The City of Ogdensburg operates under the Council-Manager form of local government, which combines the strong political leadership of an elected City Council with the strong professional experience of an appointed local government administrator.
Under the Council-Manager form, power is concentrated in the elected council, which hires a professional administrator to implement its policies. This appointee serves at the pleasure of the council and has responsibility for preparing the preliminary annual budget, directing day-to-day operations, hiring and firing personnel, and serving as the council's chief policy advisor.
In Ogdensburg, the Council-Manager form of government was established on January 1, 1970, through a Charter referendum held in 1969. Ogdensburg has had six City Managers since 1970:
- Francis J. Culross Jr., 1970 - 1978
- Gerald F. Johnson, 1978 - 1983
- Daniel W. Fitzpatrick, 1983 - 1987
- John C. Krol, 1987 - 2005
- Arthur J. Sciorra, 2006 - 2012
- John M. Pinkerton, 2012 - 2015
- Sarah Purdy, 2015 -