City Council Protocol & Responsibilities

Role of City Council Members

The Arcata City Council is composed of 5 members elected at large by the citizens of Arcata to be the legislative policy-making branch of city government. The Council directs the course of local government through its power to adopt ordinances, levy taxes, award contracts, and appoint certain city officers, commissions and committees.

Council members earn a monthly salary and also receive monthly benefits for medical, dental and vision insurance. Council members are also eligible to participate in the Public Employees' Retirement System, CalPERS. The elected official salary schedule can be found here.

City Council Protocol Manual

Elected officials are required to comply with state ethics laws, conflict of interest regulations and disclosure, and all requirements related to open meeting laws.The City Council Protocol Manual provides a summary of important aspects of City Council protocol, responsibilities and activities.

2021 City Council Protocol Manual

Additional Responsibilities

City Council members serve as the City’s representative to the following county or inter-jurisdictional agencies:

  • Arcata Chamber of Commerce
  • Arcata Downtown Business Community/Arcata Main Street
  • Arcata House Partnership
  • Arcata/Camoapa Sister City Committee
  • HSU/City Liaisons
  • Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, Water Quality Task Force
  • Humboldt Bay Working Waterfront Opportunities Committee
  • Humboldt County Association of Governments
  • Humboldt Transit Authority
  • Humboldt Waste Management Authority
  • Humboldt-Del Norte Hazardous Waste Materials Response Joint Powers Authority
  • League of California Cities, Redwood Empire Division, Business Meetings
  • League of California Cities, Redwood Empire Division, Legislative Committee
  • Redwood Coast Energy Authority
  • Redwood Region Economic Development Commission

Position Appointments

The City Council appoints the City Manager and City Attorney.

The goals and policies set forth annually by the City Council are carried out by the City Manager who administers the daily affairs of the City and supervises City Departments including the:

  • City Manager's Office
  • Building & Engineering Department
  • Community Development Department
  • Environmental Services Department
  • Finance Department
  • Arcata Police Department

More information on City Council Goals and priority projects can be found here.