This book helps elected and appointed government officials and citizens assess and establish standards for the efficient and effective delivery of quality services. Actual benchmarks are provided for numerous services such as libraries, parks and recreation, public works, emergency medical services, courts, animal control, risk management and public transport.


“How'm I doin'?” was the trademark question of Ed Koch, mayor of New York City during the 1980s. In posing his question, Mayor Koch sought reassurances regarding the depth of his political base as well as feedback on his stewardship of municipal operations. As veteran mayors and city managers know, these two dimensions of municipal leadership are not independent of each other. Just as political waves can rock an administration, solid operational stewardship can undergird political strength and stability.

The performance of local government operations from animal control to zoning administration can affect the political health of mayors and other elected executives and the professional well-being of city managers and other appointed administrators in local government. Unless they—or trusted assistants—are “minding the store,” executives' political ...

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