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The City of Cape Coral operates under the Council-Manager form of government. City council members are elected at large from seven districts. The mayor also is elected at large and is the eighth member of the council. The mayor presides over council meetings.

The City Council is the legislative body of the City. Their power and authority are identified in the state constitution, state law, and city charter. Their primary responsibilities include creating public laws (ordinances) and policies (resolutions). They adopt an annual budget and manage the use of public funds. They also adopt the City’s comprehensive land use plan or comp plan. 

The mayor presides at all City Council meetings, is the chief elected officer, and serves as the ceremonial head of the government. The mayor’s powers are similar to other council members as he is a voting member of the Cape Coral City Council.

The Council appoints the City Manager, City Auditor, and City Attorney, as well as the members of all boards and commissions. The City Manager hires all department directors and oversees the day-to-day operations of the city.