New York City Government Information: Governance

Office of the Mayor

The mayor is the ultimate executive authority in a municipality. The mayor is responsible for enacting legislation passed by the city council and will occasionally enact executive orders and other special initiatives. In New York City, mayors are democratically elected and four-year terms. NYC mayors are limited to serving two terms. 

For information on the current mayor, visit the Office of the Mayor
For information on previous mayors, see the Mayoral Collections archives of the NYC Records & Information Services. 


New York City Council

The New York City Council is New York City’s legislative body. The Council is responsible for writing and voting on city laws, negotiating the city's budget, monitoring the effectiveness of city agencies and guiding the growth and development of the New York City. The Council is made up of 51 members, representing districts from all five city boroughs. Council elections are held every four years. 

For current information about the budget, council members and council committees, visit the New York City Council
For records related to upcoming and previous council activity, please visit the Legislative Calendar (1998 to the present). Includes meeting minutes and videos. 

Boroughs of New York City

New York City is composed of five boroughs. Each borough operates independently of one another while convening together through the City Council to organize on shared services, budgets, and governance that impacts the city as a whole. Each borough has an elected borough president who is responsible for managing the internal operations of the borough while New York City Council members represent a borough's constituents to New York City as a whole.


  • Independent Budget Office
    The New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO) is a publicly-funded agency established in 1996 to enhance official and public understanding of the largest municipal budget in the country. IBO is modeled after the Congressional Budget Office and the State of California's Legislative Analyst's Office.
  • Office of Management and Budget, including:
  • Budget Publications
    Includes the Financial Plan, Adopted Budget, Executive Budget, Ten-Year Capital Strategy, Capital Commitment Plan, Asset Information Management System (AIMS) Report, and Monthly Report on Current Economic Conditions.
    • Manual for Participation in the Budget Process.
      New York, NY : Office of Management and Budget, 1997.
      Call Number: HJ9289.N4 N49 1997g
  • Commentaries on the New York City Budget
    • City Council Budget
      The Council's role in the budget process
    • New York City Fiscal Oversight
      From the NYS Office of the Comptroller -- mostly budget-related
    • Tax & Budget Analysis
      From the Fiscal Policy Institute
    • Citizen Budget Commission
      The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic organization whose mission is to achieve constructive change in the finances and services of New York City and New York State government.  Our mission is rooted in serving the citizenry at large, rather than narrow special interests; preserving public resources, whether financial or human; and focusing on the well-being of future New Yorkers, the most underrepresented group in city and state government.

Accountability & Oversight

The Mayor's Management Report serves as a public account of the performance of City agencies. The report is released twice a year. The current MMR and reports dating back to 1997 are available online. For reports from 1997 to the present, see the Mayor's Management Report publishing by the Mayor's Office of Operations. 

Office of the Comptroller of New York City

Public Advocate
The public advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation. The public advocate also serves as an ombudsman for city government, providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address perceived shortcomings or failures of those services. Along with the Mayor and the Comptroller, the public advocate is one of three municipal offices elected by all the city's voters. In the event of a vacancy or incapacity of the mayor, the public advocate is first in line to become mayor.

Laws & Statutes

The New York City Charter is a legal document outlining how the city is organized, governed, and the extent and/or limitations of the power of the City on its residents and other invested parties. It is the most important legal document of a city. 

The New York City Administrative Code outlines the legal obligations of any person or entity living or conducting business within New York City.  The administrative code outlines the local laws of New York City. 

The Rules of New York City outlines the obligations and operations of city personnel and agencies. They define the services provided and the extent to which these services are to be rendered. Essentially, they define the legal obligations of city agencies to its constituents.