The Mayor of Milwaukee serves as the chief executive for the City, playing a key role in developing City policy that will be acted upon by the Common Council. The Mayor is elected by the citizens in Milwaukee and serves for a 4-year term.
Milwaukee’s Common Council serves as the legislative and final policy-making body for the City. The 15 Council members are elected by the residents of their specific district and serve 4-year terms in office.
The City Planning Commission (CPC) is the City's official planning body established under State statute. The CPC is responsible for comprehensive planning activities and advises the Common Council on land development issues including zoning map changes, revisions in the zoning ordinance, subdivision approvals, tax increment districts, business improvement districts, street and alley vacations, and public land disposition and acquisition. The 7 Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Common Council and serve for a period of 3 years.
The Department of City Development (DCD) staffs CPC. DCD is headed by the Commissioner of City Development. Plan preparation requires extensive public involvement and communication between DCD staff and the CPC. After approval by CPC, plans are submitted to the Common Council for public hearing and adoption.