From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

COUNCILLOR – a representative of a local or regional community, sitting in a multi-person decision-making and control body, meaning a council or a sejmik. C. is elected in direct elections, his/her mandate lasts four years (term of office of the council/sejmik). The mandate of the c. includes certain rights and obligations. The mandate is legally protected (the c. benefits from legal protection provided for → public officials, including in the scope of protection of employment and dismissal from work). C. is not treated as a representative of voters from his electoral constituency – he/she is obliged to care for the good of the whole local/regional community. This is accompanied by the statutory obligation to maintain a permanent relationship with residents and their associations (organisations), although the c. is not bound by the voters’ instructions. C. should accept the demands of the residents and submit them to the independent and auxiliary bodies for consideration: the council/sejmik, the relevant committees of the governing bodies, the board or the village mayor/mayor/president of the city. The exercise of the mandate of the c. must be protected against potential irregularities (abuses) that could be a violation of the will of voters. Thus, the c. cannot run a business with the use of municipal property of the local-government units, in which he/she obtained a mandate (incompatibilitas in the material sense). Also, he/she cannot be employed in the local-government office of the territorial unit in which he/she obtained the mandate, and also act as a director or deputy director of a local-government organisational unit, be a deputy, senator, voivode and vice-voivode (incompatibilitas in the formal sense). The obligation is to submit a personal property declaration. C. is obliged to participate in the works of the council/sejmik, of which he/she is a member; he/she also has the right to participate in the work of the commission of which he/she is not a member (without the right to vote). C. authorized by the council/sejmik or their committees has the right to undertake control activities (→ decision-making and control body of local government) [ T. Słomka ].

Literature: A. Krajewska, Radni a partycypacja publiczna [Councillors and public participation], Instytut Spraw Publicznych „Analizy i Opinie” 2013, no. 5. ■ Status prawny rady gminy [Legal status of the municipality council], ed. M. Chmaj, Warszawa 2012