The City of Owensboro operates under a City Manager form of Government. This form of government was first instituted in Owensboro on January 1, 1954 as a result of a referendum approved by the people in the 1952 November election.
The Mayor, as a member of the Board, presides over all meetings, calls special meetings, and executes all bonds, notes, contracts, and written obligations authorized by the board. The City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the city and exercises the executive powers and functions delegated by ordinance and statute.
Legislative Body (Board of Commissioners)
The Mayor and four commissioners are elected by the citizens to act as their representatives in all legislative matters. The Mayor serves as the presiding officer at official meetings and as ceremonial head of the City. The City Commission, the legislative and policy making body of the City, is comprised of four citizens elected at large. As representatives of the people, the Mayor and the City Commission determines the goals and objectives of the City and policies which shall be followed in attaining those goals and objectives. Their primary duties are to enact ordinances and make polices that are for the ultimate good of the community as a whole. The mayor is elected for a four-year term and the Commissioners are elected for two-year terms. In cities of the second class with the City Manager form of government non-partisan elections are mandatory.
Under the City Manger form of Government, the City Commission appoints a City Manager who is responsible for carrying out its established policies as well as the efficient administration of City activities. The City Commission also appoints a City Attorney who provides legal assistance to the City Commission, City Manager and department managers, and represents the City of Owensboro in legal matters. The City Commission also appoints a City Clerk who provides administrative assistance to the City Commission and City Manager. The Clerk is responsible for the maintenance and safekeeping of the permanent records of the City and performs such other duties and responsibilities as required by law. The City Commission conducts its business in public sessions which are held at City Hall, Commission Chambers, Fourth Floor, the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.