City Manager

A city manager is an official appointed as the administrative manager of a city, in a council-manager form of city government.

As the top appointed official in the city, the city manager is typically responsible for most if not all of the day-to-day administrative operations of the municipality, in addition to other expectations.

Some of the basic roles, responsibilities, and powers of a city manager include:

  • Supervision of day-to-day operations of all city departments and staff, directly and through department heads;
  • Oversight of all hiring, firing, disciplining and suspensions;
  • Preparation, monitoring, and execution of the city budget, which includes submitting each year to the council a proposed budget package with options and recommendations for its consideration and possible approval;
  • Main technical advisor to the council on overall governmental operations;
  • Public relations, such as meeting with citizens, citizen groups, businesses, and other stakeholders (the presence of a mayor may alter this function somewhat);
  • Operating the city with a professional understanding of how all city functions operate together to their best effect;
  • Attends all council meetings, but does not have any voting rights
  • Additional duties that may be assigned by the council
The responsibilities may vary depending upon other local or state laws, rules, and regulations.

Manager members of the ICMA are bound by a rather rigid and strongly enforced code of ethics that was originally established in 1924. Since that time the code had been up-dated/revised on seven occasions, the latest taking place in 1998. The updates have taken into account the evolving duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the profession; however the core dictate of the body of the code--“to integrity; public service; seek no favor; exemplary conduct in both personal and professional matters; respect the role and contributions of elected officials; exercise the independence to do what is right; political neutrality; serve the public equitably and governing body members equally; keep the community informed about local government matters; and support and lead our employ-ees”—have not changed since the first edition.