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Municipal Building
101 N. Main Street
Fort Atkinson WI 53538
(920) 563-7760

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The City of Fort Atkinson became a City on April 5, 1878.

What is the Council-Manager Form of Government?  
According to the International City/County Management Association*, the council-manager form of government combines the strong political leadership of elected officials with the strong managerial experience of an appointed city manager. All power and authority to set policy rests with an elected governing body, the city council. The council in turn hires a nonpartisan manager who runs the organization. Since its establishment, the council-manager form has become the most popular structure of local government in the United States. 
   
How it Works: 
The elected city council members represent their community and develop a long-range vision for its future. They establish policies that affect the overall operation of the community and are responsive to residents’ needs and wishes. To ensure that these policies are carried out and that the entire community is equitably served, the governing body appoints a professional manager on the basis of his/her education, experience, skills, and abilities (and not their political allegiances).
  
A city benefits from the council-manager form of government in a number of important ways:
  • Political power is concentrated in the entire governing body. The council performs legislative functions.
  • Policy making resides with elected officials, while oversight of the day-to-day operations of the community resides with the manager. In this way, the elected officials are free to devote time to policy planning and development.
  • The manager carries out the policies established by the elected governing body with an emphasis on effective, efficient, and equitable service delivery.

Because decisions on policy and the future of the community are made by the entire governing body rather than a single individual, council-manager governments more often engage and involve their residents in decision-making. Residents guide their community by serving on boards and commissions, participating in visioning and strategic planning, and designing community-oriented local government services.

 

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2015 Annual Report

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