The Board of Representatives is made up of forty (unpaid) elected volunteers. There are twenty districts, and each district elects two representatives every four years, concurrent with the Mayor's term. The next election will be in November of 2017. There are currently twenty-six (26) Democrats and fourteen (14) Republicans.
Because the Board is made up entirely of volunteers, most of its official meetings takes place during the weekday evenings. The full Board meets regularly the first Monday of every month at 8 PM. The Steering Committee (which sets the next month’s agenda) typically meets the 2nd Monday of every month at 7 PM. Board committees typically meet the on weekday evenings during the remainder of the month (see Board Calendar).
Board of Representative Committees
The Board of Representatives operates on a committee system (see Committees). All agenda items are assigned to one of the Board's twelve standing committees by the Steering Committee. Most committees meet once a month – and sometimes more frequently if required by the committee agenda.
Committees review each item at their meetings, taking testimony from department heads or other invited speakers. If a public hearing has been scheduled, they also take comments from the public. By recorded vote, each Committee makes recommendations to the full Board on the items assigned to that committee.
Membership and leadership of all committees are determined by the President of the Board. Both Democrats and Republicans serve on all committees – and both Democrats and Republicans serve in leadership positions among the committees.
Most items submitted to the Board are processed and acted upon in one month, including most appointments, supplemental fiscal items, and status reports on items of interest to Board members. Some items, particularly ordinances, require 2 to 3 months – and sometimes much longer if they are complex and controversial items.
All committee and full Board meetings are open to the public and dates and times are published in advance of the meeting. Minutes and votes are published subsequent to each meeting.