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Charlotte has a Council-Manager form of government with a Mayor and 11 Council Members elected every two years in November, and a professional City Manager to run the day-to-day operations. The Mayor and four Council Members are elected at-large by a city-wide vote. Seven Council Members are elected from districts by voters who reside in each district.

The Mayor presides at all City Council meetings and officially represents the City at special ceremonies and events. The Mayor is generally responsible for the execution of local laws. It is the Mayor's role to represent the City in an official capacity at the state capital in Raleigh, in Washington and internationally.

Part of the Mayor's duties include his involvement in national organizations that work on issues that are important to both Charlotte and the Nation.

Mayor Pro Tem
The Mayor Pro Tem is elected by a vote of the City Council members. He or she assumes all duties, powers and obligations of the Office of Mayor in the Mayor's absence.

City Council
While At-Large Representatives are elected by all the registered voters in the City and District Representatives are elected only by registered voters within a specific district, all of the City Council members work together to provide policy decisions that benefit the community as a whole and provide quality service to all of Charlotte's districts.

The District Representatives frequently meet with the residents of their community by attending public functions and community meetings.

Duties of Mayor and City Council
Together the Mayor and City Council Members are responsible for establishing the general policies under which the City operates. These include:
- Appointing the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk and members of various Boards and Commissions enacting ordinances, resolutions and orders
- Reviewing the annual budget, setting the tax rate and approving the financing of all City operations
- Authorizing contracts on behalf of the City

City Manager
The City Manager is the key administrative officer of the City. The Manager is assisted by a leadership team made up of four Assistant City Managers and other key members of the Manager's staff.