The City of Murphysboro is governed by a Mayor, City Clerk, and a 10 member city council, with two aldermen representing each of the city's five wards for four-year terms. Five aldermen are elected every two years. The Mayor and the City Clerk are also elected for four-year terms.
The Mayor presides over all council meetings but has no vote except in case of a tie. He has the power to veto an ordinance, but the ordinance may be carried over veto by a two-thirds vote of the council.
The Mayor represents the city at official, civic and social functions and is executive head of the city. He is also required by Illinois law to serve as the city liquor commissioner. His duties involve the issuance of licenses to and the collection of fees from all licensed liquor dispensers within the corporate limits of the city. The Mayor is also in direct control of any action to revoke a license by reason of violation. With approval of the council, the Mayor appoints members of the Sallie Logan Library Board to operate the city library.
The council runs the city through committees appointed by the Mayor. The council is the general policy making body of the city, and through its legal adviser, the city attorney, drafts and puts into force the various city ordinances which regulate city activities.
The city clerk is in charge of all records and papers of the city, including all city council business. The City Clerk issues all notices, pays all city bills, receives all fees paid for various classes of licenses issued by the city, and has charge of building permits for new construction.
The city attorney represents the city in all legal matters. He is the legal adviser of the council and represents the city in any legal action. His office is appointive, and when the need arises, the council has the authority to hire special legal counsel to assist the city attorney.