Newark, the government seat of Essex County, has since the 1950s operated under a mayor-council form of local government. The city’s voters adopted this governing structure in 1953 as part of the Optional Municipal Charter Law (R.S. 40:69A-1 et seq.), commonly known as the Faulkner Act. Under the provisions of the Faulkner Act, Newark’s mayor serves a four-year term and executes the legislation enacted by the Municipal Council. The mayor is not a voting member of the council.
The nine-person Municipal Council also serves a four-year term; five council members are elected at large and four are elected by the individual municipal wards the represent. The council is responsible for codification and legislation for the municipality, as well as for ensuing budgetary compliance. In this section, you will learn more about Mayor Ras J. Baraka, elected to office in 2014, as well as the nine members of the Newark Municipal Council. Under city government, you also will find detailed descriptions of each of the city’s departments, their individual divisions, and department directors.