Commissioners are elected at large for four-year staggered terms. In November 2014, voters approved moving the municipal election date to coincide with the state general election date beginning November 2016. The state general election is held in even years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Following the election, the commission elects one of its members to serve as Mayor for a two-year term and also chooses a member to serve as Vice Mayor in the temporary absence of the Mayor.
The City operates as a home rule municipality and is governed by the City Manager-Commission form of government. The Board of Commissioners is the governing body of the City of Johnson City. The Board hires a professional city manager to manage and direct day-to-day operations of city government. Commissioners select the mayor from among their group following each election. The mayor serves as the ceremonial head of the City, presides at all City Commission meetings and represents the City of Johnson City at a variety of community and public functions.
All meetings of the Board of Commissioners are open to the public. Commissioners meet in regular session on the first and third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Municipal and Safety building, 601 E. Main Street. Special meetings may be called as needed by the mayor, two commissioners, or the city manager.
Regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Commissioners are televised live on Charter Communications channel 192 and Comcast channel 17. Meetings are retelecast on the following Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. on the same channels.
Citizens may address correspondence to the city commissioners to: Municipal and Safety Building, P.O. Box 2150, Johnson City, TN 37601.