The City operates as a statutory (non-charter) city subject to the general statutes of the State, which are applicable in all municipalities in the State. In addition, the City may exercise all powers of local self-government under Article XVIII, Section 3, of the State Constitution.
The legislative authority of the City is vested in a seven-member council whose members are elected to two-year terms. The Council enacts ordinances and resolutions to provide for city services, to levy taxes, to make appropriations, to borrow money, to fix salaries of all employees of the City, whether elected or appointed, to adopt a budget and to perform such other duties and exercise such other rights as may be granted to the legislative authority of any municipality of the State. The President of Council is elected for a two-year term and presides at all regular and special meetings of the Council although he has no vote therein except in case of a tie. The President of Council also serves as the Acting Mayor in the absence or disability of the Mayor. The City is divided into four wards, each of which is represented by a member of the Council. Three members of the Council are elected from the City at large. A president Pro Tem is elected by the members of the Council to serve as the Acting President of Council in the absence or disability of the President of Council.
The chief executive officer is the Mayor, who is elected by the voters specifically to the office of Mayor for a four-year term. The Mayor appoints the Director of Public Service, the Director of Public Safety and various employees and officers of the City. The Mayor has general supervision over municipal services, streets and the Police and Fire Departments.
The Director of Law, who is elected to a four-year term, heads the Department of Law. The Director of Law serves as legal advisor and attorney for the City and performs duties as provided under the general laws of Ohio pertaining to municipal legal advisors. The Director of Law is also charged with the prosecution of all misdemeanors in the Clinton County Municipal Court. The Director of Law also serves as legal counsel to the Wilmington City School District under State laws.
The Auditor is elected for a four year term and is responsible for keeping the books of the City and exhibiting accurate statements of all monies received and expended, all property owned by the City and the income derived there from, and all taxes and assessments. The Auditor appoints the Deputy Auditor.
The Treasurer is elected for a four-year term and is generally responsible for keeping an accurate account of receipts and disbursements of all funds of the municipal corporation or any department of the City.
Boards and Commissions created by the laws of the State and the City's ordinances and resolutions include: City Income Tax Board of Review, Planning Commission, Civil Service Commission, Park Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and Design Review Board.