Like government on the state and federal levels, municipal government is divided into three separate but equal branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Each of these branches has distinct duties, powers, and restrictions. However, a close working relationship between the three branches of government is essential for municipal government to function properly.
The City of Cullman operates under a Mayor-Council form of government consisting of a Mayor and a five-member City Council. Each are elected by popular vote to serve concurrent four-year terms. Elections are held every four years in August. The next election will be held in August of 2024.
EXECUTIVE BRANCH | MAYOR
The Mayor serves as the head of the executive branch. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of city government. This includes overseeing city employees, ensuring that bills are paid on time, executing municipal contracts approved by the City Council, and performing other duties similar to those performed by a CEO of a private corporation.
Because Cullman’s population is greater than 12,000, the Mayor does not preside over or serve as a member of the City Council. The Mayor does have veto power over any permanent action taken by the City Council, but the City Council can override the Mayor’s veto by a two-thirds vote.
The Mayor of the City of Cullman is Woody Jacobs. He is currently serving his second term as Mayor.
To find out more about Mayor Jacobs or about the Mayor’s Office, visit the Mayor’s Office page.
The City Council is the legislative branch of municipal government. The City Council has authority over the finances and property of the city. They authorize contracts, establish policies, pass ordinances, determine what sorts of services the city provides, and has authority over all other legislative aspects of city government. The City Council can only act as a body at legally convened City Council meetings.
City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday nights each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Auditorium, unless otherwise announced. All City Council meetings are open to the public.
The Municipal Court serves as the judicial branch of municipal government. The municipal court has jurisdiction over prosecuting breaches of city ordinances within the City of Cullman police jurisdiction. The Municipal Court Clerk and magistrates process traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanor cases, and municipal ordinance violations cited by the Cullman Police Department. The Municipal Court Judge and Prosecutor are appointed by the Cullman City Council.
The City Clerk acts as an administrative liaison between the City Council and the Mayor, as provided by state law and city code. The City Clerk’s responsibilities include preparing City Council agendas, recording minutes of City Council meetings, authenticating and recording all official acts of the City, processing and maintaining legislative records and documents, attesting to the correctness and certifying legislative documents, and providing municipal government information to the public. The City Clerk’s Office oversees the issuance of business licenses, alcohol licenses, pet licenses, yard sale permits, and tobacco tax stamps. The City Clerk’s Office also maintains competitive bid lists and records relating to municipal assessments.
The City Treasurer is appointed by the City Council to be the custodian of the City’s funds. The duties of the City Treasurer include keeping an accurate record of the funds of all City departments, keeping books accurately showing the financial condition of the City, assisting and advising the Mayor and City Council with investments, supervising expenditures and receipts, and working with auditors to ensure that all applicable procedures are adhered to by the City. The Accounting Department is responsible for processing and maintaining accurate and timely financial records of municipal revenues, expenditures, assets, and liabilities. These responsibilities include general ledger reporting, recording and processing invoices, processing and maintaining records of payments to vendors, maintaining the fixed assets property records, monitoring grants for compliance, working with auditors on the annual audit, and ensuring property accountability and compliance of all municipal departments.
There are numerous boards and committees that oversee, or advise on, various aspects of municipal government. Appointments are made to these boards and committees either by the City Council or by the Mayor.