Under the council-manager format, the City Council is the official and legally constituted legislative body for the City of Brea. It sets all policy necessary for the provision of public services to the Brea community and adopts ordinances and resolutions as expressions of those policies. The City Council hires the city manager, a trained professional in the administration of municipal corporations, who implements council policy through the various city operating departments. The council also appoints the city attorney to provide counsel on city matters.
Incorporated in 1917, Brea is governed by a five-member City Council elected from the city at large to serve one four-year term. Elections are held every two years (in the even numbered years) to fill alternately two and three seats. Each year, the council elects one of its members to serve a one-year term as mayor.
Members of the Planning Commission, Cultural Arts Commission, Traffic Committee, and Parks, Recreation, and Human Services Commission are appointed by members of the council. There are also numerous committees and citizen advisory groups that allow input from the community.