Escondido is a general law city governed by a five-member City Council. The Mayor and the City Treasurer are directly elected at large. The City of Escondido has been divided into four (4) districts, which shall be used for all regular elections of Council members; for the recall of any Council member elected; for the appointment of any new Council member to fill a vacancy in the office of member of the Council; and for any special election to fill a vacancy in the office of member of the Council.
The term of office for each member is four years with staggered terms. The Mayor is the presiding officer of the City Council, City as Successor Agency to the Community Development Commission, Mobilehome Rent Review Board and Escondido Joint Powers Financing Authority.