Learn more about Mayor-council government
Mayor-Council government is one of two variations of government most commonly used in modern representative municipal governments in the United States. It is also used in some other countries. The Mayor-Council variant can be broken down into two main variations depending on the relationship between the legislative and executive branches.
 Weak-Mayor Form
In this form of the mayor-council government, the council possess both legislative and executive authority. The council may appoint officials and must approve of mayoral nominations. The council also exercises primary control over the municipal budget.
Charles Adrian and Charles Press explain, "The weak-mayor plan is a product of Jacksonian democracy. It comes from the belief that if politicians have few powers and many checks, then they can do relatively little damage."
This form of government is most commonly used in small towns. It is a variant of City Commission government.
 Strong-Mayor Form
In the strong-mayor form the mayor is given almost total administrative authority, with the power to appoint and dismiss department heads without council approval. Likewise, the mayor prepares and administers the budget, although that budget often must be approved by the city council.
In some strong-mayor governments, the mayor will appoint a chief administrative officer (CAO) who will supervise department heads, prepare the budget, and coordinate departments. This CAO is responsible only to the mayor.