The council-manager form of government is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The form establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the delivery of public services.
The Mayor and four (4) Council members (City Council) are the legislative branch of city government and are the community's decision makers. The Mayor is the presiding officer at the Council meetings and is the official head of the City for all ceremonial occasions. Power is centralized in the elected Mayor and Council (City Council), which approves the budget, determines the tax rate, focuses on the community's goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning.
In Palm Bay, the City Council operates in accordance with the City Charter. Three (3) positions created by the Charter (Charter Officers) are appointed by and report directly to the City Council -- City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk
The City Manager serves as the chief administrator of all activities related to the operations of the City. The City Manager hires a professional City staff to assist in the administration and enforcement of the City Charter, ordinances, resolutions, financial conditions and all of the various procedures and policies that are required for the City to function properly. The manager is fully responsible for municipal administration.
The City Attorney is responsible for protecting the City in legal matters and advising the City Council, City Manager and City departments on the legal implications of their actions. The City Attorney also prepares official documents; prosecutes matters on behalf of the City; defends the City in legal proceedings, and provides legislative liaison.
The City Clerk administratively assists the City Council; is responsible for the maintenance of all official records regarding City government; records minutes of meetings for City Council; conducts City elections in conjunction with the supervisor of election's office; prepares agendas and public notices; advises news media of meetings; and maintains the records management program throughout the City.