What City, Town, and County Managers Do

These highly qualified experts make an enormous difference in the communities they serve.

Find out more about professional city, county, and town management at lifewellrun.org VIA ICMA

Much like executives who direct private-sector corporations, professional local government managers bring together the leadership, vision, and focus on results needed to create better communities by:

  • Managing financial and human resources,
  • Delivering services,
  • Planning strategically for community development,
  • Using performance metrics systems to drive continuous improvement, and
  • Committing to the highest level of ethical standards.

Professional local government managers' responsibilities vary from community to community and can include

  • Working with elected officials (mayors, city, town, and county councils) to develop policies and programs,
  • Managing government staff, budgets, programs, and projects,
  • Coordinating service delivery, such as police, fire, sanitation, street repairs, and upkeep of parks,
  • Including all community members and interests in the decision making process, and
  • Ensuring that laws and policies are enforced fairly throughout the community and that the government runs ethically and transparently.

Professional city, town, and county managers establish a commitment to excellence within the local government organization that sets the tone for all employees. These individuals expect staff at all levels, from department directors to line employees, to meet high standards in service delivery, accountability, and ethics. Together, they look for more effective and efficient ways to serve the members of their community.

ICMA believes that communities benefit most when professional managers operate in a council-manager form of government, and works hard to promote this system.

ICMA supports this critical priority by

  • Providing support to active form of government adoption and retention campaigns through ICMA's Future of Professional Management Fund,
  • Support for communities striving to bring professional management into their jurisdictions by hiring a professional manager
  • Attracting the next generation of local government leaders
  • Data, information, and other resources provided online and in hard-copy format. 

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