The City of Glendale is a body corporate and politic with the powers of a municipality with common laws and governed by the provisions contained in the Wisconsin Statutes. The City operates under a Mayor - Common Council - Administrator form of government, which has become the traditional and dominant type of organization in the State of Wisconsin. It is used in 178 of the 188 cities in Wisconsin.
Under this form, all corporate authority is vested in the Common Council, consisting of Alderpersons elected by districts and a Mayor elected at large. The Common Council is similar to a board of directors of a corporation, in which all policy-making or legislative functions that are part of a City's government are the exclusive domain of the Council. The Council's primary business is the passage of laws in the form of ordinances or resolutions which prescribe what the law shall be, not only in relation to the particular facts existing at the time, but to all future cases under it.
The Mayor serves as the Chief Executive Officer. He is, by Wisconsin Statutes, a member of the Common Council and he presides at its meetings. He may vote in case of a tie and he has the veto authority.
The City Administrator is an appointed official and serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the City. He is responsible for the management, the direction and the coordination of the day to day administration of the City government and all its departments and agencies in accordance with the policies and laws established by the Common Council. The City Administrator is appointed for an unspecified term by the Mayor and the Common Council.
An Alderperson is responsible for representing the concerns of the district from which he or she was elected from, but in addition, they have a responsibility for the overall health, welfare and safety of the City as a whole. While an individual Alderperson has no specific authority, together as a group (functioning as the Common Council), they possess all the authority and power invested in a local government.