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The council-manager government is the system of local government that combines the strong political leadership of elected officials in the form of a council or other governing body, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. All power and authority are concentrated in the elected council as a whole and the council hires a professionally trained nonpartisan manager to oversee the delivery of public services.
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Daly City is a General Law City (authority is set forth in the California Government Code) governed by a council-manager form of government in which the five-member City Council appoints the City Manager. The City Manager oversees an Executive Leadership Team in the operation of eight departments employing approximately 475 staff with an annual estimated budget of $150 million.
Daly City’s five-member council are elected at-large and serve as the community’s governing body. Rather than focus on administrative and operational details, the council focuses on:
The professional manager they hire is responsible for carrying out administrative responsibilities.
Mayors in council-manager communities are key political and policy leaders, and their specific duties, responsibilities, and authorities depend on the organization’s charter or code. In council-manager communities, typically the mayor is an equal voting member of the city council who presides at council meetings, represents the city in intergovernmental affairs, and facilitates communication and understanding between elected and appointed officials. For Daly City, the mayor is elected among the council members annually in December.
In a council-manager government, council members are the leaders and policymakers in the community. The manager is appointed by the council to prepare a budget, hire, terminate and supervise city staff, serve as the council’s chief advisor, and to carry out the council’s policies and priorities. Council members and citizens count on the manager to provide complete and objective information, pros and cons of alternatives, and long-term implications. If the manager is not responsive to the council’s direction, the council has the authority to terminate the manager at any time.
City managers formed a professional association, International City/Council Management Association (ICMA), in 1914 to help share expertise and experiences, hold members accountable to political neutrality and high ethical standards, and promote responsive, effective good government in our communities. To learn more about the contributions of city managers watch this short video and visit Life Well Run.