The City of Kalamazoo was incorporated as a commission-manager form of government in 1918, which establishes the City Commission as the legislative and governing body of the City.
The City Commission consists of seven members who are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis. City Commissioners are elected to staggered four-year terms, with three Commissioners elected every two years. The Mayor is elected on a separate ticket in each election to serve two-year terms, and the Commission candidate receiving the most votes at EACH election serves as Vice Mayor (this office will change at each election, the Vice Mayor will serve the final two years of their term as Commissioner). The Mayor holds executive power over the Commission, and the Vice Mayor performs mayoral duties in his/her absence. Elections are held in each odd-numbered year.
The City Commission appoints a City Manager who functions as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City. The City Manager is responsible for all administrative appointments with the exception of the City Assessor, City Attorney, City Clerk, and Internal Auditor, who are also appointed by the City Commission.
City Commission meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 241 West South Street. A meeting with neighborhood associations is held immediately preceding the second meeting of each month, and special meetings are held as needed due to extraordinary circumstances. City Commission meetings are broadcast live on Public Media Network and are available on their website after a brief post-production period. Meetings are also streamed live and available on the City's YouTube Channel.