The City of Fort Atkinson has a Council-Manager form of government.
City Manager’s Role: The city manager is hired to serve the council and the community and brings to the city the benefits of his training and experience in administering municipal projects and programs. The manager prepares a budget for the council’s consideration; recruits hires, terminates, and supervises government staff; serves as the council’s chief advisor; and carries out the council’s policies. The manager makes policy recommendations to the council for consideration and final decision. The city manager also serves as chair of the city planning commission.
City Council’s Role: The city council is the community’s legislative and policymaking body. Power is centralized in the elected council, which, for example, approves the budget and determines the tax rate. The council also focuses on the community’s goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, and capital improvement and financing. The council hires the city manager to implement the administrative responsibilities related to these goals.