Chisholm is a "Home Rule" Charter City, with a "council/mayor" form of government. This means that Chisholm determines the form and style of government.
The "mayor" is elected-at-large and serves as the chief elected officer for a four-year term of office. The mayor serves as the presiding officer at council meetings, ceremonial head of the city and is responsible for representing the city before the Minnesota Legislature, federal agencies as well as other local governments. Also, the mayor serves as the "weed inspector" and performs "ministerial duties" such as executing documents on behalf of the city. The mayor is the only city official who has the power to declare local emergencies. Election of the mayor takes place during the even numbered years.
There are five "council members" who are elected-at-large serving four-year staggered terms of office. Elections are held on the even numbered years. The City of Chisholm is a single "ward" with all citizens voting at the Chisholm Ice Arena.
The city council members' charter and statutory duties are to be performed, as a whole. The council formulates policy, exercises city policies, provides for planning and monitors the city's performance.
It is the "city administrator's" charge to serve as the chief administrative officer providing oversight for daily operations along with supervision of the city's administrative departments.
The "city attorney's" responsibilities are to provide legal services to the city council and to serve as "of counsel" to the city functions and related boards, commissions and committees.
There are several "advisory" boards and commissions that advise the city council on various matters of community interest. Chisholm's form of government was designed to encourage public participation and input. Samples are Chisholm's Recreation Board, Planning & Zoning Commission, Library Board of Trustees, Public Utilities Commission, Police Commission along with representation on the Chisholm-Hibbing Airport Commission.
The City of Chisholm has a "Chisholm City Charter Commission" that provides oversight and maintenance of the city's "Home Rule Charter". The Chisholm Charter Commission is appointed by and serves at the direction of the Chief Judge of the 6th Judicial District. Reporting of activities is annually to the judicial district court and the city council.
The City of Chisholm has 4,676 people based on the Minnesota State Demographer's Office 2007. Chisholm has 38 full time, 8 part time and 20 seasonal employees. The fire service has 30 volunteers where the ambulance