You are here

Managing Local Government

Managing Local Government
An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers

First Edition

October 2017 | 304 pages | CQ Press

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers offers a practical introduction to the changing structure, forms, and functions of local governments. Taking a metropolitan management perspective, authors Kimberly Nelson and Carl W. Stenberg explain U.S. local government within historical context and provide strategies for effective local government management and problem solving. Real-life scenarios and contemporary issues illustrate the organization and networks of local governments; the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of city and county managers; and the dynamics of the intergovernmental system. Case studies and discussion questions in each chapter encourage critical analysis of the challenges of collaborative governance. Unlike other books on the market, this text’s combined approach of theory and practice encourages students to enter municipal and county management careers and equips them with tools to be successful from day one.

About the Authors
Chapter 1 • Managing Local Governments in a Dynamic World
Purpose and Organization of the Book

The Contemporary Context: Continuity and Change

The Intergovernmental Landscape: Who’s in Charge?

Managing Challenges: Critical Competencies for Closing the Gap

Chapter 2 • U.S. Local Governments in Historical Context
Early Development of American Cities: 1700–1900

Urban Population Growth

The Progressive Era

Post-Progressive Era Metropolitan Development

Looking Forward

Chapter 3 • Types, Functions, and Authority of U.S. Local Governments
U.S. Local Government Authority

Local Government Types and Distribution

Regional Models of Local Government Structure

Local Forms of Government

Chapter 4 • Working across Boundaries
Stressed Local Structure

Reform Perspectives

The Manager’s Key Transcending Role

From Cooperation to Governance: Snow White and the 17 Dwarfs

State Restructuring Incentives

Regional Cooperation: Looking Forward

Chapter 5 • The Career of the Local Government Manager
Local Government Manager Profiles

Working as a Local Government Manager

Roles of the Local Government Manager

Managers as Leaders

The Local Government Manager as Organizational Leader

The Manager’s Code of Ethics

Making the Case for a Career in Local Government Management

Chapter 6 • Roles and Relationships
Mayoral Authority and Roles

Basics of Council–Manager Relationships: A North Carolina Example

Realities of Council–Manager Roles and Responsibilities

Changing Roles and Relationships

Chapter 7 • Enhancing Council–Manager Effectiveness
High-Performing Habits

The Manager’s Facilitating Role

Mutual Expectations

Recognizing and Dealing with Problems in the Governing Body

Chapter 8 • Citizen Engagement
Why Engage Citizens?

History of U.S. Citizen Engagement

Objectives of Citizen Participation

Engagement Challenges

From Participation to Power

E-Government Engagement

Making Engagement Work

Chapter 9 • Service Delivery Strategies and Innovation
Who Does What? Government-to-Government Approaches

Who Does What? Public–Private Partnerships

Other Alternative Service Delivery Tools

Key Questions

Building Capacity for Innovation

Chapter 10 • The Manager’s Toolbox
Building Organizational Capacity

The Manager’s Toolbox

The Journey from Planning and Measurement to Management

Using the Tools as Manager

Chapter 11 • Emerging Issues and Management Challenges Facing Local Governments
Wicked Problems Facing Local Governments

Current and Emerging Issues for Local Governments

Skills Needed in Future Managers

Tackling Wicked Problems


Appendix 1: International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Code of Ethics with Guidelines
Appendix 2: International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Practices for Effective Local Government Management

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers takes on a critical topic—governing in urban areas. This text is very readable for an undergraduate audience with limited knowledge of local government and provides solid discussion of the role of the city manager in local government.

Raymond W. Cox III
University of Akron

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers by Kimberly Nelson and Carl Stenberg is highly readable, well researched, and well written. The text features a strong focus on theory and history, summarizing practical managerial advice and strategies and comparing and contrasting theory and factual information through charts and tables.

Paula A. Duda Holoviak
Kutztown University

Managing Local Government: An Essential Guide for Municipal and County Managers offers an exceptional overview of the profession of local government management. It also offers key insights and a valuable road map for the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective manager in an increasingly complicated intergovernmental landscape. It highlights skills, practices, and policies that are essential for a student of local government management to understand.

Christine Palus
Villanova University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5

Chapter 8

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.