The City of Norfolk has the Mayor-Council form of government. The
Mayor is elected at large by popular vote of the people for a
four-year term. The City of Norfolk is divided into four wards, each
ward represented by two council members making a total of eight
council members. Every two years four of the council seats are open
for election (one seat in each ward). The Council member must be an
elector in the City and reside in the ward from which he or she is
Authority and responsibility for legislative acts are vested in
the Council. The Council has the authority to limit debate on any
subject and act in good faith for what, in its opinion, constitutes
the best interest of the community. The purposes of Council meetings
are to hear public expressions, debate openly, inform the public
what the City is doing and decide public issues.
The Council elects one of the Council members as president and,
in the absence of the Mayor, the president presides at meetings of
Normally the Mayor presides at all City Council meetings and has the
right to vote when his or her vote shall be decisive on any pending
matter. He or she has the superintending control of all the officers
and affairs of the City and must ensure that the ordinances of the
City and provisions of law relating to the City are complied with.
He or she may administer oaths and signs the commissions and
appointments of all the officers appointed in the City. The Mayor
has the power to veto any ordinance, by-law, resolution, contract,
or the allowance of any claim. The Council can override the Mayor’s
veto by a vote of two-thirds of all members elected to the Council.
The Mayor and Council in Norfolk are not full-time officials;
they retain their positions in private industry, business or chosen
profession. Since the Mayor and Council do not function on a
full-time basis, a City Administrator is appointed to carry out the
directives of the Mayor and Council and manage the affairs of the
City. This form of government combines the abilities of a
professionally trained administrator on a full-time basis with the
interested and dedicated services of elected officials.