As the elected legislative body of the City of Visalia, the City Council has overall responsibility for the scope, direction, and financing of City services. The City Council, as the legislative body, establishes policy that is administered and implemented through full time staff under the Council-Manager form of government.
The Council is also responsible for establishing land use policies through the General Plan and zoning regulations. Visalia voters, at large, elect a 5-member Council to serve as the City's legislative and governing body. The members serve 4 year terms and they select one member to serve as mayor and one to serve as vice-mayor. A general municipal election is held every two years in November, alternating, between two and three positions each cycle.
Form of Government - Under the Council-Manager form of government, the City Council provides policy direction to the City Manager, who is responsible for administering City operations. In setting policy, the Council works closely with citizen advisory commissions and committees, considers staff information and recommendations, and receives comments from the general public.
Charter of the City of Visalia - The City of Visalia is a Charter City as opposed to a General Law City. The City Charter is a written document approved by the electorate and acts as a "constitution" for the city. Amendments, revisions and repeals of a charter are subject to the vote of the people.