The City of Laurel operates under a Mayor – Alderman form of government. Full executive authority is vested in the Mayor, who is elected at-large for a four-year term. The Mayor presides over the meetings of the City Council and appoints and charges regular and special committees of the City Council. The Mayor is eligible to vote only in cases of a tie, but he may be heard at all times. He may veto all City Council actions, including line items within a budget resolution, and his veto may be overridden by two-thirds of the whole membership of the City Council. In November of 2007, the citizens of Laurel approved a city charter with self-governing powers. This allows for the position of Chief Administrative Officer to supervise the city’s operations.
Legislative authority is vested in the City Council, which is composed of eight aldermen or women who are elected to four-year terms by the residents of the Ward within which the respective alderman/woman resides. The City Council has management and control of the finances and property of the City. The City Council has the power to adopt ordinances and regulations consistent with state and federal law for the good government, preservation of good order, benefit of trade and commerce, protection of the quality of life within the city, and, as necessary, to carry out the purposes of the government of the City of Laurel. The City Council holds regular meetings in the City Council Chambers on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. These meetings are formal meetings, during which votes are taken on any City matters. City Council Workshops are held on the second and last Tuesdays of each month. These meetings are less formal and provide an opportunity for the Mayor, Council, and Staff to discuss City issues in more depth.