The current City of Clinton Home Rule Charter was adopted on April 28, 1987. The Preamble to the Charter states the following:
We, the citizens of Clinton, Iowa, have adopted this Home Rule Charter based upon the following principles:
1. The government of Clinton is a representative form of government directly accountable to its citizens who all share the responsibility for it.
2. The government of Clinton and those representing it should be accessible and responsible to the people.
3. Each citizen has a right to obtain fair, equal and courteous treatment from each City official and employee.
4. The government of Clinton shall promote the health, safety and general welfare of its residents and encourage the participation of its citizens in their government in order to secure the full benefits of “Home Rule.”
The Charter provides that all powers are vested in the City Council, consisting of seven members, all elected either at-large (three positions) or by a Ward basis (four positions) on a non-partisan basis. Councilmembers serve staggered terms of four years.
The Charter also provides for a Mayor to be elected at-large to serve a four-year term. The Mayor appoints a Mayor Pro-Tempore ("Mayor Pro Tem") from the elected City Council members to serve in the absence of the Mayor.