Hey, where’s my “How  To” manual..????

Presentation By:
Mark Collins
CML Elected Officials Workshop
April 13, 2012
 Working as a Team
 Making Decisions Collaboratively  Providing Positive, Progressive Leadership
 Providing Government Services in a Highly Efficient Manner
 Treating Employees with Respect
“Through our actions, the citizens we serve should feel that their input and participation is appreciated that their city government is responsive and that they have been treated fairly, professionally and with respect.”
Hey, where’s my “How To” manual..????
 Patronage and spoils system is common practice
 Growth of cities during Industrial Revolution highlights the need for a new bureaucratic governance model
 Woodrow Wilson: “Politics of Administration”
 Improving efficiency with business‐like practices, effective management and training of EE’s
 Politics/Administration dichotomy
Staff Hiring
Citizen Complaints
Award of Contracts
Daily Management
Shaping Policies
Framing Issues
Gatekeeping Role
(Budget Priorities!)
O & M
 Ability of the Council to deal with issues as a team
 Willingness to address difficult issues
 Successful relationship with A Successful Team Serving Your Community!
Professional Staff
“Top administrators are partners
in leadership with the Mayor and other leading politicians. Leadership in government is characterized by interaction, interdependency and mutual respect between politicians and administrators. They have a complementary relationship in which each needs the other and each makes unique contributions in conducting both shared and separate tasks.”
 Limited opportunities for orientation and training
 Vague task and role
 No hierarchy  Little measurable feedback or evaluation
of performance
 Open meeting requirements
Leadership at the Apex, 2008
 Multiple bosses 
(Elected Officials, Supervisors and Citizens)
Changing agendas
Limited resources
Mixed messages
Referee for Council 
Some Council members may not see themselves as members of “a team”
Many Council members find it difficult to “move on” after a close vote or a contentious issue
Effective Council members are the ones who have the skills to say, “Although this issue is not important to me, I can see it’s important
to you; let’s find a way to address it”
Council and staff don’t always speak the same language
Experienced Colleagues Experts/Consultants
 Council clearly defines policy goals and outcomes to be achieved
“What do you hear?” “What do you know?” Conflict/Compromise Harmony/Cooperation Change
 Staff defines the means for achieving these outcomes and successfully carries them out
An ongoing dialogue and discussion are essential to the success of this partnership!
 Create incentives for staff to give Council its best assessment on issues
 Criticize the project or the process, not the person
 Avoid scapegoating staff
 Create mechanisms that protect staff from being drawn into intra‐Council conflicts
 How do local officials resolve contentious issues related to a busy highway intersection, growth, development and an historic neighborhood?
 At times and on certain issues, elected officials need to “exhaust” an issue 4
 Come to all meetings well prepared
 Don’t make promises or Key Agenda Items:
 Communication and decision‐
making styles
 Guidelines for effective working relationships among council members
 Strategies for effective council/staff relationships
 Skills for collaborative problem solving commitments ahead of time to constituents
 Make good use of staff time, honoring and respecting their work
 Be time‐conscious and concise  Ensure that citizens feel that they have been heard
 Maintain control of the discussion with formality and protocol
 Base all discussions on the facts and relevant information
 Support the majority decision of the Council once a vote has been taken
 Abide by the attorney’s recommendations  Personal Conduct, Respect for Others
 Conflicts of Interest/Disclosures
 Respect for Process, Including Public Meetings
 Communication Protocols
 Positive Work and Meeting Environments
 Confidential Information
 Act in the Public Interest
 Treat Others with Civility “It all comes down to respect. Respect for one another as individuals . . . respect for the validity of different opinions . . .respect for the democratic process . . . respect for the community that we serve” – City of Evans, CO
 Praise in Public, Criticize in and Respect
 Communicate Consistently to All Members of the Organization
 Attend CML, NLC, COG’s local trainings & workshops  Review current information and publications on best practices in local governance
 Beg and borrow
 Take full advantage of networking opportunities with other elected officials
 Casual, Informal Setting
 Free BBQ
 City Information Booths
 Equipment Displays
 Opportunities for Citizen Feedback
 Chance for Elected Officials and Staff to Meet with the Public and Visit Informally about Community Issues, Priorities and Concerns