Form of Government: City of Santa Cruz

In 1866, Santa Cruz incorporated as a town. The incorporation papers specified that the town would be governed by an elected Board of Trustees. The members of the Board selected one of their members to be the President of the Board.

Santa Cruz received its first city charter from the State of California in 1876. The charter specified that the city would be governed by an elected body consisting of a Mayor and a four-member Common Council.

In 1907 a new city charter designated a Mayor as chief executive and a City Council consisting of seven members. Subsequent amendments to the charter gave the Mayor and four commissioners both executive and administrative powers.

A new city charter in 1948 established a council-manager form of government, with a mayor and six council members setting policy, and a city manager serving as the chief administrator of those policies.
Creator: Santa Cruz Public Libraries
  • Santa Cruz City Clerk's Office
  • "A Guide to Your City Government," City of Santa Cruz, 1995.
Date: Undated
Coverage: Santa Cruz (City)
Identifier: FF-FORM



Libraries, Santa Cruz Public. “Form of Government: City of Santa Cruz.” Santa Cruz City Clerk's Office. SCPL Local History. Accessed 16 July 2024.