City governments are required to fill a variety of functions which state and federal governments relegate to them. The City of Santa Cruz fulfills many services, such as police, fire

City Government

Services and Departments

  • Santa Cruz County Animal Services Joint powers authority that provides animal patrol, licensing, and shelter services.
  • City Attorney The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council and represents the City of Santa Cruz in all legal proceedings. He or she advises the City Council, City administrative staff, and City advisory bodies on a variety of legal matters.
  • City Clerk City Clerk is appointed by the City Council and is the elections official for the City. Primary areas of responsibility carried out in the City Clerk's Department are Council Meeting process and functions, information and records management programs, city advisory body matters, public bid openings, liability claims processing, and filings required under the Political Reform Act.
  • Santa Cruz Public Library Public library for Santa Cruz County. The Library operates ten branches located from LaSelva Beach to Boulder Creek, a bookmobile, and it has outreach services for both children and seniors.
  • City Manager The City Manager is appointed by and reports directly to the City Council. The City Manager is responsible for the overall administration of the City and for seeing that City Council policies are carried out.
  • Finance Department Administration of the City's financial matters is the responsibility of the Finance Department. The Director of Finance is the chief financial officer of the City and advises the City Manager and the City Council on financial matters.
  • Fire Department The Fire Department's primary function is to protect life and property from loss by fire through fire fighting and fire prevention activities which include the enforcement of fire-related federal, state and local codes. The department also provides rescue and first-aid service during emergency and disaster situations.
  • Human Resources Department The Human Resources Department coordinates services and programs which assist City departments in developing and maintaining a qualified, effective and diverse workforce and provides employment-related services to the City's 841 employees and to job applicants.
  • Independent Police AuditorThe Independent Police Auditor is responsible for reviewing citizen complaint reports against the Santa Cruz Police Department and evaluating Police policies and procedures regarding complaint investigations.
  • Municipal Utilities Santa Cruz Municipal Utilities (SCMU) provides customer service for water, sewer, refuse and recycling services to the residents and businesses of the City of Santa Cruz, and services for water only to the unincorporated surrounding areas. Utility service representatives are available to answer your questions and provide assistance with your services. The office, located at 809 Center Street, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation The City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for the administration of public park land, open space, recreation facilities and a comprehensive program of leisure activities within the City of Santa Cruz.

Department of Planning and Community Development

  • Building Division This division administers the Uniform Building Code and other codes and regulations relating to construction.
  • Housing and Community Development Division The HCD Division is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and goals contained in the Housing Element of the City's General Plan.
  • Code Compliance Division The Code Compliance Division's mission is to ensure a safe, clean, attractive, and healthy living environment in the City of Santa Cruz.
  • Santa Cruz Police Department The SCPD is a progressive, community-oriented agency. We continually strive to improve and adapt to meet our community's changing needs.
  • Public Works Department The Public Works Department provides the city with a variety of services including engineering design, traffic engineering and maintenance, stormwater management, street maintenance, resource recovery management, wastewater management, flood control and parking control.
  • Landfill and Recycling Center Maintains the recycling center and landfill.
  • Traffic Engineering Division The Traffic Engineering Division performs traffic engineering studies and projects, operates all downtown parking facilities, the wharf gate, parking control, and maintains street markings, street signs, street lights and traffic signals.
  • Wastewater Treatment Facility The Wastewater Treatment Facility Division maintains and operates the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
  • Purchasing Division The objective of the Purchasing Division is to conduct all purchasing in accordance with the City of Santa Cruz Charter. Essentially, we seek to obtain the necessary quantity and quality of products or services required at the lowest price.
  • Redevelopment Agency Redevelopment is a process created through State of California legislation to assist city and county governments in eliminating blight from a designated area, and to achieve desired development, reconstruction, and rehabilitation including residential, commercial, industrial, and retail land uses.
  • Water Department The Water Department provides a safe, clean and continuous supply of water for municipal and fire protection services that meets or exceeds local, State and Federal standards for public health and environmental quality. Water is produced from several sources, treated and distributed from the Water Treatment Plant throughout the service area which stretches from just below Davenport to 41st Avenue and from Henry Cowell Redwood State Park to the Monterey Bay. The department maintains the distribution system and the individual water meters.

Advisory Bodies

Measures, Laws and Ordinances

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