Ottawa was governed by a Mayor-Council system until 1913 when the City became a Commission form of government. In 1970 voters established the City Manager form of government with a five member Commission that annually selects a Mayor from its ranks. The citizens of Ottawa elect commissioners at-large. Three seats on the Commission are open every odd numbered year. Two Commissioners are elected to four-year terms and one is elected to a two-year term.
The City Commission is the legislative and policy making body of the City. Regular City Commission meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month. The first Wednesday meeting is scheduled at 7:00 p.m. and the third Wednesday is set at 9:30 a.m. The City Commission also usually meets on Monday afternoons (3 or 4 o’clock) for a work study session. Finally, the City Commission also meets in joint session with the Franklin County Commission and U.S.D. 290 School Board every third Wednesday at noon. All meetings are open to the public.