In Rutherfordton, the Mayor and Town Council serve part-time and are elected on a non-partisan basis. The Mayor is elected for a four-year term and serves as the presiding officer at Town Council meetings and as the official head of the Town for ceremonial purposes. The four Town Council Members are elected at-large for staggered four-year terms.
Under the council-manager form of government, the Town Council acts as the legislative body in establishing policy and law, while the Town Manager handles the day-to-day management of the Town organization. The Town Council appoints a professional Town Manager, who serves as the Council’s chief adviser, and the Town Manager appoints the employees of the Town.