Overview of City Departments
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 government has operated under the commission-manager form of government since 1961.
Policymaking and legislative authorities are vested in the City Commission, which is comprised of
nine members including the mayor. The governing council 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 government’s manager and attorney. Four
Commissioners are elected at-large for two-year terms and five Commissioners are elected from 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 day-to-day operations of the government, and
appointing government’s department heads.
The City of Battle Creek provides a full range of services including: police and fire protection; the
construction and maintenance of highways, streets and other infrastructure; wastewater treatment and
disposal; water treatment and distribution; economic development; recreational activities; public
transportation services and cultural events. Follow this link for our current organization chart.