Founded in 1857, the city has a total area of 42 square miles. The Mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms. Each ward has two representatives whose terms are staggered by two years.
In 2019, Government Technology announced that the City of Shawnee had been named to the Top Ten “Digital Cities Survey from the Center for Digital Government.” The City of Shawnee has made this prestigious listing six out of the past seven years. In addition to that recognition, the City of Shawnee was listed in 2019 and 2010 by Money Magazine in its annual “Best Places to Live” survey, placing 17th in the United States ranking.