An incorporated city (municipality) is a self-governing entity separate from county government.  There are numerous ways to organize this municipality.  The organization is dependent on what the local population desires in their system of government.

Although it cannot directly challenge state regulations, city government can deliver all services associated with urban living and set their own regulations in relation to zoning and building codes, waste disposal, capital investment, economic enterprise etc.  It can court businesses and develop its own tax incentives.  The municipality has control of its branding, economic growth and responsiveness to its residents.

There are several forms of typical organization for city governments.  The following descriptions are commonly used forms according to the 2013 Manual of Municipal Government from Florida League of Cities.  The full manual can be accessed here

Council-Weak Mayor Form

"The council retains collective control over administration, including appointment and dismissal of municipal employees and appointment to boards and commissions.  The mayor's authority is little, if any, greater than that of other council members."     
Council-Strong Mayor Form "...there is a distinct division of powers between the council and the mayor.the mayor is the chief executive, that is, the mayor has substantial influence in the policy-making process and substantial control over administration"
Commission Form "The commission form combines both executive and legislative powers in a governing board, the commission. There is no single executive, rather, the commissioners. who serve collectively as the policy making body...."  Charlotte County form.
Council Manager Form "...the prevailing norms in the council-manager forms, are administrative competence and efficiency.  The manager is the chief administrative officer of the city.  The manager supervises and coordinates departments, appoints and removes their directors, prepares the budget for council consideration, and makes reports and recommendations to the council."  Punta Gorda form

We have the opportunity to reframe our outlook of who we want to be and how can we achieve it?  It will no longer become what the county government has done to us but rather, what can we do for ourselves?

Setting up a new city with a population as large as Port Charlotte is a daunting task but with the talent and comittment of residents, we can make our dream a reality.