Founded in the late 1880s, Huntington Beach was incorporated as a Charter City in 1909. Huntington Beach has a City Council/City Manager form of government. The City Council has seven members, each of whom are elected to four-year terms.
City Council Members are limited to two consecutive terms. The position of Mayor is filled by Council Members on a rotating basis. There are three elected department heads: the City Attorney, City Clerk and City Treasurer.
The City of Huntington Beach is a full-service charter city, comprised of 200,000 civic-minded residents, 1,500 full-time and part-time City employees working across 12 City departments. Its major departments include the City Manager's office, City Attorney's Office, City Clerk's Office, City Treasurer's Office, Community Development, Community and Library Services, Finance, Fire, Human Resources, Information Services, Police, and Public Works. The city operates with a total annual budget of more than $500 million.
Most recently in 2021, WalletHub ranked the City of Huntington Beach #1 "best-run city" in the State of California and one of the top three "Best Cities to Live In" by the Orange County Register for the past six consecutive years.