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City of Davis Municipal Government

Cities are “local” governments, voluntarily formed by and for their citizens, to provide for local self-determination of community issues. The City of Davis is a municipal corporation operating under the general laws of the State of California. It endeavors to create a livable community with a high quality of life through land-use policies and service provision that balance the need for housing, jobs, open space, and essential services. The City is a legally separate and fiscally independent agency. It can issue debt, set and modify budgets, collect fees for services, and sue or be sued.

Davis operates under the Council-Manager form of government with a five-member council, elected at large by city residents. The City Manager serves as the administrative head of city government overseeing the departments of Fire, Police, Parks and Community Services, Administrative Services, Community Development and Sustainability, Public Works Engineering and Transportation, and Public Works Utilities and Operations.

The primary government of the City of Davis includes the activities of the City as well as the Public Facilities Financing Authority.

The Public Facilities Financing Authority was established solely to assist in the issuance of certain bonds for a series of Community Facilities Districts for the construction of infrastructure and improvements under the State Mello-Roos Act. The authority is controlled by and financially dependent on the City. Its financial activities are included in the capital projects and fiduciary funds of the City, and are reported as part of the City's budget.

The City previously operated the Davis Redevelopment Agency. In 2012, the State of California dissolved all local redevelopment agencies. Since then, the Redevelopment Agency has been winding down operations, overseen by the Davis Redevelopment Successor Agency Oversight Board.

Dedicated to citizen participation, the City has fourteen council-appointed commissions that are devoted to various aspects of community life including such elements as planning, recreation, finance and budget and economic development, natural resources and university student relations. In addition, the City Council periodically creates committees to address specific projects or concerns, and participates in regular "2x2" meetings with other agencies and organizations, such as the Davis Joint Unified School District Board of Education and the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

As a “general-purpose” city, Davis provides essential frontline municipal services. The City funds these activities through a variety of locally enacted revenues (parcel taxes, user and license fees, etc.) and with state shared revenues (property tax, sales tax, and motor vehicle license fees).

View an interactive map of the city.