Santa Cruz began its municipal life as a town in 1866, and then received its first city charter in 1876. In 1907, the citizens voted for a new charter with the mayor as chief executive and a seven-member city council. In 1948, Santa Cruz established a council-manager form of government, with a mayor and six councilmembers setting policy for the city and a city manager serving as the chief administrator. In 2022, the city went through another major shift, changing to by-district representation and a direct mayoral election.

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City Council

The Santa Cruz City Council is switching from at-large to district-based council elections.
Given that past councils have been dominated by westsiders, it will be interesting to see what changes occur once city residents are represented according to geographically set districts.

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Planning Commission

The Santa Cruz Planning Commission meets on the first and third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. Details on how the public can watch, listen and comment online are available on the commission’s web page.

Recent Announcements

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Over $760,000 in Grant Funding for Community Organizations Helping Santa Cruz Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 16, 2024 Contact: Amanda Rodriguez, Community Relations Specialist, arodriguez@santacruzca.gov Santa Cruz, California - The City of Santa Cruz Children's Fund Oversight Committee is thrilled to offer grant funding to...
02/16/2024

Santa Cruz Water Dept To Move Forward With Three ‘Climate Resilient Santa Cruz’ Projects In 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 11, 2024 Contacts: Amanda Rodriguez, Community Relations Specialist, arodriguez@santacruzca.gov Santa Cruz, California - In the face of threats from severe wildfires, longer droughts, record rainfall from...
01/11/2024

City Welcomes Applications for Master Recycler Volunteer Training Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2024 Contacts: Janice Bisgaard, Community Relations Specialist, (831) 420-5166 Leslie O’Malley, Waste Reduction Manager, (831) 420-5593 SANTA CRUZ,...
01/09/2024

Related News

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Good Times logo From Good Times...

02/21/2024
Image for display with article titled Cruz Hotel Approved by Planning Commission

The Santa Cruz Planning Commission approved the first downtown hotel north of Laurel Street in Santa Cruz in over 90 years. Two city-owned lots will be merged with three private parcels on Front Street for the six-story hotel with 232 rooms.

Santa Cruz Local logo From Santa Cruz Local...

02/16/2024
Image for display with article titled Front Street Hotel Proposal Moves Ahead in Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Planning Commission advanced a plan to build a hotel at Front and Laurel Streets with 232 rooms and ground-floor shops, a restaurant, a bar and a cafe.

Good Times logo From Good Times...

02/15/2024
Image for display with article titled Santa Cruz District 5 City Council Candidate: Susie O’Hara

Over the last 15 years, Susie O’Hara worked for the city of Santa Cruz as water commissioner and as program manager for the city manager’s office.

Good Times logo From Good Times...

02/15/2024
Image for display with article titled Santa Cruz District 5 City Council Candidate: Joe Thompson

Joe Thompson previously ran for California’s 28th congressional district in 2022, but lost to former Santa Cruz County clerk Gail Pellerin.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

02/03/2024
The Santa Cruz Planning Commission voted unanimously to renew a controversial RV overnight street-parking ban for at least the coming five years, several months ahead of its expiration.
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