Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers offers a practical introduction to the changing structure, forms, and functions of local governments. Taking a metropolitan management perspective, authors Kimberly Nelson and Carl W. Stenberg explain U.S. local government within historical context and provide strategies for effective local government management and problem solving. Real-life scenarios and contemporary issues illustrate the organization and networks of local governments; the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of city and county managers; and the dynamics of the intergovernmental system. Case studies and discussion questions in each chapter encourage critical analysis of the challenges of collaborative governance. Unlike other books on the market, this text’s combined approach of theory and practice encourages students to enter municipal and county management careers and equips them with tools to be successful from day one.

U.S. Local Governments in Historical Context

U.S. Local Governments in Historical Context

The city is recruited from the country.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (2009, p. 346)

Today, we look at a great American city and we see a giant metropolis the size of a small country with a varied and global economy and people who come from many places. But, as a relatively young country, the cities of the United States are also young. The United States did not begin as a country of urban dwellers, yet today, more than 80% of Americans live in an urban area (U.S. Census, 2010). Many local governments in the United States, both municipalities and counties, exist as a subcomponent of a large, interconnected metropolitan system. This chapter examines how the United ...

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