About Council

Council Members

Council Committees

When Council Meets

Special Meetings

Important Terms

Akron City Council is the legislative body that creates ordinances, or local laws, and resolutions that guide city government. The Mayor and his cabinet implement and administer laws and policies based upon City Council’s ordinances and resolutions.

Council is empowered to render advice and consent with respect to the Mayor’s appointments and policy programs, and to investigate when necessary, any branch of the municipal government.

As presiding officer of Council, its President, maintains and keeps rules of Council, countersigns all requisitions for the purchase of miscellaneous materials for Council or the Clerk of Council’s office, and supervises the employees of Council. In the President’s absence the Vice President shall preside. In the Vice President’s absence the President Pro-Tem shall preside. In the absence of these officers, Council shall choose a temporary chairperson.

Akron City Council is made up of thirteen members, one member for each of city’s ten wards, and three members elected at large who represent citizens citywide. All Council members serve four-year terms of office. Council elects its own officers from its members and establishes its rules of procedure. Click “Find your Councilperson” to find your ward representative.

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Council Committees

City Council operates under a committee system with 10 standing committees (the Committee on Committees and Rules Committee are called as needed) and special committees also created as needed. The President of Council is an ex-officio member of all standing committees. Committee members are appointed by a Committee on Committees, which is chaired by the President of Council.

Matters that come before Council are assigned by the President to the appropriate committee. The weekly New Legislation list contains all legislation to be considered by each committee. Click the “Legislation” tab at the top of the page to view new legislation.

Committees hold open meetings every Monday afternoon on the issues before them, and make reports and recommendations to the full body of City Council. The committees’ recommendations usually are adopted by Council. Therefore, citizens wishing to be heard on issues are encouraged to voice their concerns at the appropriate committee meetings. Click the “Committee Meetings” link along the right for a schedule of upcoming committee meetings.

Following are the Committees of Council for 2016 to 2019.

Committee on Committees
The Committee on Committees consists of the five members of Council with the most seniority who select the members to serve on all standing committees.

Marilyn Keith, Ward 8 & Council President, Chair
Jeff Fusco, At Large, Vice Chair
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Bruce Kilby, Ward 2
Linda Omobien, At Large

Budget & Finance
Matters referred to the Budget & Finance Committee include the City of Akron operating and appropriation budgets, note and bond legislation and various contracts.

Mike Freeman, Ward 9, Chair
Margo Sommerville, Ward 3, Vice Chair
Bob Hoch, Ward 6
Zack Milkovich, Ward 10
Linda Omobien, At Large

Economic Development
Matters referred to the Economic Development Committee include legislation concerning development, education and jobs, and those that have potential to retain and attract people and projects that will result in economic growth.

Margo Sommerville, Ward 3, Chair
Rich Swirsky, Ward 1, Vice Chair
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7
Zack Milkovich, Ward 10
Bob Hoch, Ward 6

Health & Social Service
Matters referred to the Health and Social Service Committee include contracts for materials, supplies and services, including physicians and nurses needed to run Health Department clinics.

Linda Omobien, At Large, Chair
Mike Freeman, Ward 9, Vice Chair
Veronica Sims, At Large
Russ Neal, Ward 4
Zack Milkovich, Ward 10

Housing
Matters referred to the Housing Committee include contracts for materials and supplies needed for the Housing Division of the Health Department and appointments to the Housing Appeals Board.

Tara Mosley-Samples, Chair
Jeff Fusco, At Large, Vice Chair
Rich Swirsky, Ward 1
Zack Milkovich, Ward 10
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7

Parks & Recreation
Matters referred to the Parks and Recreation Committee include contracts for materials and supplies needed for city parks and community centers, and appointments to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Russ Neal, Ward 4, Chair
Mike Freeman, Ward 9, Vice Chair
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7
Veronica Sims, At Large
Tara Mosley-Samples, Ward 5

Planning
Matters referred to the Planning Committee include the capital budget, zoning changes, sale and/or purchase of land, JEDD (Joint Economic Development District) projects and economic development within the City of Akron.

Jeff Fusco, At Large, Chair
Linda Omobien, At Large, Vice Chair
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7
Rich Swirsky, Ward 1
Russ Neal, Ward 4

Public Safety
Matters referred to the Public Safety Committee include contracts for materials and supplies needed for the Police and Fire Departments, approving police towing districts and city safety issues such as speed limits, leash laws and dangerous animals.

Donnie Kammer, Ward 7, Chair
Margo Sommerville, Ward 3, Vice Chair
Rich Swirsky, Ward 1
Veronica Sims, At Large
Bob Hoch, Ward 6

Public Service
Matters referred to the Public Service Committee include street improvements, special assessments and contracts for materials and supplies needed in the Department of Public Service.

Bob Hoch, Ward 6, Chair
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7, Vice Chair
Jeff Fusco, At Large
Veronica Sims, At Large
Tara Mosley-Samples, Ward 5

Public Utilities
Matters referred to the Public Utilities Committee include sewer rates, contracts for materials and supplies needed for the Public Utilities Bureau, and utilities that provide service in the city.

Russ Neal, Ward 4, Chair
Bruce Kilby, Ward 2, Vice Chair
Rich Swirsky, Ward 1
Bob Hoch, ward 6
Mike Freeman, Ward 9

Green/Sustainability
A committee that addresses the city's green infrastructure and serves as a forum for environmentally-friendy ideas and as a catalyst for implemention.

Rich Swirsky, Ward 1, Chair
Russ Neal, Ward 4, Vice Chair
Bruce Kilby, Ward 2
Bob Hoch, Ward 6
Donnie Kammer, Ward 7

Rules
The Rules Committee adopts the Rules of Procedure for Council, sets times for City Council meetings and accepts Council member resignations.

Margo Sommerville, Ward 3, Chair
Bob Hoch, Ward 6, Vice Chair
Mike Freeman, Ward 9
Jeff Fusco, At Large
Linda Omobien, At Large

 

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When Council Meets

Council meets each Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 South High Street. City Council does not meet when a national holiday falls on a Monday, and recesses for one month in summer and two weeks in winter.

The general order of Council business during Monday evening meetings is as follows:

  • Roll call
  • Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
  • Reading of communications from citizens and/or the administration
  • Regular Agenda: includes public hearings, reports of standing and special committees, and consideration of ordinances and resolutions held over from previous readings. A vote may be made or time may be taken on legislation.
  • New Legislation: first readings of newly proposed ordinances and resolutions, which are those submitted to the Clerk of Council by 9:30 a.m. Monday prior to the Council meeting. New legislation may be scheduled for public hearings, time may be taken, or committee recommendations may be made and Council may vote on the legislation.
  • Scheduling of committee meetings for the following week
  • Public comment period
  • Adjournment


The Council Agenda is a list of items presented or discussed at the Council meeting of the week prior, and is always headed with the date of the previous meeting.

The Consent Agenda is composed of items that are of a routine nature and are acted upon by City Council in one motion. If discussion is requested on any item, it is removed and considered separately.

The New Legislation List contains ordinances and resolutions submitted by committeesfor Council consideration. When new legslation and ordinances are declared emergency measures, Council has the right to immediately discuss and vote on the legislation.

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Special Meetings

City Council may hold a caucus at 5:00 p.m. on Monday evenings prior to regular City Council meetings. Issues to be taken up on that evening’s regular agenda are discussed at a caucus and presentations are made on specific issues, but no votes or formal action are taken.

A special meeting of City Council may be called by the Mayor, the President of City Council, or by two City Council members, provided 12 hours notice has been given to each Council member and to the public. An agenda for the special meeting must be provided at that time and only items on that agenda may be considered at the special meeting.

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Important Terms

Consent Agenda: One or more ordinances and/or resolutions that can be acted on at one time under a single motion.

Refer / Time: When Council delays taking any action on a piece of legislation until a future meeting.

Declaring an Emergency: Allows Council to dispense with the requirement that a piece of legislation be read at three separate Council meetings, and allows the legislation to go into effect earlier than 30 days from passage of the legislation.

Suspension of the Rules: Allows Council, upon a two-thirds vote, to temporarily suspend or set aside the Rules of Procedure for Council. This motion is most commonly used to pass legislation as an emergency (see above).

Amend: A proposal to alter the text of an ordinance or resolution by substituting, adding, or deleting language.

Legislation: An official act of Council that takes the form of either an ordinance or a resolution (see below).

Ordinance: A formal act of Council. Examples of ordinance topics include: authorizing the Director of Public Service to enter into a contract for the construction of a project, approving a union agreement, approving a conditional use application, or amending the Codified Ordinances of the City.

Resolution: A formal expression of the opinion or will of Council. Examples of resolution topics include congratulating a local high school that has won a state championship, supporting or opposing a bill pending before the Ohio General Assembly, or approving the appointment of members of a board or commission.

Substitute Offered as an Amendment: An amended version of an ordinance or resolution that replaces an earlier version before Council.

Motion: A formal request for consideration of a proposal for action by Council members. Examples include a motion to pass an ordinance, a motion to amend, or a motion for time.

Second: An indication by a member of Council, other than the member who made the motion, that he or she agrees that the proposed motion should be considered.

Executive Session: A closed-door session of Council for the purpose of discussing a particular confidential matter, in accordance with law.

Roll Call: When the names of Council members are called out by the Clerk of Council to confirm their vote on the previous motion.

Public Hearing: When a hearing is held before Council or a committee of Council on a particular piece of legislation. Members of the public wishing to testify before Council at a public hearing are asked to first take an oath to swear or affirm that the testimony they will provide is the truth.

Public Speaking Period: The portion of a regular Council meeting where members of the public are invited to address Council for three minutes on topics that are germane and relevant to Council business. Members of the public are asked to provide their name and address, and to refrain from making personal attacks or disrespectful remarks.

Minutes: The official record of a meeting of Council or a committee of Council.

Committee: A smaller group of members of Council that meet to consider legislation before it is considered or voted upon by all of Council. Standing committees are established by the Rules of Procedure of Council and have five members each. Special committees are appointed by the President. Committee meetings take place on Monday afternoons.

Quorum: The minimum number of members who must be present to officially conduct business. A quorum of Council is a majority of the all of the members of Council, a quorum of a committee is three members.

Abstain: When a member of Council elects not to vote on a particular motion. "Aye" or "Yea": an affirmative or favorable vote on a motion. "Nay" or "No": a negative or unfavorable vote on a motion.

Roberts Rules of Order: A manual on parliamentary procedure. In the absence of any provision governing matters of business in either the Rules of Procedure of Council, the laws of the State of Ohio, or the City Charter, Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the standard of parliamentary procedure for Council.

Chairperson: The member of Council who presides over a particular committee and its meetings. In the absence of the Chairperson the Vice-Chairperson shall preside over the committee.

President: The member of Council who presides over Council and its meetings. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall be the presiding officer. In the absence of either the President or the Vice President the President Pro Tem shall be the presiding officer.

Akron City Council