Warsaw is run by the City Council and the Mayor of the City of Warsaw. The Council is the highest authority in the City of Warsaw and is responsible for all important decisions. Amongst other things, the Council sets the city's annual budget.
Warsaw City Council
The Warsaw City Council is a decision-making and control body of the city, which sets local by-laws, passes budgets and inspects their execution, passes local spatial development plans, names streets, names public squares, and decides on erecting of new monuments. Warsaw City Council also awards the title of the Honorary Citizen of The City.
There are 60 seats on the council, which are contested by the various political parties. Council members are elected every four years by residents of the City of Warsaw.
The current composition of the Warsaw City Council was elected on 16 November 2014. The VII term of the office (2014-2018) of the Warsaw City Council is composed of 60 councillors: Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform, 33 Councillors), Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, 24 Councillors) and 3 Non-attached Councillor. The Warsaw City Council is led by the chair, Mrs. Ewa Malinowska-Grupińska and two Vice-chairs: Mrs. Ewa Masny-Askanas and Mrs. Olga Johann.
The Council controls the activity of the Mayor of the City of Warsaw, the district organizational units and auxiliary units (district councils) via an audit committee.
The Council's competence include all issues within the area of activity of the district, unless stated otherwise by the law.
Most councillors also have a job next to their council work . This is because council membership is voluntary work, for which Councillors merely receive an allowance. Warsaw Councillors devote on average about 30 hours per week to Council work.
The Act on Commune self-government of 8 March 1990 (Journal of Laws No. 16 item 95) defines the status and the catalogue of issues that belong exclusively to the tasks of the city.
Ordinary sessions of the Warsaw City Council are held in the Sala Warszawska at the Palace of Culture and Science. These meetings are open to the public.
Contacting the Council
There are various ways in which Warsaw 's citizens can get in touch with the City Council. For example, one can:
• Write a letter to the council.
• Express an opinion at committee meetings.
• Approach councillors and/or the political parties or write a letter.
Most of the proposals that come before the City Council do not proceed there directly. First they are discussed by advisory committees, also known as Council Committees.
The City Council elects from among its members permanent committees and ad hoc committees for special purposes, determining its subject matter and personal composition.
These Committees are made up of members of the City Council who specialize in a particular area of policy. In Warsaw there are eighteen of such committees, which usually meet circa twice a month and are mostly open to the public.