In January, as part of an effort to "nationalize" municipal movements, 147 representatives from 27 cities meet in Philadelphia for the National Conference for Good City Government. From this conference is born the National Municipal League (later to
become the National Civic League), which represents the interests of citizens in municipal affairs and provides a national base for citizen action.
City officials meet in San Francisco in 1898 to form the California League of Cities. Photo courtesy of the League.
Haven A. Mason, secretary of the League of California Cities, writes of the council-manager form of government: "Why should there not be a distinct profession of municipal managers the same as we now have professions composed of lawyers, of doctors,
of engineers, of teachers, of accountants, and others?"
National Municipal League adopts the first edition of the Model City Charter, which provides the "elements of a model charter for American cities." The charter's primary purpose is to concentrate authority in the office of the mayor.
After a disastrous hurricane and tidal wave that kills at least 8,000 people, the Texas governor takes emergency action to put Galveston city government policy and administration under the control of a commission consisting of five prominent businessmen.
Galveston thus becomes the first city to adopt the commission plan.
New York Bureau of Municipal Research is formed. It will be the precursor to ICMA's Institute for Training in Municipal Administration, which will be founded in 1934.
Staunton, Virginia, institutes the first position of "general manager," which legally defines by ordinance the broad authority and responsibility associated with today's professional local government administrator. The city selects Charles Ashburner,
an engineer, as its first manager.
First National Conference on City Planning—a historic gathering of citizen activists and professionals in housing, planning, parks, recreation, transportation, and social services—is held in Washington, D.C., in May.
Richard Childs introduces a plan for government in the New York legislature that unites commission and manager government in a proposed city charter for Lockport, New York. The Lockport Plan includes three elements that become integral to the council-manager
plan: the short ballot, political power vested in the council, and the concentration of administrative authority in a single individual appointed by and responsible to the council.
Sumter, South Carolina, becomes the first city to adopt by a vote of the people a charter incorporating the basic principles of council-manager government.
Westmount, Quebec, introduces the council-manager form of government to Canada.
Dayton, Ohio, becomes the first large American city to adopt a council-manager plan. Colonel Henry M. Waite is selected as Dayton's first manager.
At the suggestion of Henry Waite, 8 of the 31 U.S. city managers meet in Springfield, Ohio, in December "to promote the efficiency of city managers and municipal work in general" and form the City Managers' Association (CMA). Under the group's first
secretary (City Manager Ossian E. Carr from Cadillac, Michigan), the initial year's expenditures are $105.
CMA adopts its first constitution at the association's second annual conference, which is held in November in Dayton, Ohio. Seventeen managers attend. Annual CMA member dues are $5.00.
National Municipal League endorses the council-manager plan in its Model City Charter, which supersedes the organization's first charter adopted in 1900. This second edition replaces the strong mayor-council plan with the council-manager plan
and incorporates the unification of powers in the city council, the short ballot, the nonpartisan ballot, and the at-large election of the governing body.
Harrison G. Otis of the American City Bureau in New York becomes CMA's executive secretary. The bureau, organized to establish local chambers of commerce and train secretaries, provides office space to CMA and time for Mr. Otis to serve the organization
CMA adds a new membership classification of Associate "for any person interested in municipal progress."
CMA publishes the first issue of the City Managers Bulletin (later Public Management) in January. The publication appears monthly for three years.
CMA membership: 45
CMA moves its office to Clarksburg, West Virginia, when Executive Secretary Harrison G. Otis accepts the manager position there. He relinquishes the position of CMA executive secretary at the end of the year.
Paul B. Wilcox, an assistant manager in East Cleveland, Ohio, becomes CMA executive secretary for a short time this year.
Louis Brownlow, an American journalist, political scientist, and former city manager of Petersburg, Virginia, and Knoxville, Tennessee, is elected CMA president. Along with Charles E. Merriam, a highly respected member of the University of Chicago political
science faculty and president of the American Political Science Association, Brownlow seeks foundation funding and other support for CMA.
CMA moves to Lawrence, Kansas, and John G. Stutz is appointed full-time executive secretary and editor of the City Manager Bulletin. Stutz also continues to serve as secretary of the Municipal Reference Bureau at the University of Kansas and as executive
director of the League of Kansas Municipalities. He serves CMA until 1929.
Bertha Heidenfelder becomes the first known woman city manager when she is appointed to that post in Collinsville, Oklahoma, in December. She receives a salary of $1,900 per year.
City Manager Bulletin becomes City Manager Magazine.
In Montreal for its annual conference, the City Managers' Association changes its name to the International City Managers' Association in recognition of the many Canadian membership applications it has received.
ICMA members formally adopt the City Manager's Code of Ethics, which consists of 13 articles and is influential in setting standards for all local government organizations. The code is subsequently amended in 1938, 1952, 1969, 1972, 1976, and 1995.
The Syracuse Program is born with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and is generally considered the first independent graduate school for public administration training.
ICMA holds its annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sixty managers attend.
City Manager Magazine is renamed Public Management in December, and a separate City Managers' Newsletter is established.
ICMA membership: 243
Iredell County, North Carolina, becomes the first county to adopt the council-manager form.
Texas becomes the first state to establish an association of professional city managers.
ICMA headquarters moves to the University of Chicago in June, and Clarence E. Ridley is appointed its first full-time executive director. ICMA receives its first foundation grants to support a number of programs, including a project for the International
Association of Chiefs of Police's Committee on Uniform Crime Records, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation later adopts as its Uniform Crime Reports program.
Durham and Robeson Counties, North Carolina, and Arlington County, Virginia, adopt the council-manager plan.
ICMA amends its constitution to make adherence to the Code of Ethics a prerequisite for full association membership.
ICMA membership: 464
City Manager Clarence A. Dykstra of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the first local government official to stress the need for federal assistance during the Great Depression. He succeeds in persuading Congress to recognize the existence of cities during the period
of the New Deal.
The Great Depression dramatically changes ICMA. Advertising in Public Management, the association's largest source of revenue, nearly disappears and membership drops. A combination of foundation grants, prudent management, and the development
of new publications helps the association weather the Depression years and attain financial self-sufficiency. Louis Brownlow and Charles E. Merriam secure funding from the Spelman Fund, a unit of the Rockefeller Foundation, to support ICMA's general operations,
new programs, and the hiring of a full-time secretariat.
By amending its charter, San Francisco becomes the first city to provide for a chief administrative officer appointed by the mayor.
ICMA sells 14,000 copies of its popular report, How to Reduce Municipal Expenditures.
ICMA establishes a Junior (later Student) membership category to encourage young people to join the association.
ICMA's initial work in measuring the efficiency of municipal services, funded by the University of Chicago and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, is so well received that the ICMA research staff merge with the Municipal Administration Services, a publications
program established in 1926, to reestablish themselves as the Public Administration Service (PAS).
ICMA publishes its first edition of The Municipal Year Book, which sells 1,000 copies and quickly becomes the authoritative source for municipal data and information. ICMA staff member Herb Simon develops the Year Book's classification
of cities and presentation of statistical data that continues to be used today. Publication of the Year Book replaces the ICMA practice of publishing the proceedings of annual meetings as the City Manager Yearbooks.
ICMA establishes its Institute for Training in Municipal Administration.
Several universities (including Columbia, Stanford, Syracuse, Southern California, Texas A&M, and the University of Michigan) experiment with graduate training programs aimed at government service.
ICMA publishes its first training book, The American City and Its Government, which was edited by then-Assistant Director Orin Nolting and ICMA staff member Herb Simon. Despite its black cover, the book became the first title in ICMA's authoritative
Municipal Management ("Green Book") series. The Green Books (the cover color later changed) was intended to introduce city managers, most of whom were engineers, to the basics of federalism, state-local relations, and other facets of local government.
The series begins as a collection of eight titles published between 1935 and 1941 that cover general management, finance, personnel, planning, police, fire, public works, and recreation. The series is developed for use as part of the correspondence courses
offered by the institute.
On August 14, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Social Security Act, which includes federal old-age insurance, federal-state public assistance and unemployment insurance programs, and extension of public health, maternal and child health,
crippled children and child welfare services, and vocational rehabilitation.
ICMA holds its annual conference in Richmond, Virginia, with 142 managers in attendance.
ICMA and several other public interest groups (including the Public Administration Clearing House, the American Public Welfare Association, the Municipal Finance Officers Association, the American Legislators Association, and the Governmental Research
Association) move into a new building at 1313 East 60th Street, built specifically for these organizations through a grant from the Spelman Fund on land donated by the University of Chicago. The address becomes synonymous with public administration.
The American Society for Public Administration is organized.
City Manager Government in the United States, a seminal publication sponsored by the Social Science Research Council, summarizes a nationwide study conducted during the 1930s that provides empirical validation of the value of the council-manager
plan. Years later, the book is still considered one of the best histories of the first quarter century of the profession.
ICMA Membership: 583
More than 10 percent of the ICMA membership enters active World War II military service. Another 10 percent aids the war effort through important federal positions. Above: ICMA members attend 1940 conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Canadian J. R. French becomes ICMA's first international president. He also holds distinction as the only ICMA president to serve two consecutive terms.
Japan surrenders to the United States, signaling the end of World War II.
ICMA establishes the Management Information Service to provide assistance to local government subscribers on a variety of topics. The service, with 136 initial subscribers, brings financial security and a research and reference base to the association.
At the 1948 Annual Conference in Mackinac Island, Michigan, C. A. Harrell's presidential address, "The City Manager as a Community Leader," proclaims the leadership role of managers.
ICMA Membership: 1,254
The massive move to the suburbs and other social and economic changes taking place within the postwar United States make local government an attractive career option for thousands of professionals specializing in finance, personnel, planning, management,
and related fields.
Number of jurisdictions recognized by ICMA as having established a position of professional management hits 1,000.
ICMA members amend the association's constitution to require that all members be governed by the Code of Ethics and that violations of the code will invoke disciplinary action.
ICMA establishes an Assistant classification to attract assistant managers, assistants to city managers, department heads, and other local government administrators.
U.S. Congress creates a temporary Commission on International Relations to conduct the first-ever wide-scale review of federal/state/local relations. The commission's work results in congressional establishment of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental
The first regional organization of city managers—the Northwest City Managers' Association—is formed. It comprises Alaska; Alberta, British Columbia; Idaho; Montana; Oregon; and Washington.
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declares state laws establishing "separate-but-equal" public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
Clarence E. Ridley retires as executive director of ICMA. He is succeeded by Orin F. Nolting, who served as ICMA's assistant director from 1929 to 1956. Nolting makes international relations and expansion of the council-manager plan to other countries
an association priority.
ICMA publishes its Handbook for Councilmembers in Council-Manager Cities.
ICMA Membership: 2,556
ICMA and the University of Chicago cosponsor the first Advanced Management Training Program, a weeklong course that attracts 31 participants.
Council-manager concept is adopted in England, Finland, Germany (two provinces), Ireland, Norway, and Sweden.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is enacted into law on July 2. This landmark legislation outlaws major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women and ends unequal application of voter registration requirements as well as racial segregation
in schools, at the workplace, and by facilities that serve the general public (public accommodations).
On August 31, President Johnson signs into law the Food Stamp Act of 1964, which establishes a permanent program to strengthen the agricultural economy and improve nutrition among low-income households.
ICMA adopts a policy statement, Program of Professional Development for Urban Management, which further expands the association's efforts to improve manager professionalism. The association cosponsors the first Urban Policy Seminar with The Brookings
Harold E. Horn, city manager of Lawrence, Kansas, is appointed to the newly created position of ICMA associate director. Horn is charged with seeking out affiliations and relations with other organizations and governments, particularly in Washington,
The proportion of local government managers with advanced degrees more than doubles from 13 percent in 1934 to 29 percent, while the proportion with bachelor's degrees in engineering drops from 77 percent in 1934 to 32 percent.
ICMA celebrates its 50th anniversary.
On July 30, President Johnson signs into law the Medicare and Medicaid programs (Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act), extending health coverage to nearly all Americans age 65 or older, and providing health care services to low-income
children deprived of parental support, their caretaker relatives, the elderly, the blind, and individuals with disabilities.
Vice President Hubert Humphrey meets with 113 city managers and 10 county managers during a two-day conference in Washington, D.C., in May to establish a dialogue between managers and the federal government.
ICMA holds annual conference in Phoenix. Seven hundred forty-three managers attend.
Executive board authorizes establishment of an ICMA branch office in Washington, D.C.
ICMA moves its headquarters to Washington, D.C., and opens its doors on August 1. Orin F. Nolting retires and Mark E. Keane, then assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is appointed executive director.
ICMA membership: 4,163
ICMA establishes the Urban Data Service to increase its involvement in the problems of urban America. The service issues a series of Urban Data Service Reports that focus on related topics.
ICMA members vote to amend constitution to extend Corporate (voting) membership eligibility to mayor-appointed and council-appointed administrators with overall management responsibility in all local governments and to directors of councils of governments.
Assistants are also given the right to vote and hold office. Association changes its name to the International City Management Association.
ICMA Executive Board adopts a five-pronged Goals Proposal as part of a process that culminates in constitutional amendments and guides the association's program planning, budgeting, and management reporting until 1985.
ICMA rolls out a newly designed "circle-and-square" logo on July 1 to serve "as an identifying mark on all ICMA publications and communication."
Public Technology, Incorporated (PTI), is established as a clearinghouse for new local government technology after ICMA receives a Ford Foundation grant in 1970 that leads to PTI's creation.
ICMA organizes an information coalition of seven state and local government public interest groups that includes, in addition to ICMA, the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association,
the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The group becomes known as the "Big 7." The Academy for State and Local Government serves as secretariat for the Big 7's work on common issues, such
as public officials' liability insurance. It also operates the Legal Services Center (now the State and Local Legal Center), which provides support to state and local governments on cases on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Big 7 makes a presentation to President Richard M. Nixon in support of revenue sharing.
ICMA membership: 4,650
First federal revenue sharing program is adopted.
After three years of effort, ICMA secures official approval from the Internal Revenue Service to establish a national, portable, deferred compensation retirement plan, the ICMA Retirement Corporation.
ICMA revises its Code of Ethics and publishes a report that includes rules of procedure for handling ethics cases and a series of guidelines to assist members in applying the principles outlined in the Code of Ethics. The guidelines are revised periodically,
most recently in 2004.
ICMA Executive Board establishes the Range Rider program to make the counsel, experience, and support of respected, retired managers of the profession available to members.
In the best-selling book The Rise of the City Manager: A Public Professional in Local Government, Richard J. Stillman summarizes the genesis of the local government management profession.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is authorized under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, consolidating programs for open space, urban renewal, neighborhood development grants, historic preservation grants,
Model Cities supplemental grants, public facilities loans, neighborhood facilities grants, and water and sewer grants.
The Task Force on Women in the Profession and the Minority Executive Placement Program are created.
ICMA establishes its European Task Force and develops its Small Cities Management training course.
ICMA membership: 7,106
ICMA membership votes to establish two at-large vice presidential positions on the Executive Board to ensure representation of minorities, women, young professionals, and other groups.
ICMA Committee on Placement and Support Services issues its final report, which the association adopts and implements.
ICMA Committee on Future Horizons of the Profession issues a report calling for new roles for managers that include brokering/ negotiation, shared power, interpersonal communication, volunteerism, and working with the private sector.
ICMA looks toward a decade of intense social, economic, and global change.
ICMA's first public/private venture with McGraw-Hill results in the Product Information Network, a subscription service that links local governments to a nationwide information network of data critical to purchasing decisions.
ICMA adopts its Declaration of Ideals in October to augment the ICMA Code of Ethics and preserve the values and integrity of representative local government and local democracy.
The Academy for State and Local Government renames the Legal Services Center as the State and Local Legal Center.
ICMA publishes Compensation '82 and launches its Practical Management Series of small books on timely local government management topics ranging from capital financing to microcomputers.
Council-Manager Plan Committee is established to assess efforts to adopt and retain council-manager government.
ICMA negotiates an agreement with the ICMA Retirement Corporation for the use of the ICMA name. This agreement guarantees an income stream for ICMA into the year 2090.
ICMA employs 71 staff and approves an operating budget of $5,280,495. Executive Board drops the prohibition on commercial exhibitions at the annual conference, a symbol of the changing local government attitude toward public-private relations.
Nearly 3,628 communities are recognized by ICMA as having established a professional management position that meets the association's criteria.
Mark E. Keane retires, and William H. Hansell, Jr., is named ICMA executive director. ICMA rents office space at 1120 G Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C.
Sylvester Murray, city manager of Cincinnati, Ohio, is elected as the first African- American president of ICMA.
ICMA membership: 7,255
ICMA, NLC, and PTI sign an agreement pledging long-term cooperation.
Thirteen Range Riders serve in seven states.
ICMA adopts its first Strategic Plan and creates the Talent Referral Service to further the association's ongoing commitment to increasing employment and advancement opportunities for minorities and women.
LINUS, the Local Information Network for Universal Service, is launched jointly by ICMA and the National League of Cities (NLC). Developed in cooperation with Control Data Corporation, LINUS is an electronic messaging network designed to "revolutionize
the way cities communicate with each other" by facilitating exchanges among local governments, ICMA, NLC, and other public interest groups. The service features user-to-user messaging, special-interest-group messaging, bulletin boards, and access to information
of interest to local governments. Left: NLC Executive Director Alan Beals, NLC President George Voinovich, ICMA President Dave Taylor, and ICMA Executive Director Bill Hansell sign LINUS contract.
The federal program of general revenue sharing ends on September 30, sending some municipalities into financial crisis and forcing hard choices between maintaining services or raising taxes.
ICMA establishes the Endowment Fund for the Profession (now the Fund for Professional Management) to support professional management in all forms of local government. The fund also provides financial assistance to citizen groups in jurisdictions considering
council-manager form adoption or retention.
ICMA creates its Partners' Program in recognition of the significant role that a member's partner and family play and the challenges they face as part of a successful local government professional's career.
Forty-one state associations in the United States and three in Canada, as well as 10 assistant associations in seven states, are active as part of a national network of professional local government managers. At least half of these associations carry
out their activities through a relationship with the state municipal league.
ICMA receives its first "microcomputer," an Apple Macintosh donated by a corporate sponsor.
ICMA establishes the FutureVisions Consortium to examine the trends that will have an impact on the future of the profession. The association receives initial funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to further its environmental programs
and publishes its first ethics training program for local governments.
ICMA members: 7,374, including 7,051 U.S. and 323 international.
On May 22, ICMA and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that affirms the shared goals of both organizations to support and promote opportunities for women and minorities in local government
and to expand the roles of African Americans in all aspects of public administration. The MOU would be renewed by the two organizations in 1994, 1999, and 2010.
First issue of the Job Opportunities Bulletin for Minorities and Women in Local Government (a.k.a. J.O.B.) is published.
In September, the U.S. Agency for International Development awards ICMA its first multimillion-dollar Municipal Development and Management Project contract to assist local government officials in developing countries. ICMA in turn establishes the International
Municipal Programs Department, which eventually evolves into ICMA International. This municipal development contract made it possible for ICMA to work with local government officials in countries around the world, including Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union. ICMA responds to 66 requests for services around the world during the initial year of the contract (the two largest projects funded that year were in Honduras and Poland), and the international program expands throughout the 1990s.
ICMA Executive Board holds its first meeting outside North America in Reading, England, in July. The board subsequently meets in Liverpool, England, in July 2001.
ICMA celebrates its 75th anniversary.
ICMA receives its second contract award from the U.S. Agency for International Development, "Local Government and Housing Privatization in Eastern Europe," further expanding the association's worldwide activities.
ICMA moves to its permanent Washington, D.C., home at 777 North Capitol St., N.E. in January. The newly constructed, nine-story office building is the result of a partnership among ICMA, the ICMA Retirement Corporation, and the Metropolitan Washington
Council of Governments.
A West Coast field office and the Community- Oriented Public Safety program are established.
With the success of the Job Opportunities Bulletin for Minorities and Women in Local Government (the J.O.B. Newsletter), which launched in 1989, ICMA restructures its Talent Referral Service to bring jobs to the attention of qualified
minorities rather than referring people to jobs.
ICMA receives its first long-term municipal development program award to conduct work in Honduras, Central America.
In January, ICMA holds its first major international meeting, the Pacific Rim Symposium, in Hawaii. The symposium brings together more than 100 local government leaders from throughout the Pacific region.
ICMA establishes, through affiliation, the Hispanic Network, which provides specialized services and support to Hispanic local government professionals and, through them, to the broader Hispanic community.
ICMA's FutureVisions Consortium releases its final report, "Future Challenges, Future Opportunities."
With member approval, ICMA changes its name to the International City/County Management Association to fully recognize the inclusion of county chief appointed officials who became eligible for full membership in 1969.
ICMA members adopt a statement of policy with a year-long action plan on valuing diversity.
ICMA launches a Dialogue on the Profession at its annual conference, held in Reno, Nevada, to examine how competencies for local government management professionals might be defined and measured.
ICMA's Council-Manager Plan Task Force examines the status of council-manager government, issuing its final report, "A Look into Our Evolving Profession," in March 1995.
A videotape information and training resource, the Government Services Television Network (GSTN) is established as the result of a partnership among ICMA, the National League of Cities, Public Technology Inc., the National Association of Counties, and
Westcott Communications. GSTN is active through 1998.
As a result of the work of its Superfund Consortium, ICMA establishes a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct research and facilitate dialogue among local governments and federal agencies on Superfund cleanups.
ICMA opens it first office in Romania in May. The office is operational through September 1996.
ICMA's Range Rider Program celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Comparative Performance Measurement Consortium, the precursor to ICMA's Center for Performance Measurement, is formed.
ICMA's members adopt a resolution created by the ICMA Council-Manager Plan Task Force to affirm the core values of the plan. This action is taken in response to dramatic changes that had occurred among local governments since the plan's initial adoption.
After two years of a Dialogue on the Profession that incorporated conversations among members, two surveys, and 35 facilitated discussions at state and affiliate meetings, ICMA adopts the Practices for Effective Local Government Management. It also adds
clarifying guidelines to Tenet 8 of the Code of Ethics and launches ICMA University, a comprehensive delivery system for professional development opportunities.
In conjunction with the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and Public Technology, Inc., ICMA enters the information superhighway with a collaborative online forum, Access Local Government.
John G. Stutz, ICMA's first executive secretary/director (pictured far left in 1983), dies in December at the age of 102.
ICMA membership: 8,215, including 7,710 U.S. and 505 international.
ICMA and EPA cosponsor their first national brownfields conference.
ICMA launches its first website, www.icma.org.
ICMA membership approves constitutional amendments to change the composition of the executive board to meet the goals of diverse representation and added continuity in leadership by: (1) adding one vice president position, designated for a non-CEO, to
each U.S. region and eliminating the two at-large vice president positions, and (2) increasing the term for all vice presidents from two to three years.
A delegation of ICMA members and staff (including left and center: Executive Director Bill Hansell, Russell Hawkins, and member Sylvester Murray) travels to South Africa to meet with that country's leaders, including Nelson Mandela.
ICMA members approve constitutional amendments to select the ICMA president from among former board members instead of by membership ballot. The amendment addresses concerns about increased campaigning and reinforces the fact that the president's primary
role is to chair the board.
ICMA adopts a resolution at its annual conference business meeting that encourages all members to have active e-mail addresses by the year 2000.
ICMA wins a leader award from the U.S. Agency for International Development to establish its Resource Cities Program. The precursor to the association's CityLinks Program, Resource Cities authorizes partnerships between the United States and, initially,
local governments in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. These partnerships serve to engage the membership directly in ICMA's international contract activities.
First ICMA Best Practices Symposium is held in Phoenix, Arizona.
ICMA Center for Performance Measurement™ is established to continue the work of the Comparative Performance Measurement Consortium.
ICMA launches its Corporate Partnership Program, a partnership between the association and the corporate community, to develop and maintain private sector technical, financial, and management support for ICMA and its members. To guide corporate partners
in their activities, the executive board adopts a Corporate Code of Ethics, which mirrors the ideals embodied in the member code.
ICMA enters into an agreement with Georgia State University to jointly develop the Management Practices Assessment, the first tool based on the Practices for Effective Local Government Management.
With support from the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and other organizations, ICMA creates the award-winning Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) to serve as a free information clearinghouse for local
In November, ICMA organizes the first multinational conference sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development in Romania.
ICMA membership: 7,776
In June, ICMA signs an agreement with the National Association of County Administrators (NACA) to strengthen the relationship between the two organizations and provide administrative, financial, and membership support to NACA.
ICMA is awarded the Sustainable and Urban Management Leader Award, an umbrella contract that shifts the association's international focus away from Europe and Eurasia toward longer-term, sustainable projects worldwide.
ICMA's Council-Manager Plan Task Force examines the association's recognition process and recommends ways for ICMA to engage with communities that are considering charter changes.
Following an extensive two-year dialogue, ICMA adopts its second strategic plan.
ICMA signs an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help design and implement the Community Development for Hurricane Reconstruction project in Honduras.
ICMA launches its Voluntary Credentialing Program in July to define and recognize professional local government managers and promote lifelong learning.
Two weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks, nearly 3,000 ICMA members and guests gather in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the association's 87th annual conference.
David R. Mora, city manager of Salinas, California, becomes ICMA's first Hispanic president.
ICMA partners with the National Research Center, Inc., to launch the National Citizen Survey™, which helps local governments use citizen feedback as a critical measure of performance.
In January, ICMA kicks off its first national awareness campaign, "Building Communities...It's No Small Chore," which provides tools that members can use to increase public understanding of the value that professional city, town, and county management
brings to communities.
Also in January, the ICMA Executive Board holds its first meeting in Mexico in Guadalajara.
ICMA's Research and Development Department evolves from its beginnings as an ad hoc string of domestic grants and contracts to administer more than 50 research and local government outreach projects with an annual budget in excess of $3 million.
ICMA holds the first International Best Practices Symposium in Sydney, Australia, in May.
In an effort to strengthen the association's financial stability by building its net assets and cash reserves, the executive board establishes a goal of doubling ICMA's FY2003 net asset balance by FY2008.
Leadership ICMA, an intensive two-year program for those not yet eligible for credentialing that is designed to cultivate key competencies needed for successful leadership in local government management, is launched. Class modules are scheduled over
the course of the two-year period, including a capstone project that requires participants to demonstrate their competence in the concepts presented throughout the program.
ICMA employs 150 staff, plus nearly 100 employees internationally. The Range Rider Program expands to 75 participants in 22 states.
Peggy Merriss, city manager of Decatur, Georgia, becomes first woman president of ICMA in October.
After 19 years as ICMA's fourth executive director, William H. "Bill" Hansell, Jr., retires at the association's 88th annual conference, held in Philadelphia. Robert J. "Bob" O'Neill, Jr., is appointed as his successor and joins the staff in November.
ICMA membership: 7,689, including 7,291 U.S. and 398 international.
ICMA modifies the format of its longstanding annual Regional Meetings to provide attendees with a highly participatory professional development experience. In addition to the opportunity to network with colleagues, discuss ICMA issues and programs, and
provide feedback to the ICMA Executive Board and staff, the revamped ICMA Regional Summits now include an integrated ICMA University Workshop.
The National Civic League publishes the 8th edition of its Model City Charter, which continues to strongly endorse the council-manager form of government.
ICMA launches CityLinks, the successor to the Resource Cities Program, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
ICMA establishes its Next Generation Initiative, which focuses on attracting young people to the management profession and mentoring interns and mid-career professionals.
In September, the ICMA Hispanic Network incorporates as an independent, nonprofit organization with a new name: the International Hispanic Network (IHN). ICMA signs an initial three-year affiliation agreement with IHN (most recently renewed in 2012)
at the annual conference in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
ICMA collaborates with the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities, the California City Management Foundation, the Municipal Management Associations of Northern and Southern California, California county chief administrative officers
and directors of councils of government, and members of the state's academic community to create Cal-ICMA, a new model for state-level affiliation. Cal-ICMA is inclusive of all ICMA members in California without creating another "organization" with a
separate dues structure.
ICMA members approve constitutional amendments to add the position of president-elect to the executive board and decrease the number of past presidents on the board from two to one in 2008.
As part of its Next Generation Initiative, ICMA launches the Local Government Management Fellowship (LGMF) program to provide opportunities for recent MPA graduates to work in local government.
After more than seven years of working in Mexico under funding by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International City Management Association of Mexico (ICMA Latinoamérica) launches an initiative to become a self-sustaining operation
that provides direct services to Mexican cities and promotes professionalism and transparency in local government.
Task Force on Financing ICMA recommends a long-term revenue policy for the association. ICMA reorganizes internally into a team-oriented structure.
ICMA celebrates its 90-year anniversary.
ICMA establishes its first CityLinks program in Afghanistan. Working for the first time in a country in conflict changes the nature of ICMA International's business. This same year, nine staff, six of whom are ICMA members, begin work in Iraq as part
of ICMA's international efforts.
The Fund for Professional Management corpus reaches $1 million, and the Range Rider Program celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Participation in the LGMF Program doubles over its pilot year, and ICMA solicits 12 local governments to host 14 LGMF Fellows plus three pilot-year renewals.
In June, ICMA facilitates the transformation of the ICMA South Asia program office into the Urban Management Center, a legacy local nongovernmental organization.
On Monday, August 29, Hurricane Katrina, which forms over the Bahamas and crosses Florida, slams into the Gulf of Mexico to make a second landfall in Louisiana. The hurricane becomes the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history and creates myriad
challenges for local governments in the Gulf region, including New Orleans.
At the annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ICMA rolls out the Emerging Leaders Development Program (ELDP) for managers new to the profession; entering from other professions, such as the military or the private sector; or without an MPA.
In 2005, ICMA is awarded the CityLinks Post Tsunami Recovery Program to help cities in India restore damaged infrastructure, take steps to prevent and mitigate future disasters, and improve service delivery. Recovery activities include the construction
of playgrounds in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam that are based on children's drawings and built by community members.
ICMA initiates its Senior Advisors Program to use retired managers in support of the State Liaison, Range Rider, and other member service programs. Program launches with seven senior advisors.
ICMA membership: 8,089, including 7,766 U.S. and 323 international.
Recognizing that a new approach to research and development, innovation, and the development of best practices is needed to move local governments forward, the Innovation Groups and ICMA form an "alliance" for innovation to address these needs and select
Arizona State University to join the partnership. When the transition is complete, IG will "morph" into "the Alliance" and will no longer exist as "IG."
As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Active Living initiative, ICMA sponsors a series of outreach and educational activities in partnership with the Local Government Commission and the National Governors Association.
ICMA secures funding to launch an 18-month national study of 311 and customer service technology in conjunction with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The study involves in-depth case studies of local governments that have successfully implemented 311
systems and a national survey of local government perceptions and uses of 311. In 2008, the program publishes its final report, which becomes the top free ICMA Bookstore download.
ICMA membership: 8,416, including 8,095 U.S. and 321 international.
ICMA rolls out a new marketing strategy at the 2006 annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, with revamped branding for its products and services (i.e., ICMA Press, ICMA University, ICMA Results Networks, and ICMA International) and a new tagline for
ICMA ("Leaders at the Core of Better Communities"). The association also rolls out an integrated look for collateral materials, its website, and product design to drive consistency and cohesiveness of the ICMA brand.
The executive board approves a formula for net asset target balance benchmarking against data from the American Society of Association Executives and establishes five-year incremental targets to achieve the desired net asset balance.
ICMA launches the daily ICMA News Briefing in September to deliver local government news by email each business day. It also creates Local Government Matters, an e-newsletter that provides members and nonmembers with tools and resources
concerning leading practices in local government.
ICMA establishes the National Emergency Management Network as a joint venture with the Public Entity Risk Institute and technology partners Emergency Visions and Scanlynx to support local and regional emergency management networks.
ICMA partners with the Florida City and County Management Association and the Fannie Mae Corporation to demonstrate its networked approach to emergency management. Together the groups coordinate an effort to send local government support, staffing, and
equipment to the Gulf community of Pascagoula, Mississippi, as that community continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
ICMA International provides consulting and training assistance in Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, and Sri Lanka.
Center for State and Local Government Excellence (CSLGE) launches with seed money from the ICMA Retirement Corporation (ICMA-RC). The center's mission is to help state and local governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract
and retain talented, committed, and well-prepared individuals to public service.
December marks the beginning of what will become known as the "Great Recession." This time of global economic decline, which intensifies by September 2008, affects countries throughout the world, precipitates thousands of foreclosures throughout the
United States, and creates a fiscal crisis that will continue through 2012. The crisis has a significant impact on local government.
ICMA passes milestone of 9,000 members in August
ICMA develops a new initiative to increase the number of young professionals who join the association. The initiative includes new affiliate dues rates, available in October, for entry- to mid-level local government staff for their first three years
of membership and a salary-based dues structure for the fourth year.
ICMA Legacy Leader Program recognizes Credentialed Managers who actively coach and recruit young professionals. Eighteen legacy leaders and 90 legacy leader candidates participate initially.
To commemorate the 1908 establishment of the first position of broad authority and responsibility associated with professional administrators and managers, Staunton, Va., hosts members of the ICMA Executive Board and guests for a celebratory program
on September 18. Highlights include the reenactment of a conversation between Charles E. Ashburner, the country's first city manager, who served Staunton from 1908 to 1911, and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Five current and retired Virginia managers
provide historical reflections. Pictured: ICMA board members present plaque to Staunton Mayor Lacy King.
ICMA publishes revised editions of Emergency Management and Service Contracting: A Local Government Guide. Emergency Management is the first ICMA Green Book released under the new product brand design.
ICMA launches its Leading Ideas Series on DVD. The series features taped interviews with authors who serve as annual conference keynote speakers.
Continuing to demonstrate the networked approach to emergency management, ICMA, in conjunction with the Florida and South Carolina City and County Management associations and the Virginia Local Government Management Association, and with support from
Fannie Mae, coordinates 11 missions sending local government support, staffing, and equipment to the Gulf communities of Pascagoula, Pass Christian, and Moss Point, Mississippi. Activities are part of the continuing Hurricane Katrina recovery effort.
ICMA membership: 9,084, including 8,723 U.S. and 361 international.
In January, ICMA and the Alliance for Innovation publish member and elected official versions of a new original report, "Navigating the Fiscal Crisis: Tested Strategies for Local Government Leaders." An audio news conference on the report generates media
coverage in a number of outlets, including MarketWatch.com.
In March, ICMA coordinates audio news conferences on immigration reform, which generate significant media attention for the association.
For the first time in its history, ICMA participates as an exhibitor in the annual Public Service Recognition Week event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 7-9.
As an outgrowth of its Sustainable Communities Leadership Initiative, through which members promoted and discussed the manager's role in sustainable communities, ICMA launches its Center for Sustainable Communities, which facilitates and manages applied
and survey research, communication and outreach, and professional development programs.
In June, ICMA launches a new "virtual" Economic Crisis E-Debit Card to Full and Affiliate members serving U.S. local governments to underwrite the cost of membership dues, renewals, and professional development programs offered by ICMA. Members may use
the card through August 2011.
J.O.B Center and Next Generation websites merge; the J.O.B. Newsletter is converted to electronic format.
ICMA launches a Web2 strategy that results in a coordinated ICMA presence on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
ICMA collaborates with the National League of Cities to design and deliver emergency management training to elected and appointed local government officials.
With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, ICMA begins the second phase of a National Study of 311 and Customer Service Technology to provide local governments with new information and resources for developing a centralized customer service system.
ICMA signs a $976,323 agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to administer a two-year Public Library Innovations Grants program. The program is designed to strengthen the relationship between public libraries and local governments by leveraging
libraries to support community priorities. The association awards more than $500,000 to nine communities across the country.
With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ICMA develops a series of publications that focus on the intersection of smart growth, rural communities, and climate change. More than 6,000 individual members join the Smart Growth Network.
ICMA secures a new five-year, $1.2 million contract to manage the national brownfields conference in conjunction with EPA.
ICMA premieres an electronic version of the ICMA Newsletter on September 15.
In response to reader feedback, ICMA launches a completely redesigned version of PM (Public Management) magazine in September. Improvements include printing the magazine on 30 percent recycled FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified paper using
ICMA membership: 9,195, including 8,805 U.S. and 390 international.
The first ICMA virtual annual conference is offered from Montréal in October.
ICMA celebrates the 35th anniversary of its Range Rider Program.
ICMA's new website and Knowledge Network launch in May to provide a continuously evolving platform for interaction and knowledge sharing. The Knowledge Network, which is a partnership between ICMA and the Alliance for Innovation, is open to members and
others with an interest in local government. The site uses new social networking, content management functionality, blogs, a robust search engine, and other tools to facilitate information sharing among participants.
ICMA launches the Center for Public Safety Management in August, which replaces ICMA Consulting Services.
ICMA International achieves record high revenues, exceeding the previous fiscal year by 15 percent. The active international project portfolio expands to include 17 programs in 16 countries. Highlights include improving the water supply system in Afghanistan
to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of citizens; enhancing the effectiveness of neighborhood councils in Iraq; and sharing best practices in industrial and medical waste management in Jordan.
ICMA completes the five-year Smart Growth Network cooperative agreement with EPA in June and publishes the well-received report, "Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities."
ICMA wins a new five-year grant, worth approximately $4.8 million, from the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct research and outreach on the implementation of solar energy strategies among local governments.
With support from the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, ICMA conducts a web conference for more than 300 local officials on planning, implementing, and monitoring energy efficiency initiatives, including those funded by the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
ICMA successfully completes the ICMA Public Library Innovation Grants program begun in 2009 and made possible with support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The nine jurisdictions that were awarded grants develop projects to use their public
library in nontraditional ways to meet community needs and strengthen partnerships between chief administrative officers and library directors. Case studies and a final report from the grants program are published in November.
David Childs, assistant county manager, Washoe County, Nevada, becomes the first assistant to be selected as ICMA president in October.
ICMA membership: 8,871, including 8,491 U.S. and 380 international members.
Following nearly two years of work with the U.S. Department of State, ICMA launches the Sustainable Communities Fellowship program. With its international affiliate partners (the Local Government Managers Association in Australia, Society of Local Government
Managers in New Zealand, Association of Indonesia Municipalities, and China University of Political Science and Law), the association coordinates a program that brings 24 local government professionals to the United States for a week of orientation in
Washington, D.C.; two weeks with host communities; and a final week back in Washington, D.C., for a Fellows Congress. Reciprocally, U.S. fellows travelled abroad for two-week exchanges in one of the four other countries, meeting with local stakeholders
and experiencing local government management in an international setting.
ICMA publishes a redesigned Municipal Year Book, creating a leaner and more relevant publication that focuses primarily on priority content issues identified by readers.
Following a year-long dialogue, ICMA members approve constitutional amendments to address changes to the organization's organizational structure and governance that will strengthen ties and shares ownership with state and affiliate associations, as called
for in the 2008 Strategic Plan. The amendments created regional nominating committees to replace the ICMA Nominating Committee for the 2013 elections. This gave those associations with an ICMA affiliation agreement direct involvement in and responsibility
for the identification and nomination of ICMA vice presidents. Members also approve amendments to add a third international vice president to the board to strengthen the "I" in ICMA and provide equal representation (three vice presidents) for all six
The U.S. Agency for International Development awards ICMA a five-year, City-to-City Partnerships Program contract. The program addresses three interrelated development issues of paramount importance in today's world: improving climate-related governance
and systems in targeted urban areas, increasing the resiliency of cities in Feed the Future (the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative) countries, and improving water supply and sanitation access in urban communities in Global Health
ICMA celebrates the Knowledge Network's one-year anniversary in May, with more than 18,000 registered users and a monthly average of 400 new users from all levels and functions of local government.
ICMA produces a 2.5-minute Life, Well Run campaign fundraising video to raise awareness of professional local government management. Featuring interviews with elected officials, the video debuts at the annual conference in San José, California,
to positive reviews from members and is aired broadly at state association meetings and on local government websites.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services program and 311 Synergy Group, ICMA releases a multimedia website and toolkit, "Integrating 311 into Disaster Response and Recovery," which involves more
than 30 advisors and contributors. The association also partners with the 311 Synergy Group and the Association of Government Contact Center Employees to release a report, "Recommended Practices for 311/CRM Data Reporting", the first national effort to
provide guidance on how local governments can best use 311/CRM data for improved operations and service delivery.
Funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, ICMA, in partnership with the University of Washington Information School, develops a Phase 1 Framework for Digitally Inclusive Communities, which identifies the overarching principles
and key characteristics of organizations and communities that foster digital inclusion. Phase 2 of the effort includes a series of leadership forums with local government leaders and key stakeholders to develop recommendations for communities.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selects ICMA to play a key role in developing benchmarks for public access technology in public libraries and to lead the piloting of the benchmarks in local communities. Eight local governments are identified
as pilot sites.
ICMA and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) establish the ICMA China Center to promote good governance and environmental sustainability at the local and state levels through training, research, and other activities. Approved by
the Chinese Ministry of Education, the center is housed in Beijing at CUPL's School of Public Administration. Objectives include promoting the exchange of best practices between U.S. and Chinese cities and fostering local innovations that protect the
environment and establish sustainable economic development practices.
ICMA membership: 8,691, including 8,338 U.S. and 353 international.
ICMA International's Afghan portfolio expands to include six multimillion-dollar projects.
ICMA launches its Life, Well Run public awareness campaign website (www.lifewellrun.org) and enters its pilot phase by selecting San Antonio and Seguin, Texas, and three cities from the Chicago area to represent Life, Well Run as pilot
communities. The cities were chosen based on their reputations as successful, professionally well-managed communities.
State presidents in each ICMA U.S. region approve agreements to govern the new regional nominations process for 2012-2013. The ICMA Executive Board also approves the composition of an international regional nominating committee and a geographical protocol
for the selection of the International vice presidential nominee starting in 2013.
The association launches its Center for Management Strategies, which focuses initially on local government high performance organization theory and priority-based budgeting/fiscal health and wellness. ICMA partners with the Commonwealth Centers for High
Performance Organizations and the Center for Priority Based Budgeting as preferred providers in these critical organizational management areas.
Bonnie Svrcek, deputy city manager, Lynchburg, Virginia, becomes the second woman president of ICMA in October.
ICMA membership: 9,103, including 8,850 U.S. and 342 international.
Mark E. Keane, who served as ICMA executive director from 1967 to 1983, dies peacefully on April 12 at his home in Sedona, Arizona. He was 93.
William H. "Bill" Hansell, Jr., who served as ICMA executive director from 1983 to 2002, dies on June 4 following a battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was 76.
Simon Farbrother, city manager, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, becomes ICMA's third International president in September and directs the organization as it celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014.
In February, the governing council of Navolato, in Sinaloa, Mexico, creates the position of municipal administrator as a nonpartisan, nonpolitical council appointee--a significant step in a country where all government chief executives are strong mayors and virtually all management positions are held by the mayor’s political allies. The achievement reflects years of groundwork by ICMA México-Latinoamérica and ICMA’s members.
What inspires local government managers to join the profession?
Dave Mora, longtime ICMA member and former ICMA West Coast Regional Director, came to local government management after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees and serving three years in the Peace Corps.
His first local government job in Santa Barbara, California, taught him what it takes to run a city and meet citizens' needs. At the same time, two mentors, both ICMA members, introduced him to the quality, dedication, ethics, and professionalism that are the hallmark of ICMA membership.
Learn how Dave got his start in local government and how his two mentors helped him make it his career.
Read the full story
Ever wonder what it takes to become a professional city, town, or county manager?
Many managers who came to public service in the 1960s, inspired by John F. Kennedy's call to serve the country, are now retiring. Local governments need a new generation of talented, committed, and innovative managers to take their place.
Here are a few resources to help you consider this exciting field.
What has being an ICMA member meant to you?What events were pivotal to your career as a local government manager?
Who are your local government heroes?Help us capture the living history of ICMA. Tell your story. And then read, watch, and listen to stories from your friends and colleagues!
Follow @ICMA to join the conversation!
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