Formed in 1789, the City of Statesville operates under the council-manager form of government. The City Council acts as the legislative body in establishing policy and law and the City Manager handles the day-to-day management of the City organization. The Mayor and City Council serve part-time and are elected on a non-partisan basis. The Mayor is elected at-large (city-wide) for a four-year term and serves as the presiding officer at city council meetings and as the official head of the city for ceremonial purposes. The City Council appoints a professional City Manager, who serves as the Council's chief adviser, and the City Manager appoints the employees of the City.
The City Manager is the CEO of the City government and is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the City. When the City Council makes a decision on an ordinance, law, or policy, the City Manager is responsible for implementing those policies. The Manager coordinates the operations of all City departments and is responsible for the preparation of a proposed operating budget and its presentation to the City Council. This annual budget, as adopted by Council, provides funding, staffing, and general guidance to the City departments for the fiscal year.
Statesville is public power community, providing electrical service to more than 13,000 customers. It operates both a full-time police and fire departments. Other departments include: Statesville Regional Airport, Statesville Civic Center, Planning & Zoning, Finance, Water/Sewer Maintenance & Treatment, Public Utilities and Recreation & Parks.