Halstead is a "city of the second class" under Kansas statutes. Halstead was incorporated as a city of the third class on March 12, 1877 and then transitioned to a city of the second class upon reaching the 2,000 population threshold and proclamation of Governor John Carlin on July 22, 1986. Although a city of the second class, Halstead has through Charter Ordinance opted to retain aspects of city of the third class governance.
Halstead operates under the Mayor-Council-Manager form of government that provides for an at-large elected Mayor, who serve a two year term, and five (5) City Council members elected at-large for staggered four or two year terms. The terms of City Council council members are determined by the vote outcome, with the two highest vote recipients being awarded four year terms and the third highest vote recipient receiving a two year term. This rotation results in three (3) council positions and the office of the mayor being voted on every two years.
Management and day-to-day operations of the city is delegated to a City Manager, who serves at the pleasure of the Governing Body.
Services provided by the City of Halstead include:
Public Safety - including 24 hour Police, Fire, EMS, and Rescue services