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 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 which is continually enhanced, updated, or revised to reflect a balance between compliance with state and federal laws and the needs or special interests of the community
Four Councilors and the Mayor are elected at-large for four-year terms, with a limit of eight years continuous service per member. Council meets on a regular basis, 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 his or her 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 are later approved by Council.
The work of the City is carried out through its departments: Administration, Building, Planning, Public Works, and Public Safety. Although each department has its own charge, often tasks are interrelated. Please contact 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 a number of boards, commissions, and committees which allow citizens an opportunity 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.