Trenton is in the 12th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 15th state legislative district. The City of Trenton is governed within the Faulkner Act, formerly known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law. Under this act, the Mayor-Council system was developed in 1792.

Duties of the Trenton City Council


The formalization of a decision or action, by the governing body, to do or not to do something.


A law set forth by governmental authority; a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority. Council can amend current ordinances.

Budget Adoption for Municipality

Formal process through which the governing body approves a budget. Adopted budget reflects approved tax rates and estimates of revenues, expenditures, transfers, agency goals, objectives and performance data.

Advice & Consent

The legislative body i.e. the City Council shall approve or deny all Directors (head of departments) and Business Administrators.

Investigative Powers

One of the most important functions of the legislative body is the power to investigate.

Conduct Business Meetings Under Robert's Rules

  • Adjourn
  • Advertise meetings, dates, and times in local newspapers
  • Civic comments
  • Conduct city business
  • Council President conducts the meeting; in the absence of the Council President, the Council Vice President conducts the meeting
  • Have a set agenda
  • Public comments

The administration has a right to enter into a contract, but the legislative body is the only entity that can approve or deny payment.

Review All Contracts

  • The legislative body must review all documentation pertaining to any contract(s) that the administration would like to enter.
  • The legislative body serves as the Alcohol and Beverage Committee (ABC) and the Health Board.
  • The legislative branch of government is "checks and balances" for the administrative branch of government.