Talk:Council–manager government

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History in the United States section[edit]

The section concerning the system's history in America is inconsistent. From the text, it appears that a Virginia city enacted the system first, while an (ostensibly major) Ohio city implemented it fist, and a South Carolina city implemented it successfully first. This is unclear, and the competing claims imply that at least one is incorrect. Since I have no expertise in this area, I leave it to students of American city political history to correct this section. Savantpol 00:45, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Sadly, I am unclear on how to create a footnote, but to back up the statement about Sumpter, I have found this elsewhere I'm not the OP, but I dug it up while working on a paper.supersoulty (talk) 05:35, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The section on recent hybrids should be rewritten. There is some controversy over whether or not hybrid forms occur with any regularity (Nelson and Svara 2010 Urban Affairs Review). The second paragraph in this section provides a list of three characteristics used to distinguish form, also developed by Svara and Nelson. The three characteristics listed in that paragraph were used to justify the argument that true hybrids are, in fact, very rare. (talk) 21:53, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Election Methodology[edit]

Here in Lowell, Massachusetts, we have a council-manager government and are currently considering switching away from our winner-take-all at-large council to preference voting, and I believe a reversion to doing to so by districts. It seems that someone with more knowledge than I could add a whole section on the different ways of selecting a council, or maybe links to existing articles would do? Thanks, CSZero (talk) 14:12, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

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"The city manager position in this form of municipal government is similar to that of corporate chief executive officer (CEO)"

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the position is more analogous to a chief administrative officer (CAO)? It's my understanding that even in this form of government, either the mayor (or the council as a whole) still formally has the title of the executive in this government, the only difference between this and the council-mayor form of government being that it's a combined executive and legislative function while the latter seperates the two. Isn't the mayor even in this system still the authenticator of the laws of the township, or do I have this wrong? It's my understanding that the mayor still has to sign everything to give it the effect of law, in which case he or she is still the executive if even the day-to-day operations of the law are carried out by a hired manager. --Criticalthinker (talk) 11:19, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Kinda. While a city manager can be thought of as a CAO (or COO), the real difference is the mayor lacks actual executive power, acting more as a non-executive chairperson in a corporation. Indeed, in a council–manager system, the mayor is the chairperson of the council first and foremost. In many cases the mayor isn't even elected separately, but chosen by the members of the council. In other cases, they are elected separately as a member-at-large, but they are still part of the council, not a separate executive officer. This contrasts with a mayor–council system, where the mayor is truly the chief executive. How much the mayor can do without council approval varies, and why the mayor–council system is often subdivided in to "strong mayor" vs "weak mayor" varieties (in the latter there may be a hired city administrator which is more like a CAO.) Subsequently, the description of a city manager as analagous to a corporate CEO is the best one. oknazevad (talk) 13:41, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree, though. While a manager may effectively do much of what a CEO does, a mayor, whether strong or weak, is still technically and legally the CEO even in this form of government, right? The mayor must sign off on the laws and such, right? If this is the case, then the mayor is the CEO in a literal (de jure) sense, and the manager is effectively a CAO. --Criticalthinker (talk) 16:49, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Not necessarily. The idea of the veto doesn't always exist at the municipal level. Even if it does, the veto is not an executive power (that is one where the person executes laws and orders), but a case of input in the legislative powers. The veto is derived from the concept of royal assent. oknazevad (talk) 23:46, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

Parliamentarian Government[edit]

Shouldn't this page at least include a mention of the national-level (near) equivalent: a Parliamentary system? Executive power is given to a manager who remains accountable to a legislator, this is almost the textbook definition of a Parliamentary System.

I would also argue that this is a far more valuable comparison than comparing a city-government to a publicly traded company.

Except that corporate governance is the exact model from which it derives. Now, that itself may be influenced by a parliamentary system, but that's two steps removed from this municipal form. oknazevad (talk) 23:46, 25 October 2017 (UTC)