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Council-Manager Form of Government

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What is the council-manager form of government?

The council-manager form of government is the most popular where there are populations of 2,500 or more. Residents elect a governing body to adopt laws and set policy. The governing body hires a manager. The manager carries out policies and manages operations.

What’s so special about this form?

It was created to combat corruption and unethical activity. It promotes management that is valid and transparent. It promotes management that is active, and liable. It recognizes the role of elected officials as policy makers. They focus on mapping out a vision and establishing policies that govern it. The form also shows the need for a person who is devoted to the delivery of services to residents.

What types of communities use it?

Today more than 105 million people in the U.S. live in communities that operate under the council-manager form. Forty-eight percent of the more than 7,300 U.S. municipalities with populations of 2,500 or more use the form, as do nearly 62 percent of municipalities with populations greater than 100,000. More than 800 counties also employ a similar system.

How can it benefit my community?

• Flexibility—it can adapt to local needs and demands.

•   Clearly Defined Roles—there is clear distinction between the role of manager, the role of the mayor, and Council.

• A   Roadmap for Success—this form is most likely to succeed. Managers can focus on services, policies, and performance management. They can align services with the values, and goals set by the community and Council.

 This   Council-Manager form of government brochure  from the International City/County Management Association  gives  more information about the Council-Manager  Form of Government.