Overview of City Governance
The City of Sunnyvale operates under a Council/Manager form of government. The City Council, as the legislative body, represents the entire community and is empowered by the City Charter to formulate Citywide policy.
Seven Councilmembers are elected at large by City voters for numbered seats and serve a four-year term. The City Charter limits councilmembers to serving two consecutive terms. The Mayor is selected from among the ranks of Council and serves a two-year term. The Vice Mayor is also selected from and by Council, and serves a one-year term.
The City Manager is appointed by Council and serves as the chief executive officer, responsible for day-to-day administration of City affairs and implementation of Council policies.
The City Attorney, also appointed by Council, advises and represents the City and Council in all legal affairs.
By City Charter, the Council meets at least twice per month. Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.. Council meets in study session as needed prior to the regular meetings to review specific issues in depth. With few exceptions as allowed by law, all Council meetings are open to the public.
Information sheets on the current City Council and how meetings work, along with general information on Boards and Commissions, are available in English, Spanish and Chinese.
Q: How do I contact Council or the Mayor?
Send an e-mail to Council. (Your message will be sent to the full Council and key City staff.)
Send an e-mail to the Mayor. (Your message will be sent only to the Mayor and key City staff.)
Q: How do I request a meeting with Mayor?
A: Please call the Executive Asst. to Mayor and Council at (408) 730-7473, or request an appointment by e-mail.
Q: How do I request a meeting with Council?
A: Requests to meet with Councilmembers are forwarded to Council, and the requestor is notified as soon as possible whether their proposed meeting has been accepted or declined.
Requestors should be advised, in advance, that it is not uncommon for meetings to be denied for reasons beyond the basic difficulties inherent in scheduling Councilmembers’ busy calendars. First, meetings with less than the full Council can work against the City’s attempt to ensure that all Councilmembers have the same information and background with which to consider policy issues (and the law precludes all Councilmembers from meeting together with you outside of a regularly scheduled Council meeting). Second, those requesting meetings often expect that Councilmembers will express their thoughts and/or opinions at the meeting. Please understand that if a meeting request is accepted, Councilmembers will listen to the presentation and may ask questions, but are unlikely to express opinions or support, particularly if the topic is regarding an issue likely to be considered by the full Council at a future public hearing. This is because Councilmembers will generally want to hear all sides of an issue in an open public hearing before committing to any particular position themselves.
Whether or not the meeting request is accepted, requestors are encouraged to present their issues to the full Council by e-mail or by writing a letter to City Council, P.O. Box 3707, Sunnyvale, CA 94088-3707, and/or appear before the full Council at a regularly scheduled public meeting. This will ensure that all Councilmembers receive the same information at the same time, and that, if Council has questions, all Councilmembers hear the same answers. Opportunities for public comment are provided at every public hearing conducted by City Council, with speakers limited to 3 minutes each.
Questions regarding scheduling meetings with Council should be directed to Heidi Kirk, Executive Assistant to City Council, at (408) 730-7473.
Q: When is the next Council Meeting?
A: The Council Agenda Calendar can be found on the City's Web site.
Q: How do I make a presentation to Council at a Council Meeting?
This helpful guide will help you make your council chambers presentation more effective.