The mayor-council is the oldest form of city government in the United States. Its structure is similar to that of the state and national governments, with an elected mayor as chief of the executive branch and an elected council that represents the various neighborhoods, forming the legislative branch. The mayor appoints heads of city departments and other officials.
The mayor also has the power to veto the laws of the city (called ordinances), and prepares the city’s budget. The council passes city laws, sets the tax rate on property, and decides how the city departments spend their money to make the city a better place.