The City of Atchison has a Commission-Manager form of government. The City Commission has five members.
An active Planning Commission maintains and updates the comprehensive city plan for Atchison and participates in regional planning.
The Planning Commission administers zoning. A properly constituted Board of Zoning Appeals was established to grant variances or exceptions to the ordinance.
An active City Commission works to improve the economic well being of the community. A $1.8 million grant was awarded to the City in 1999. The funded projects include seven blocks of new streetscape, establishment of a $350,000 facade loan program, infrastructure for a new motel and purchase of a conference center. A master plan for downtown-riverfront development was adopted in 1999. The focus for development includes a ten-block area of the downtown.
In such matters as community planning, community development and transportation, the governing bodies have proven to be both progressive and well managed. The City of Atchison has a class 4-fire rating and twenty uniformed officers.
Atchison County consists of eight townships, one first class city and four third class cities. A three member Board of County Commissioners elected by district for four year terms govern the County.
The County Seat is Atchison, Kansas