Grand Rapids Voters adopted the Commission-Manager form of government in 1916. This means that City leadership is made up of elected officials and the City Manager. The City Commission is a legislative body. Its members are the community’s policy-makers. The Commission hires the Manager to serve as the City’s chief administrator. For more info, you can view the City of Grand Rapids Charter online.
The Mayor is the official head of the City and presides at meetings of the City Commission’s decisions. This person is elected “at large,” or by the entire City. This legislative body for the Commissioners consists of the Mayor and six Commissioners. They are all elected by wards, two from each of the City’s three wards. The Commissioners serve four-year overlapping terms. Every two years, the community elects one commissioner from each ward.