Bellevue operates under the council-manager form of local government, which combines the political leadership of elected officials in the form of a City Council, with the managerial experience of a local government manager, the City manager.  The City Council members are the leaders and policy makers elected to represent the community and to concentrate on policy issues that are responsive to citizens’ needs and wishes. The City Manager carries out policy. The City Council is the legislative body; it's members are the community’s decision makers. Power is centralized in the elected council, which approves the budget and determines the City portion of the tax rate, for example. The Council also focuses on the community’s goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning.