The city is led by a five-member elected Council, which sets policy and determines the long-term vision for the city. The Council appoints a City Manager to handle the daily business affairs, and a City Attorney to provide legal advice. This system is called a Council-Manager form of local government. Each Council member has one vote, including the Mayor, so legislative authority is equally spread among all five members.
Port St. Lucie City Council members must live in the district they represent, however residents throughout the city vote for every City Council seat, no matter which district. The Mayor is elected at-large in a citywide election and can live anywhere in the city. Like in the Council elections, all voters can vote in the mayoral election.
The Mayor and the other four City Council members serve 4-year terms. The District 1, District 3 and Mayoral seat will be up for election in November 2014. The next District 2 and District 4 seat elections are scheduled for 2016. There are no term limits for any City Council seat.
The city provides most traditional municipal services through several specialized city departments, which are directed by department heads. The department heads are appointed by and report directly to the City Manager. Major services include law enforcement (Police Department), water and sewer (Utilities Systems), Parks and Recreation, roads and drainage (Public Works), building inspections (Building), and several others.
Fire and rescue services in the city are provided by the St. Lucie County Fire District, which is a completely separate government entity from the city. Public schools in Port St. Lucie are run by the School Board of St. Lucie County.