The City of Parsons operates under the commission-manager form of government, where the city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city and is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the City Commission. The city manager is directly responsible for the daily operation and administration of the city organization, and hires employees to aid in these functions. Employees are divided into departments, with each headed by a director appointed by the city manager.
There are five city commissioners, with elections being held on odd-numbered years. At each election three commissioners are elected with the two elected commissioners receiving the highest number of votes receiving four-year terms and the other elected commissioner receiving a two-year term