The City of Kalamazoo was incorporated as a commission-manager form of government in 1918, which grants the 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 to serve a two-year term in office.
The City Manager is appointed by the City Commission and functions as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City. S/he is responsible for all administrative appointments with the exception of the City Assessor, City Attorney, City Clerk and Internal Auditor.
The Commissioner receiving the most votes becomes mayor with executive power over the Commission. Subsequently, the Commissioner receiving the second number of votes becomes the vice mayor and performs mayoral duties in the absence of the mayor.