The City of Aiken operates under the Council-Manager form of government, an organizational framework which has grown widely in popularity since its inception in the 1910's. Aiken first approved the Council-Manager form of government in 1955, and subsequent changes to the state legislation in the early 1970's mirrored the City of Aiken's Council-Manager Plan. Under the Council-Manager Plan, the City Council serves as the Board of Directors for the city, with the Mayor acting as Chief Executive Officer. City Council sets policy guiding the city's growth, development, and future. The City Manager serves as the Chief Administrative Officer, much like the President of a corporation. Under this role, the City Manager is responsible for daily operations, including hiring and firing of all employees, as well as the efficient and effective use of funds approved by the City Council through the annual budget. The primary reason for the existence of municipal government is to provide services to the taxpayer that the taxpayers cannot provide for themselves. The services of the City can be readily observed in action, but the typical citizen is generally unaware of the scope of city services, and the scope and role of the advisory boards and committees.