Sanford City Government

City government traditionally provides basic services to residents, such as police and fire protection, solid waste services, and building permits and inspections. The City of Sanford also has a long-standing commitment to providing other amenities to enrich the quality of life of all residents. The foundation for this commitment is our government structure. 

See the City of Sanford’s Strategic Framework here.

Council-Manager Form of Government

In Sanford's council-manager form of government, voters elect the City Council which appoints the City Manager to run the operations of the organization. The City Manager role includes managing the budget, overseeing personnel, and making recommendations to council. Learn more about the City Manager's Office here.

Cityhall EntranceThe council-manager format is similar to the organization of a business corporation: voters (stockholders) elect the council (board of directors), including the mayor (chairman of the board), which, in turn, appoints the manager (chief executive officer).

The City Manager, City Clerk, and City Attorney operate from the upper floor of the Sanford Municipal Center, located at 225 E. Weatherspoon Street. 

The lower floor of the building houses the Sanford Police Department.

The Role of Sanford City Council

City Council is the legislative and policy-making body for Sanford and is the final authority on city matters. The council:

  • appoints the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk and members of boards, committees and commissions
  • approves the annual budget
  • authorizes contracts on the city’s behalf
  • enacts ordinances, resolutions and orders
  • establishes general city policies

Council Composition

The City Council consists of the Mayor and seven Council members. Five Council members represent specific wards and two are at-large. Terms last four years and are staggered, with elections every two years. More information is available here.

View contact information for the Sanford City Council here.

Voting and the Ward System

The residency ward system of selecting City Council members provides representation from different areas of the city. The concept means the Council candidate must live in the ward he or she seeks to represent. Only voters within that ward may vote for the candidate.

At-large Council candidates and candidates for Mayor may live anywhere within the city limits. All voters in the city limits are able to cast a vote for at-large candidates and for the Mayor.

Council Meetings

City Council holds public meetings and work sessions to discuss and make decisions on City business and issues, and to hear public comment.

Regular meetings are held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Sanford Municipal Center, located at 225 E. Weatherspoon Street in Sanford. Any public hearings on the agenda are held at 6:00 p.m. 

Workshops are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in the West End Conference Room of the Sanford Municipal Center.

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

Public Participation

The public is welcome to attend the meetings in the Council Chambers, watch the meeting televised on Sanford TV191 on Spectrum or view the meeting online. More information is available here.

Public comment is open during the first meeting of each month. Please register with the City Clerk at least 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

To speak during a public hearing, you must register at least 10 minutes prior to the hearing.

Boards, Committees, and Commissions

Sanford City Council appoints residents to serve on boards, committees, and commissions to help make decisions that better the lives of all residents. Typically, candidates must:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • be registered to vote in Lee County; and
  • reside within Sanford's city limits.

Learn more about the City's boards and current vacancies here.

Stay Informed

An important step in civic participation is to stay informed on City of Sanford activities and issues. Below are several resources to learn about current City news and events.