The city council is composed of a common council (five members from each ward, elected for two years) and of a board of aldermen (three members from each ward to be elected for four years).
The same year he was elected sheriff of New York county, then a lucrative post because of the system of fees (later abolished), and in 1917 president of the Board of Aldermen of New York City.
Mayor, comptroller and president of the board of aldermen form a board of estimate and apportionment.
The city is governed by a board of aldermen and a mayor (elected biennially), who appoints most of the officials, the street and water board being the principal exception.
Under a charter of 1899, as amended afterwards, the city government, which has almost entirely superseded the town government, is in the hands of a mayor, who holds office for two years and appoints most of the administrative officers, except a board of aldermen (of whom each has a two-year term, six are chosen from the city at large and the others one each from each ward, the even-numbered wards electing their representatives one year and the odd-numbered the next), a city clerk, controller, sheriff, treasurer and tax collector, all chosen by popular vote, and an assistant clerk, appointed by the board of aldermen.