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Form of Government
The City of Loveland operates according to the Council-Manager form of government, which combines the strong political leadership of elected officials with strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The City Council is comprised of seven members elected from the City at large on a nonpartisan basis to serve overlapping four-year terms. The Mayor is selected from among the Council members to serve a two-year term as presiding officer at City Council meetings and as the official head of the City for legislative and ceremonial purposes. The City Council hires an appointed City Manager to be the City’s full-time chief executive officer. Council also appoints the Clerk of Council, City Solicitor and Director of Finance.
General legislative power lies with City Council as the elected representatives of the citizens. Acting as a whole, the City Council is responsible for establishing City goals, adopting an annual budget and passing other ordinances and resolutions necessary for governing the City, as well as setting the direction of City policy. The City Manager is responsible for the overall administration of the City; implementing Council’s objectives; preparing the annual budget and administering it after adoption by Council; executing and overseeing all contracts for services and the purchase of materials, supplies and equipment; and keeping City Council advised on the needs of the city.
There are several types of actions considered by Council during the meetings:
- Ordinances are formal enactments of laws, which include regulations, purchase or sale of property, appropriation of funds and other formal action required by law.
- Resolutions are non-regulatory actions by Council which state the intentions of Council, which include authorization of contracts, adoption of policies or procedures, adoption of plans or programs, recognition of individuals or events, etc.
- Motions are actions by Council that provide policy direction from City Council, which may include, directing the City Manager to provide a report on a particular subject, refer a matter to Council committees for action or follow up report, setting public hearings or special meeting dates, etc.
- Proclamations are ceremonial acts, usually to proclaim an event recognized in the City of Loveland.
Public hearings are requied by the Ohio Revised Code or City Code for certain proposed changes to the City Code (local laws or regulations), the sale or purchase of public property, and other issues as determined by City Council. Public hearings provide an opportunity for citizens’ views to be heard. For zoning related issues, notices to adjacent residents are mailed by the City and public hearings are advertised in newspapers of general circulation (Cincinnati Enquirer or Loveland Herald). For all other hearings, notice is provided in the legal section of the Cincinnati Enquirer or Loveland Herald newspapers. Notices are also posted on the City’s webpage. Any resident or affected citizen may attend and speak at a public hearing.
Anyone with a disability requiring assistance for participation at a public hearing should notify the Clerk of Council one week prior to the meeting so the City can make appropriate accomodations.
Executive sessions are closed meetings of City Council, which may be held only for purposes specifically provided by law, such as: discussion of personnel matters, purchase or sale of property, pending or imminent litigation, and consultation with legal counsel. No formal action is taken in an executive session.
Work sessions are meetings of the full Council to discuss matters coming before the Council, which allow more time for in-depth discussion of an issue than would normally be available during regular Council sessions. No formal action is taken in a work session.
All meetings or sessions of Council, other than executive sessions, are open to the public.