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.

The Career of the Local Government Manager

The Career of the Local Government Manager

I look upon my profession as city manager in exactly the same way that a minister of the gospel looks upon his mission. I believe that as a city manager endeavoring to make the city for whose administrative affairs I am responsible better in every way for every man and woman I am doing the work of the Master.

—Louis Brownlow (1922, p. 151)

Although the profession of the local government manager only recently reached the age of 100, it has a rich and storied history. The profession is one that has evolved over time, yet the roles managers play in their communities have remained mostly consistent. Today, the majority of local governments, ...

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