City Management Basics

With more than three decades of experience as a city manager and in similar positions, Robert Baldwin knows what separates a good manager from a bad one. After serving as the city manager in large cities like Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and smaller towns like Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Robert Baldwin can explain the basics of the position.

Not only is the manager of a city expected to handle all of the city’s day-to-day needs, like serving as an adviser to city council and communicating with department heads, he must also serve as the main public relations contact and prepare an annual budget. The manager operates independent of the city council and other city governmental bodies in an effort to remain impartial while she makes difficult decisions.

Although every town deals with its manager differently, the International City/County Management Association has attempted to standardize the process by putting forth a code of ethics with 12 tenets to help promote responsible, professional local government.