The City of Charlestown is classified as a third-class city located in Southern Indiana.
The Indiana State Legislature provides for the following elected positions in a third-class city: a mayor, a clerk-treasurer, and a part-time city council. The mayor functions as the city’s executive branch while the city council is the city’s legislative body. In Charlestown, the city council consists of five members; four representing voting districts and one at-large member.
Cities have been given certain powers by the General Assembly. These powers are referred to as “home rule”. The General Assembly recognized that local governments are run by local officials who are capable, and perhaps in a better position to make local decisions and should have the power to do what is necessary to conduct municipal affairs. These powers are defined in the Indiana Code, most being found in Title 36 of said code.
Municipal Officials, Boards, and Commissions
The government of cities is divided between the mayor and the common council. The mayor – through the board of public works and the city department heads – exercise the executive authority of the city and is primarily concerned with its day-to-day operation. The common council holds the city legislative or law-making authority (through ordinances) and appropriation of monies for the city.