The City of Laguna Woods is a general law city with a Council-Manager form of government, meaning that it operates within the parameters of California municipal law with an elected City Council as its legislative body. The City Council appoints and supervises a professional City Manager who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City and implementation of the City Council’s ordinances, regulations, and policy direction. The City Council also appoints a City Attorney to serve as the City’s legal counsel.
The five members of the City Council are residents of Laguna Woods who are elected by registered voters to four-year terms. Elections occur “at-large” (citywide) in even-numbered years with two and then three members of the City Council elected at subsequent elections. All five offices are nonpartisan.
The City Council appoints a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem from amongst its membership to preside over City Council meetings, execute certain legal instruments and authorizations, and attend to various representative and ceremonial matters. The Mayor Pro Tem serves as the Mayor in their absence.
The City has nine and nine-twentieths full-time equivalent employees who are responsible for delivering a full range of municipal services. The City operates as a “contract city,” meaning that its small staff leverage the resources of a variety of contract, franchise, and joint powers agencies to provide efficient, effective, and economical services. If the City were a “full service city,” those services would be provided by City employees, often at higher costs and with considerably greater liability. While contract service providers may charge the City for current year liabilities, the City’s contract service arrangements do not result in the assumption of any other agency’s long-term retirement or other post-employment benefit liabilities.