Municipal Council (Hessen)

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The municipal council is the highest municipal body in Hesse and decides on community affairs in the communities. In Hessian cities, the corresponding body is called the city ​​council , Section 9 Paragraph 1 Sentence 3 HGO.

In most other federal states, one speaks of the municipal council , which, however, has different tasks depending on the municipal code. The legal basis in Hessen is the Hessian municipal code . It can delegate the decision-making process on certain matters to the parish council or a committee.


The community representatives are elected in the local elections. There is the possibility of accumulating and spreading . If there is only one list, the representatives with the most votes are elected. If there are several lists to choose from, the distribution of seats is based on the percentage of votes per list and the applicants with the most votes are only chosen within the respective list.

The number of community representatives depends on the number of residents and is:

population Seats
up to 3,000 inhabitants 15th
from 3,001 to 5,000 inhabitants 23
from 5,001 to 10,000 inhabitants 31
from 10,001 to 25,000 inhabitants 37
from 25,001 to 50,000 inhabitants 45
from 50,001 to 100,000 inhabitants 59
from 100,001 to 250,000 inhabitants 71
from 250,001 to 500,000 inhabitants 81
from 500,001 to 1,000,000 inhabitants 93
over 1,000,000 inhabitants 105

Each municipal council can decide that for the next electoral term the number of municipal representatives is elected one population level lower or an odd number in between. This legal option is intended to provide the opportunity to save costs and also to increase work efficiency.


In its constituent meeting , which is opened by the mayor , the oldest member in terms of years is initially determined as the age president. Under the leadership of the senior president, the municipal council elects a chairman and his deputy. He chairs the meeting and is de jure the highest representative of the community. De facto, the citizens of Hessen see the mayor, who has been directly elected since 1993 and is always full-time, as such. Furthermore, the councilors in the community council are elected in a list. The rule is that a list with an absolute majority also represents over 50 percent of the councilors (for example, 50.1 percent of the votes are sufficient to provide four out of six councilors). Furthermore, at this meeting it is decided on the number and number of members of the committees as well as on which tasks are to be assigned to them and the community board.

The municipal council oversees the entire administration of the municipality and the management of the municipality board, in particular the use of municipal income, and draws up the budget. The municipality board has to inform the municipality council about the important administrative matters on an ongoing basis and notify it of important orders of the supervisory authority as well as all orders for which the supervisory authority has expressly determined this.

The municipal council takes its decisions in public meetings. It can exclude the public for individual matters to a very limited extent. Non-public agenda items relate to the interests of individuals worthy of protection (although these are delegated to the municipal board in most municipalities) as well as, for example, real estate transactions, in which the municipality could suffer economic damage through publication.

Unless otherwise stipulated by law, resolutions are passed with a majority of the votes cast. In a tie the motion is rejected. Abstentions and invalid votes do not count towards the calculation of the majority.

The preliminary decisions and the main work takes place in the specialist committees, where applications can be discussed and amended. The chairman of the committee then gives the recommendation of the local council to vote.


  • Gerhard Bennemann, Rudolf Beinlich, Frank Brodbeck a. a .: Hesse municipal constitutional law (Hessian municipality code, Hessian district code, law on communal community work, law to strengthen municipal cooperation and planning in the Rhine-Main region, Hessian municipal election law (KWG)), collection of comments, as of 2007, loose-leaf edition, ISBN 978-3 -8293-0222-7

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