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Nov 07

Leadership and Governance in Cody, Wyoming

Posted on November 7, 2023 at 3:57 PM by Barry Cook

In the heart of Wyoming's scenic landscape, Cody thrives under a mayor-council system of governance, where the Mayor and City Council work diligently to maintain the Cody’s unique character and serve its residents. Cody’s Mayor, elected at-large for a four-year term, chairs City Council Meetings and serves as a voting tiebreaker, ensuring the smooth operation of City affairs. Beyond that, the Mayor takes on the role of community advocate, representing Cody's interests both locally and on broader scales while collaborating with the City Administrator to implement effective City policies.

The Cody City Council is comprised of six members, with two City Councilmembers representing each of the three wards. Councilmembers act as the direct link between the community and its City government. They bring the concerns and perspectives of their respective wards to the forefront and liaise with multiple community boards and committees to provide direct communication channels to City Council. Councilmembers also actively participate in meetings, contribute to specialized committees, and play an essential role in shaping meeting agendas to foster transparency and public engagement.

Cody's Mayor and City Council are entrusted with the necessary authority to effectively manage their designated duties, guided by the regulations outlined in Wyoming State Statute 15-1-103. These responsibilities include financial management and regulation of various facets of life, such as: public and business conduct oversight; direction of public amenities like parks and libraries; and coordination of essential services like fire departments and healthcare. They also manage water resources, exercise eminent domain, appoint officials, and enforce local ordinances.

The Mayor and City Council have the authority to propose and enact local laws and ordinances tailored to our community. However, these actions must remain aligned with Wyoming laws, as municipal governing bodies must operate within the framework of State Statues that cannot be overruled. For example—believe it or not—Wyoming has an old law prohibiting hats that obstruct others’ view in a theater. Even if residents adamantly wanted to sport their largest headwear at Big Horn Cinemas, City Council would not be able to override the State law to accommodate them. However, if Cody wanted to host a local event celebrating hats, the City Council could issue any necessary permits and declarations to do so. While a whimsical hypothetical, this example illustrates the division of powers that is designed to ensure uniformity and compliance with broader legal standards while allowing city councils to address the unique needs of their communities.

Cody's Mayor and City Council are dedicated to ensuring that Cody remains an exceptional place to live, work, and visit. All are welcome to attend or view Council Meetings held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM, which are broadcasted live (closed captioning available) and archived for public access on the City of Cody website. Additionally, the City Council discusses pertinent issues in greater detail during work sessions held on alternating Tuesdays at 5:30 PM, which are also open to public attendance.