Managing Urban America

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

12
Managing the Urban Future

Although city political and administrative officials have never had an easy job, today their job seems almost impossible. A host of competing interest groups clamor for their "fair share" of government goods and services. The local tax base in many places is obsolete, and federal and state aid continues to decline. Local taxpayers want more and better services, but are unwilling to pay for them. In all, the pressures on urban managers have never been greater to provide local services efficiently and effectively while still meeting the more political criteria of equity and responsiveness in service delivery.

What does the future hold for our cities and their leaders? Obvously we cannot know for sure, but we can recognize certain trends. Several recent assessments of the urban future arrive at similar conclusions, at least in a general sense. Cities have been through a long period of fiscal austerity, a time of revenue reduction for many places. Although financial circumstances improved by the mid-1990s, the "politics of scarcity" is hardly over. How have urban managers adapted to this new era of fiscal limits? What further developments are we likely to see as these trends persist? How can urban leaders respond as their citizens insist on quality services in a period of antigovernment sentiment?


The Politics of Scarcity

Municipal officials will surely remain under unrelenting pressure to maximize those resources under their control. They will continue to search for ways of cutting costs, improving productivity, and reducing the demand for services. An ICMA study refers to the process as "getting

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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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