Form of Local Government

Council-Manager Form of Government 

  • The council-manager form is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council or other governing body, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. The form establishes a representative system where all power is concentrated in the elected council and where the council hires a professionally trained manager to oversee the delivery of public services.  Some of the strengths of the council-manager form of government as opposed to a strong mayor form of government include: 
  • All council members have equal rights 
  • Obligations and opportunities 
  • The power is assigned to the council as a whole 
  • The city manager must be responsive in providing day-to-day public services to citizens 

Role of Mayor (Chief Elected Official) 

  • Presides over council meetings  
  • Represents the City at official and ceremonial functions  
  • Appoints council members to council committees  
  • Names chairs and co-chairs of committees 
  • Appoints advisory committees  
  • Maintains relationship with other governmental agencies and civic groups  
  • Votes as a member of the City Council

Role of City Council (Legislative body for the City)

  • Appoint city manager on administrative ability 
  • Approve budget 
  • Determines and approve tax rate 
  • Establish city policy 
  • Legislative body 
  • Focus on community goals such as: land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning. 

Role of City Manager (Administrator and chief advisor to council) 

  • Appoint and remove employees 
  • Administer local government projects and programs on behalf of the governing body 
  • Enforce laws and ordinances 
  • Make recommendations to the council on general welfare of the city 
  • Manage day-to-day affairs 
  • Prepare budget for City Council consideration