In 1953, the Arizona Legislature approved the incorporation of the City of Show Low. With this new title came a new government. Show Low has a non-partisan City Council-City Manager form of government. The mayor is elected at-large, as are the seven council members. The mayor, mostly an honorary position, serves as chair of the council and presides at civic functions.

The actual day-to-day running of the City falls on the shoulders of the city manager who is employed by the city council. The manager supervises the City, a workforce of more than 150 full-time equivalent individuals. The City also has a director of public works responsible for the Roads, Water and Sewer and Cemetery Departments.

Show Low’s Police Department is divided into two sections: Support Services, supervised by the Deputy Police Chief, and Patrol Services, supervised by the Captain. Support Services consists of the Detective Division, Prosecution, Communications, Records Division and Facility & Grounds. Patrol Services consists of Patrol Division, Training Division and Animal Control.

The City’s Public Works Department provides sewer and water services and contracts for refuse collection. City water is pumped from underground reservoirs. Private utility companies provide natural gas and electricity, and some areas of the city are serviced by private water companies.

Planning is a vital component to city life. Maintaining the City’s Master Plan, reviewing current projects, preparing studies, working with other departments of the City, providing administrative support to various committees of the City and meeting with property owners and developers to explain rules, regulations, ordinances and procedures are just a few of the duties performed by the Department of Planning.

The Parks and Recreation Department is an important ingredient to sustaining the high quality of life the citizens of Show Low enjoy. The department maintains a system of eight parks and an indoor family aquatic center, and also offers a very diverse assortment of organized recreational opportunities. Amenities within the parks include a dog park, a BMX track, a skateboard park, Frisbee golf, softball fields and basketball and tennis courts.

Business Development is housed within the city manager’s office and focuses on facilitating development activities and diversifying the local economy.

The Show Low Fire Department is a full-time department organized as an independent fire district and governed by a board of directors. The department has three fire stations within Show Low and currently employs 36 career and 15 reserve firefighters and three administrative personnel. The department’s mission is twofold: Prevention and Emergency Response. Prevention is accomplished through the education of the community; by inspection to ensure that existing structures and methods are within safety guidelines; by insuring new buildings comply with strict fire codes; and through careful inspection after a fire to determine its cause and how it may be avoided in the future. Emergency response services include paramedic engines, fire suppression, a regional Haz-Mat team, ARFF (airport rescue fire fighting), wildland fire fighting, fuel mitigation and fleet support.