Californians govern themselves by two sources of power. One way is to adopt a charter or constitution, which sets forth the basis and authority for all future actions not in contradiction with State law. The other way is to follow the provisions and requirements established by the State as General Law for cities. Cupertino falls within this latter category and is classified as a General Law City, as are about 80% of the cities in California.
The City Council is the governing body of the City, vested with the regulatory and corporate power of the municipal corporation. Only the Council may establish City policy; accordingly, it is ultimately responsible to the people for the actions of government.
The Council directs the course of local government through its power to pass ordinances, levy taxes, award contracts, and appoint certain city officers (such as the City Manager and City Attorney) and commissions. The mayor, who is also a member of the council, signs official documents, chairs the council meetings, and acts as the official head of the city at public and ceremonial occasions.
The Cupertino City Council has five members. They are elected at large to overlapping, four-year terms. The Council members themselves elect the Mayor and Vice Mayor for a term of one year. City Council Ordinance No. 13-2106 changed the date of the city's
municipal election to even years.
City Council Ordinance 06-1985 set Council member salaries at $730.24 per month. Council members also receive medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits, and may qualify for Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) benefits.
The City Council Members are elected officers identified in Government Code Section 87200 and file statements of economic interests with the City Clerk's office. Copies of the statements of economic interests filed by the above elected officers may be obtained by visiting the offices of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) or the City Clerk. The physical address of the FPPC is 428 J Street, Suite 620, Sacramento, California 95814. The physical address of the City Clerk's office is 10300 Torre Avenue, California 95014. The statements of economic interests for some state and local government agency elected officers may be available in electronic format on the FPPC's website at http://www.fppc.ca.gov/.
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