The City of Arroyo Grande has a Council-Manager form of government. The citizens of Arroyo Grande elect a mayor and four council members. Elections are held every two years. Council members serve staggered four-year terms and the mayor is elected every two years.

Mayor & Council

The mayor is the ceremonial head of the city, chairs council meetings, and serves as a voting member of the City Council. Council Members alternate each year serving as mayor pro-tem, who fills in for the mayor in his absence.

City Manager & City Attorney

The City Council appoints a city manager and a city attorney to oversee the administration of the city. As a full-service city, the city manager appoints professionals to direct departments responsible for a wide variety of services provided to the community.

Council-Manager Form of Government

The Council-Manager form of government is structured similar to a private corporation. The City Council’s role is similar to that of a Board of Directors and the city manager serves as the chief executive officer, with citizens acting as the shareholders.

The City Council is responsible for establishing policy direction, overall goals, adopting laws and regulations, and approving the city’s budget.

The city manager is responsible for implementing the policy direction of the City Council, overseeing daily operations and staff of the organization, and developing recommendations for council consideration.


The City Council, city manager, and staff share an ongoing commitment to professionalism, responsiveness to the community, and decision making focused on addressing both current and future needs. The city takes pride in its record of addressing financial challenges in a prudent and responsible manner, while dedicating itself to maintaining critical services the community depends upon and protecting the community’s heritage, natural resources, and quality of life.