The City of Oceanside, incorporated in 1888, is a municipal corporation and has a five-member elected City Council that serves as the legislative body of the corporation. As elected officials, the Mayor and City Councilmembers serve at the pleasure of the voters and make decisions on issues and policies relating to general City operations. The City Council also serves as the Small Craft Harbor District Board of Directors, the Community Development Commission (CDC), and the Oceanside Public Financing Authority.
As a full-service City, Oceanside provides the community with such services as police, fire, library, water and sewer. In addition, the City has an airport, a small craft harbor, a municipal pier, golf courses, swimming pools and numerous parks, and community center facilities.