The City Manager

The City Manager

The City Manager

The City Manager

Excerpt

The origin of the council-manager plan is imbedded in the revolution of the civic and business interests of the American city, aided and abetted by various forward-looking groups, against the waste, extravagance, and sometimes corruption which characterized "politician" government of the last century. With rare exceptions, the pattern of community behavior as it approached the adoption of the council-manager plan has been almost identical. Low standards of municipal accomplishment, waste and misapplication of public funds, lack of vision with regard to the city's future and lack of energy in pursuing even the most limited objectives, government by political machines for the purpose of maintaining the strength and controlling power of the machine rather than by independent officials for the good of the community, jealousy and ill will between communities even where co-operation was essential, concealment of the real condition of public business rather than frank recognition of the right of the public to know the facts of public affairs--all co-operated in varying degree to produce discontent, distrust, and suspicion of the mayor and council, or the commission, in most of the 375 cities which have adopted the council-manager plan.

The opposition to bad government usually comes to head in the local chamber of commerce. Business men finally acquire the conviction that the growth of their city is being seriously impaired by the failures of city . . .

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