In 1968, the governments of Duval County and the City of Jacksonville consolidated. However, four communities - Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and the City of Baldwin (west Duval County) elected to maintain their own governments.
The City of Jacksonville Beach is governed by an independent municipal government but is part of Duval County. The county provides or funds certain services such as beach re-nourishment, cleanup and some rescue services. Jacksonville Beach residents vote for the mayor of Jacksonville as well as representatives to the Jacksonville City Council and the Duval County School Board in addition to their own Mayor and City Council members.
The City of Jacksonville Beach operates under a Council-Manager form of government, the most common form of government for small cities in the United States. It is designed to operate like a corporation: the City Council acting as the Board of Directors and the City Manager as the Chief Operating Officer.
Policy making and legislative authority rests with a seven-member City Council consisting of a Mayor, three council members elected at-large, and three Council members elected by district for staggered four-year terms.
The three Council members elected by district are elected only by citizens living in a geographic district and must live in the district they represent. The mayor and other three council members are elected at-large by all voters living in Jacksonville Beach. The Council is responsible for determining policy, passing ordinances, adopting the annual budget, appointing committees, and appointing the City Manager and City Attorney.
The City Council meets at City Hall, 11 North Third Street, on the first and third Monday of every month except January and July, when it meets on the third Monday only. If a holiday falls on a normal meeting day, the meeting is held on the following day.
The City Manager, George D. Forbes, as the Chief Operating Officer of the city, is charged with carrying out the policies made by Council and managing the day-to-day operations of the city. He prepares the annual budget for Council approval and hires City employees.