The City of Asheville operates under a council-manager form of government, which is prescribed by its charter. More than 3,400 cities and 371 counties operate under this system, which means more than 89 million American citizens live in communities with this form of government. Since its establishment, the Council-Manager form has become the most popular form of government in the United States in communities with populations of 5,000 citizens or more.
The Asheville City Council is composed of a mayor and six council members who are elected at-large for four-year, staggered terms. The mayor, who is chosen on a separate ballot, presides over City Council meetings and serves as the ceremonial head of government. The mayor does not have the power to veto council action.
In the absence or disability of the mayor, the vice-mayor performs the mayoral duties. The vice-mayor is appointed by the members of City Council. City Council determines the needs to be addressed and the degree of service to be provided by the administrative branch of city government.
What City Council makes policy about
City Council is the legislative body; its members are the community’s decision makers. Power is centralized in the elected council, which approves the budget and determines the tax rate, for example. The council also focuses on the community’s goals, major projects and such long‑term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing and strategic planning. The council hires a professional manager to carry out the administrative responsibilities and supervises the manager’s performance.
Asheville City Council has the authority to:
- Determine policy in the fields of planning, traffic, law and order, public works, finance, and recreation
- Appoint and remove the city manager
- Adopt the budget, levy taxes, collect revenues, and make appropriations
- Appoint and remove the city attorney and city clerk
- Authorize the issuance of bonds by a bond ordinance
- Establish administrative departments, offices and agencies
- Appoint members of the city boards, commissions and committees
- Inquire into the conduct of any office, department, or agency of the city and make investigations into municipal affairs
- Provide for an independent audit
- Provide for the number, titles, qualifications, powers, duties, and compensation of all officers and employees of the city
City Council makes decisions in Council Meetings, taking into account many sources of information such as Council Committees, City staff reports, and community presentations.
City Council Meetings
Asheville City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. in the Council Chamber located on the second floor of City Hall. The meeting agenda is posted at 3 p.m. the Friday before the meeting date.
Meetings of Asheville City Council are televised live on the Asheville City Channel at the time of the meeting.
Notice: The Asheville City Channel is on Charter Cable channel 193 and on AT&T U-Verse channel 99.
To view on-demand videos, use Windows Media Player (version 8 or higher). For best results, use the Internet Explorer browser.
The City of Asheville also posts City Council Meetings to our YouTube Channel for easier viewing.
City Council Committees
City Council Committees operate as policy review and discussion arms of City Council. The committees provide an opportunity to explore implications of policy alternatives and the policy development process while serving in an advisory capacity to the City Council as a whole.
Learn more about City Council Committees.