Cupertino is a General Law city and follows the provisions and requirements established by the State. The City Council is the governing body of the City and is vested with the authority to establish policy, adopt new laws, levy taxes, award contracts and appoint certain City officers, such as the City Manager and City Attorney.
The City Council has five members, who are elected at-large to overlapping, four-year terms. Cupertino municipal elections are non-partisan and are held in November of even numbered years. Council members must be registered voters within City limits. The Council members are ultimately responsible to the people for the actions of local government.
The Council members themselves appoint the Mayor and Vice Mayor for a one-year term. 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.
City Council Ordinance No. 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.
Meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month beginning at 6:45 p.m. usually lasting until 11:00 p.m. Council members typically spend 20-40 hours each week on their responsibilities.