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The City of Waterford was organized as a General Law City in 1969 and operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The council-manager is the most common form of local government and combines the strong political leadership of elected officials (city council), with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager (city manager).

The city manager position in this form of municipal government is similar to that of corporate chief executive officer (CEO), providing professional management to the board of directors. Council–manager government is much like a publicly traded corporation. In a corporation, the board of directors appoints a CEO, makes major decisions and wields representative power on behalf of shareholders. In council–manager government, the elected council appoints a city manager, makes major decisions, and wields representative power on behalf of the citizens. The city manager is, in turn, responsible for hiring a city staff to carry out implementation of the decisions made by council.

The office of Mayor is an elected position for a term of two (2) years. The Mayor is the Presiding Officer at City Council meetings. As such, the Mayor is responsible for the maintenance of order and decorum at all times. The Mayor calls the meeting to order and during the session all persons wishing to speak must first be recognized. The Mayor signs all ordinances, resolutions and contracts approved by the City Council and is the ceremonial head of the City, representing the City at official functions. Council Members are elected to a four (4) year term.

As elected leaders of our City, the City Council is responsible to ensure the welfare of the people of Waterford. To that end, they are empowered to pass laws, approve the spending of money, and set general policy for the City. At each meeting the Council has a number of items to consider. Prior to, and during the meeting, the City Manager and staff provide the Council with information and recommendations relative to items on the Council agenda. At each meeting citizens have the opportunity to voice their opinion on any item that is within the Council’s discretion, whether it is listed on the agenda or not. The opinions of Waterford citizens are an important factor in helping the Council decide a course of action. The willingness of the general public to express their thoughts on issues during the meetings is especially important to the City Council.

Members of the Waterford City Council also serve as the Governing Board for the City’s Redevelopment Agency, Public Financing Authority and serve as City representatives on various regional, state, and local organizations, as well as government boards and committees where the concerns and interests of the City require participation and involvement. Council members receive compensation of $150.00 per month for their respective services.