Managing Urban America

By David R. Morgan; Robert E. England | Go to book overview

6
Urban Service Delivery

To this point we have discussed urban decision making in general and how analysis works within that process. But urban policymaking does not stop with decision making. Decisions are only a prelude to further action by the city government--the development of programs and the delivery of services. Providing services always has been a major function of local government, and recent years have brought an even greater concern with service delivery as city officials have been forced to cut programs or find ways to operate more efficiently.

Urban service delivery is not particularly exciting. After all, collecting and disposing of solid waste, repairing streets, and providing water do not represent highly dramatic events in the life of a city. But some of the most vital services provided by any level of government are the responsibility of municipalities, and these activities consume a great deal of urban managers' time and attention. Cities are more concerned than ever with issues of service efficiency and accountability, as they find themselves caught between strong opposing pressures. Municipalities must respond to all the problems that arise out of an advanced state of urbanization just when they face shrinking resources, severe fiscal limitations, and public resistance to higher taxes.

In this chapter we look at several characteristics of service delivery, beginning with certain basic issues that cities must confront in providing even routine services. As we see, more is involved than just economy and efficiency. It is impossible to improve services if there are no measures of current output. How do cities assess their service performance? How do cities implement and evaluate new programs?

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Managing Urban America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • INTRODUCTION Improved Urban Management -- Needed Now More Than Ever 1
  • Suggested for Further Reading 15
  • Part One - The Environment of Urban Management 17
  • 1 - The External World of the Urban Manager 19
  • Notes 51
  • Notes 54
  • 2 - Urban Political Structure 56
  • Notes 78
  • Notes 81
  • Part Two - Making and Implementing Urban Policy 83
  • 3 - Urban Policymaking 85
  • Notes 113
  • Notes 116
  • 4 - Decision Making 117
  • 4 Decision Making 137
  • Suggested for Further Reading 141
  • 5 - Analysis for Urban Decisions 143
  • Notes 173
  • Notes 176
  • 6 - Urban Service Delivery 177
  • Notes 205
  • Notes 208
  • Summary 234
  • Suggested for Further Reading 237
  • Part Three - Internal Management Processes 239
  • 8 - The Management Process: Theory and Practice 241
  • Notes 270
  • Notes 273
  • 9 - Personnel Policies and Practices 274
  • Notes 302
  • Notes 306
  • 10 - Finance and Budget 307
  • Notes 336
  • Notes 339
  • Part Four - The Urban Future 341
  • II Urban Economic Development 365
  • Notes 366
  • Suggested for Further Reading 368
  • 12 - Managing the Urban Future 369
  • Suggested for Further Reading 392
  • Index 393
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