The City of Kalamazoo was incorporated as a commission-manager form of government in 1918. The City Commission is elected by the people of Kalamazoo and serves as the legislative and governing body of the city. 

The City Commission appoints a City Manager to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer for the city. The City Manager is responsible for all administrative appointments, the delivery of services to Kalamazoo residents, and the day-to-day management of the city government. The relationship between the City Manager and City Commission is similar to that between a Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. 

The City Assessor, City Attorney, Internal Auditor, and City Clerk are also appointed and report directly to the City Commission.