City Government 101

Form of Government

The City of Knoxville is a mayor-council with an appointed manager form of government.

  • The council and mayor and other city officers have such powers and shall perform such duties as are authorized or required by state law and by the ordinances, resolutions, rules, and regulations of the city.
  • The council consists of five council members elected at large for staggered four year terms.
  • The mayor is a part-time position that is elected for a term of two years.

City Manager

Appointed by a majority vote (three voting members) of the council. The manager shall hold office at the pleasure of the council. The city manager serves as chief administrative officer of the city. Duties as follows:

  • Plans, directs, coordinates, controls, and evaluates all activities of all city departments and municipal functions within broad guidelines and policies established by the elected body
  • Prepares annual operating budget for the city, laying out a proposed spending plan for the council's consideration, and implementing and administering the approved budget
  • Promotes internal operating efficiencies, reviews the collective performance of each operating department and the individual performances and department heads and key professionals

City Clerk

The city clerk is appointed by the City Council at the first meeting of January following a regular city election. The term of office is a two year period and serves at the pleasure of the City Council. Duties as follows:

  • Responsible for the general administration, development, and direction of the office of the city clerk within wide latitude for technical and administrative discretion within the framework of broad policies established by the city manager
  • Assists the mayor, city council, and city manager in the discharge of their duties and attends all council meetings
  • Holds record of city ordinances, resolutions, deeds, bonds, proceedings, special assessments, and public measures
  • Assists the city manager in budget preparation and prepares state budget reports