What's it like to serve on a City Council?
November 21, 2012 5:29 AM Subscribe
Are there any City Council members out there? What is it like to run for office and to serve as a councilperson in your town (bonus points if it's a city of 50-100K population)?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
(Anonymous because I’d rather not have this linked to my comment/question history)
Other than a failed run for student council in high school I have never aspired to hold elected office. I am generally skeptical of politicians and am staunchly independent. I am very socially liberal in a very socially conservative town.
This week I saw that petitions are due for city council, and in my district the councilperson has decided not to seek reelection. Nobody so far has filed to take his spot. Since I saw that, something has been tugging at me to file. My town is a suburb of Chicago with 50,000 residents. All spots are nonpartisan so I wouldn't need to be affiliated with a party.
The current councilperson is a friend of a friend and I talked to him tonight. He said several times that it's a big time commitment, but that he enjoyed his time and thought it was a good way to serve his town. That's what is drawing me in - I like this community and think I would do a good job and could help make it a good place for people to live. The job is totally voluntary - there's no money or benefits involved.
Councilpersons of AskMe - what compelled you to run? What has been your experience of running and of serving? What surprised you, both good and bad? In the alternative to direct experience, are there any good resources out there for new politicians or writings about what the job is like?