100 Days In...
It was Saturday Morning when I found myself with an opportunity to enjoy my coffee while reflecting back on my first 100 days as Brighton’s City Manager. I feel honored to be serving the community that my family and I have called home for 12 years, but our roots run so much deeper. I always thought, I hoped, that one day I would have the opportunity to serve my community. And, here I am, 100 days in…
It has been a whirlwind that’s for sure. Working in local government has been a rewarding career path, challenging yes, but very fulfilling. It was my internship with the City of Brighton over 10 years ago that got me hooked. There is great satisfaction gained when working to serve and build strong communities for those who live, work, and enjoy them.
It could have been easy to be overwhelmed when I walked in the door given all that awaited: limited time to finish the budget, three union contracts ready to expire, very limited resources to invest in the community, staff retirements, new City Council Members, big development projects, and more. Additionally, I had 12+ years of observations and ideas as a resident swimming in my mind.
So what’s a City Manager? Wikipedia defines a City Manager as “an official appointed as the administrative manager of a city, in a council–manager form of city government. Local officials serving in this position are sometimes referred to as the chief executive officer (CEO) or chief administrative officer (CAO) in some municipalities.”
The International City/County Managers Association provides a wonderful summary of what the City Manager’s role entails:
Every Coach Needs a Quarterback
The coach holds the vision and calls the plays, while the quarterback goes out on the field and makes it happen.
Like a coach, elected officials have a vision for their communities. Professional city, town, or county managers, and the teams they lead, use their strengths in leadership, management, and ethics to make them a reality.
Professional Local Government Managers:
- Translate policy and visionary ideas into real results
- Develop sound approaches to community challenges
- Align the local government’s administrative systems with the values, mission, and policy goals defined by the community and elected officials
How Elected Officials and Managers Work Together
The power and authority to set policy rests with elected officials, such as a mayor or chairperson and members of a community’s council, commission, or board.
The governing body appoints a nonpartisan, nonpolitical professional manager.
The manager serves at the pleasure of the governing body and:
- Procures products and services
- Supervises department heads
- Engages all groups in the community in decision-making
- Develops and oversees the budget
- Makes policy recommendations to the council for consideration and final decision
- The manager is bound by whatever action the council takes, and power always remains in the hands
of the elected representatives of the people.
Being a City Manager, for me, is a mission driven career—a mission to build and support strong communities that provide a high quality of life through the efficient and effective delivery of community services.
I look forward to working with City Council and serving this great community where my family, and many others, calls home.
I am accessible and I welcome your input and questions.
Nate Geinzer, City Manager
Posted: 6/10/2016 by
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