Vision:  The City of Albany is environmentally and fiscally sound, champions a healthy local economy, fosters safe, diverse and engaged neighborhoods, and treasures its unique waterfront.

Mission:  The City of Albany is dedicated to maintaining its small town ambience, responding to the needs of a diverse community, and providing a safe, healthy, and sustainable environment.

Charter City Authority
Albany is a charter city, having adopted a charter by a vote of the electorate in April 1927. Since that time, Albany voters have amended the charter many times, but the basic form and functioning of the City have remained essentially the same. As a charter city, Albany exercises a broad scope of local authority based on its local charter. This is in contrast to a general law city, which is restricted to the exercise of powers specifically set forth in State general law.

City Council - City Manager Form of Government
The Albany City Charter establishes a City Council - City Manager form of government. Under this form of government, the Albany City council is the legislative body responsible for setting City policy. The five Council members are elected at-large by the Albany electorate for four-year staggered terms. Elections are held in even-numbered years, with three Council members elected in one cycle and two Council members elected in the alternate cycle. The City Charter limits City Council service to two consecutive terms, but allows individuals to serve again following a lapse of two years. Annually, the five City Council members select a Mayor and Vice-Mayor. The City Council members also serve as the Albany Community Reinvestment Agency, the Albany Public Facilities Financing Authority, and the Albany Municipal Services Joint Powers Authority.

The City Council appoints a City Manager, who is the administrative head of the government. The City Manager is responsible for policy implementation and management of the day-to-day operations of the City. The City Manager advises and makes recommendations to the City Council concerning any conditions or situations that require Council direction or policy determination and prepares the recommended budget for consideration and adoption by the City Council.

The Albany City Council holds regular meetings on the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m., in the Cityhall Council Chambers, 1000 San Pablo Avenue. The City Council also calls special meetings as necessary. 

Elected City Officials
In addition to the five City Council members, Albany voters elect the City Treasurer. Officials are elected for four-year terms with no limitation to the numbers of terms they may serve.

The City Treasurer is an elected part-time position that is responsible for receiving and safely keeping City funds and securities pursuant to the City Charter. In addition, the City Treasurer invests surplus City funds and advises the City Council on treasury issues. The City Treasurer also serves as a board member and Treasurer of the Police and & Fire Relief and Pension Fund, and oversees the administration of business licensing, as well as certain tax revenues.