How the City Works

City's Organization Chart

The City Manager is appointed by the Mayor and City Council and is responsible for the city’s day-to-day management and operations including overseeing more than 30 departments, providing crucial city services and managing the finances and budget of the City of Phoenix.  To do this, the City Manager establishes the structure of the organization.  The following organization chart shows reporting responsibilities for the more than 30 departments and functions in the City of Phoenix.

View the city's organizational chart

​Phoenix's Standard of Government

Phoenix has a form of government called the council-manager plan. The council-manager plan has three main positions - mayor, council member and city manager.

The Phoenix City Council is made up of the mayor and eight council members. Each council member is elected by the people from an area of the city called a council district, to represent the people of that district. The mayor is elected at-large, which means that the mayor is elected by people all over the city. The mayor is in charge of council meetings and is looked to as the leader of the whole city.

The mayor and council members have the job of setting policy for the city. Setting policy means making decisions about what is allowed and what is not allowed in Phoenix, about what new services need to be provided to the people and about how to solve problems that concern citizens. The mayor and council are able to set policy because they listen carefully to what the citizens of Phoenix say is important. As elected officials, their expertise comes from having been active in their community or neighborhoods through Block Watch, neighborhood associations and other civic involvement, or because they are interested in government.

City Government Branch Organization ChartThe city manager is hired by the mayor and council to manage the day-to-day operations of the city and to advise them about these operations when they set policy. The city manager and his/her staff oversee all of the city departments, helping them do their jobs efficiently and effectively. In Phoenix, the city manager is in charge of more than 13,000 city employees.

The Phoenix Municipal Court is a separate branch of city government and part of the statewide court system that is overseen by the Arizona Supreme Court. The court is responsible for providing quick and fair justice to people charged with misdemeanor crimes ranging from minor traffic violations to Class 1 misdemeanors. Class 1 misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. The chief presiding judge is the administrative head of the court and is responsible for the organization and administrative supervision of all court officers and personnel.

City government has three branches - mayor and council are the legislative branch, the city manager is the executive branch, and the municipal court is the judicial branch.