States recognize local governments (Cities, Counties, and Special Districts) as public corporations by issuing Charters. The Charter defines the local government’s privileges and purposes. Originally issued on March 5, 1957, the City’s latest Charter was revised and approved by voters at the November 6, 1984, election.
The City has created a systematic collection of regulations and rules of procedure or conduct by which it will operate called the Municipal Code. While the Charter is an organizing document defining the City, the Code is a dynamic document that is continually enhanced, updated, or revised to reflect a balance between compliance with state and federal laws and the needs of particular interests of the community.
Four Councilors and the Mayor are elected at-large for four-year terms, with a limit of eight years of continuous service per member. Council meets regularly, at least once a month, and is presided over by the Mayor, who leads the meetings and ensures that proper rules of order are followed. In the Mayor's absence, the Council President takes on their duties. All Council meetings are required by law to be open to the public, and a recording of the proceedings is taped and transcribed into written minutes which Council later approves.
The work of the City is carried out through its departments: Administration, Building, Planning, Public Works, and Public Safety. Although each department has its charge, tasks are often interrelated. Please get in touch with one of our departments to find out more about our services or contact the City by phone, mail, or email to get your questions answered by our staff.
The City has several boards, commissions, and committees that allow citizens to fill an integral role in City government by advising the City Council on important issues. To be eligible for appointment, a person must have resided in or owned real property within the City or its urban growth boundary for at least one year immediately preceding the appointment. If you are interested in serving on a Board, Committee, or Commission, please complete an application form and return it to City Hall.