Somerville's City government consists of the Office of the Mayor, the Board of Aldermen, the School Committee, a number of appointed boards and commissions, and the executive departments, such as Constituent Services, The Department of Public Works, and The Department of Traffic and Parking.
The Mayor is elected every two years (on the odd-numbered years) and is responsible for all executive decision making. All City departments report to the Mayor who also appoints all members of the boards and commissions.
Board of Aldermen
The Board of Aldermen is the City's legislative branch. Members are elected every two years (on the odd-numbered years.) Four members serve at-large. Seven members represent individual wards. The Board passes ordinances about a broad range of issues, from setting zoning laws to creating boards and commissions. The Board also has the authority to cut funds from the budget presented yearly by the Mayor.
The School Committee oversees the city's school system, working with Superintendent to set broad policies and developing a recommended budget for submission to the Mayor. The Committee is composed of seven members elected by ward every two years (on the odd-numbered years.). The Mayor and the President of The Board of Aldermen are ex-officio members with full voting rights.
Boards and Commissions
Boards and commissions exist to advise or, in some cases, rule on important City business. Members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen.
Day-to-day City operations are managed by a number of departments, each with a director or commissioner reporting to the Mayor.
Charter Advisory Committee
The Charter Advisory Committee was convened by Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone to examine the City of Somerville's current municipal charter and make recommendations aimed at modernizing city government.