The City of Battle Creek, incorporated as a city in 1859 and as a Home Rule City in 1913, is located in southwest Michigan, approximately 115 miles west of Detroit and 160 miles northeast of Chicago. It is the largest city in Calhoun County, encompassing an area of 44 square miles, with a current estimated population of 52,347. The city is well-known as the breakfast food capital of the world.
The city has operated under the commission-manager form of government since 1961. Policy making and legislative authorities are vested in the City Commission, which is comprised of nine members.
The commission is responsible, among other things, for passing ordinances and resolutions, making public policy decisions, adopting the budget, appointing boards, commissions and committees, approving contracts, authorizing real estate transactions, awarding bids, selling property, and hiring the city manager and attorney.
Four commissioners are elected at-large for two-year terms, and five commissioners are elected from each of the five wards in the city, also serving two-year terms. The City Commission elects a mayor and vice mayor from among its members.
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 responsible for carrying out the policies and ordinances of the City Commission, for overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, and appointing the city's department heads.
The City of Battle Creek provides a full range of services, including:
- Economic development
- Police and fire protection
- Public transportation services
- Recreational activities
- Construction and maintenance of highways, streets, and other infrastructure
- Wastewater treatment and disposal
- Water treatment and distribution