About Charlotte

​Government 101:
An Introduction to the City of Charlotte, Your Local Government

Charlotte's government, with approximately 8,000 workers, strives to ensure that Charlotte is a winning city, a truly remarkable place to live work, learn and play, through the delivery of excellent public services.  

In N.C., state government divides duties between the state, counties, cities and special districts.

Since 1929, Charlotte has operated under a "council-manager" form of government that divides duties between elected officials and an appointed city manager. 

Council is the legislative body. The city manager is the chief executive officer.  ​

​Residents elect the mayor and 11 city council members every two years. 

  • The mayor and four council members are elected at-large by a citywide vote.
  • Seven council members are elected from districts by voters who reside in each district.
City council adopts policy, approves the financing of all city operations and enacts ordinances, resolutions and orders. They also authorize contracts and rezone property.

Council appoints the city manager, city attorney, city clerk and members of various boards and commissions.

The mayor presides at city council meetings and officially represents the city at special ceremonies and events. The mayor pro tem, elected by a vote of the city council, assumes all duties of the office in the mayor's absence.

​The city manager administers the policy set by the mayor and city council and oversees the day-to-day operations of city government, which includes making sure services are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The services provided by city government include, but are not limited to:

Police, fire, public transit, signalized intersections, city streets, city sidewalks, drinking water treatment, waste water treatment, solid waste/ recycling collection, housing programs, neighborhood programs, code enforcement, airport services, animal care and control, youth employment, adult employment, economic development, business investment, planning, urban design, engineering, construction for city projects, environmental programs, permitting, inspections, zonings and rezonings. ​

​City Focus Areas

City Council has five strategic areas in which city government focuses its resources. Each focus area is supported by a city council committee and by various programs within city departments. 

Community SafetyCommunity Safety Icon
http://authoring.charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/focus-areas/Pages/CommunitySafetyFocusArea.aspxIn page navigation
Economic DevelopmentEconomic Development Icon
http://authoring.charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/focus-areas/Pages/EconomicDevelopmentFocusArea.aspxIn page navigation
EnvironmentEnvironment Icon
http://authoring.charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/focus-areas/Pages/EnvironmentFocusArea.aspxIn page navigation
Housing & NeighborhoodsHousing Icon
http://authoring.charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/focus-areas/Pages/HousingneighborhooddevFocusArea.aspxIn page navigation
Transportation & PlanningTransportation icon
http://authoring.charlottenc.gov/CityCouncil/focus-areas/Pages/TransportationFocusArea.aspxIn page navigation

​City Council's Community Letter

In Oct. 2016, City Council issued a Community Letter outlining goals for policing, housing and jobs to address issues and concerns expressed following the Charlotte demonstrations. This letter pledged the council's energy and effort in three areas:

The letter also offered council's commitment to take in other opportunities as presented by the community.

​The 10 Traits of Winning Cities of Tomorrow

City government seeks to model 10 traits of winning cities of tomorrow. The traits help Charlotte address the major demographic and cultural trends shaping our future.

  • Positive Buzz – Inspiring and scaling positive word of mouth
  • Shared Story – Advancing a seamless narrative; Why we're unique
  • 15-Minute Livable Communities – Investing in diverse neighborhoods
  • Affordable Spaces – Meeting the rising demand for affordable housing
  • Workforce Dynamics – Advancing large-scale training and re-skilling
  • Millennial Magnet – Being a hot spot for young professionals
  • Beyond Borders – Advancing collaboration across and outside the region
  • Open Minds – Being creative, innovative and accepting of new ideas
  • Open Book – Being hyper-transparent and a proactive communicator
  • Big Tent – Being a welcoming and inclusive community

​Connecting to Local Government

You can stay connected with Charlotte's government in several ways.

City Services Available Online


Connect to 311 Ambassador

Residents can call 3-1-1 or 704-336-7600

Charlotte's Playlist

For the latest city stories visit online at charlottenc.gov/playlist

Citywide newsroom

Be the first to know city news and updates at charlottenc.gov/newsroom


Connect to our social channels at http://social.charlottenc.gov

Attend city council meetings

First Mondays                   

  • Council Workshops/Public Forum

Second Mondays             

  • Council Business Meetings

Third Mondays                 

  • Zoning Meetings

Fourth Mondays              

  • Council Business Meetings/Public Forum

For more information about city council meetings visit charlottenc.gov/cityclerk.  

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Sign up for city services and news updates from charlottenc.gov.

​By the Numbers:
Local government provides in Charlotte
every day…

  • 256 firefighters on duty
  • 42 fire stations
  • +320 fire calls for service
  • 388 police field units
  • 1,000 resident calls for service
  • 600 officer-initiated calls for service
  • 755 signalized intersections
  • +2,400 miles of city streets
  • +76,000 transit riders (incl. bus, rail special transport, van pool)
  • 107,000,000 gallons of drinking water treated and delivered
  • 88,000,000 gallons of waste water collected and treated
  • +43,000 curbside households receiving trash pickup
  • 4,400 calls received by CharMeck 311