The City Council is the governing body of the City of Bristol. The Council consists of 5 members, 3 of whom are elected from 3 council districts by the eligible voters of the city at large and 2 of whom are elected to at-large seats by the eligible voters of the city at large. Council members are elected on a non-partisan basis for a staggered 4 year term of office.
Annually in July, the City Council selects 1 of its members to serve as mayor for a 1 year period and 1 of its members to serve for a 1 year period as Vice-Mayor. The Mayor presides at all meetings of City Council and is the ceremonial head of the city, but has no other executive or administrative powers or duties. The Vice-Mayor serves in the absence or disability of the Mayor. As the legislative body of the city, the council is responsible for approving the appropriation of money and the collection of taxes; the approval of bonds and notes; and the enactment of laws (ordinances).