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City Management is a professional specialty inside of the broader field of Public Administration. In this book, Mr. Olson shares his experience, management philosophy and lessons learned over a career of working in the field. He reveals the inside story about how cities really work. The insights and experiences related by Mr. Olson will inform the general reader and provide valuable perspective to students of public administration and practitioners alike. Many of the lessons learned are applicable to managers in the private sector as well.
The book begins by describing cities; it explains what they are, what they do, how they're structured, and how they fit into the American federal system. It explains what City Managers are, what they do and how they fit into the operational requirements of cities. From there the book is divided into the four primary duties of a City Manager: leading, advising the City Council, managing city operations, and engaging people. Each of the four duties are explained in detail, with illustrating anecdotes and lessons learned from Mr. Olson's personal experience. The book concludes with a warning that the city management profession is not for the faint hearted but, for those who wish to contribute to their community, it is full of satisfaction and personal reward from serving people.