The City of Gig Harbor utilizes a strong-mayor form of Government. The City Council consists of seven part-time, nonpartisan members elected at-large to serve four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for enacting all legislation and making general policy decisions governing the City.

At the beginning of each year, the Council appoints a Mayor Pro Tempore from its membership to perform Mayoral duties in the Mayor’s absence. Council Committees are also appointed yearly. The City Council regular meetings are the second and fourth Monday of the month at 5:30 pm in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

Local Government Structure

The strong-mayor form of mayor-council government usually consists of an executive branch, a mayor elected by voters, and a council as the legislative branch.

In the strong-mayor form the elected mayor is given almost total administrative authority and a clear, wide range of political independence, with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval and little, or no public input. In this system, the strong-mayor prepares and administers the city budget, although that budget often must be approved by the council. Abuses in this form led to the development of the council-manager form of local government and its adoption widely throughout the United States.

Chief Administrative Officer

In some strong-mayor governments, the mayor will appoint a chief administrative officer who will supervise department heads, prepare the budget, and coordinate departments. This officer is sometimes called a city manager; while the term used in the equally popular council-manager government, the manager is responsible only to the mayor in this variant.

Most major and large American cities use the strong-mayor form of the mayor-council system, whereas middle-sized and small American cities tend to use the council-manager system. (Resource: Wikipedia)