A City Manager Is At The Heart Of A Functional City

April 4th, 2014 by

City managers are appointed by a city council to oversee the multitude of administrative tasks required for the smooth functioning of a city. Their job is to manage city employees, ensure that the city remains within its budget and to represent the municipality in negotiations with outsiders. The city manager acts as a link between the city council and the community. It is his or her job to make sure that council decisions are implemented. The city manager is also often involved in talks with community leaders about new programs.


The daily duties of a city manager will vary, depending on the size of the city or town. Those who work for large metropolitan areas will have specialists at their disposal to manage specific departments within the municipality. A manager of a small town will typically have to carry out a much wider array of tasks.

Regardless of whether he or she works for a large or small municipality, city managers are usually responsible for department oversight, budget management, external relations and internal affairs.

City managers monitor and report on the city budget and make the appropriate recommendations. They normally work with departmental heads and the mayor to ensure that the city’s financial affairs remain under control.

The manager of each department reports directly to the city manager. The oversight of department managers ensures the continuity of policies and standards across the various departments. Departments could include water, city police, fire, recreation, transportation, public health and public libraries. In many municipalities, department heads are directly appointed by the city manager.


The salary of a city manager depends on the size of the municipality. According to statistics released by in October 2013, the majority of city managers earned between $49,100 and $152,846 per year.

The incumbent’s level of education also has a direct effect on his or her pay rate. In 2013, city managers that have a bachelor’s degree received annual paychecks of between $48,000 and $164,000 per year, while those who have a master’s degree in public administration or business earned between $49,833 and $200,224 per year.

An online degree in public administration could be the first step toward an interesting, challenging and ultimately very rewarding career as a city manager. Find out more at

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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