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The City of San Clemente, most commonly referred to as the“Spanish Village by the Sea,” is the southernmost city in Orange County and home to 65,975 residents. The city was founded and incorporated in 1928 and now spans 18.7 square miles over rugged hills, coastal canyons, and majestic coastline. The city’s Spanish heritage is proudly displayed in its architecture, and its popular beaches promote a healthy outdoor lifestyle with surfing at its core. The city boasts “the world’s best climate” as San Clemente enjoys roughly 300 days of sunshine per year and an average annual temperature of 73°. The many residents and visitors to the city enjoy 26 community parks, 6.8 miles of ridgeline trails, 2.3 miles of coastal trails, several championship golf courses, and over 20 acres of beautiful beaches.

San Clemente operates under a City Council / City Manager form of government.

The City Council consists of five members, elected at-large, for four-year overlapping terms of office. Non-partisan City elections are held in November of even-numbered years for Council Members.  The City Council acts as the legislative body, to set policy, approve the budget, pass local laws which are incorporated into the Municipal Code, and to give direction on matters concerning the City.

The City Manager supervises and directs the administration of the various City departments; presents recommendations and information to enable the City Council and the Oversight Board to make decisions on matters of policy; coordinates the City's working relationship with external agencies and organizations; oversees the planning and funding of major city projects; serves as a liaison to improve communications between the City Administration, community organizations and citizens; prepares the News for City Hall quarterly publications; and works to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction with City services.

The City Departments include the City Clerk, Beaches, Parks & Recreation, Community Development, Finance & Administrative Services and Public Works.  The City also contracts police and fire services with the Orange County Sherriff's Department and Orange County Fire Authority.  More detail to the structure of the City's services can be found in the Organizational Chart.