Types of Local Governments and the Most Effective and Why

Types of Local Governments

There are different forms of local governments that a region can adopt to enhance its general operations. These forms of governance differ based on the approach given to the management of the government operation. This paper focuses on differentiating different forms of local government, proposing the best form of government that can easily result to great performance in its jurisdiction. There are two types of local government which are Council-Manager Local Government and Council-Mayor Local Government.

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Council-Manager Local Government

Council-manager is a form of municipal structure that involves the interaction of the administrators and council members in both administration and policy. In this form of governance, the council is voted in by the public while the manager is employed by the council to implement policies established by the council. The council comprises of less than ten members elected by public in the city as defined by the charter of the city. The council members have the role of policy setting, budget approval and tax rate determination. The manager serves as chief advisor, and conduct administrative duties (McGuire & Carr, 2015).

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While doing so, Nicholson-Crotty et al. (2014) insist that they should show high level of innovation and focus on ensuring that the policies made will cater for the social issues facing the public in their municipality. The policy should also define the best approach to handle the problem in a unique, innovative and cost effective way. In this form of governance, the county or city manager has the executive functions obligation, although some roles are shared occasionally with other officials. Council-manager has the entire responsibility of council and assists to guarantee both a focus on and transparency to the public interest instead of the single elected official political interests (McGuire & Carr, 2015).  In this form of governance, the mayor is regarded as the head of the council, though he does not have the authority to sanction legislative actions.  

Council-Mayor Local Government

Mayor-council is kind of municipal-structure that generates powers structure separation as in federal government by allocating administrative power to the mayor and policy power to the council. Similar to council-manager, a high level of innovativeness is needed to define policies that can address the social issues facing the municipality or county in an effective and more manageable way. The elected executive of the mayor is designated as the county or city head of government. Executive function roles in this municipal structure are conducted under mayor authority, with her or his authority extending from purely ceremonial duties to full scale obligation for daily activities. The mayor in this case contains veto power over legislature acts. Other duties include firing and firing department heads, as well as administration and preparation of budget.  Although a central coordinating position (CAO) can be established, the roles of the CAO are defined by the mayor. Thus, the mayor remains the most top authority in this form of governance.  Mayor normally have the upper hand in the council, and the duty of terminating the manager, this association significantly creates a CAO that will probably serve the interests of mayor instead of that of the council (McGuire & Carr, 2015).

The most preferred form of Local Governance

The best form of local governance can be measured based on the performance. Between the two forms of governance, the council-manager seems to be more favorable compared to the council-mayor. According to Rivernbark, Fasiello and Adamo (2016), the local government performance needs to be measured using management tools. Using data of performance is making decisions on management is a fundamental infrastructure for creating meaningful, reliable, and accurate performance information. This kind of approach is likely adopted in council-manager where the administrative operations are given to a qualified manager and not just to an elected politician. Council-manager governments appear to favor extra inclusive policy solution which is highly favorable in the governance of a municipality. This form of governance also experience reduced conflict among top officials, and are more prepared to adopt innovative practices and policies compared to mayor-council form of municipal structure. Thus, council-manager governance is more favorable compared to council-manager form of governance. 

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