The city of Greenville was incorporated in 1831 and adopted the Council-Manager form of government in 1976. The Council-Manager form consists of an elected City Council, which is responsible for policy making, and a professional City Manager, appointed by the council, who is responsible for administration.

The City Manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of city government, handles personnel functions and is responsible for preparing the budget.

City Council is comprised of a mayor elected at-large and six council members, two of whom are elected at-large and four who are elected from their respective districts.
There are nearly 1,000 employees who work for the City of Greenville, providing a wide range of services. There are 10 principal functional areas of the City, which are designed to provide governmental services in an efficient and effective manner, while promoting quality customer service: Legislative and Administrative; Public Information & Events; Economic & Community Development; Human Resources; Office of Management & Budget; Police; Fire; Public Works; Parks & Recreation and Public Transportation.