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In 1986, Olathe voters selected a modified mayor-council-manager form of government. Under Charter Ordinance No. 28, this form of government calls for a mayor and two councilmembers elected by the city as a whole, and four councilmembers elected by wards. The mayor, four ward representatives and two at-large councilmembers are elected to four-year staggered terms. The governing body is generally referred to as the "Council" or "Governing Body."
At its first regular meeting in April after a biennial city election, the governing body shall:
Each councilmember must be not less than 18 year of age, be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the city for 30 days immediately preceding his or her election. If any council-member takes permanent residence outside the city limits of Olathe, such residence ipso facto creates a vacancy in the office.
The resignation of any member must be submitted in writing and acted upon by the Council as a whole. In case of any vacancy in the position of any councilmember, the remaining members of the board must elect a suitable person to fill his vacancy until the next regular city election.