In many large U.S. cities, there have been passionate movements to change the structure of city governments and equally intense efforts to defend an existing structure. More than Mayor or Manager offers in-depth case studies of fourteen large U.S. cities that have considered changing their form of government over the past two decades: St. Petersburg, Florida; Spokane, Washington; Hartford, Connecticut; Richmond, Virginia; San Diego, California; Oakland, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Topeka, Kansas; St. Louis, Missouri; and Portland, Oregon.
The case studies shed light on what these constitutional contests teach us about different forms of governmentthe causes that support movements for change, what the advocates of change promised, what is at stake for the nature of elected and professional leadership and the relationship between leaders, and why some referendums succeeded while others failed.
James H. Svara is a professor of public affairs and director of the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University. He is coeditor of The Facilitative Leader in City Hall and author of The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations. Doug Watson is a former professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and city manager of Auburn, Alabama. He is co-author of Civic Battles: When Cities Change Their Form of Government.
Preface Introduction: Framing Constitutional Contests in Large Cities James H. Svara and Douglas J. Watson Part I: Change from Council-Manager to Mayor-Council Form 2. St. Petersburg: Easing into a Strong-Mayor Government J. Edwin Benton, Donald C. Menzel, and Darryl Paulson 3. Spokane: Development Debate Sparks Government Debate Wendy L. Hassett 4. Hartford: Politics Trumps Professionalism. Wendy L. Hassett 5. Richmond: Implementation and Experience with Strong Mayor Form of Government Nelson Wikstrom 6. San Diego: Switch from Reform to Representative Glen W. Sparrow 7. Oakland: The Power of Celebrity? Explaining Strong-Mayor Charter Reform Megan Mullin Part II: Rejected change from Council-Manager to Mayor-Council Form 8. Kansas City: The Evolution of Council-Manager Government Kimberly Nelson and Curtis Wood 9. Grand Rapids: A Lack of Enthusiasm for Change in the Council-Manager Form Eric S. Zemmering 10. Dallas: The Survival of Council-Manager Government Karen M. Jarrell 11. Cincinnati: Charter Conflict and Consensus John T. Spence Part III: Change from Mayor-Council to Council-Manager 12. El Paso: Professionalism over Politics in the Shift to Council-Manager Government Larry Terry 13. Topeka: Council-Manager Redux Finding Balance in the Politics-Administration Dichotomy R. Paul Battaglio, Jr. Part IV: Rejected Change to Mayor-Council Form from Commission and Weak Mayor 14. St. Louis: Deja Vu All over Again: Charter Reform Fails Robert Cropf, Todd Swanstrom, and Scott Krummenacher 15. Portland: "Keep Portland Weird," Retaining the Commission Form of Government Doug Morgan, Masami Nishishiba, and Dan Vizzini 16. Conclusion: Distinct Factors and Common Themes in Change of Form Referenda James H. Svara and Douglas J. Watson List of Contributors Index
This important book is a contribution to both public administration and urban politics. It sheds light on the issues of democracy in political science but also has practical advice for those who are appointed or are elected officials. -Dick Simpson, University of Illinois at Chicago