Russell operates under the Council/Mayor/Manager form of government, a system that combines political leadership of elected officials with strong managerial experience of a professional City Manager. In this form of government, Council members are the leaders and policy makers elected to represent the citizens and concentrate on policy issues that are responsive to citizens’ needs and wishes. The Manager is hired by the City Council to carry out policies and ensure that the entire City is being served.
The Mayor presides at Council meetings, serves as spokesperson for the community, as an ambassador and defender of the community, and as a representative in intergovernmental relations. Together, the Mayor, Council and Manager form a policy development and management team.