The City of Buena Vista is governed by a six-member City Council and a mayor, all elected by city residents.

The City Manager oversees the daily operations and police protection is provided by 14 officers with support from 14 additional state police assigned to the Rockbridge area.

The Buena Vista Volunteer Fire Department provides Fire Protection and the Buena Vista Volunteer Rescue Squad provides emergency first aid.

Numerous boards, commissions and committees provide additional assistance to the residents of Buena Vista.