The Town of Mahone Bay is governed by a seven-member Council consisting of Mayor and six Councillors. They are all elected at large in accordance with the Nova Scotia Municipal Elections Act. Elections are held every four years. The current council was elected in October 2012.
Day to day activities are managed by a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) who is accountable to Council. The CAO manages the staff who carry out the Town's administrative and operational functions. The CAO is accountable to Council. Councillors do not have individual authority. Authority lies with Council as a whole.
Municipalities derive their authority from Nova Scotia's Municipal Government Act (MGA). The MGA defines the roles and responsibilities of the Mayor, Council and the CAO. The functions of the municipality are to provide good government, to provide services and facilities and to provide a safe and viable community.
Council has a number of standing committees as well as ad hoc committees. The committees make recommendations to Council for its consideration. The Council, CAO and the committees are subject to various by-laws and legislation - municipal, provincial and federal.
Other legislation relating to municipal government include the Nova Scotia Municipal Elections Act, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the Police Act.