Current and Future Training and Assistance Needs
Because municipalities operate within an environment of fluctuation and turbulence, city officials enjoy only a minimal level of control over conditions and events that have a direct bearing on the future of their organizations and communities. Changes in social demographic patterns, community preferences, federal and state laws, and unrelenting expectations for greater efficiency in both budget and finance all tend to limit the ability of city managers and mayors to make accurate forecasts about unforeseen issues and crises. Nevertheless, it is important to examine the views of local government officials about what they think will be needed in the future, as well as about what they think is currently needed.
This chapter looks at current and future training and assistance needs of municipal governments. In the first section, the perceptions of city managers and mayors about current training needs are reviewed. In addition, this section looks at the effects of several social and structural variables on perceived training and assistance needs. The second section of this chapter explores perceptions of city managers and mayors regarding training and assistance needs as their cities prepare to enter the twenty-first century.