The Board of Representatives is empowered with the authority to set all fees imposed by the City of Stamford. Although a few fees and most fines are set by ordinance (for example, garbage tipping fees or false alarm fines are set by ordinance), most fees are approved by simple Board resolution. Although not legally required for fees approved by resolution, it has been the Board's long-standing policy to hold public hearings on almost all proposed fee changes.
Recommendations for fee changes are usually made by the administration, and then handled by the appropriate committee on the Board of Representatives (for example, fees for building permits are handled by the Operations Committee). The assigned committee reviews a fee proposal, makes any changes it feels are appropriate, and recommends to the full Board if the proposed fee is ready to be published and a public hearing held. On rare occasion a committee may suggest waiving a public hearing – for instance, if the fee change is small, non-controversial, and unexpectedly urgent.
After the public hearing is held, the Committee votes on a final recommendation regarding the fee to the full Board. A fee set by resolution requires a simple majority of full Board members voting.