The Borough Council performs the legislative functions of Hawthorne's government – passing ordinances and resolutions, approving the annual budget, giving advice and consent on various mayoral appointments, and approving liquor license renewals as well as various other licenses and permits. Council members are elected for four-year terms, with those of the ward members overlapping those of the at-large members. The Borough Clerk serves as secretary to the Council.
The Council generally holds its meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, with a work session at 7 pm, and the regular meeting immediately following the work session. Members of the public are invited to address the Council during the regular meeting – at the beginning of the meeting on agenda items, during individual hearings on ordinances, and at the end of the meeting on general items.
Council meetings may be viewed live on Cablevision's Channel 77 in Hawthorne and on Verizon FIOS Channel 28.