Among the many disciplines professional city, town, and county managers bring to local governments, civic engagement stands out for building trust. Through ICMA’s Life, Well Run initiative, we have collected and shared more than a hundred success stories, many featuring how managers have solved major community problems by working with residents to explore options. Here are five memorable ones. We’d love to hear yours. Email us at

  1. El Cerrito City Manager Scott Hanin and Assistant City Manager Karen Pinkos worked with residents to plan and develop the San Pablo Avenue Streetscape Project. New and improved pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and a LEED-certified city hall and civic plaza are among the many features of the project.
  2. When Hampton, Virginia, was faced with tough choices in a budget crisis, City Manager Mary Bunting engaged residents in the decision-making process.
  3. Marana, Arizona, Town Manager Gilbert Davidson uses its Citizens’ Forum to help turn strategies into action plans. The new approach to civic engagement has drawn more residents to participate in town initiatives.
  4. Chambersburg Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill credits civic engagement and an open, inclusive grassroots style of local government for the economic and quality-of-life successes the community has achieved.  
  5. So maybe they don’t all start out as successes, but Miranda Lutzow, administrative services director in Waterford, California, shares lessons learned on civic engagement in this blog post.

Life, Well Run raises awareness of and appreciation for the value professional managers bring to building ethical, efficient, effective local government and great communities we’re proud to call home.

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