COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19


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The City of Santa Cruz was incorporated as a town in 1866 and received its first charter as a city in 1876. In 1948, the city adopted a new City Charter. This charter established a council/manager form of government, with the Mayor and six Councilmembers setting policy for the city, and city manager serving as chief administrator of those policies.

The seven Councilmembers are elected at-large for four-year terms. The terms are staggered so that three or four council seats are filled at the general election in November of each even numbered year. Service on the Council is limited to two consecutive terms. Each year in November, the Council elects one of its members as Mayor and another as Vice Mayor.


City Council
The City Council meets regularly on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month and may schedule other special meetings. Council meetings are cablecast LIVE on Community Television of Santa Cruz County, Comcast channel 25 and Charter channel 71. 

City Council Meeting Agendas
City Council Meeting Guidelines
Councilmember Profiles
Advisory Bodies
Elections Information

City Manager
The City Manager is responsible for the overall administration of the City and for seeing that the City Council policies are carried out.

City Clerk
The City Clerk is responsible for Council meeting process and functions, information and records management programs, advisory bodies matters, public bid openings and liability claims processing. The City Clerk is also the City's election official. 

City Charter and Municipal Code
The on-line Municipal Code may not be current with all adopted ordinances. Recent ordinances are available for you to review, to make sure there are no updates to the section you’re interested in. 

Independent Police Auditor
The Independent Police Auditor is responsible for reviewing citizen complaint reports against the Police Department.