Oberlin is governed under the Council-Manager form of government. Under this system of local government, the members of City Council are the community leaders and policy makers who establish a vision for Oberlin and who appoint a City Manager to carry out policy, direct the operations of the City and ensure that all residents are being equitably served. The seven Council members are elected at-large in a nonpartisan election, for a term of two years. The City Council also appoints the Finance Director, Law Director, and City Clerk.

City Offices are typically open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.