Upon its incorporation, the City of Galva adopted the mayor-council form of government. In Illinois, this form of government favours that fashioned by the founding fathers when they established the structure of a federal government comprised of a separately elected legislature and chief executive. Our chief executive is the Mayor and our legislature is the city council.
To assist the mayor and council with their administrative and legislative duties, the mayor appoints, and the city council confirms, the hiring of a city administrator; duly registered voters from across all wards select a treasurer and a city clerk.
Unlike the six aldermen that make up the body of the city council, the Mayor is elected "at large," meaning that he is chosen to be the political head of the city by voters across all three of the city's political subdivisions (these subdivisions are called wards). Because he is elected by voters from across all three wards, the Mayor represents the interests off all citizens in Galva.
As political head (or chief executive) the Mayor is invested with the authority to appoint and dismiss department heads, appoint and dismiss members (with the advice and consent of the city council) of boards and commissions, prepare and recommend spending plans, override legislative acts by the city council (his veto power), and set the agenda for the city as its chief policy-maker. Because the city, by ordinance, elected to retain the services of a city administrator, the Mayor entrusts the responsibility of day-to-day operations to the administrator's office.
The city council is comprised of six alderman, two each elected by the members of the ward in which they reside. To ensure continuity in governance, aldermen serve four-year staggered terms, meaning an election for a single alderman in each ward occurs every two years (hence, every two years the city elects three aldermen, one from each ward).
As the legislative body of city government, the council disposes of laws governing the city (either approving or dismissing them), adopts the spending plans proposed by the Mayor (meaning they approve the budget for the city), dispose of resolutions that may or may not have the effect of law (oftentimes resolutions presented by the Mayor are ceremonial in nature), and may assist or oppose the Mayor's policy positions.
The city treasurer is elected at large every four years. The treasurer is responsible for tracking the revenues and expenditures of the city and is the official custodian of all municipal funds.
The city clerk is elected at large every four years. The Clerk is responsible for keeping the corporate seal and all papers belonging to the municipality; the clerk attends all meetings of the corporate authorities and keeps the minutes of the meetings. Galva's clerk publishes all ordinances and resolutions, either in the Galva News or in pamphlet form. Additionally, the clerk assists in the preparation of the annual appropriations ordinance and receives and keeps all reports filed by the city treasurer.
The city administrator is appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the city council. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city, the administrator counts among his responsibilities: budgeting, finance, personnel administration, public relations and economic development.
The city attorney is appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council. As corporate counselor, the attorney provides legal advice to the municipality and performs other duties related to his expertise as the municipality's attorney..