Mountain View's City Charter established a council and manager form of government. The Council is the legislative body of the City. It sets policy and establishes the City's overall priorities and direction.
The seven Councilmembers are elected at large for four-year terms that are staggered so that three or four Council seats are filled at the general municipal election in November of every even-numbered year. Service on Council is limited to two consecutive full terms. In January of each year, Council elects one of its members as Mayor and another as Vice Mayor.
The City Manager is appointed by the Council and is responsible for the administration of City business. The City Attorney, City Clerk and City Auditor are also Council appointees. These officers serve at the pleasure of the Council; all other City employees are responsible to the City Manager.