The City of Moorhead is a home rule charter city operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The City Council provides for policy and legislative decisions, and the City Manager is responsible for the operation and administration of day-to-day city affairs.

Home Rule Charter City

As a home rule charter city, Moorhead is governed by the Moorhead City Charter. The charter is, in effect, a local constitution. It outlines the form of government and the range of local powers and functions.

The Moorhead City Charter may be amended. Amendments may originate from:

  • The Moorhead Charter Commission whose function is to study the local charter and government
  • A petition signed by at least 10% of registered voters, according to the last annual city election
  • A unanimous vote of the Mayor and City Council members

Council-Manager Form of Government

The City Manager is directly responsible to the Mayor and City Council and is appointed to the position on the basis of professional qualification; it is not a political appointment. Under Moorhead’s Council-Manager form of government, the City Manager ensures that the City's operations run smoothly. As Moorhead's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the City Manager serves as the principal advisor to the Mayor and City Council. The duties of the City Manager are outlined in the Moorhead City Charter.

Council Composition

The Moorhead City Council is comprised of nine members, one Mayor and eight Council Members. Two Council Members represent each of the four wards of the City. The terms of the office of Mayor and Council Members are four years and until a successor is elected and qualifies for office. One Council Member must be elected from each ward every two years. City elections are held in even-numbered years.