Lake forest institute on local government
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Lake Forest Institute on Local Government. Session I: Lake Forest Government 101 and Finance Issues Session II: Legal Issues and Communications Session III: Development Session and City Bus Tour. Council-Manager Form of Government. Presented by: Bob Kiely, City Manager June 25, 2007.

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Lake Forest Institute on Local Government

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Lake forest institute on local government

Lake Forest Institute on Local Government

  • Session I: Lake Forest Government 101 and Finance Issues

  • Session II: Legal Issues and Communications

  • Session III: Development Session and City Bus Tour


Council manager form of government

Council-Manager Form of Government

Presented by:

Bob Kiely, City Manager

June 25, 2007


Politics through a glass darkly

Politics Through A Glass Darkly

“Businessmen by and large are willing to serve government. As cabinet members and commission chairmen and ambassadors, they have served the country well.

They are usually timid, however, about getting involved in ‘politics’ and, through the media, in taking positions on a variety of issues. It is an understandable view: politics is probably the cruelest form of activity known to man, short of war or cannibalism. The ruthlessness of political relationships, the callous disregard for a minimum level of human kindness have to be seen to be believed.”

* F.G. Rohatyn


Council manager form of government1

Council-Manager Form of Government

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause…and who…if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

~Theodore Roosevelt, 1910, “Man in the Arena” speech


Council manager form of government2

Council-Manager Form of Government

  • Ordinance adopted in 1939 (amended in 1956)

  • Combines strong political leadership (elected) with strong managerial experience (appointed City Manager)

  • Role of City Manager is to make democratic process work better (process and implementation)

  • Most popular form of government, even in larger cities and counties


Council manager form of government3

Council-Manager Form of Government

  • Manager’s Duties: EVERYTHING!

    • Hiring and Firing – except Police and Fire Personnel (including Chiefs); City Engineer, City Clerk, and City Attorney

    • Budgeting, Purchasing Agent, Property Management

    • Administer Personnel Policies (discipline, benefits, etc.)

    • Exceptions


Council manager form of government4

Council-Manager Form of Government

  • Manager serves at discretion of City Council

  • Operates under professional Code of Ethics

    • 12 Tenets

    • Refrain from participation in elections

    • Professional development

    • High integrity/ideal

    • Fairness in hiring, etc.


Role of elected and appointed officials

Role of Elected and Appointed Officials

  • Policy vs. Administration/Implementation

    • More gray than ever before

  • The goal of the staff is to help policy-makers make better decisions

    • Act based on best available data

  • Public hearing/review process (while messy at times) leads to better decisions/products


Role of elected and appointed officials1

Role of Elected and Appointed Officials

  • While staff knows a lot of things – we don’t know everything – we are still learning!

  • Responsibility on part of policy-makers to read, understand, ask questions and listen.

    • Avoid embarrassment for everyone.

  • Direct contact to department heads/others. No need to funnel through Office of the City Manager (Efficiency.)


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