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Managing Local Government
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Managing Local Government
An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers



August 2017 | 304 pages | CQ Press

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.


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1 • Managing Local Governments in a Dynamic World
Purpose and Organization of the Book

 
The Contemporary Context: Continuity and Change

 
The Intergovernmental Landscape: Who’s in Charge?

 
Managing Challenges: Critical Competencies for Closing the Gap

 
 
Chapter 2 • U.S. Local Governments in Historical Context
Early Development of American Cities: 1700–1900

 
Urban Population Growth

 
The Progressive Era

 
Post-Progressive Era Metropolitan Development

 
Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 3 • Types, Functions, and Authority of U.S. Local Governments
U.S. Local Government Authority

 
Local Government Types and Distribution

 
Regional Models of Local Government Structure

 
Local Forms of Government

 
 
Chapter 4 • Working across Boundaries
Stressed Local Structure

 
Reform Perspectives

 
The Manager’s Key Transcending Role

 
From Cooperation to Governance: Snow White and the 17 Dwarfs

 
State Restructuring Incentives

 
Regional Cooperation: Looking Forward

 
 
Chapter 5 • The Career of the Local Government Manager
Local Government Manager Profiles

 
Working as a Local Government Manager

 
Roles of the Local Government Manager

 
Managers as Leaders

 
The Local Government Manager as Organizational Leader

 
The Manager’s Code of Ethics

 
Making the Case for a Career in Local Government Management

 
 
Chapter 6 • Roles and Relationships
Mayoral Authority and Roles

 
Basics of Council–Manager Relationships: A North Carolina Example

 
Realities of Council–Manager Roles and Responsibilities

 
Changing Roles and Relationships

 
 
Chapter 7 • Enhancing Council–Manager Effectiveness
High-Performing Habits

 
The Manager’s Facilitating Role

 
Mutual Expectations

 
Recognizing and Dealing with Problems in the Governing Body

 
 
Chapter 8 • Citizen Engagement
Why Engage Citizens?

 
History of U.S. Citizen Engagement

 
Objectives of Citizen Participation

 
Engagement Challenges

 
From Participation to Power

 
E-Government Engagement

 
Making Engagement Work

 
 
Chapter 9 • Service Delivery Strategies and Innovation
Who Does What? Government-to-Government Approaches

 
Who Does What? Public–Private Partnerships

 
Other Alternative Service Delivery Tools

 
Key Questions

 
Building Capacity for Innovation

 
 
Chapter 10 • The Manager’s Toolbox
Building Organizational Capacity

 
The Manager’s Toolbox

 
The Journey from Planning and Measurement to Management

 
Using the Tools as Manager

 
 
Chapter 11 • Emerging Issues and Management Challenges Facing Local Governments
Wicked Problems Facing Local Governments

 
Current and Emerging Issues for Local Governments

 
Skills Needed in Future Managers

 
Tackling Wicked Problems

 
Conclusion

 
 
Appendix 1: International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Code of Ethics with Guidelines
 
Appendix 2: International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Practices for Effective Local Government Management
 
Index

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers takes on a critical topic—governing in urban areas. This text is very readable for an undergraduate audience with limited knowledge of local government and provides solid discussion of the role of the city manager in local government.

Raymond W. Cox III
University of Akron

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers by Kimberly Nelson and Carl Stenberg is highly readable, well researched, and well written. The text features a strong focus on theory and history, summarizing practical managerial advice and strategies and comparing and contrasting theory and factual information through charts and tables.

Paula A. Duda Holoviak
Kutztown University

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers offers an exceptional overview of the profession of local government management. It also offers key insights and a valuable road map for the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective manager in an increasingly complicated intergovernmental landscape. It highlights skills, practices, and policies that are essential for a student of local government management to understand.

Christine Palus
Villanova University
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • A focus on management, as opposed to a focus on political issues and theoretical concepts, equips students with a working knowledge to manage and maintain high-performance organizations within an increasingly complex metropolitan system.  
  • Practical examples in every chapter bring concepts to life and show students how to apply them to real situations they may face in local government management.
  • Multiple case studies presented throughout the text strengthen students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Local government management career profiles give students insight into the daily life of working professionals and tips for finding success in their career.
  • A chapter on citizen engagement (Ch. 8) shows students how engaging citizens can enhance the policy process and addresses the challenges when doing so.
  • The Manager’s Toolbox (Ch. 10) offers students strategic planning, performance budgeting, succession planning, and other tools to improve government performance.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5

Chapter 8


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