The City of West Branch is classified as a Charter City.  This form of municipal government has a City Manager that oversees daily operations, but is actually governed by the City Council.

The City Council is made up of a Mayor, and six Council Members; three members "At Large", and three members representing different sections of the city known as "Wards".   All Council Members have equal authority and can not function solely on their own, but rather can only operate by majority vote of the entire council.

The Mayor is considered a "Weak Mayor" under political terms which in essence means they have the same voting authorities as the Council Members.  In some communities, the Mayor has the ability to veto a decision made by the council.  These Mayors are known as "Strong Mayors", and is NOT relevant to the governing body for the City of West Branch.  Although the Mayor has more responsibility to the City and its residents, this position does not hold higher authorities.

The West Branch City Council terms are 4 years for a Council Member, traditionally alternating between "At Large" & "Wards" every two years (though City of West Branch voters approved a ballot initiative in November of 2016 which will move all Council representation throughout the City to straight "At Large" representation).  The Mayor's term is 2 years and the position is on the ballot at each regular City Election.