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During the campaign, the Mayor makes sweeping promises to lower costs and increase services. The crowd cheers, and the Mayor is swept into office on a wave of goodwill. While in office, however, he is much too busy preparing for the next campaign to put those plans into action.
That’s where the City Manager comes in. City Managers tackle the small tasks that turn a campaign promise into concrete reality.
The Mayor and the City Supervisor come up with a list of goals for you — the City Manager — to fulfill. You might be asked to decrease the amount of money the city spends on Police Officers, the library, or playground equipment, for example.
You study the request and determine the best way to accomplish the goal. Then, you present your plans to the Mayor and the City Supervisor. The plan must be approved before you can implement it.
Developing and maintaining the city’s budget is also the City Manager’s responsibility. You determine how much the city receives in taxes and how much it must spend on services. If you find an imbalance, you notify the Mayor immediately.
Meeting with the heads of the fire department, police force, Teacher ’s union, and others rounds out your duties as a City Manager, and helps you stay abreast of the issues facing the city. These meetings may influence the budget you create.
Sometimes, you meet with residents to discuss their hopes and dreams about the city. They may also have complaints about the services the city provides, and you listen politely. Afterwards, you talk to the appropriate Department Head about ways to fix the problem.