More Than Mayor or Manager: Campaigns to Change Form of Government in America's Large Cities

More Than Mayor or Manager: Campaigns to Change Form of Government in America's Large Cities

by James H. Svara
     
 

Different forms of city government are in widespread use across the United States. The two most common structures are the mayor-council form and the council-manager form. In many large U.S. cities, there have been passionate movements to change the structure of city governments and equally intense efforts to defend an existing structure. Charter change (or

Overview

Different forms of city government are in widespread use across the United States. The two most common structures are the mayor-council form and the council-manager form. In many large U.S. cities, there have been passionate movements to change the structure of city governments and equally intense efforts to defend an existing structure. Charter change (or preservation) is supported to solve problems such as legislative gridlock, corruption, weak executive leadership, short-range policies, or ineffective delivery of services. Some of these cities changed their form of government through referendum while other cities chose to retain the form in use.

More than Mayor or Manager offers in-depth case studies of fourteen large U.S. cities that have considered changing their form of government over the past two decades: St. Petersburg, Florida; Spokane, Washington; Hartford, Connecticut; Richmond, Virginia; San Diego, California; Oakland, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Topeka, Kansas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Portland, Oregon. The case studies shed light on what these constitutional contests teach us about different forms of government—the causes that support movements for change, what the advocates of change promised, what is at stake for the nature of elected and professional leadership and the relationship between leaders, and why some referendums succeeded while others failed. This insightful volume will be of special interest to leaders and interest groups currently considering or facing efforts to change the form of government as well as scholars in the field of urban studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589017092
Publisher:
Georgetown University Press
Publication date:
11/23/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
938,511
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

Dick Simpson

This important book is a contribution to both public administration and urban politics. It sheds light on the issues of democracy in political science but also has practical advice for those who are appointed or are elected officials.

From the Publisher

"This important book is a contribution to both public administration and urban politics. It sheds light on the issues of democracy in political science but also has practical advice for those who are appointed or are elected officials." -- Dick Simpson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Meet the Author

James H. Svara is a professor of public affairs and director of the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University. He is coeditor of The Facilitative Leader in City Hall and author of The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations.

Doug Watson is a former professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and city manager of Auburn, Alabama. He is co-author of Civic Battles: When Cities Change Their Form of Government.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >