Waterloo City Council consists of seven councillors, each representing a ward, and a mayor. The number of wards expanded from five to seven in the November 2006 elections. The current mayor of Waterloo is Brenda Halloran, who was elected in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010. The current Waterloo City Council is constituted as follows:Ward 1 (Southwest): Scott Witmer Ward 2 (Northwest): Karen Scian Ward 3 (Lakeshore): Angela Vieth Ward 4 (Northeast): Diane Freeman Ward 5 (Southeast): Mark Whaley Ward 6 (Central-Columbia): Jeff Henry Ward 7 (Uptown): Melissa Durrell
The City is responsible for fire protection, libraries, parks and recreation, and secondary streets. Many municipal services are provided through the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (often referred to as Waterloo Region or the Region of Waterloo), which consists of the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge, and the townships of Woolwich, Wilmot, Wellesley, and North Dumfries. Regional responsibilities include social welfare, community health, and policing through the Waterloo Regional Police Service.
Past and present city councils have been committed to providing for the explosive population growth that is coming with the local economic boom. Rapidly developing subdivisions are often described by their critics as urban sprawl that threatens environmentally sensitive areas and valuable agricultural land.
Federally and provincially, the entire city of Waterloo is contained within the Kitchener—Waterloo electoral district.