Arkansas City Form of Government
By election of the people the City of Arkansas City adopted the Commission-Manager form of government in 1930. The Commission-Manager plan is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of locally elected City Commissioners with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The plan establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council as a whole and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the management of the City’s operations and its delivery of public services, including policy decisions of the City Commission.
This form of local government started as a reform movement in the 1920s as a means to clean up city government from the patronage politics of the old ward party and elected department head systems. Its intent was to combine the disciplines and efficiencies of strong business management with a governing body elected by all of the people in the community that would be responsive to all of the citizens and their needs and wishes. The Commission-Manager form of local city government and similar City Administrator forms are used by nearly all cities with a population of 5,000 or larger in Kansas and the surrounding states.
Three of Arkansas City’s five City Commissioners are elected on the first Tuesday in November of every odd-numbered year. Each election, the two candidates who receive the highest number of votes receive four-year (4) terms and the candidate with the third-highest number of votes receives a two-year (2) term. City commissioners are elected at large, which means that every citizen in the community has the opportunity to vote on every member of the City Commission. The Mayor is elected each year at the Commission’s first meeting in January by a vote of the members of the City Commission, after any new commissioners are sworn in by the City Clerk. The Mayor presides over all meetings of the City Commission and represents the City as its chief elected official.
The City Commission meets twice each month on the first and third Tuesday at 5:30 PM in the Commission Room at the City Building at 118 W. Central Avenue. Agendas for meetings are prepared in advance and published on this website. The public is invited to attend all meetings. To have a matter considered by the City Commission, please contact a Commissioner or a member of City staff.
- When does the City Commission meet?
- When are the City Commission elections held?
- Are Commission Meeting Videos edited for playback on Channel 7?