Public Administration of Park and Recreational Services

By George Hjelte; Jay S. Shivers | Go to book overview

3

The Organization of
Public Recreational Service

HISTORICALLY , municipal government has been exercised through a legislative body usually referred to as a common council, whose members are elected for stated terms by the qualified voters of the city. In very small cities the common council legislates and regulates all the affairs of the city; managerial or administrative duties are assigned to a competent city manager and to department heads.

As municipal responsibilities increased in number and complexity, there arose a need for larger representation of the citizenry in public affairs. The plan evolved of appointing commissions of laymen to preside over the affairs of the separate departments. In essence these commissions were appendages of the common council. Their members, citizens presumably well-informed in their respective special fields, were deemed to be competent advisors of the common council and the city manager -- if such there was -- and of the executives of their respective departments and to provide an effective communication between citizenry and government.

In discussing the organization of recreational service within the structure of municipal government, and the role of lay commissions it is necessary to distinguish between government as an instrument for the preservation of society, and government as an agency for the rendition of

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