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Atwater is a progressive city of 26,000 governed by active, forward-thinking officials who strive to give residents the best service possible.
Atwater is a General Law city, formed under state legislative statutes and structured under provisions of the California Constitution. As its governing body, Atwater’s City Council is comprised of five elected members who serve “at large,” rather than by district, one being an elected mayor. All members serve four-year terms. City voters also elect a city clerk and a city treasurer who serve four-year terms.
Municipal elections are held every two years in November of the even-numbered year. Council terms overlap, with two council members and the mayor elected one year and the other two council members elected two years later. The council selects one of its members to serve as mayor pro-tem. The City Council also serves as the Redevelopment Agency Board.
Atwater is among more than 300 cities in California operating under the council-manager form of government. The council hires the city manager, who is then responsible for all management functions of the city, including preparation of the budget, delivery of services, hiring of personnel and implementation of capital projects. The City Council also directly hires the city attorney who serves as the city’s primary legal advisor.
Members of the City Council and other city officials may be contacted by telephone at the Administrative Office, (209) 357-6300; at their direct phone numbers; by e-mailing messages to their attention at [email protected]; or by writing to the City of Atwater, 750 Bellevue Road Atwater, Calif. 95301.
The Atwater Redevelopment Agency was established in 1976 to address the challenges of downtown renewal. Since then the agency has made a significant contribution to the city’s revitalization by widening and beautifying streets, constructing public parking facilities, and assisting in the development of downtown offices and commercial areas, housing and business parks.
The Atwater Police Department is located within City Hall at 750 Bellevue Road and employs full-time sworn officers, civilian employees and reserve officers and includes volunteers, chaplains and Police Explorers. The department also has school resource officers who are on campus full time to serve the needs of the schools and the Police Department.
The department also operates a Community Oriented Policing Squad, or COPS program designed to eliminate gangs and graffiti. The Atwater Narcotics Enforcement Team is working to eradicate the sale and use of illegal drugs. The Atwater Police Service Volunteers is a group of dedicated citizens who help the department in every area of operations by donating several thousand hours each year.
The Atwater Fire Department operates two stations, Station #21 at 699 Broadway in downtown Atwater and the brand new Station #22, located at 2006 Avenue Two. The department has full-time employees at each station as well as a company of 25 trained volunteers who respond as needed.