Terrell operates under a home rule charter with a city council/city manager form of government.
The City Council determines policies and procedures for city government. The Council enacts ordinances governing city operations, sets goals and objectives for city services, and adopts the annual budget.
Residents who have lived within a council district in the City of Terrell for at least 6 months prior to the election date are eligible to run for their district’s council seat if they are U. S. citizens and registered Texas voters. (Anyone previously convicted of a felony is disqualified from running for a council seat.)