The City of Hickory operates under the council-manager form of government, which combines the political leadership of elected officials and the administrative experience of a city manager. The elected mayor and city council members represent the community, set policy, and guide the long-range vision for Hickory’s future. The city council hires a non-partisan city manager who oversees all city operations.
Hickory was the first city in North Carolina, and the third in the nation, to create and exercise the council-manager system. Since its establishment, the council-manager system has become the most popular structure of local government in the United States and is also widely used in other countries such as Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Hickory City Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building (City Hall, 76 N. Center St.) and are open to the public.