The City of Fredericksburg has operated under the Council-Manager form of government since 1912. Under this model, policy making and legislative authority are vested in the City Council, consisting of the Mayor and six Council Members. The Mayor and two Council Members are elected at-large, and the remaining four Council Members are each elected to represent one of four wards. Council Members and the Mayor serve staggered, four-year terms with elections held in May every two years.
The Mayor and Council Members are responsible, among other things, for adopting ordinances and resolutions, adopting an annual budget, appointing certain officials of boards and committees, and affirming the appointment of the City Manager, City Attorney, and the Clerk of the Council. The City Manager, as the chief administrative officer of the local government, carries out policy set by the City Council and administers city programs. All non-Constitutional department heads are hired by and are responsible to the City Manager.