conduct the City’s daily business and a City Attorney to protect the legal interests and assets of the City.
The City Council consists of seven members: the Mayor, who may reside anywhere in the city, and six Council members, who must reside within specific districts (view map of council districts).
All members of the City Council are elected at large by the voters.
City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 6:30 p.m. The meeting schedule is usually adjusted in September to accommodate the budget public hearings and in June and December for summer and holiday travel.
The Mayor receives a salary of $10,350 per year, plus a monthly expense allowance of $415. A Council member receives a salary of $7,475 per year, plus a monthly expense allowance of $255.
City Council Qualifications
The qualifications for serving on City Council are established by Sec. 2.02 of the City Charter. Candidates must be:
- A resident of the city for at least one year prior to qualification (candidates for Mayor).
- A resident of the city for one year and a resident of their district for at least six months prior to qualification (candidates for Council member).
- At least 18 years of age.
- A registered voter.
Neither a Council member nor the Mayor may qualify to serve more than two complete consecutive terms. A Council member who has served the maximum time in office may qualify for and be elected to serve as Mayor. A Mayor who has served the maximum time in office may qualify for and be elected to serve as a Council member.
Persons interested in running for City Council may obtain an election package from the City Clerk’s Office. The election package contains the necessary forms and information that are needed to begin the candidate process.
Filing is a process established in state law where a person completes a form designating their campaign treasurer and bank account and files with the qualifying officer (City Clerk).
Individuals may not open a campaign account until the appropriate designation of campaign treasurer and campaign depository form is filed with the City Clerk. Candidates may appoint themselves as their own campaign treasurer.
A person may file at any time, irrespective of the qualifying period.
Campaign Treasurer’s Report
Once a candidate has filed the appropriate form with the City Clerk, he/she may accept a campaign contribution or make a loan to himself/herself to open a campaign account. Submittal of campaign finance reports will be required from the date of filing forward.
Qualifying is established by the City Charter and City Code. A candidate who has filed will not officially appear on the ballot until they have completed the qualification requirements.
The qualifying period is defined by Code as the period between 75 days and 89 days prior to the election date. During qualifying, candidates must present to the City Clerk:
- A petition signed by 25 registered city voters.
- A complete financial disclosure form.
- A qualifying fee of $50.
- A state election assessment fee ($153.30 if running for Mayor or $105.35 if running for a Council member seat).
If an open seat has only one qualified candidate at the end of the qualifying period, that candidate will be declared elected without opposition. The remaining candidates’ names will be placed on the general election ballot.
The City’s qualifying period for the 2018 general election is August 9–23, 2018.
General Municipal Election
The next general election will be held on November 6, 2018. The following seats will be up for election in the City of Melbourne:
Council Member – District 2
Council Member – District 4
Council Member – District 6