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Thread: City managers

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Our new City Manager is coming in for a meeting with Community Development Staff today. From what I hear and from my first impression of him, I think that this will be a good thing for our community. I just hope he does not eliminate Stan or my self.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Our new City Manager is coming in for a meeting with Community Development Staff today. From what I hear and from my first impression of him, I think that this will be a good thing for our community. I just hope he does not eliminate Stan or my self.
    It's customary to do some meet and greets when you move into another position. You lay out your philosophy and expectations and such. The Axe doesn't come out until later.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    It's customary to do some meet and greets when you move into another position. You lay out your philosophy and expectations and such. The Axe doesn't come out until later.
    I am more looking forward to this. The last guy was a good guy, but I like the idea of new blood after 20 years of the same guy in the same job.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  4. #4
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Why, you planning to draw blood?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    Why, you planning to draw blood?
    What? You have never heard of that expression?

    Ok... so blood might not have been the best word. Maybe ideas and opportunities would be a better expression.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Wow

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I am more looking forward to this. The last guy was a good guy, but I like the idea of new blood after 20 years of the same guy in the same job.
    20 years is a long time for a City Manager......It seems most don't make it past 5 years if their lucky I'd bet 60% of City Managers and Assistant City Managers turn over every 5 years or less, I'm sure the ICMA has numbers on this trend, but they most likely won't let the info get out.....anyone know the average life span of a City Manager/County Manager?

    A great City Manager is one that you rarely see or hear from
    Skilled Adoxographer

  7. #7
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    A great City Manager is one that you rarely see or hear from
    There really are two types of managers, some are really out there making a lot of noise, and others enjoy flying under the radar letting the elected officials be out front. Both kinds get the blame when things go bad though.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    There really are two types of managers, some are really out there making a lot of noise, and others enjoy flying under the radar letting the elected officials be out front. Both kinds get the blame when things go bad though.
    The last guy was great at his job, but was not a social person. He did not do much in the way of micromanaging, but his influence was vary apparent. One good thing that he did was set up a system that worked even when he was not here. So when he left, it was business as usual.

    This is going to be interesting because from what I have been told, the new guy is a very social individual, and that might be a great thing for our community. Many other communities refer to us as “The Island” mainly because our community acted independently from the surrounding communities. In the past, it has given us a very competitive edge and allowed us to establish a phenomenal tax base, without relying on any resources from the surrounding area. Now that things are starting to spread out, I think that a more regional approach might be a good thing.

    I personally hope that this guy will make him self well known in a positive way with the employees.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  9. #9
         
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    20 years is a long time for a City Manager......It seems most don't make it past 5 years if their lucky
    Your not kidding, we have had 3 different City Administrators since I have been here (5 years) and the Council recently voted not to renew the existings contract...if/when a new one is hired it will make 4 in my 6 years with the City

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    What exactly is a city manager? Is it an appointed position or what? None of the municipalities in the New Orleans metro area has one, so I'm not too familiar with that position. The city of New Orleans has a Chief Administrative Officer whose primary function is to serve at the pleasure of the current mayor and oversee the daily operations of the city departments, contracts, and general things like that. This is an appointed position that changes with the administration, so longevity is not a factor in this particular position.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  11. #11
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    What exactly is a city manager? Is it an appointed position or what? None of the municipalities in the New Orleans metro area has one, so I'm not too familiar with that position. The city of New Orleans has a Chief Administrative Officer whose primary function is to serve at the pleasure of the current mayor and oversee the daily operations of the city departments, contracts, and general things like that. This is an appointed position that changes with the administration, so longevity is not a factor in this particular position.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_manager

    Every government job I've been in has been a council-manager form of government (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council-manager_government). Wouldn't want to work in a strong mayor form of gov't....not for me.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_manager

    Every government job I've been in has been a council-manager form of government (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council-manager_government). Wouldn't want to work in a strong mayor form of gov't....not for me.
    Thanks for the links. I never think to check Wiki. The positions are basically the same, except the CAO is not that powerful. We're definitely mayor-council with a somewhat weak mayor, but not necessarily a strong council.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Your not kidding, we have had 3 different City Administrators since I have been here (5 years) and the Council recently voted not to renew the existings contract...if/when a new one is hired it will make 4 in my 6 years with the City
    That is a position I wouldn't want. If you last through 2 election cycles, you've done good. When Charleston (IL) voted in the City Manager form of government it was to have a stable position across several administrations. They have had seven managers in nine years.

    Mattoon just replaced their City Administrator. He was their for 4 years.

    I wrote about this very subject a few weeks ago.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    In my city the CM is just a staff position- no voting or appointing them in. We have an Assistant CM too.

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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    That is a position I wouldn't want. If you last through 2 election cycles, you've done good. When Charleston (IL) voted in the City Manager form of government it was to have a stable position across several administrations. They have had seven managers in nine years.

    Mattoon just replaced their City Administrator. He was their for 4 years.

    I wrote about this very subject a few weeks ago.
    Ours is not elected, the position is hired by the City Council with the approval of the Mayor. We have a charter change coming up in a year and one-half, we will then go to a strong Mayor and weak Council...I think the current administrator is going to stick around until then...its the craziest situation I have ever seen, 1/2 of the Council members will not acknowledge the current Administrator because he is working without a contract...its getting pretty difficult to hire Department Heads...we have had to hold "special" council meetings when the Administrator is out of town so the "acting" administrator can bring the candidates name forward sothe other half of the council will recognixe the candidate and vote on them...its nuts, absolutely nuts around here right now....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Ours is not elected, the position is hired by the City Council with the approval of the Mayor. We have a charter change coming up in a year and one-half, we will then go to a strong Mayor and weak Council...I think the current administrator is going to stick around until then...its the craziest situation I have ever seen, 1/2 of the Council members will not acknowledge the current Administrator because he is working without a contract...its getting pretty difficult to hire Department Heads...we have had to hold "special" council meetings when the Administrator is out of town so the "acting" administrator can bring the candidates name forward sothe other half of the council will recognixe the candidate and vote on them...its nuts, absolutely nuts around here right now....
    The City Manager is not an elected position, but changing the form of government to a "City Manager" form vs. a "Mayor/Council" form requires a referendum. Ironically, you can't just vote to switch forms of government, you have to vote your old form out, then vote a new form in. (It takes two referendums) Mattoon voted to change to a Manager form of governement and voted to keep the Council/Mayor form ON THE SAME BALLOT. Sometimes I think you should have to pass a test before they let you vote

    A City Manager has a lot more power then a City Administrator.

    Mayor/Council governement
    City Manager government

  17. #17
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Generally the difference between a City Manager and a City Administrator is the power to hire and fire. A manager usually can do this without council approval, where an administrator needs council approval.

    There are a few folks that stay for longer durations, you don't hear a lot about them because not getting fired doesn't make a good news story. A lot of us move because when one gains experience, the city you are in doesn't increase your salary as much as you can get by moving to a bigger city.

    I does take a special kind of personality to be able to do this job and not stress out. I was rather amazed at the other managers I have met that had similar laid back attitudes like mine.

    I hope to stay at the new job I start on Monday for a while, yet I know I am always one election away from being fired. I did get a clause in my contract that they cannot fire me for six months after an election.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    A lot of us move because when one gains experience, the city you are in doesn't increase your salary as much as you can get by moving to a bigger city.
    I have pointed out here that we (a town our size and in its condition) get two types of people applying for this job.
    First is the young gun looking to build their resume and move on.
    Second is someone at the end of their career choosing this area for personal reasons (family, etc.)
    I prefer the former because I think you can get some progressive ideas and "out of the box" thinking. The latter is usually chosen because the Councils usually want someone to "drive the boat" not rock it.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    They're useless, just like Planning and Zoning Managers.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  20. #20
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    They're useless, just like Planning and Zoning Managers.
    I sense that you're having some problems with your manager editing your work? Or the county attorney?
    Come here. Sit down. Talk to me. We're all family here.


  21. #21
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    I sense that you're having some problems with your manager editing your work? Or the county attorney?
    Come here. Sit down. Talk to me. We're all family here.
    Your asking for trouble , some people are only one step from letting it go.............time




    Oh, better insert this for legal purposes
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  22. #22
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    we have a town manager-town council-town meeting form of government

    nice strong new england charter - wouldn't have it any other way

    he's the perfect town manager - there when i need him, scarce when i don't - been here over 20 years

  23. #23
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    Your asking for trouble , ....
    Off-topic:
    Don't you mean "you're" since I think you mean the contraction for "you are"? Engrish, engrish, engrish.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    I sense that you're having some problems with your manager editing your work? Or the county attorney?
    Come here. Sit down. Talk to me. We're all family here.

    You guys, you look great hugging. RJ, you the tall one?

  25. #25
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    20 years is a long time for a City Manager......It seems most don't make it past 5 years if their lucky
    I am fortunate that I have worked as a paid intern as an undergrad with the City Manager's office for a year and now work with the County Manager's office until I leave for grad school.

    The City Manager has been there 20 years so far and he is very respected and loved very much and has done many great things for the city which could have easily died when the textile industry pulled out. The County Manager (also adjunct faculty and my academic adviser) has been in his position for over 10 years now and consistently is recognized for management of the county by the state.

    I am not sure that I will ever be this lucky again but they have both mentored me and taught me a lot of practical skills over the past year!

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