THE POLITICS OF COUNCIL-MANAGER
GOVERNMENT IN OHIO
JOSEPH ANDREW UVEGES, JR.
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the members of my com-
mittee, Dr. Gladys M. Kammerer, Dr. Ruth McQuown, Dr. Clayton Curtis,
Dr. Manning J. Dauer, and Dr. Ernest R. Bartley for their guidance and
assistance pursuant to the completion of this study. Of special note is
my sincere appreciation to Dr. McQuown for her forthright counsel and
guidance in the compilation and writing of this manuscript. Her tire-
less effort toward bringing about the successful completion of this
study in a scholarly manner cannot be overemphasized. To the chairman
of my committee, Dr. Kammerer, for the personal interest and inexhausti-
ble patience shown by her toward me throughout the writing of this manu-
script, I shall forever by indebted. Whatever degree of scholarship I
have attained in the discipline of political science has been accom-
plished largely through her support and direction and I am deeply appre-
ciative. An additional note of thanks is due Dr. Charles 0. Farris and
Dr. Alfred B. Clubok for their assistance with statistical data in this
study, without which I could not have completed this dissertation.
I wish to note a special indebtedness to the U. S. Department of
Health, Education, and Welfare, the University of Florida, and the De-
partment of Political Science for their support of the National Defense
Fellowship program under which I was permitted to pursue my studies to-
ward the doctorate degree.
An added note of appreciation is due my typist, Charlotte Isbili,
for her tireless and precise endeavor in the typing of this manuscript.
Finally, a special expression of indebtedness and gratitude is
due my family, my long-suffering wife and children, for seldom has any
project had such an Impact on the peace and tranquility which should
prevail in a home.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . .
LIST OF TABLES. . . . . . . . .... . . . .
LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I THE ORIGIN AND DOCTRINE OF COUNCIL-MANAGER
GOVERNMENT. . . . . . . . . .
Comparative Studies and Council-Manager
Government. . . . . .....
The Origins of Council-Manager Government.
The Doctrinal Tenets of Council-Manager
Government. . . . . . .
The Manager: Policy Initiator and/or
Political Leader? . . . . . .
Conclusion . . . . . . . .
II THE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH: BACKGROUND AND
PROTOTYPE . . . . . . . . .
Definitions. . . . . . . . .
The Background and Development of
Methodological Approaches . . . .
The Florida Study and Its Contributions..
Findings of the Florida Study. . ...
METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK AND ANALYSIS . . .
The Setting for the Study. . . . . .
Framework and Methodology. . . . . .
Conclusion . . . . . . . . .
* . . 1
. . . 19
* . . 28
S ... 29
S. . 29
* 4 4 4 29?
. . 48
. . .
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
IV ANALYSIS OF TENURE AND TERMINATION OF
MANAGERS. . . . . . . . . . . 67
Institutional-structural Factors . . . . 67
Personal Characteristics of Managers . . .. 83
Nonpoitlcal Community Factors . . . .. 93
Political Factors. . . . . . .. 105
Interpretation and Sur.mnury . . . . . . 121
V CASE STUDIES OF THREE MONOPOLISTIC
COMMUNITIES . . . . . . . . . . 129
Clover Heights . . . . . . . 130
Clover Heights Summary . . . . . . .. 138
Meadwood . . . . . . . . . . 139
Meadwood Summary . . . . . . . 152
Westburg . . . . . . . . . 152
Westburg Summary . . . . . . . . 170
Some General Observations. . . .. . . . 170
VI CASE STUDIES OF THREE COMPETITIVE
COMMUNITIES . . . . . . . . . 172
Astor. .. . . . . . . . . . 172
Astor Summary. . . . . . . . . . 189
Feldstone. . . . . . . . . . .. 189
Feldstone Summary . . ..... . . 205
Streamford . . . . . . . ..... . 206
Streamford Summary .. . . . . . 227
Some General Observations. . . . . . ... 228
VII CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . ... .. 231
APPENDICES.. . . ... . . . . . .... 244
I QUESTIONNAIRE . . . . . . . ... . 245
II INTERVIEW GUIDE . . . . . . . . 257
BIBLIOGRAPHY.. . . . . . ...... ........ 262
LIST OF TABLES
1 CASE-STUDY CITIES BY AREA AND BY COMMUNITY
TENURE . . . . . . . . . . .
2 COMMUNITY TENURE OF MANAGERS BY MANNER OF
SELECTING THE MAYOR . . . . . . .
3 INVOLUNTARY TERMINATIONS OF MANAGERS ATTRIBUTABLE
TO THE MAYOR BY MANNER OF SELECTING THE MAYOR. .
4 COMMUNITY TENURE BY MANAGER'S AUTHORITY TO
SELECT DEPARTMENT HEADS. . . . . . . .
5 COMMUNITY TENURE OF MANAGERS BY PRESENT MANAGER'S
REPORTED ROLE IN POLICY INITIATION . . . .
6 PROFESSIONAL STATUS AND LOCAL STATUS OF PRESENT
MANAGERS BY ABSOLUTE SIZE OF POPULATION . . .
7 PROFESSIONAL STATUS AND LOCAL STATUS OF MANAGERS
AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT BY CITY'S POLITICAL STYLE
AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT . . . . . . .
8 POLITICAL STYLE BY POPULATION SIZE . . . .
9 POLITICAL STABILITY BY POLITICAL STYLE . . .
10 PERSONAL TENURE BY PROFESSIONAL STATUS AND LOCAL
STATUS OF MANAGER . . . . . . . .
11 LOCAL STATUS BY NUMBER OF MANAGER POSTS HELD . .
12 PERSONAL TENURE BY PROFESSIONAL-LOCAL STATUS
OF THE MANAGER . . . . . . . . .
13 TYPE OF TERMINATION BY PROFESSIONAL-LOCAL STATUS
OF MANAGER . . . . . . . . . .
14 PROFESSIONAL-LOCAL STATUS BY PRESENT MANAGER'S
PERCEPTION OF POLITICAL STABILITY . . . .
15 COMMUNITY TENURE BY SIZE OF THE COMMUNITY .. ..
. . 56
* . 68
* . 69
* . 74
. . 79
. . 84
. . 84
. . 85
. . 86
. . 87
. . 87
. . 91
. . 98
LIST OF TABLES (Continued)
16 COMMUNITY TENURE BY YEARS WITH THE PLAN.
17 COMMUNITY TENURE BY RAPID INCREASE IN
MEDIAN INCOME LEVEL. . . . . .
18 COMMUNITY TENURE BY RACIAL AND ETHNIC
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COMMUNITY ..
19 COMMUNITY TENURE BY INCREASE IN MEDIAN
EDUCATION LEVEL. . . . . . .
20 COMMUNITY TENURE BY PARTISAN POLITICAL
ACTIVITY . . . . . . . .
21 COMMUNITY TENURE BY ELECTORAL ACTIVITY B'
ECONOMIC, RACIAL AND/OR ETHNIC GROUPS..
22 COMMUNITY TENURE BY REGIME CONFLICT. ..
23 COMMUNITY TENURE OF MANAGERS BY PREVIOUS
MANAGER'S CONFLICT IN RELATIONSHIP . .
24 TYPES OF TERMINATION BY POLITICAL STYLE.
25 REASONS FOR INVOLUNTARY TERMINATIONS BY
POLITICAL STYLE. . . . ... .
* . . .. *
26 TYPES OF CONSIDERATION OF INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION
BY POLITICAL STYLE . . . . . .
27 POWER EXCHANGES AND MANAGER TERMINATIONS . . .
: : : :
LIST OF FIGURES
I LOCATION OF OHIO COUNCIL-MANAGER CITIES BY
COUNTY AND BY POLITICAL PARTY PREFERENCE
VOTE IN 1960 OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND U. S.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS . . . . . . . . 53
THE ORIGIN AND DOCTRINE OF COUNCIL-MANAGER GOVERNMENT
Comparat ive Studies and Council -Manager Government
Research In the field of local government and politics for many
years has consisted of primarily disconnected and unrelated individual-
istic studies with little or no attempt made to orient the research
within a common conceptual framework and methodology through which par-
allel findings can be extracted and a theory can be developed which will
hold true in a majority of circumstances. The idiographic or case study
approach, while producing a great amount of data about the operation of
government, does not take into account the possibility of discovering
typologies of situations, institutions, and actors or common sets of
variables beyond the particular study. Also many of our Individualistic
studies have suffered from the fact that they have been "culture bound"
in the sense that the researcher was unaware that the implicit values
expressed in the behavior under study were particular to a specific
time, place, and culture.
Comparative studies attempt to fulfill the need for causal the-
ory by discovering interrelations among factors ordered within a specific
frame of reference which go beydod the single case study and attempt to
provide some explanations in understanding political phenomena under de-
fined circumstances, times, places, and with values explicitly Identi-
fied. By using the comparative approach it becomes possible to test
many of the concepts and hypotheses which have been accumulated over
many years regarding government. In this manner, by holding various
factors constant, other variables may be introduced and evaluated as to
their effect upon the system being studied. Under this empirical and
comparative approach, cause and effect relationships may be hypothesized
and tested, and it is possible to move beyond propositions that are weak
because they are based on a single case.
Studies in local government appear especially suited for compar-
ative studies since a great amount of writing in local government until
relatively recent times has been based more on the assumptions and nor-
mative desires of those writing on local government than on empirical
data. While some of the other political science disciplines were gradu-
ally being affected by new developments in research methodology, the lo-
cal government field, for the most part, remained tied to the views and
assumptions of the normative or "traditional" school of writers. The
"traditionalist" view that problems in municipal government could be
solved through the application of an undefined principle of "efficiency"
In administration has been generally accepted.l Foremost in the desire
for "efficient" government Is the assumption that "politics" are bad and
can be eliminated from the administrative branch of government, thereby
permitting the solution of local government problems by an efficient
1The following sources represent the prevailing view of the
"traditionalist" or "machine-model" school: Frederick W. Taylor, The
Principles of Scientific Management (New York: Harper and Brothers,
1911); Luther Gulick and L. Urwick, Papers on the Science of Administra-
tion (New York: Institute of Public Administration, 1937). Dwight
Waldo in The Administrative State (New York: The Ronald Press Company,
1948) gives an excellent analysis and critique of this school.
nonpolitical administration, free from any interference by vested inter-
ests in the community.
A comparative approach to the study of local government can be
quite useful in examining the assumptions of the traditionalist writers.
Local government politics and administration can be studied empirically
In a variety of ways. The amount and level of political activity and
how it operates in certain typologles of communities can be examined.
Local administration can also be examined as to its organization and op-
eration and how factors in that type of governmental structure affect
that operation. Carried a step further, the structure can be examined
in certain typologies of local communities. By following this approach,
the assumptions of the traditionalists with regard to so-called "princi-
ples," such as the "necessity" for separation of politics and adminis-
tration, nonpartisan elections, etc., can be tested empirically and
either sustained or refuted.
In view of the widespread adoption of council-manager government
for cities and the rather clearly articulated Model City Charter and op-
erating principles, this particular form seems an appropriate focus for
the development of comparative studies that can be applied to a similar
structure of government. The council-manager plan grew out of an over-
all consensus among political scientists and local government reformers
earlier in this century that politics per se were bad in local govern-
ment and that the best way to deal with urban problems was to remove
politics from their resolution. The method usually taken to accomplish
this goal was through the requirement of nonpartisan elections. However,
council-manager government, which incorporated the nonpartisan feature
among others, was Ideally suited to the political sterilization of local
government and went beyond the mere electoral process in structuring ad-
In general, the council-manager form of government places all ad-
ministrative authority in a manager who is supposed to eschew politics
and be selected on the basis of his qualifications as an administrator
and who may come from anywhere in the nation. All policy-making is
given to an elective council, the members of which run for office on a
nonpartisan basis. The council is forbidden by the Model Charter, which
incorporates this form, from interfering with the manager in his admin-
istration of the city. This form of government arose during the Pro-
gressive Era of reform, and no empirical research had been undertaken
prior to its development, and little has been done since to test the
various kinds of relationships and phenomena under this plan.
The National Municipal League changed its Model Charter for city
government to incorporate only the council-manager plan beginning in
1915. The League has since been one of the main promoters of this form
of government. After the League endorsed council-manager government the
number of cities with this form of government rose considerably. Today,
1,175 cities of over 5,000 persons have this form of government and they
constitute 39 per cent of all cities of this size. The bulk of them, or
37 per cent, fall within the 10,000 to 25,000 population range, although
an additional 32 per cent fall within the 5,000 to 10,000 range.1
IThe Municipal Year Book (Chicago: The Institutional City Man-
agers' Association, 1964), p. 84.
Interestingly enough, 30.2 per cent of all cities in the 5,000 to 10,000
class, 42.2 per cent in the 10,000 to 25,000 class, 52.4 per cent in the
25,000 to 50,000 class, 51.6 per cent in the 50,000 to 100,000 class,
49.4 per cent in the 100,000 to 250,000 class, 38.7 per cent In the
250,000 to 500,000 class, and 20 per cent in the class over 500,000 have
this council-manager form of government. These figures show a peaking
of relative popularity for the form in the 25,000 to 50,000 class.
The fact that council-manager government has become so popular
in so many of the smaller size cities as to represent a significant pro-
portion of such cities, and the additional fact that little or no empir-
ical testing has been undertaken to determine the validity of the as-
sumptions and conclusions about council-manager government offered by
the framers provide a sound enough basis to undertake an empirical study
of this form of government. Furthermore, the lack of any empirical
testing of the various kinds of relationships and phenomena under the
actual operation of the council-manager plan make quite clear the need
for an empirical analysis of this form of government. In order to Im-
plemcnt such a study it is first desirable to set forth some facts about
the origins and structure"of this form of government in order to under-
stand in what sense actual operations may represent a "departure" from
theory. Then we can look at actual operations.
The Origins of Council-Manager Government
The rise of the council-manager form of government is embedded
In the municipal reform movement initiated by civic and business Inter-
ests of the American city, aided and abetted by various political reform
groups, against waste, extravagance, and frequent corruption which char-
acterized "political machine" government of the last century. Party
politics were dominant with emphasis on keeping the party in power rather
than on good administration. Most influential citizens were preoccupied
with their own business and when they thought about politics they looked
on it as a disreputable game unworthy of their participation.1 Opposi-
tion to bossism and machine rule was centered primarily among business-
men and professional men. Such business leaders were an elitist element
committed to the desirability of systematizing administration.2
it appears as if the nature of the opposition to "political ma-
chine" government took on a "class" basis derived from the socio-economic
composition of the two opposing groups. The reformers were mostly busi-
ness and professional people of middle-class means who were more Inter-
ested in bringing about "good" government, "efficient government, based
On their values and mores, than in profiting personally by providing the
personal services to segments of the population which had been the hall-
mark of machine politics. On the other hand, the political parties,
through the machine, had Its roots firmly in the lower class, i.e., it
depended for its support on the lower-class, blue-collar, ethnic, and
sometimes racial groups in the city. The political parties, by confin-
ing nomination to public office to party politicians, each of them
1Harold A. Stone, Don K. Price, and Kathryn H. Stone, City Man-
ager Government in the United States: A Review After Twenty-five Years
(Chicago: Public Administration Service, 1940), pp. 3-4.
2Leonard D. White, The City Manager (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1927), pp. ix-xl.
beholden to the organization, were able to pull all the diverse threads
of urban government into a reasonably unified chain of command. Once
such unity was achieved, the parties were able to carry out policies de-
signed to meet the problems of urban growth and, at the same time, to
confer benefits upon the various groups, business included, who supported
and financed the party machine. The machine, by serving as a broker--and
for a broker's commission--provided personal services to these people;
services such as helping them to register and vote, finding them employ-
ment, helping them to achieve social recognition, and providing them
with welfare services when necessary. The broker's commission was simply
the support of the machine at the polls by the accommodated segments of
the population.1 While in many cases the political support of the lower
classes for the machine was largely through a "manipulated" vote, it also
was the "pay-off' by the lower classes to the machine for services
For many years political scientists, among others, have uncon-
sciously acquiesced in the view that the American society is a classless
society, that there are no really significant dividing lines between
socio-economic levels in our society. The rise of the reform movement,
however, suggests that this myth might well bear further investigation
due to the class orientation of the reformers and of the opposition
forces. Social classes do, in fact, exist and are important factors in
governmental matters. The seemingly apparent classlessness of American
IFred I. Greenstein, The American Party System and the American
People (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1963), pp.
41-45. Also see Duane Lockard, The Politics of State and Local Govern-
ment (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1963), pp. 218-226.
society, as viewed by many political scientists, may be no more than a
reflection of the fluidity of movement up and down the class ladder.
Demand for reform was expressed in two ways: drawing attention
to the quality of leaders and to the nature of the structure of govern-
ment. The first effort concentrated on moves to remove the "rascals"
from office and replace them with "good" men and the second one on moves
to improve the structure of municipal government by simplifying it and
thereby increasing administrative efficiency. The first of these, how-
ever, was severely handicapped as a solution by the existing fragmented
structure of government. Most cities had a "weak-mayor" form of govern-
ment where the mayor had little or no administrative power and where ad-
ministration was dispersed and spread over the entire system of govern-
ment through use of independent boards and commissions and a great num-
ber of minor independently elected city officials to a degree that no
single official or governing board could be held responsible. The minor
administrative officials elected by the people were not subject to ef-
fective control by the mayor or the council.2
Therefore, it is not surprising that the reformers came forth
with some structural changes which they believed would alleviate these
conditions. In 1898 they developed a Model City Charter which embraced
what today is referred to as the "strong-mayor" plan. The mayor was
given broad controlling power over administration and authority to ap-
point his principal subordinates without legislative interference. Thus
IStone, Price, and Stone, p. 4.
the reformers, through their organization, the National Municipal League,
concentrated all administrative power under a single official and by cen-
tering responsibility in the mayor they hoped for a renewal of good gov-
ernment. At the same time they also hoped that the strong mayor would
then turn to more professionally trained people as technicians and de-
Soon afterward in Galveston, Texas, in 1901, another plan was de-
veloped which embodied to a greater degree a simplification of structure,
the "commission" plan. This form completely abandoned the system of sep-
aration of powers, which both the weak-mayor and the strong-mayor plans
considered basic, and concentrated all authority in a single small gov-
erning body, members of which were the only officials elected by the peo-
ple. Administratively, however, the analogy made by reformers with the
corporate form of business organization was not valid because the com-
missioners, unlike corporate directors, were required to take full-time
ad.nnistrative duties. Each was the head of a department. Included in
this plan was an electoral system calling for the election at-large of
commissioners on a nonpartisan ballot.2 This represented a radical
change and restructuring of local politics from the partisan ward elec-
tions which were characteristic of the mayor-council plans.
Both the strong-mayor and the commission plans failed to hold
the favor of reformers after one of the reformers, dedicated to promoting
the short ballot, conceived an entirely new plan. This was Richard S.
Ilbld., pp. 4-5.
21bid. pp. 5-6.
Childs, who wrote of the strong-mayor plan in 1913: "A plan of govern-
ment which permits the whims or failings of a single man to swing such
vast interests, even temporarily, is not thoroughly sound."1 Other
handicaps cited by Childs included:
I. The independent elected executive destroys any con-
tinuity of administrative policy.
2. The election of an administrator is unsound in princi-
ple. Administration Is an expert's job, end the best
experts are not necessarily the best vote getters.
3. The Independent executive, apart from the other branches,
creates a cost mass of red tape.
4. The independent executive destroys unity in government.2
The commission plan also fell under his criticism. The main weaknesses
cited regarding the commission plan was that it failed to bring about an
adequate coordination of activities.3 Often times each commissioner be-
came Jealous of his own separate department and would guard any preroga-
tives he could obtain even at the expense of cooperation with the other
commissioners. There also was no head administrator who could coordi-
nate the many administrative functions.4
Another possibility had suggested itself in 1906 as a solution
to municipal government organization. Staunton, Virginia found itself
with problems derived from having a bicameral legislative branch and no
IRichard S. Childs, "The Theory of the New Controlled Executive
Plan," National Municipal Review. II (1913), 78.
21bid., pp. 80-81.
3bild. Also see Clarence E. Ridley and Orin F. Nolting, The City
Manager Profession (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934), p. 2.
4Stone, Price, and Stone, pp. 6-8.
supervisor of city affairs. Someone in the council suggested that the
city employ an engineer not only to take charge of the streets, but also
to perform "such other duties which may be properly required of him by
the council."' Since Virginia general state law made It impossible for
Staunton to adopt the commission plan, with its unicameral legislative
body, which also was recommended, a joint committee further recommended
that a "general manager" plan (meaning an engineer-administrator) would,
with the exception of the bicameral legislative branch, preserve the es-
sential features of the commission plan. The general manager would be
the executive and administrative head, appointed and removed by and di-
rectly responsible to the council which would exercise a constant super-
vision over him.2 This plan was adopted in 1908.
Richard S. Childs, however, performed "the marriage ceremony" be-
tween the city-manager plan as first thought of in Staunton and the com-
mission plan of Des Moines.3 Des Moines had adopted the commission plan
of Galveston and added to it nonpartisan elections and the initiative,
referendum, and recall. Childs, as the principal leader and executive
secretary of the National Short Ballot Association, had as his major
goal the adoption of a short ballot for the election of members of the
legislative body and saw the possibilities of the Staunton improvisation.
He, therefore, proposed a unicameral small council elected at large (for
'Ibid. pp. 8-9.
3"Professional Standards and Professional Ethics in the New Pro-
fession of City Manager," National Municipal Review, V (1916), 210.
smaller cities) and a somewhat larger group elected by districts (in
large cities). All elections were to be nonpartisan.l At the same time,
Chiids and others were interested In designing a new charter which would
produce "democracy"--control by the people--a government that would ea-
gerly.cater to and anticipate their slightest wish.2 Of the opinion that
the strong-mayor plan and the commission plan would not truly accomplish
these goals, Childs called for a "business manager" in municipal govern-
ment. He called for a council chosen singly from districts (at-large
elections would not work in large cities because It would make the ballot
too long) and with no salary. This council would hire a business manager
for the city who would perform all the "business" of the city. He would
appoint all subordinates, subject only to the usual civil service rules,
creating or abolishing offices where needed. His term would be indetermi-
nate, and he would be removable by the council only by a two-thirds vote
on written charges of inefficiency and after a full hearing.3
The reasoning behind Childs' view that this is a workable system
is seen in the following statement by Childs in 1913:
Upon a state legislature or city legislature, that :s, a
group of men who act n' group, we willingly confer greater power
than we dare give one man, and all these large powers can, with-
out diminution, be boldly and flexibly administered through a
IStone, Price, and Stone, pp. 14-16.
2Richard S. Childs, "What Ails Pittsburg?" American City. iii
31bld., p. ii.
4Chl ds, "Theory . ," p. 79.
In reality the theory of the "controlled executive, according to Childs,
filters everything through a group, the elected council. Without the
loss of administrative unity, it abolishes one-man power.1 It was a real
stroke of salesmanship which soon led Childs to change the name of the
executive from "controlled executive" to "city manager."
Childs incorporated his ideas of city manager government into a
charter for Lockport, few York in 1911. But Lockport failed to adopt the
proposed charter. Nevertheless, this "Lockport Plan," as it came to be
called, represented the formalized design of all the features since asso-
ciated with council-manager government. Childs hastened to Sumter, South
Carolina in 1912 when that city was facing the problem of a new charter
and "sold" his Lockport Plan plus an inspiration he had on the spot. His
special recommendation was to advertise nationally for a manager to fill
the new position in Sumter.2
We have now seen the development of ideas which led up to the
formulation of the plan and Ideology of council-manager government. Dis-
cussed have been the predecessor weak-mayor, strong-mayor, and commission
plans of government as well as the Sumter plan which utilized the first
"manager." Finally, some of the weaknesses of each of these plans have
been suggested and the attempts to eliminate these deficiencies have been
outlined. It now becomes necessary to view the synthesis of these ideas
as embodied In the council-manager plan.
Ilbld., p. 80.
2Richard S. Childs, Civic Victories (New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1952), p. 146.
The Doctrinal Tenets of Council-Manager Government
The outstanding Identifying marks of the council-manager plan
model are a small council of laymen responsible for policy-making and a
professional administrator appointed by and responsible to the council.1
The small council is elected at-large on a nonpartisan ballot and is the
only elective body in the municipal government. The single chief execu-
tive or administrator is to be a professional man. The council is re-
sponsible for all legislative power while the manager is responsible for
all administration.2 As Kammerer and her associates point out in their
Florida study, this politics-administration dichotomy was embraced as
sound causal and normative theory by both reformers and academic scholars
and supported the central provisions of the council-manager plan.3 The
early managers themselves In some of their initial meetings entered some
of the first dissenting notes to the idea that a clear division of poli-
tics and administration was possible or desirable. The first scholarly
study of council-manager government, by Leonard D. White in 1927, re-
vealed that politics and administration were almost always found together
In council-manager cities. White thought, however, that it ought to be
possible to separate these two elements, but he offered no solution to
ICharles R. Adrian, Governing Urban America (New York: McGraw-
Hill Book Company, Inc., 1961), pp. 220-221.
2Gladys M. Kammerer, Charles D. Farris, John M. DeGrove, and
Alfred B. Clubok, City Managers in Politics: An Analysis of Manager
Tenure and Termination (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1962),
this problem.I It appears that the idea of the feasibility of a separa-
tion of politics and administration reflected more of the values of those
who formulated the council-manager plan than a clear picture of fact:
the picture that they ought to be separate without any empirical verifi-
cation as to whether or not such a separation could be effected in
Of utmost importance in comprehending the reasoning back of the
assumption that this separation is feasible is an understanding of the
underlying tenets of the formal structure of the plan. Stone, Price, and
Stone point out three crucial tenets of council-manager governments:
1. The idea that the most capable and public-spirited citi-
zens should serve on the governing body to determine
policies for the benefit of the community as a whole,
rather than for the benefit of any party, faction, or
2. The idea that municipal administration should be dele-
gated to a thoroughly competent, trained executive, who
should get and hold his Job on his executive ability
alone and should be given a status and salary commensu-
rate with that of an executive of a fairly sizeable
3. The idea that the voters should hold only the council-
men politically responsible and should confer on the
manager a state of permanent tenure and neutrality in
The first tenet is incorporated in the nonpartisan ballot and the at-
large election of a small council. The second idea is achieved through
the concentration of administrative authority in the manager. The third
IWhite, p. 301.
2Kammerer, et. al., City Managers pp. 6-7.
3Stone, Price, and Stone, p. 236.
concept is accomplished through the council constituting the only repre-
sentative body elected by the people. The manager in return for the
recognition he receives as a nonpolitical officer is expected to restrain
himself from political participation as such. Thus the model was con-
structed and all the component parts were assigned a specific and presum-
ably nonconflictual role.
In keeping with the reformers' fear of a strong executive force
in city government that carried the potentiality of political power, the
structure of council-manager government downgraded the office of mayor.
Significantly, proponents of council-manager government suggested that
the mayor should be no more than the chairman of the council with little,
if any, higher status than that of any other councilman. Childs cites
two major reasons for this proposed eclipse of the office of mayor:
1. To preserve the unification of powers in the council
whose final determinations of all issues are collegial
rather than by any single men.
2. The elevation of one councilman over the rest may tend
to align him against the others and against the manager,
thereby creating the conflict and drama so desired by
press and public.
Along with the selection of the mayor from among the council membership
the use of nonpartisan elections in the selection of councilmen weakened
the political significance of the mayor's office and reduced the politi-
cal significance of the council as a whole. The expectation was that
nonpartisanship would sterilize the two seats of power in a way not at-
tained under the two mayor-council forms of government. In general, the
IRichard S. Childs, "Quest for Leadership," National Civic Re-
view, L (1961), 527.
mayor is overlooked with regard to any type of function which might place
him In a more powerful position vis-a-vis the council or the manager.
The International City Managers' Association (ICMA) has never clearly
outlined the role of the mayor in terms of political leadership. In one
instance they describe the mayor in this fashion: he ". . represents
the city on all public occasions and assumes the position of leadership
in questions of public policy,"1 and in another instance one of their
writers cites the futility of the manager trying to work through the
mayor on policy proposals.2
in clear contrast to the vagueness characterizing the several
roles of the mayor, the roles of the manager in administration are more
explicit. The Model City Charter clearly delegates to the manager con-
trol over the administrative departments including the appointment and
removal of department heads and personnel.3 Furthermore, the council is
prohibited by the Model Charter from interfering with such administrative
actions by the manager.4 Additional importance is given to the manager
by the Model Charter through the delegation to him of the responsibility
for the preparation and submission of the budget to the council.5 Here,
IRidley and Nolting, pp. 31-32.
2Clarence E. Ridley, The Role of the City Manager in Policy For-
muiation (Chicago: International City Managers' Association, 1958), pp.
3Model City Charter (6th ed. rev.; New York: National Municipal
League, 1964), pp. 23-24.
4IbId., p. 7.
51bid., p. 24.
it may be noted, is an example of a clear delineation of separation of
powers Insofar as the manager's control over administration is concerned.
At the same time it is important to note that the major writers
on council-manager government argue vehemently that there is no separa-
tion of powers in council-manager government. On the contrary, they
claim, the plan in its formal provisions consolidates powers under-the
council. They state that this Is evidenced by the fact that the manager
is always responsible to the council; that even though the manager may
have a free rein in administering the city, the council may, at any time,
dismiss him should a majority of its members believe he has not been
carrying out his duties.l This may be inferred from the fact that the
Model City Charter provides procedures under which the council may ef-
fect the removal of the manager.2
In this section the formal arrangement of the government under
the council-manager plan has been considered. For reasons which will be
detailed later in this chapter, discussion has not centered greatly on
the manager himself. Also, nothing has been said about the informal op-
eration of government. Policy leadership has been alluded to only from
the standpoint of the council and the mayor, for it is in these offices
that the doctrine has placed such responsibility. The following section
will discuss in more detail the roles of the manager in this crucial
sector of government.
IStone, Price, and Stone, p. 179. For a more recent discussion
see Ridley, p. 1.
2odel City Charter, p. 22.
The Manager: Policy initiator and/or Political Loader?
A separate consideration of the manager is necessary because of
the unique position delegated to him under the doctrine of council-
manager government. The manager is, in effect, a chief executive re-
sponsible not to the people directly, but rather to the council. He is
given, according to the doctrine, a free hand in administrative duties
as well as In administrative policy-making. The question remains to be
answered as to whether or not the manager, in his administrative duties,
both administrative policy-making and direction of city operations as
such, is also Instrumental in legislative policy-making as well. Fur-
thermore, if the manager is an active participant in legislative policy
determination, is he also, in reality, a political leader? These are
the questions to be discussed in this section.
Alongside the politics-administration dichotomy discussed ear-
lier, a second and even more crucial semantic game is played by the tra-
ditionalist theorists of council-manager government; that dealing with
policy. and politics. In general there has been little question among
managers themselves as to their role in policy Initiation. Leonard D.
White discussed the fact that many managers took an active role in policy
Initiation. He wrote in the twenties that it was hard for the manager to
divorce himself from policy-making functions because of the expectation
that he would make suggestions and plans in connection with any recomm-en-
dation. The manager's office had become the great center for initiation
and proposal of public policies, as well as the responsible center of
IWhite, pp. 208-210. For the views of the managers themselves on
this subject see Douglas G. Weiford, "The Changing Role of the City
This practice of policy initiation described by White fits well
into the mold which Childs originally made for the manager. Childs al-
ways identified the city manager with policy initiation. Childs de-
scribed the manager's job, In part, as being "called In to give as good
an administration as he can persuade the commission to stand for.'2
Throughout his writings Childs often referred to the manager's responsi-
bilities in connection with policy initiation. In 1933 he stated that
the "city manager should provide the council with facts for determining
policy and should encourage the council to decide the policy positively
instead of passively accepting his recommendations."3 In his book, Civic
Victories, published in 1952, Childs again pointed out the necessity for
the manager to have a major role in policy initiation.4 In 1963, Childs
again stated his viewpoint more specifically. ". . strictly speaking
there can be no complete separation of policy and administration.'"5
Not all managers or academic writers, however, considered that
policy initiation was the proper responsibility for the manager to take.
Manager," Public Management XXXVI (1954), 171-172,and Henry M. Waite,
"The Conmission Manager Plan," National Municipai Reviewa, IV (1915), 44.
losslasi Z. Carr, "The City Managers' Association," National Mu-
nicipal Review, Vil (1918), 45-48.
2'Professional . ," N..R., V, 198.
3Richard S. Childs, "The Best Practice Under the City Manager
Plan, National Municipal Review, XXII (1933), 44.
4Childs, Civic Victories, pp. 169-171.
5Best Practice With the Manager Plan (New York: National Mu-
nicipal League, 1963), p. 4.
In contrast to the view of Childs and others, who saw no connection be-
tween policy initiation and politics, still others considered that such
activism in policy development on the part of the manager could not fall
to propel the manager into politics. The main influence for this view
came from those who saw a direct relationship between the position of
manager and that of the British civil servant of the Administrative
Class. 1. G. Gibbon, an assistant secretary in the British Ministry of
Health, wrote in 1925 that "the future of the city manager form of gov-
ernment is imperiled . by the Incursion of city managers into pol-
icy."2 By espousing the notion of similarity between the city manager
and the British Administrative Class civil servant, Gibbon also called
for the manager to become, in reality, a policy "neutral," taking no ac-
tive part in promulgating policy proposals or defining Issues. That this
view did not ultimately prevail is evidenced by the action of managers,
especially since World War II, in openly espousing policy initiation.3
Why would the proponents of the manager as a policy initiator be-
lieve that he should play such an Important role in policy initiation?
Clearly the concept of a professional manager (in terms of educational
background, public as opposed to nonpublic career line orientation, and
appointment from outside as opposed to local recruitment) is important
to their argument.4 The well-trained, educated manager is considered
1See A. R. Hatton as quoted in Stone, Price, and Stone, p. 73.
2Stone, Price, and Stone, p. 246.
3Kammrere et al., City Managers . p. 7.
4As defined in Kammerer et al., City Managers . p. 8.
better qualified to see objectively what is best for the community.1 As
a full-time employee of the city, he is able to keep up with the many
facets of government, including those functions which make him aware of
the community's needs, present and future. The lack of any set term of
office also makes the manager more stable as policy Initiator. He can
see ahead toward the future and make plans for the future without any
fear of being voted out of office after a term has expired. A third
factor is the method of appointment of the miarager. Childs set the
pattern for the future when he persuaded Sumter, South Carolina, the
first council-manager town (so listed according to Childs' o~o account
and National Municipal League records), to advertise for a manager on a
nationwide basis. Since then the doctrine has stressed that appointments
should be made without regard to whether or not the man is a "local" or
an "outsider."2 implicit in this doctrine is the inference that an out-
sider Is to be preferred because of his nonidentification with local fac-
tions.3 Also, this lack of identification with local factions is con-
sidered as enabling the manager to be more objective regarding policy
matters for the community.4
What, then, about politics and political leadership? Wherein
does the political nature of the community find its expression in the
governmental structure'! Political leadership, according to the doctrine,
IStone, Price, and Stone, p. 73.
2Model City Charter, p. 22.
3Kammerer et .l., City Managers .. p. 8.
4Childs, "Quest . .," p. 529.
is to come from the council as a group. But has this been functionally
reproduced in practice? Leonard D. White said that problems developed
even before the members of council were selected. He questioned the
likelihood of developing effective leaders out of amateurs who were cut
off from the power that control of office might give and who were forced
to appeal to the voters on the basis of personality or policies.1 Fur-
thermore, White saw a problem in keeping civic-minded people interested
in government,2 one of the key necessities for the success of the plan,
thereby inferring that some less civic-minded" council members might be
elected who did not have the community's benefit at heart, and who would
represent "interests and factions. The attendant result might be stale-
mate and inaction.
Thus, if the council is not willing or able to lead, where does
the power to lead reside? Certainly not in the mayor or in the manager,
or so the doctrine states. As stated earlier, the mayor is at times her-
alded as a policy leader, and In practice this occasionally does occur,
but in the main the mayor does not lead. Childs stressed that he was
merely prlmus Inter pares with no special leadership functions. Leader-
ship at the council level should be collegiate, according to Childs. At
the same tlrms, a study of the actual practices of managers accumulates
evidence which tends to link the manager to political leadership.
Let us see what roles the manager is supposed to play--in terms
of leadership in policy--which might be construed as being political.
'White, pp. 165-166.
21bid., p. 298.
Even In the formative years of manager government the prominent position
of the manager in the public eye was noted as a danger to the nonpoliti-
cal requirements of the office.1 Ridley and Nolting in 1934 commented
to the effect that the manager did not allow himself to be driven or led
into appearing to be a leader in or In any way responsible for matters
of policy. The council, on the other hand, was to receive all criticism
of policy and prevent the manager's becoming a target for such criticism.2
Later they stated, in effect, that the manager might suggest policy or
procedural matters without acquiring "political" community leadership.
It Is this, the "political" type of leade ship, which he must try to
But, Ridley, writing twenty-four years later, produced evidence
which tended to show a relationship between the manager and political
leadership. He stated that the managers from whom he had received data
agreed that the councils expected the manager to be an "ldea" man and
that he should not have to be pushed for suggestions.4 In fact, Ridley
stated: "The manager and operating personnel are the major source of
initiating policy for council manager cities. The manager has an ines-
capable responsibility to the council and to the people to participate
and even to assume some leadership in shaping municipal policies."5 He
IWaite, p. 44.
2Ridley and Nolting, p. 30.
31bld., p. 31.
4Ridley, pp. 18-19.
Skid., p. 18.
cautioned the manager, however, against going too far in such a process.
Ridley found that managers desired the council to take the initiative in
policy. If, however, the policy had strong partisan political ramifica-
tions, the manager should seek to remain aloof.) Finally, the manager
should seek a manner of operation whereby he did not distract from the
prestige of the councilmen.2
Others have alluded to the leadership function of the manager.
C. A. Harrell, In a speech to the ICMA in 1948, stated that at times
circumstances made it mandatory for the city manager "to seize the Ini-
tiative by taking the government directly [to the people] and by pre-
senting it In symbols they know and understand."3 Childs, In 1961,
stated that policy and leadership Intertwine--a new policy begins with a
leader and, conversely, a man with no policy is not leading.4
Considering the evidence above, the tone set by Ridley, in his
book on the manager's role In policy formulation, that while the manager
Is a part of the political life of the community, he should avoid as
much as possible calling attention to the fact, appears to be correct.5
A softening of the "official" line of doctrine regarding the man-
ager's activities as a leader has been taking place since the end of
World War II. This softening has come about through another zsoe-_tic
iibid., p. 21.
21bid., p. 47.
3Welford, pp. 171-172.
4Childs, Quest . ," p. 529.
5Ridley, pp. 18-22.
game, this time centering around the words community leadership and 2-."
litical leadership. Within community leadership is included the follow-
ing: working with service clubs, charitable organizations, churches,
civic affairs; explaining the workings of the city government; proposing
new policies for it, to council members and the general public, either
in private conversation or public speaking. it includes negotiations
with private citizens and community organizations in order to get support
for particular aspects of the work of city government. Under political
leadership we find the manager forbidden to do the following: to partic-
ipate in political campaigns for the election or recall of councilmen, to
promote any policy by offering special favors or threatening political
punishment or opposition, and to go to the voters over the heads of the
councilmen.o By these definitions we are given a rather narrow view of
politics, a view which, in actuality, permits the manager to be a policy
leader, with whatever results this might have for the community, while
forbidding his having any connection with electoral politics or with fac-
tions or parties, One might compare this view about the manager's par-
ticipation in community leadership with what Leonard 0. White outlined in
1927 when he said: "law and authority unite to advise the manager that
his duties do not include community or 'political' leadership."2
This mellowing of attitude toward policy leadership can be seen
in the Manager's Code of Ethics as it has been revised over the years.
As adopted in 1924, the Code cited the primary responsibility of the
1Stone, Price, and Stone, p. 243.
2White, p. 224.
council in policy determination and enjoined managers from taking an ac-
tivc part in politics.l A. L. Hatton warned of the consequences of the
manager becoming part of the policy-making process when he predicted
that should the managers become active they would rise and fall with
each council election.2 Nevertheless, changes since 1924 have tended to
legitimize the manager's policy leadership role, at least from the man-
ager's standpoint. In the 1938 revised Code no separate prohibition
was stated against politics. The Code merely stated that the manager is
In no sense a political leader. In order that policy may be intelligent
and effective, he may provide the council with Information and advice,
encouraging positive decisions by the council on policy, rather than
passive acceptance of his recommendations.4 Finally, in 1952, the Code
made no direct reference to the manager's activity in politics, stating
In article four:
The city manager as a community leader submits policy proposals
to the council and provides the council with facts and advice on
matters of policy to give the council a basis for making decisions
on community goals. The city manager defends municipal policies
publicly only after consideration and adoption of such policies
by the council.5
1"City Managers Adopt Code of Ethics," National Municipal Review,
XIII (1924), 663-664.
2Weiford, pp. 170-171.
3Gladys M. Kammerer and John H. DeGrove, Florida City Managers:
Profile and Tenure (Gainesville: Public Administration Clearing Service,
1961), p. 24.
'The City Manager's Code of Ethics," Public Management, XX
5Hugo Wall, "Changing Concepts of Managerial Leadership," Public
Management, XXXVI (1954), 50.
The last sentence above also represents a major change from the 1938
version of the Code wherein the manager was to leave to the council the
defense of policies which may be criticized.I Finally, the Hodel City
Charter of 1964 makes only a brief but rather sweeping statement regard-
ing the manager's duties in policy. In Item nine of section 3.04 the
Charter provides that he (the manager) ". . shall make such recommen-
dations to the council concerning the affairs of the city as he deems
necessary."2 Politics, as an aspect of managerial behavior is not men-
This chapter has dealt with the development of the council-
manager form of government from the theory lying behind it to the form
which these ideas took in the official doctrine. Council-manager gov-
ernment as developed provided for a dichotomy between politics and ad-
ministration, but left vague the exact responsibilities of the manager
as to policy matters. Especially noteworthy in the development of
council-manager government has been the question of whether or not the
policy leadership of the city manager is to be Interpreted as political
leadership in the sense usually attributed to that term. The remainder
of this study is concerned with an effort to determine, on the basis of
empirically derived data, whether or not the practice of council-manager
government is consistent with the doctrine and, If not, where and possi-
bly why such inconsistencies have come about.
1ibid.. p. 51.
2Model City Charter, p. 24.
THE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH: BACKGROUND AND PROTOTYPE
A discussion of the methodological framework within which this
comparative examination of council-manager government is conducted
1. The methodological approach followed and the con-
siderations which entered Into its choice.
2. A summary analysis of the assumptions, hypotheses,
and findings of relevant studies conducted within
the same methodological approach as the present
Of great utility to a discussion of methodological approaches is
the classification of methodological typologies established by Fred W.
Riggs.' A summarization of these definitions is, therefore, In order so
that an understanding of the alternative methods of research is facili-
tated. These definitions are helpful in understanding the choices avail-
able for research not only in local government but also in the study of
state or national government. The methodological typologies defined by
Riggs embrace two distinct approaches: normative and empirical. Within
the empirical approach Riggs further defines additional subcategories
which Identify the variety of ways in which the empirical approach may be
1Fred W. Riggs, Convergences in the Study of Comrarative Public
Administration and Local Government (Gainesville: Public Administration
Clearing Service, 1962).
Normative approach.--An approach in which the chief aim is to
prescribe "Ideal," or at least "better," patterns of administrative
structure and action.1 Examples of this approach would be found In the
writings of those who epitomize the scientific management movement with
Its stress on the "one best way,"2 and also those writers who described
council-manager government as the cure-all for local government
Empirical approach.--An approach focused on a growing concern to
discover the "facts," to lay bare the empirical foundations of adminis-
trative behavior, perhaps to explain causal relationships as a basis for
reform.4 Some writers who would represent this approach would Include
Herbert Simon in Administrative Behavior as well as the authors of the
case studies of decision-making published by the Inter-University Case
The following two methodological approaches represent subcate-
gories of the empirical approach. They are defined In relationship to
the manner in which they further define the empirical approach.
Idlooraphic approach.--An empirical subcategory which concen-
trates on the unique--the historical episode or 'case study," the single
1'ild., p. 5.
2See Gulick and Urwick, p. 92.
3See Chllds, Civic Victories, and Ridley and Nolting.
Riggs, p. 7.
agency or country, the biography or the "culture area."' Methods of at-
taining this approach may differ: from'Leonard D. White's historical
approach in his four-volume survey of American public administration2 to
the sociological studies of Bendix, Selznick, and Blau.3
Nomothetic approach.--An empirical subcategory which seeks gen-
eralizations, "laws," hypotheses that assert regularities of behavior,
and correlations between variables.4 A recent example of this approach
may be seen in the study by Kammerer et al. on city manager tenure in
The next two methodological approaches represent subtypes of the
nomothetic approach, each of which seeks generalizations, etc., as called
for by the nomothetic approach, but doing so in two separate manners.
HLomoloIcal approach.--A methodology which is a subtype of the
nomothetic approach and which deals primarily with similarities and dif-
ferences of structure.6
lbid.. P. 9. .
2Leonard 0. White, The Federalists; The Jeffersonians The Jack-
sonians; and The Republican Ere (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948,
1951, 1954, and 1958).
3Reinhard Bendix, Higher Civil Servants in American Society
(Boulder, Colorado: University of Colorado Press, 1949), Philip Seiznick,
TVA and the Grass Roots (Berkeley: University of California Press,
1949), and Peter M. Blau, The Dynamics of Bureaucracy (Chicago: Univer-
sity of Chicago Press, 1955).
4Riggs, p. 9.
5Kammerer et al., City Managers .. ..
6Riggs, p. 16. For examples see Samuel Finer, "Patronage and the
Public Service: Jeffersonian Democracy and British Tradition," Public
Administration (London), XXX (1952), 329-360 and Robert A. Dahl, "The
Analogical approach.--Another nomothetic subtype which deals
primarily with functions and related variables.*
The last approach defined by Riggs is the most sophisticated ap-
proach offered under empirical research methods. This final approach
attempts to pull together some of the other empirical approaches.
Ecological approach.--An empirical subcategory which makes an
effort to trace specific interdependencles between environmental forces
and administrative behavior.2
With these definitions in mind, we now turn to a discussion of
these differing methodological approaches, weighing each as to its spe-
cific advantages and shortcomings in arriving at a choice of the method
used in the present study.
The Background and Development of
Until relatively recent years most research In public adminis-
tration and local government has utilized the normative approach. This
approach, with its attendant implicit values led to the neglect of empir-
ical methods, and finally, when these latter began to emerge, they came
through a great number of disconnected and unrelated individualistic
studies. These studies were not developed around a common frame of ref-
erence and were usually also culture-bound; therefore, the possibility
Science of Public Administration: Three Problems," Public Administration
Review. VII (1947), 1-11.
IRiggs, p. 16. Also see Gabriel A. Almond and James S. Coleman,
The Politics of Developing Areas (Princeton: University of Princeton
2Riggs., p. 20. See Kanmerer et al., City Managers. . for
an application of this approach on the local government level.
of developing any similar findings which would hold true in the majority
of nearly identical circumstances was absent. Through the reliance of
this approach on untested theory as opposed to fact, little, if any con-
fidence could be expressed in the findings undertaken within it. The
normative approach, combined with the Idiographic nature of the vast ma-
jority of case studies did not lead to generalizations since each case
was considered as a separate entity with its own peculiar circumstances.
Kammerer and her colleagues point this out as they comment: "The study
of comparative government has been too largely essentially a series of
unrelated studies of Individual foreign governments as such."' Riggs
tends to agree with this view in regard to local government as well, but
he qualifies his concurrence by saying that recently new approaches are
being used to bring about more cohesion and coherence in local govern-
ment studies. Foremost among writers mentioned by Riggs who are striv-
ing to realize this goal are Daniel J. Elazar of the University of
illinois Urban Politics Research Group; and Robert Dahl and his associ-
ates, Nelson Polsby and Raymond Wolfinger, as reflected in Dahl's recent
book, Who Governs?2
What is it that sets the newer approaches used today apart from
the traditionalist, normative method? Kamnerer and her associates at-
tribute to the use of a central theme of orientation, applicable to many
different circumstances, the possibility of utilizing ways of thinking
and knowledge about local government going all the way back to
1As quoted In Riggs, p. 3.
21 ., p. 4.
Aristotle!' Robert A. Dahl offers a set of propositions based on his
analysis of changing patterns of leadership and decision-making in New
Haven which can be verified or modified through comparable studies else-
where. Such propositions, dealing with changes in influence patterns in
decision-making at the local level and with variations in the types of
leadership patterns and religious, ethnic, racial, and socio-economic
structure of the community, all lend themselves well to further study at
the local level.2
Fred Riggs points out that the normative approaches are anti-
thetical in most respects to the empirical approaches. Under the norma-
tive approach there is a supposition that there is a "single answer" to
local government problems. Furthermore, the normative approach is based
primarily upon the value Judgments of the writer or researcher. The em-
piricist, on the other hand, attempts to identify his own values and
those of the individuals whose behavior Is under study and to discover
and analyze the factual data concerning a particular aspect with which
he is dealing. But Riggs notes a shift today away from the strictly
normative approach to an attempt by researchers to ascertain facts, to
lay bare the empirical underpinnings of administrative behavior.3 He
warns, however, that to discern such a trend is not to say that empiri-
cism has replaced normativism. What has occurred is that the new
'Kcmmerer at al.. City Managers . , p. 2.
2Robert A. Dahl, Who Governs? (New Haven: Yale University Press,
3Riggs, pp. 5-7.
emphasis has grown up by the side of the old, challenging and to some
extent displacing it, but the older emphasis Is still vigorously alive.1
Empiricism by itself, however, is still not enough. Isolated
facts do not in themselves lead to any generalizations from which regu-
larities of behavior or correlations between variables can be seen. iso-
lated facts are unique facts--pertaining only to the case, agency, coun-
try, or locality to which they refer. What is needed, then, is an ap-
proach which will permit generalizations to be reached, i.e., hypotheses
which can be posed about behavior and activity within the broad bounda-
ries of the situations with which the generalizations deal. Riggs notes
a shift from Interest in predominantly Idiographic studies to those
which give more and more attention to nomothetic elements, stating, how-
ever, that many studies fall between the two extremes, combining Idlo-
graphic and nomothetic elements in varied proportions.2 He explains that
a nomothetic design for analysis would scarcely be possible without first
obtaining data through idiographic methods.3 Each approach needs to be
carefully appraised with relation to its usefulness to the other to bring
about a fruitful analysis of the situation being studied.
Implicit in the nomothetic approach is the necessity to examine
more than one unit or example of a phenomenon. Certainly generalizations
cannot be developed with validity on the basis of one case or one unit.
It follows that the nomothetic approach is in essence a comparative
approach since it draws together findings from many similar units.
AIbid., p. 7.
2bid. Pp. 9.
31bid., pp. 9-11.
In developing a comparative methodology it is necessary to deal
with generally similar systems. If one would generalize about local
governments in order to determine theories about the operation of these
systems, the systems studied must have certain similarities, especially
of a structural nature. In addition, the environmental conditions under
which such structurally-like systems operate must be clearly specified.
Riggs notes one serious problem in dealing with the nomothetic-
comparative approach: that dealing with the lack of standardization of
terms. Politics, to tho.Western world, in many Instances, has entirely
different meanings from those in the Eastern world. Some standardiza-
tion is necessary in order to deal with equivalent kinds of systems in
different jurisdictions or areas.]
Riggs subdivides the nomothetic approach into two categories:
homological (structural) and analogical (functional). By doing this he
points out the usefulness of a rigidly defined classification scheme in
order to establish categories through which similarities might be Identi-
fied. Generalizations may be developed once similarities are identified.2
Once the researcher notices and is aware of these different categories,
he can better examine the effects of them on government, either singly or
together. Only by realizing that there are many conditioning factors in
the operation of government can the researcher really understand that
'Ibid., p. 15.
21Lbi., p. 16.
The need for empirical-nomothetic studies as a means of explain-
ing government, rather than of simply theorizing about it or describing
it without benefit of clearly defined empirical research, Is stressed by
Riggs. However, this is still insufficient for a complete analysis. An
ecological approach is yet another requisite necessary to offer a more
accurate picture of the operations of government. The necessity for the
addition of such an approach has become more urgent since the end of
World War ii. Since the end of the war a number of attempts by Ameri-
cans to implant our ideas and governmental systems in the newly develop-
ing nations, many of which were not in the least Western-oriented, have
fallen by the wayside. These failures pointed to the need for a consid-
eration of the cultural, political, and social bases of different socie-
ties before attempting to explain the effects of structural or procedural
factors on governmental operations in these countries.l This need is ap-
parent also in American local government studies: cultural, political,
and social factors certainly differ from local community to local com-
munity, and these differences must be considered in the study of local
The present study reflects this student's agreement with the
analysis presented by Riggs. A need exists for more work in getting at
the actual ecological, behavioral, and institutional factors operating
upon local government. There is also a need to be aware of and to take
Into account variances in thi c. 'turel, social, and political character-
istics of local regions. This study, therefore, will be carried out in
blid., pp. 19-22.
an essentially comparative manner, using Insofar as possible the
empirical-nomothetic-ecologicai approach as proposed by Riggs.
The Florida Study and Its Contributions
With the decision to "go comparative' having been made, the next
step in the discussion of the methodological background for the proposed
study of local government, in general, and council-manager government in
particular, is to consider past research which might provide helpful in-
sights for the proposed analysis.
Until recently only a few writings offered empirical data, as
opposed to "opinion," which proved useful as background material. Cer-
tainly the studies conducted by Leonard Whitel and Stone, Price, and
Stone2 are the most noteworthy of those produced prior to the end of
World War II. However, since the end of World War II much work has been
done In accumulating factual data about local government. While not
many of these local government studies have centered on council-manager
government specifically, all of them make significant contributions as to
how to research and analyze local government characteristics.3 These
2Stone, Price, and Stone.
3For some of the more Important examples see: Nelson W. Polsby,
"The Sociology of Community Power: A Reasesessment," Social Forces.
XXXVII (1959), 231-236; idem., Community Power and Political Theory (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1963); Peter H. Rossi, "Power and Commu-
nity Structure," Midwest Journal of Political Science, IV (1960), 390-
401; Lawrence J. R. Herson, "In the Footsteps of Community Power," Ameri-
can Political Science Review, LV (1961), 817-830; Peter Bachrach and
Morton S. Baratz, "Two Faces of Power," American Political S-ience Re-
view, LVI (1962), 947-952; and Harry M. Scoble, "Some Questions for Re-
searchers Regarding Economic, Political, and Social Structure Variables
Underlying Processes and Patterns of Conmunity Decision-Making and
various writings offer the researcher possible relevant variables which
might be crucial to the explanation of how differing conditions affect
council -manager governmental operations.
Any analysis of the articles or books cited above is purposely
omitted at this point because many of them are discussed and synthesized
in a monograph designed and written by Professors Kammerer, Farris,
DeGrove, and Clubok entitled City Managers In Politicos: An Analysis of
Manager Tenure and Terminationl which will, for the sake of brevity and
clarity, be cited hereafter in the text as the Florida study. Articles
of reference which were written after the publication of the Florida
study will be discussed in relation to the framework and methodology for
the present study presented in Chapter III.
The critical factor in the decision to use the study by Kammerer
and her colleagues as the pilot study stems from the discussion earlier
in this chapter of the need for more comparative research in local gov-
ernment. Riggs points to the Florida study as a significant start in
the direction of an empirical-nomothetlc-ecological approach to the study
of local government on a comparative basis. Also, the Florida study pro-
vides valuable insights into the actual practice of council-manager gov-
ernment through utilizing hypotheses derived by the authors from a wide
knowledge of the operations and the literature of local government, and
deriving conclusions from empirical data. By following their lead and
using their framework, further testing may be carried out, under
Change," a paper prepared for the Research Seminar on Processes of Com-
munity Decision-Making and Change and Their Influence Upon Education,
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, August 5-24, 1963.
Kammerer et ai., City Managers . .
different ecological circumstances and with additional variables, which
would certainly extend the scope of the study. It is only through such
replication that further facts may be ascertained about council-manager
government and that additional verification or refutation of the Kammerer
conclusions may be presented. It is Incumbent, therefore, at this point,
for the researcher to discuss the assumptions, hypotheses, and conclu-
sions of the Florida study so that the proposed analysis may Incorporate
those into its framework and methodology.
Assumptions of the Florida Study
in order to keep the Florida study within operational limits,
Kammerer and her colleagues focused their study on council-manager tenure
in Florida cities, especially on the relatively short tenure of city man-
agers In that state since the end of World War II. They explain the set-
ting of the study, giving particular attention to Florida's rapid popula-
tion increase between 1950 and 1960; the marked growth of industry which
they note followed the Influx of population, rather than the normal se-
quence which usually postulates a prior establishment of industry that
then attracts immigrants; and the high proportion of persons in the state
who are over 65 years of age.1 On the political side, the Florida study
brings out the rise of incorporated cities during the 1950-1960 period,
citing the fact that i:% .his period of time the number of council-manager
cities almost doubled. Furthermore, the Florida study cites the fact
most municipal elections in the state are nonpartisan and that municipal
'Ilb... P. 3.
elections usually take place at a time different from that for national,
state, and/or county elections
The Florida study examined four variables to see whether or not
the variation of manager tenure could be attributed to any or all of
them. These variables were:
3. Nonpolitical community.
4. Political factors.2
The authors set forth three major assumptions regarding manager tenure
which shaped the hypotheses incorporating these variables.3 These as-
1. At the manager's level there is no sharp distinction
between politics and administration.
2. Politics is viewed as a process of making "significant,"
sanctioned, community-wide decisions, and, therefore, the
city manager is a political participant in the policy
3. Although structural-institutional factors may serve,
In some respects, to differentiate the politics of
different communities, students or proponents of the
council-manager plan have considerably exaggerated the
force and variety of such factors in explaining the
operation of council-manager government.f
1bLd., pp. 4-5.
21~thi, p. 11. These will be defined and explained in Chapter III,
supra., where they are incorporated into the design of the proposed study.
3These hypotheses are set forth in Chapter III of the present
study at pages 58-66.
4Kamnerer et al., City Managers . .
Thus, the authors make quite clear their rejection of the view held by
professional managers and others who deny any connection between poli-
tics and the making of public policy.I To the Florida study authors,
the raising, shaping, manipulation, and attempted resolution of issues
are Integral parts of the political process.2
The Framework and Methodologv
of the Florida Study
The Florida study designates as its dependent variables the var-
iat!ons In the tenure of managers In Florida and in the reasons for the
termination of Florida managerial appointments in different cities.3 The
authors liken the council-manager system, especially in decisions to se-
lect, retain, fire, or accept the genuine resignation of a manager, to
the selection or rejection of a prime minister in a parliamentary system.
They believe that such a decision in manager cities may symbolize almost
as much as a council election.4 Furthermore, they acknowledge that the
doctrine of councl-mnanager government assumes confidence by the council
in the manager. When the typical professional manager moves, he does so,
ideally, on his own volition, rather than at the instigation of council.
Consequently, the Florida study authors consider relative stability in
'~ d., p. 12.
3bid., p. 16.
tenure a necessary, though not a sufficient, condition for being able to
say that the council-manager charter works as doctrine requires.I
Manager tenure and termination were conceived of, in the Florida
study, in the following ways: an examination of terminations, voluntary
or involuntary, in manager appointments in ten selected Florida cities
from 1945 to 1961 and variation in numbers of terminations from city to
city. The authors attempted to account for the occurrence of involun-
tary terminations; for variations in personal tenure (the average or
mean tenure per manager of those persons who held managerial appoint-
ments in Florida during the study); and for variations in comiunitv ten-
ure (variations in mean tenure per city since 1945).2
Data for the Florida study were gathered by mail questionnaires
and by interviews. All managers in Florida were requested to answer a
lengthy questionnaire. In order to explain the difference in numbers of
involuntary terminations, ten cities in Florida were chosen for detailed
intensive Interviewing of city "influentials."3 These cities were se-
lected by using the Municipal Year Book and through questionnaire data
from which the community tenure of all council-manager cities in Florida
was compiled. The cities were then ranked in decreasing order of com-
munity tenure. A further consideration which entered into the selection
of the cities was their geographic location. Cities were chosen from
2ibid., p. 17.
3"lnfluentials" will be defined in Chapter III as to what types
of persons are included within this classification.
three geographic sections, the Panhandle, the upper peninsula, and the
lower peninsula. Five cities were chosen from those with relatively
high community tenure and five from those with relatively low community
tenure, with a distribution of the cities in the three sections of the
Interviews were conducted by two-man teams working with rela-
tively structured questions of the open-end variety. Issues In the par-
ticular city provided the subject matter of the inLorviews to Indicate
manager participation in the resolution of such issues and alignment of
factions on issues. The interviews, which varied from five to a dozen,
were conducted with local influentlals or 'knowledgeables."2
Findings of the Florida Study
Within the institutional-structural class of hypotheses the data
confirmed only two of the hypotheses. The data Indicated that the method
of selection of the mayor accounts for at least some variation in com-
munity tenure and also that there is a relationship between the method
of selection of the mayor and Involuntary terminations of managers.3 The
two hypotheses concerning whether or not the manager shares or does not
share in the Initiation of policy were not confirmed by the data.
In the class of personal factors the data tended to confirm all
the proposed hypotheses: variations in personal tenure of the current
lKammerer et e1., City Managers . pp. 17-18.
21bi., p. 18.
3Lbid. p. 57.
4WbI., pp. 57-61.
manager depended on both the professional and local status of that man-
ager; locals have held fewer managerial positions than outsiders; there
is a high negative correlation between professional-local status and
personal tenure; and local-amateurs are less likely to be involuntarily
terminated than outsider-professionals. I
When the data concerning nonpolitical community factors were an-
alyzed In the Florida study the following results appeared: mere commu-
nity growth per se did not affect connunlt, tenure. However, the case
study materials showed that where an Influx of new types of peoRle took
place, a change did tend to occur in community tenure, or political
style, or the political stability of the city.2 The data did not sus-
tain the proposition that community size Is correlated with community
tenure.3 The data, however, did sustain the hypothesis that the length
of experience with the manager plan correlates with community tenure,
that Is, long experience goes with relatively high tenure and short ex-
perience with relatively low tenure.4
Finally, under the classification of political factors, the fol-
lowing results were obtained. "In cities with relatively low community
tenure, the present manager is more likely than his counterpart in high
community tenure cities to report that his predecessor left because of
Ilbid., pp. 62-66.
21bid. p. 67.
4b d., p. 68.
conflict with the council and/or the mayor or both.'" Also confirmed
was the hypothesis that the proportion of Involuntary terminations to
all terminations is not significantly different under different pollti-
cal styles.2 But the Incidence of particular reasons for involuntary
terminations did differ under different political styles.3 Finally, in
cases where an incoming clique inherited a manager, the data gave evi-
dence that in most cases he was fired, and where he was not fired, there
were "good and sufficient reasons" why a firing was not consummated.4
Within this portion of Chapter II we have discussed the assump-
tions, variables, and conclusions (findings) of the Florida study. For
the most part the data collected tended to confirm the majority of the
propositions posed by the authors of that study. Of special Importance
are the findings with regard to the political factors which show that
the manager I. significantly Involved in the political process and his
tenure and termination reflect this Involvement. This conclusion, of
course, represents a wide deviation from the "model" prescribed by the
proponents of council-manager doctrine; a deviation which, in effect,
reinstates politics back into the local government picture in spite of
the political sterilization called for by the doctrine. Such findings
1ibid., p. 69.
31bid., pp. 69-70.
41bid., pp. 70-71.
of deviation of the practice from the theory of council-manager govern-
ment point to the need for more study regarding the actual roles of the
city manager. These findings should be retested in and under circum-
stances which offer cultural, political, and social characteristics dif-
ferent from as well as similar to those found in Florida. Only in this
manner can the political scientist better understand and establish gen-
eral theory concerning council-manager government, and it is to this en-
deavor that the present study is directed,
The following chapter will attempt to establish a framework and
methodology for the comparative study of council-manager government in a
different setting, using many of those variables already established in
the Florida study and offering others which will reflect the different
cultural, political, and social factors taken into consideration.
METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK AND ANALYSIS
Before any type of Investigation may be pursued, a system of
"ground rules" must be established within which the study will take
place. Chapter I discussed the focus of the Investigation--city manager
tenure and termination In council-manager government--and specifically
called attention to differences which have become apparent between the
doctrine and practice of council-manager government, especially in rela-
tion to the city manager. The second chapter pointed out the necessity
that any study of government in order to enhance our understanding of
the political system, should be comparative in nature. Then the chapter
discussed the Florida study as a source for a conceptual framework, a
set of hypotheses from which to draw others, a start toward a catalog
of variables, and data from which other studies can draw. This chapter
will concentrate on a description of the setting, framework, and method-
ology of the present study, discussing those facts which are similar to
or which may differ from those In the Florida study and offering hypoth-
eses on the basis of those facts.
The Setting for the Study
In their Florida study, Kammerer and her colleagues anticipate
possible criticism of the Florida study on the basis that Florida repre-
sents a "special case," an atypical example of council-manager govern-
ment, and they offer reasons why they believe such criticism is not
valid.' However, because of the possibility that such criticism may have
validity, the proposed study directs itself to a state where additional
or different variables can be noted and tested as to their effect upon
council-manager government. By pursuing a similar study under different
cultural, political, social, and economic conditions, perhaps additional
evidence can be brought to light which will tend to validate further or
possibly refute the findings of the Florida study. This answers the call
of Harry Scoble for more scientific replication in social science
The state of Ohio was selected as the setting for the current
study. Several reasons dictated the choice of this state for study:
1. It has had a long history of competitive two-party
politics (compared to Florida's relatively one-party
2. It has had a wide range of varying social, cultural,
and economic characteristics among its medium-size
towns, such as politically active Negro and ethnic
groupings and a wide range of industrial bases rang-
ing from heavy industry to no industry at all (as
compared to Florida's lack of any substantial politi-
cally organized Negroes or heavy industry).
3. it includes a significant number of council-manager
towns (54) ranging in size from under 5,000 to over
500,000, thereby permitting the use of the same
statistical methods as the Florida study to test the
significance of the data collected from those council-
manager towns as well as to represent a significant
proportion of city government in the state.
4. It was convenient to the researcher who is a native
IKammerer et al., City Managers . . p. 14.
2Scoble, p. 18.
In addition, this site provided sufficient variety among the council-
manager towns to permit the selection of six cities for Intensive field
study that vary in cultural, political, social, and economic conditions.
The following data, collected from the Municipal Year Book and
the U. S. Censuses of 1950 and 1960. show the similarities and differ-
ences in certain essential characteristics between Florida and Ohio.1
Ohio's population growth between 1950 and 1960 was at the rate of 22 per
cent as compared to Florida's 78.7 per cent; actually Ohio was closer to
that of the nation as a whole, 18.5 per cent. Ohio, while gaining in
the percentage of persons located in urban areas (from 70.2 per cent to
73.4 per cent) as did Florida (from 65.5 per cent to-73.9 per cent),
lost ground, however, in the rank of states In per cent of people in ur-
ban areas dropping from lith in 1950 to 15th In 1960, while Florida re-
malned constant at 13th. Finally, while Florida jumped from 20th to 10th
in rank of total population, Ohio remained 5th.
Ohio's Industrial growth, contrary to that in Florida, was rather
fully developed or at least well established before great population
growth occurred. As the Florida study states, Florida population growth
preceded Industrial growth. Also, no one area can be pinpointed as a
rapid growth area In Ohio; this is In complete contrast to the fact of
rapid growth in the central part and the southeastern coastal areas of
Another marked difference between Ohio and Florida appears in
the matter of persons over age 65. in Florida these persons increased
1All Florida statistics were taken from Kamnerer et al., ly,
Managers .. . pp. 3-6.
from 8.6 per cent to 10.2 per cent of the total population In the dec-
ade; Ohio's increase was from 8.9 per cent to only 9.1 per cent, an ab-
solute increase in numbers of nearly 30 per cent compared to Florida's
93 per cent. At the same time that Florida's school age population (age
5 through 19) Increased markedly in the decade, Ohio's rose from 22 per
cent to only 27 per cent of the population. Even more marked, however,
is the fact that those persons of employable age In Ohio (18-44), al-
though increasing numerically, actually dropped as a percentage of the
total population from 40 per cent to 35 per cent, while Florida showed
an increase for this group.
The political changes which accompanied these social and economic
changes in Ohio also reflect some major differences between the two
states. In contrast to Florida's increase in the number of incorporated
cities from 304 to 363, Ohio showed a much smaller increase, from 900 to
As in Florida, council-manager government is no new phenomenon
in Ohio. Dayton was one of the pioneer cities in the movement, with
Cincinnati only a decade behind. Significant, however, is the fact that,
as in Florida, the great period of growth In the number of council-
manager cities came in the decade of the fifties, with an increase from
26 to 46 In Ohio as compared to Florida's increase from 57 to 107. Of
added significance, however, Is the fact that of Ohio's present 54
council-manager cities, 21 have chosen this form of government since
Institutional factors also have an Important effect in Ohio in
the adoption of council-manager government. Contrary to the practice in
Florida, where most municipal elections are nonpartisan, many cities and
towns in Ohio have active partisan political activity as an element
characterizing their municipal elections. The matter of the particular
party which is usually dominant seems to be a critical factor in the
prevalence of council-manager government. The Democratic Party is strong
in the northeast corner of the state and there are few council-manager
cities in this region of the state. The southwestern corner, on the
other hand, is largely Republican and has a large number of council-
manager cl"tis with apparently a firm rooting of the plan of government
in that region. Each of these regions Is competitive in partisanship,
but the significant point related to the adoption of council-manager gov-
ernment appears to be Republican dominance and not political competition
One further characteristic seems important in a comparison be-
tween Florida and Ohio. Florida cities, It appears, have no compunction
in firing the city manager. In contrast, Ohio managers have relatively
long tenure. The average postwar tenure of managers in Ohio is 4.07
years as compared to 3.66 years in Florida. If wo exclude those cities
in Ohio which have adopted council-manager government since 1958, then
the average tenure is Increased to 5.15 years.
Framework and Methodology
In order to obtain data as nearly comparable as possible, an at-
tempt has been made in the present study to adhere to the design of the
ISee Figure 1, infra, p. 53. The case studies of Astor and
Streamford in Chapter VI elaborate the reasons for the diverse party at-
titude toward council-manager government.
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Florida study. The form of government is necessarily held constant; all
cities are council-manager in form. This study, like the Florida study,
involves no intensive research In any of the larger council-manager cit-
ies in the state, such as Cincinnati or Dayton, because their size and
complex political, social, and economic structures would require a full-
scale and time-consuming study of each. Thus the cities chosen for in-
tensive study are much the same size as those of the Florida study, with
one major exception. The smallest city intensively studied in Ohio is
one of over 11,000 persons, while the Florida study includes some cities
with populations just below 5,000. This omission of any cities below
11,000 is due to two basic reasons:
1. The need to Introduce into the study different varia-
bles from those in Florida and the fact that those
variables could not be found in cities under 11;000
2. The smallness of the case-study sample as a result of
the time requirement.
Otherwise, the case-study cities range from 11,000 to 44,000. The Flor-
ida case-study cities range from 4,700 to 83,000.
The dependent variables of the proposed study are the same as
those in the Florida study, namely, variations in the tenure of managers
and in reasons for terminations of managers in different cities.
The tenure variables and research methods used are essentially
identical to those in the Florida study. Questionnaires were mailed to
city managers in all 54 council-manager cities In Ohio, and follow-up
letters were used extensively in order to obtain a high proportion of
1Supra, pp. 43-44.
replies from managers. The response was remarkably high; 47 of the 54
managers replied, and 45 of the questionnaires were satisfactorily com-
pleted. This response represented a reply of over 83 per cent. The
questionnaire was identical to the one used in the Florida study with
the following exceptions: one section was omitted because the results
obtained from It in the Florida study were not statistically significant,
and questions were added which represented the newly introduced
In order to discover the absence or presence of involuntary ter-
minations, six cities in Ohio were chosen for intensive Interviewing.
These six cities were selected on the basis of data compiled from the
Municipal Year Book and from the U. S. Census of 1960, on the basis of
which a chart of community tenure was constructed and from which cities
were selected that would offer a variety of political, social, and eco-
nomic configurations. Census data were used in determining the social
and economic characteristics. Lastly, an attempt was made to select
cities according to geographic location within the state. The actual
distribution appears in Table 1.
1See Appendix I. The set of questions omitted from the Ohio
study, although used in the Florida study, was taken from a liberalism-
conservatism scale used on college students across the country. Virtu-
ally all Florida managers were at one end of the scale. Therefore, this
scale which was developed for use on college students clearly had no dif-
ferentiating quality with respect to city managers, an entirely different
category of the population. It may be assumed also that since Florida
had a sizeable number of professional managers who answered the question-
naires--24--and Ohio also had a sizeable number--37--and the very idea
of the professional manager is that he comes from anywhere in the nation,
this segment of questions in the Florida study was valueless in describ-
ing city managers, and, therefore, it was omitted from the Ohio study.
CASE-STUDY CITIES BY AREA AND BY COMMUNITY TENURE
Area High Tenure Low Tenure Total
North 2 2
Central 2 2
South 1 i 2
Total 3 3 6
A brief description of the six cities to be studied follows:1
1. Astr: a working class suburb of one of the larger cities
in the northeast corner of the state. The city has a rele-
tively high representation of ethnic groups and yet few
Negroes. Its median income is fairly high with its work
force almost evenly divided between white- and blue-collar
2. Clover Heights: a high-class resident&iei suburb in the
center of the state with a very high median Income and no
Industry. Negroes are conspicuously absent from the city.
The work force of the city is almost 85 per cent white
collar in nature.
3. Feldstone: a city in the southcentral part of the state
which was formerly a farm-service area, but which is
presently becoming interested in attracting Industry.
Many o; its residents are still connected with agricul-
ture either in service occupations or as absentee farm
owners. A growing proportion of the people, however,
is finding employment in Industrial enterprises. Also,
a large percentage commute to their places of employment.
4. Meadwood: a city which might closely approximate the
popular-priced tourist-centered towns of Florida, located
on Lake Erie in the center of the state. However, there
is also a substantial industrial base in the city. Possi-
bly of significance Is the high rate of unemployment in
IA11 places and names have been fictionalized in order to protect
the Identity of those places and people therein.
5. Streamford: an industrial city located on the Ohio River
near the center of the state. The city has been losing
population for over thirty years at a relatively high
rate. The city's median income is low, and there is a
high amount of unemployment. Also, the community tenure
of this city was the lowest of the six cities chosen.
6. Westburq primarily a heavy-industry, one-industry town
(steel) located In the southwestern part of the state.
It is the largest of the six cities to be studied. It
has a large organized labor force and a significant per-
centage of the population is Negro.
Within each city the researcher interviewed, over a period of
from one to two weeks, several of the local influentials. The Interview-
ing was based on the issues which prevailed in the politics of each town
as evidenced either in the questionnaires or in the newspaper reports in
the local newspaper. Wherever possible the researcher tried to determine
not only which issues had been decided, but also which issues might have
Among those interviewed (Influentials) were the following (the
list varying according to the town being studied): the incumbent man-
ager, Incumbent mayor, a majority member and a minority-bloc member of
the council, a Negro or ethnic-bloc representative, former managers or
mayors, former councilmen, newspaper staff (editors, reporters, and pub-
lishers), Chamber of Comnerce secretaries, labor representatives, local
leaders in state and/or national Democratic or Republican organizations,
and others to whom local information directed the researcher.
IBachrach and Baratz. The authors make quite clear the impor-
tance of recognizing those issues which may have been suppressed, stating
that these decisions are often as crucial to city politics as actual
positive policy decisions calling for action.
The interview guide used in the Ohio study contained relatively
structured questions of the open-end variety. From the data collected
during the interview, and also that from the census and newspaper re-
ports, the researcher wrote a detailed "profile" or case study of each
independent Variables and Hypotheses
As in the Florida study, the design consists of four classes of
independent, or causal, variables. These are: Institutional-structural,
personal, nonpolitical community, and political factors. Each of these
will be discussed in the form of hypotheses in the following section. in
addition to the hypotheses taken directly from the Florida study, several
new ones have been added for this study.
Instltutional-Structural.--The Florida study proposed four hy-
potheses which the Ohio study utilizes. Variations in community tenure
1. Whether the mayor is separately elected by popular
vote (low tenure) or chosen by council (high tenure).
2. Whether the manager appoints all department heads
(high tenure) or shares the appointing power with
the council or mayor (low tenure).
3. Whether the present manager reports that he did (low
tenure) or did not (high tenure) share in the initia-
tion of policies in the community.
iree hypotheses are tested by the use of questionnaire data. Fur-
i, in case-study cities:
ISee Appendix II.
21nfra, Chapters V and VI.
4. Involuntary terminations attributable to difficulty
with the mayor occur more frequently in communities
with popularly elected mayors than in those with
mayors selected otherwise.
Data to test this hypothesis come from interviews.
Personal Characteristics.--This variable seeks to explain varia-
tions in tenure and turnover in terms of certain personal characteristics
of managers: their local status and their professional status. A "lo-
cal" Is defined as either:
1. Educated in the city (or county) of which he is man-
2. Employed for his adult career, after leaving school or
military service, In the city (or county) of which he
All other managers are considered as "outsiders."'
The "professional status" dimension contains three positions de-
fined as follows:
a. Had collegiate training in political science,
public administration, engineering, or business
administration (but not accounting or law) and
b. Had adult career experience in public
a. Either had no collegiate training or his collegiate
training lies outside the four areas used to define
"professional" and he has had adult career experi-
ence in general (not technical-specialized) public
b. His collegiate training lies outside the four areas
used to define "professional" and he has spent much
'Kammerer et al., City Managers . pp. 20-21.
of his adult career in technical-specialized
branches of public management, such as directing
electric or water utilities.
The Ohio study uses the same basic assumptions as the Florida
study regarding monopolistic and competitive politics and political style
as the latter related to these personal characteristics.2 Under these
assumptions, the following hypotheses are adopted from the Florida study:
1. Relatively high personal tenure of the incumbent man-
agers in questionnaire cities tends to occur with local
and amateur status; low personal tenure with outsider
and professional status.
2. Locals report fewer managerial appointments than out-
siders In their own careers.
3. On the composite local-professional dimension, personal
tenure decreases along the progression "local-amateur,"
"local-professional," and "outsider-professionals."
4. In regard to the same composite dimension, "local-
amateurs" are less likely than "local-professionals" to
be involuntarily terminated, and the latter less likely
to be involunterlly terminated than "outsider-
Nonpolitical Aspects of the Community.--Under this category of
variables it is hypothesized that community tenure:
I. Decreases with an increase in the rate of population
2. Decreases with an increase in the absolute size of the
3. Increases with increasing length of community experi-
ence with the manager plan.
Ibid., p. 21.
21bid. The concepts of political style, monopoly, competition,
and political stability are defined later in this chapter.
4. Decreases with a rapid increase In the median income
of the residents of the city (an increase above that
of the average income increase of residents of the
5. Decreases with the amount of ethnic or racial diversity
in the city.
6. Decreases with an increase in the median level of
education attained in the community.
Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 were adopted from the Florida study. Hypothesis
4 was added by the researcher. Number 5 was suggested by an article by
Thomas Flynni and item 6 was suggested by Harry Scoble in his article
Political Hypotheses.--These hypotheses relate tenure and termi-
nation phenomena to independent variables which are explicitly political
in character. It is necessary at this point to define some of these
Leadership clique.--A leadership clique shares with a political
party one major objective: that of gaining and retaining, for the re-
alization of whatever policy goals, political control of the community.
Political style.--There are three kinds of political style or
types of politics that depend upon three different degrees of competition
between or among leadership cliques: monopoly, oligopoly, and competition.
IThomas A. Flynn, Continuity and Change in Ohio Politics," Jour-
nal of Politics. XXIV (1962), 544.
Scoble, p. 8.
3Kammerer et al., City Managers . pp. 22-25. All the defi-
nitions which follow, with the exception of "regime," "nonregime," "parti-
san political activity,, and "political personality," are identical to
those in the Florida study.
Political "monopoly" has two main characteristics:
1. One leadership clique regularly wins all, or practi-
cally all, council seats.
2. Where there is no continuing opposition leadership
clique that sponsors councimanic candidacies or co-
opts successful candidates.
"Oligopoly' exists when there is a partial revolution which takes
place In the local political scene with the old leadership clique con-
tin4!ng to exist and newer leaders also appearing without any final reso-
lution between the old and new leadership groups regarding policy
"Competition" exists when:
1. At least two leadership cliques compete over an ex-
tended period of time for council seats, and
2. The losing clique in an election stays in existence
as a clique and continues to sponsor candidates.
Further clarification may be necessary, however, when speaking
about "competitive politics. As suggested in a paper by John OeGrove,
the concept of competitive-politics might well be split to include "re-
gime" and "nonregime~ compettitive politics. "Regime" politics describes
conflict over basic decisions of destiny, such as "what kind of town
should this be." This refers to the decision of a town as to whether or
not to be a tourist town, industrial town (and what type of industry),
etc. "Nonregime" politics describes the situation in which the competing
cliques clash over less fundamental matters, essentially procedural prob-
lems, since the basic decisions have apparently already been made.i
John M. DeGrove, "Community Politics and the City Manager," a
paper presented to the Southern Political Science Association, Gatlin-
burg, Tennessee, November 8-10, 1962, p. 15.
Power exchange.--A community undergoes a "power exchange" when
one leadership clique displaces another in control of the community's
government, or when an opposition amasses a sufficient number of seats
on council to stalemate, if not depose, the old clique.
Political stability.--Three indices are employed in measuring
1. The number of power exchanges per unit of time for the
2. The reporting by incumbent managers in questionnaire
cities of conflict between their predecessors and either
the council and/or the mayor.
3. The reported perception by the incumbent managers In
questionnaire cities of the politics of the city as
stable or unstable.
Power play.--This refers to withdrawal prior to an election of a
leadership clique's support from a particular manager whom it had previ-
ously supported and may even have hired.
In addition to the above definitions, a new definition must be
added, that of partisan political activity. This may be defined as open,
announced identification of council candidates with either of the two
major political parties during local elections. Such open identification
normally Involves party endorsement of candidacy and/or slating of candi-
dates. In all other cases where the parties as organized entities do not
become involved in the above activity, or in cases where party activists
are enlisted as individual workers for candidates, partisan political
activity is not identified.
Harry Scoble, in his paper, in another context, points to an ad-
ditional facet of the political dimension when he speaks of partisan
philosophy and political personality.I it is entirely possible that an
individual's personal political philosophy and personality may affect
his position in government, regardless of whether or not the political
process is partisan or nonpartisan. Therefore, political personality
must be included in our list of definitions. To make this concept opera-
tional in the Ohio study, the following definition is suggested: politi-
cal personality refers to the roles which the Incumbent manager in case-
study cities believes he should pursue regarding the operation of city
government (active or passive) and the goals which the incumbent manager
believes he should attain within his chosen profession, such as profes-
sionalism in administration or personal advancement within the profession.
Given the above definitions and concepts, the present study hy-
pothesizes as follows:
1. Perception by the incumbent manager of active partisan
political activity between the two major political par-
ties regarding local issues or candidates or both, is
more likely to be reported from cities with low com-
munity tenure than from cities with high community
2. Perception by the Incumbent manager of electoral politi-
cal activity by economic, racial, or ethnic groups is
more likely to be reported from cities with low community
tenure than from cities with high community tenure.
3. The appearance of regime politics as the primary politi-
cal issue in a city will be more likely to be reported
from cities with low community tenure than from cities
with high community tenure.
4. Managers with ambitions to achieve high performance
standards in governmental affairs and/or ambitions for
higher political office are more likely to be found in
cities with low community tenure than in cities with high
IScoble, pp. 15-16.
5. Perception by the incumbent manager of conflict between
the previous manager and either the council or mayor or
both is more likely to be reported from cities with low
community tenure then from cities with high community
6. The ratio of involuntary terminations to all temina-
tions does not differ significantly under different
7. The incidence of particular reasons for involuntary
terminations under different political styles does
differ under different styles.
8. Where, following a power exchange, an incoming leader-
ship clique inherits a manager whom it has not placed
in office, the holdover manager is more likely than not
to be fired.
The researcher is well aware of the need for a nonarbitrary means
for accepting or refuting the hypotheses posed above. With this in mind,
the Ohio study uses, where applicable, the same statistical tests as
those used in the Florida study, and on the newly introduced variables,
uses statistical tests commensurate with the requirements of statistical
significance. Included in those tests are the Fisher exact probability
test, the Chi Square test, and Kendall's tau test.
This study seeks to further the value of comparative studies on
the municipal level by providing "hard data from which valid generaliza-
tions about American municipal government can be made. Through this
method perhaps we may better be able to understand the interactions of
politics, economics, social differences, and administration in municipal
government. Thereby we may be able to move further in establishing more
precise typologies of local politics and structural features that would
enable political scientists to predict the consequences in operation of
given sets of conditions and combinations of conditions found in Ameri-
ANALYSIS OF TENURE AND TERMINATION OF MANAGERS
Using the framework and methodology outlined in Chapter III, this
chapter deals with an analysis of the four classes of hypotheses which
are postulated as having an effect upon Ohio city manager tenure and
termination: Institutional-structural factors, personal factors, non-
political community factors, and political factors. The basis for test-
ing these hypotheses is established from census data, questionnaires, or
interviews made in six case-study cities.
As pointed out In Chapter III, the Ohio study tests four hypoth-
eses dealing with Institutional-structural factors. Variations in com-
munity tenure depend upon:
1. Whether the mayor is separately elected by popular
vote (low tenure) or chosen by the council (high
2. Whether the manager appoints all department heads
(high tenure) or shares the appointing power with
the council or mayor (low tenure).
3. Whether the present manager reports that he does
(low tenure) or does not (high tenure) share in the
initiation of policies in the community.
4. In case-study cities involuntary terminations at-
tributable to difficulty with the mayor would occur
more frequently In communities with popularly se-
lected mayors than In those with mayor selected
Mayors and tenure.--Unlike the Florida study, neither hypothesis
concerning the mayor's manner of selection Is confirmed In the Ohio
study. Table 2, derived from questionnaire data, shows that cities with
separately elected mayors are not very much more lik e if at all, to
exhibit low community tenure than cities whose council selects the mayor.
COMMUNITY TENURE OF MANAGERS BY MANNER OF SELECTING THE MAYOR
Method of Selection
By Council By Voters
Conmnun ty Tenure (Per cent) (Per cent)
2.0 years or less 16 25
2.1 3.9 years 41 25
4.0 years / 43 50
(N) (37) (8)
X2 : .768.
df = 2
P > .5.
At the same time, as Table 3 Indicates, data could not be tested
In Ohio case-study cities concerning the proposition that manager firings
due to conflict with the mayor occur more frequently In communities with
mayors elected by the voters than in those with some other method of
The questionnaire data as well as the case-study materials per-
haps suggest some reasons for the apparent refutation of the importance
attached to the manner of.selection of the mayor by the Florida study.
From the outset, it appears that Ohio represents an atypical state inso-
far as the ratio of council-manager cities with a popularly elected mayor
INVOLUNTARY TERMINATIONS OF MANAGERS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE MAYOR
BY MANNER OF SELECTING THE MAYOR
Method of Selection
Mayor-managor of Mayor
Discord Council Voters
Yes 0 0
No 12 0
(N) (12) (0)
(Fisher one-tailed test could not be applied to the
to the total number of cities in Ohio is concerned. Over the nation, as
of 1961, slightly less than one-half (48.6 per cent) of all council-
manager cities in the United States had popularly elected mayors.1 On
the basis of data from those cities which returned questionnaires, only
18 per cent of Ohio's council-manager cities select mayors by popular
vote. One might speculate, then, that Ohloans place somewhat less im-
portance on the necessity of having an elective community leader than
most of the nation or most Floridians. Case-study data Indicate that
this may well be the case. In Clover Heights the manager was expected
to be a policy initiator and to be aware of the needs of the community
and to Inform the council of them. In Westburg, not only this was true,
but also the manager was given almost a blank check" when dealing with
any community-wide matter. Both of these cities are monopolistic and
upper-middle or upper-class controlled.
IGladys M. Kammerer, "Role Diversity of City Managers,' Adminis-
trative Science Quarterly, VII (1964), 440-441.
Even in the two most competitive Ohio cities studied, Astor and
Streamford, the manager is expected to be very active In community lead-
ership. The only critical difference between these two cities and the
other four is that no conflict arises in the former so long as this lead-
ership is directed in a manner suitable to the usually dominant
Republican-oriented middle-class faction, which at times means inaction
rather than any action at all. However, as soon as the minority faction
of the Democratic-oriented lower-class groups consider that they are not
receiving a proper voice in the actions of government, they openly press
for changes which will help them to achieve such representation. Promi-
nent among such changes desired by the Democratic minority in che recent
past is a popularly elected mayor.
Seemingly, then, the crucial factor appears to be the basic class
structure and political philosophy of the people in each community. Cit-
ies which are oriented toward a middle-class, business, and Republican
philosophy are quite willing to accept the leadership of the manager
rather than to call for a "politically responsible" elected leader such
as the mayor. This accords with the idea that council-manager government
better "fits" the middle-class, business-oriented part of the population
than it does working and lower-class groups in the population.1 This
suggestion also accords with the idea that social-class orientations
within the community have an effect upon the operation of government In
that city. This fact, in turn, may explain the lack of many mayors
elected at large in council-manager cities in Ohio, where the vast
lEdward C. Banfield and James Q. Wilson, City Politics (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1963), p. 183.
majority of council-manager cities are found in strongly middle-class,
business- and Republican-controlled areas of the state.
Only one case-study city has a separately elected mayor, and this
community, Astor, has had this arrangement only since 1961. Astor does,
however, yield data which lend support to the observation stated above--
that in a middle-class, business-oriented community, the manager, rather
than the mayor, is more likely than not to be considered as the community
leader. Astor, from the time it adopted council-manager government in
1932 up until the post-World War II period, was a completely middle-class,
business- and Republican-oriented city. Only after World War It, with an
influx of urban, lower-class, Democratic-oriented, blue-collar Industrial
operatives, did the council-manager system come under fire. In contrast
to the Republican suburbanites who accepted the "nonpolitical" leadership
of the manager and even looked for it, since it accorded with the needs
and desires of that faction, were the Democratic-oriented people who de-
sired more partisan political representation in the government. The de-
sire of the Democrats was evidenced by charter changes which brought
about councilmanic elections by wards and finally, a popularly elected
It is perhaps significant to note that in both Astor and Stream-
ford partisan political activity is quite high with the parties actively
slating candidates for council. in both cases it is the lower-class
groups gathered together within the Democratic party who desire to change
the council-manager system in order to make it better "represent" their
Ihbid., pp. 183-184.
voice instead of merely the voice of the middle-class Republican-oriented
groups. Of further significance is the fact, as shown in Figure 1, that
the northeastern corner of Ohio, one of the strongest centers of Demo-
cratic party strength, has very few council-manager cities. This same
section of the state is heavily populated by ethnic, Negro, and lower-
class persons. Many of the cities in this area which have council-
manager government have had that form for a relatively long period of
time, and possibly they, too, were originally Republican-dominated. The
proposition is advanced, therefore, that in most areas of the state where
the Democratic party and its more usual component parts, such as lower-
class persons, labor, ethnic and racial groups, etc., are well organized
and unified politically, the tendency Is to keep a political system and
form of government which will be politically responsive to the desires
of these groups. Democratic groups, especially where organized labor is
strong, prefer the mayor-council form of government, rather than council-
manager government under which they might lose some of their voice in
governmental matters. Such a preference tends to sustain the view that
a social-class dissensus is critical in explaining questions about the
desire or lack of desire for council-manager government.
As In the Florida study, the Ohio data show that most council-
elected mayors exhibit little tendency as nominal mayors to "run things."
Only In Clover Heights did the mayor attempt to keep his hand on the con-
trol mechanisms of the city. It was reported there that the mayor
Ilbld., pp. 182-185. In Ohio's case-study cities the Democratic
party, where active, represents, more likely than not, the lower-class
populace of which Canfleld and Wilson speak in their analysis. Organized
labor has been hostile to council-manager government in the past.
frequently visited with the manager and that the two of them often
"worked things out together" in regard to city-wide policy. The only
reason which appeared for this activity on the part of this mayor was
that prior to the adoption of council-manager government in Clover
Heights, the city operated under a commission form of government, and he
also had been the mayor-commissioner under the commission government.
Since he had been quite active In community leadership under the commis-
sion plan, he reputedly continued to believe that there was no reason why
he could not continue to do so under the manager plan. Only one involun-
tary termination of a manager has resulted in Clover Heights and no con-
flict has arisen between the mayor and the manager. One manager did
eventually resign after a power exchange, although the Incoming mayor
asked him to stay on. When the outgoing mayor (mentioned above) an-
nounced his intention not to run again for council, however, the manager
knew that he would be left without any "active" political support, and
so he also "retired" until another managership was offered to him.
In the communities of Westburg and Streamford there was evidence
of some friction between the mayor and the manager, but in each case this
friction was not the crucial factor in the manager's decision to leave
In summary, it seems as If the method of selecting the mayor ac-
counts for little, if any, variation in community tenure or Involuntary
terminations in Ohio council-manager cities. What does appear to be cru-
cial, however, Is the social, economic, and subsequent political orien-
tation of the people in the individual communities. These factors will
be further discussed later in this chapter.
Department heads and tenure.--The data do not quite sustain the
hypothesis that variations in community tenure depend on whether the man-
ager appoints all department heads (high tenure) or only some department
heads (low tenure); but, as Table 4 indicates, the correlation coeffl-
cient au comes closer to statistical significance than in the Florida
study (.09 as compared to .12).
COMMUNITY TENURE BY MANAGER'S AUTHORITY TO
-- --- ..... ----- .... .. .....-- .... .. -- _- --------
2.0 years or less
2.1 3.9 years
4.0 years /
Percentage of Cities
SELECT DEPARTMENT HEADS
Manager Appoints Some
Percentage of Cities
Tau a -.14.
z a 1.36.
P 2 .09.
The assumptions underlying this hypothesis suggest that bureau-
cratic or "palace" politics--undercutting or knifing by department heads
whom the manager cannot discipline--are major forces contributing to in-
security in a manager's tenure. The case-study materials give some In-
sight into why this assumption and hypothesis have not been upheld.
There was only one instance of involuntary termination which was
directly related to a conflict between the manager and a department head.
in Westburg, a relatively high-tenure community, where the manager has
virtual control over the hiring and firing of department heads, a
controversy developed over the manager's attempts to change administra-
tive procedures which had been established by his predecessor as budget
manager. A verbal exchange between a department head and the manager, in
which some names" were called, followed the attempt to modify proce-
dures. The department head complained to the council, and the council
subsequently asked the manager to resign. When the manager refused to
resign, the council fired him. Nothing in this dispute involved any
clique or factional disagreement on other matters with the manager, al-
though the council was reputedly unhappy with the manager's apparent lack
of initiative in community leadership and planning.
All the remaining case-study cities have at least one major de-
partment whose head is not appointed by the manager. Three of these cit-
ies are relatively low In community tenure and two are relatively high.
In only one instance in these five cities was there any trouble between
such a department head and a manager. In Streamford, the manager and
the city solicitor, elected by the people, had a difference of opinion
concerning an investigation of gambling activities allegedly involving
the police chief. While no direct confrontation took place between the
manager and the solicitor, the latter was reputed to have suggested to
the manager that the chief should be dealt with less severely than might
be justified by the evidence from the investigation. The manager refused
to take a lenient attitude toward the police chief. However, the Impor-
tant thing to be seen In this case is that the view of the soi!citor rep-
resented the opinion of the usually dominant Republican-oriented clique
in Streamford. Therefore, although the council at this time was con-
trolled by a Democratic-oriented faction and the manager faced no
immediate threat of being fired, he was also aware of the fluidity of
the composition of the council In Streamford in the past, and of the pos-
sibility of the return of the Republican faction to power, which would
have meant his removal.
Thus it appears as if the suggestion posed in the Florida study
that department heads are Important only insofar as they are tied in with
the leadership clique structure is sustained. In Clover Heights and
Westburg the department heads, even when they were not aligned directly
with the dominant clique in each city, all appeared to share that
clique's basic views. Both of these communities are monopolistic under
a middle- or upper-class faction influenced greatly by businessmen. The
need for skilled technicians in administration does not differ greatly,
in their view, from the need for technicians in business.
in Meadwood and Streamford the interview data leave little doubt
that the department heads are connected with the leadership structure of
the community. in Meadwood, where the manager has been part of the domi-
nant leadership clique, he has experienced no trouble whatsoever from
his department heads. in fact, he was under fire during the interview
period for his alleged close ties with a zoning-board chairman who was
alleged to be part of the dominant leadership clique. In Streamford, on
the other hand, the department heads, especially the solicitor and fi-
nance director, have remained aligned with the Republican-oriented fac-
tion throughout the case-study period. The manager's conflict with the
solicitor, as cited above, occurred only when the former, following or-
ders of a Democratic-oriented council, pursued policies contrary to those
favored by the Republican-oriented faction.
Finally, Astor provides additional insights Into this' problem.
Astor, although considered a competitive community, also has the highest
community tenure of all the case-study cities. Only in recent years has
the opposing Democratic-oriented clique been able to achieve a power ex-
change, and then it was able to maintain power only briefly. Cf impor-
tance, however, regarding relations between the manager and department
heads is the role played by Astor's law director. Most department heads
in Astor are merit system employees, and no problem has arisen between
them and the manager. The law director, however, is a council appointee,
and in the period between 1960 and 1964 four different men have held the
post. Apparently, rather than to attack the city manager who has been in
office since 1961 and who is an outsider-professional, the two opposing
cliques have chosen to attack the law director with his critical role In
legal matters, especially in regard to voting and zoning affairs. Thus,
this post has taken on the status and onus of political "whipping boy."
Each of the power exchanges in the period between 1960 and 1964 have
brought corresponding changes in the law director's office. important
to note also is the fact that the manager has succeeded in keeping him-
self from being identified, by either competing clique or the people,
with either one of the cliques.
In summary, then, In almost all of the case-study cities, whether
monopolistic or competitive, stable or unstable, high or low community
tenure, once again the focus of attention lies on the clique alignment
in the community and where the department heads stand in relation to
that alignment. in most cases where the department heads and the domi-
nant leadership clique are close together or aligned in their thinking
about community policy, and where the manager concurs in, or at least
does not attempt to oppose, the prevailing policy views of the dominant
clique, no problem arises between the manager and his department heads.
Where the manager disputes the policy positions of the dominant clique
and has department heads who are representative or responsible to that
clique, he may well have difficulty with department heads, regardless of
his appointive powers. Finally, it seems that If the manager can suc-
cessfully avoid taking on the appearance of being tied in' with any
leadership clique in the community, he will have few problems with his
department heads since substantial evidence appears in all case-study
cities that the leadership cliques and factions tend to accept a "pro-
fessional" manager and his "professionally aloof" manner of
Initiation of policy and tenure.--As in the Florida study, the
Ohio data do not substantiate the hypothesis that community tenure de-
pends on whether the present manager reports that he does (low tenure)
or does not (high tenure) share in the initiation of policies In the
community. Table 5 presents the clear statistical evidence.
A number of reasons appear to explain why this hypothesis is not
confirmed by tho data. First of all, a very small number of managers in
Ohio report that they do not play any role in policy initiation (only 3).
This indicates that managers in Ohio play active roles in policy initia-
tion; roles, as the case-study materials suggest, that they both desire
libid., pp. 177-180. Banfleld and Wilson describe five types of
council-manager relations, within which the three instances mentioned
COMMUNITY TENURE OF MANAGERS BY PRESENT MANAGER'S REPORTED
ROLE IN POLICY INITIATION
Percentage of Managers Percentage of Managers
Community Tenure inactive Active
2.0 years or less 33 16
2.1 3.9 years 33 38
4.0 years / 33 46
(N) (3) (42)
X2 a .617. df = 2. P >.7.
and accept. Case-study data indicate that the councils expect the man-
ager to be active in presenting policy ideas, and to carry these ideas
to the point of providing materials to the council as to the advantages
and disadvantages of such policy.
Secondly, it is true in Ohio, as in Florida, that the incumbent
manager's policy-initiating role does not necessarily represent the pol-
icy-initiating role of his predecessors, although the case-study materi-
als show this is more likely to be the case in competitive cities than
in monopolistic communities where fewer changes regarding city policy
decisions were identified during the case-study period.
Lastly, but perhaps most crucial to the analysis, the case-study
materials show that the circumstances (monopolistic vs. competitive; po-
litically stable vs. politically unstable) under which the managers do
or do not initiate policy matters are the determinate factors in tenure.
In Ohio, as in Florida, in monopolistic, politically stable cities it is
Irrelevant whether the manager does or does not initiate or recognize
that he initiates policy. This Is particularly true in communities in
which the manager is part of the leadership clique, as in Meadwood where
the manager has tended to be inactive in policy initiation, and where,
now that an opposing clique has appeared, he Is being pressured for more
active initiatory action regarding policy. There the manager is a local-
amateur and is being criticized for his "lack of leadership" and the ap-
parent lack of the background needed to make such proposals or decisions.
In Westburg, on the other hand, there appears to be some reluctance among
some of the council members to accept the manager's unqualified profes-
sional leadership and reliance upon professional methods in his policy
On the other hand, in competitive, politically unstable cities,
the crucial tenure factor appears to be one of two things: either the
frequency of power exchanges between leadership cliques or the promi-
nence of 'power plays" effected on the basis of dissatisfaction by the
dominant leadership clique with the activity or action of the manager.
As will be shown later in this chapter, power exchanges do not
appear to have the same causal relationship to variation In community
tenure and managerial terminations in Ohio as they do in Florida.
Rather, Ohio case-study materials indicate that the crucial factor is
the class level of the dominant leadership clique and the opposition
clique and the political orientation of the community. Managers in
middle- or upper-class, Republican-oriented communities have little or
no problem with their councils over policy initiation, regardless of the
attitude they adopt toward policy initiation. in cities where the
lower-class, Democratic-oriented faction either has control of the coun-
cil or is contending for such control, the manager is more likely to be
criticized for his role In policy initiation, regardless of whether he
is active or inactive, especially if he has been linked with any of the
vying leadership cliques.
This inference above, that the dominant class level and the po-
litical philosophy of the community are important in understanding the
functioning of council-manager government in Ohio, is reinforced, it
seems, by the fact that Ohio, unlike Florida, does not show that a local-
amateur manager necessarily dominates the scene in monopolistic cities.
Ohio has a very large number of outsider-professionals in all types of
towns, competitive or monopolistic. This suggests that, in addition to
the Importance of the class level or political circumstances dominant in
any community, the acceptance of an outsider-professional as manager and,
concurrently, as a major policy initiator, helps to keep at a minimum any
adverse reaction on the manager's tenure resulting solely from the policy
initiation variable. It follows, therefore, that if the professional
manager is supposed to keep himself politically aloof from any factional
squabbles, this aloofness is more likely to be characteristic of commu-
nities where his professionalism will be sought and accepted. Such cit-
ies, the case-study materials show, are primarily middle-class,
business- and Republican-oflented.
The power to hire and fire.--Since, according to the Florida
study, personnel matters were judged to be important in determining and
maintaining the manager's prestige and professional integrity and, in
turn, could affect the manager's tenure, the Ohio study also offers some
comparison with the Florida study on this variable.
Ohio's case-study cities give some indication that in low
community-tenure cities "interference" by the council occurs in person-
nel matters below the department head level. In streamford, early in
the research period, a manager was reputed to have been placed under
pressure to hire a particular person for the police force. Reportedly
he did not acquiesce in this demand, and the councilman who was reputed
to have asked this "favor" was said to have made statements that he would
get the manager fired.
In the higher tenure communities, however, personnel matters
cause less conflict. In Meadwood and Clover Heights the manager typi-
cally consults with the council before making important decisions on ap-
pointments or dismissals. In fact, in Headwood interviewees reported
that the manager also consults with the leadership clique to which he is
reputedly tied before he makes any such decisions. In Westburg, the man-
ager reputedly seldom consults with the council prior to appointment of
important personnel; but it must be remembered that this manager has a
virtual "blank check" in all matters of administration, although the
council can ask him to "show cause for-any of his actions.
The conclusions, it is evident, concur in general with those in
the Florida study. Except where a department head is caught up in the
power struggle between opposing leadership cliques, personnel matters
are largely irrelevant to the occurrence or nonoccurrence of voluntary
or involuntary terminations. Ohio's case-study cities give no evidence
of any such activity.
Personal Characteristics of Managers
The Ohio study hypothesizes that community tenure and termina-
tion may be explained by one or more of the following personal charac-
teristics of managers: professional or amateur standing of present and
past managers and local and outsider status of present and past managers.
Taken from the Florida study, the above proposition was incorporated into
this project. Also, as in the Florida study, the Ohio study assumes that
local and amateur managers will secure appointments:
1. More frequently in monopolistic than in competitive
2. More frequently In smaller than in larger comaunitles.
The Ohio study further assumes that, as in the Florida study:
3. Smaller communities are more likely than larger com-
munities to be monopolistic.
4. Monopolistic conmnunltles will show more political
stability than competitive ones.
When tested in Ohio cities not all of these four basic assump-
tions were substantiated. in fact, in only one of the assumptions do
the data show any statistical significance.
Data from the questionnaires presented in Table 6 show that the
first assumption is Invalid in Ohio. The evidence suggests that there
Is apparently little difference In preference between professionals and
amateurs or between locals and outsiders as to the size of the community
in which they care to secure appointments.
Table 7, correspondingly, shows that the second set of assump-
tions concerning the professional-amateur distinction is not sustained.
PROFESSIONAL STATUS AND LOCAL STATUS OF PRESENT
MANAGERS BY ABSOLUTE SIZE OF POPULATION
,-i.. ~~- ... ......... Ll! ---- ... . !w.
.. m m
Professional Status Local Status
Population Professional Amateur (N) Local Outsider (N)
0 7,499 77A 23 (17) 29% 71% (17)
7,500 24,999 93 7 (14) 21 79 (14)
25,000 or more 85 15 (13) 31 69 (13)
df = 2. P >.3.
X2 a .38.
df = 2. P>.8.
PROFESSIONAL STATUS AND LOCAL STATUS OF MANAGERS AT TIME OF
APPOINTMENT BY CITY'S POLITICAL STYLE AT TIME
Professional Status Local Status
Political Style Professional -Amateur (N) Local Outsider (N)
Oligopoly 55% 6~% (13) 62% 38% (13)
Competitive 73 27 (11) 27 73 (11)
df = 1. P > .3.
df = 1. P .1O.
The assumptions dealing with the local and amateur distinction, however,
are in the assumed direction, but short of statistical significance.
In dealing with the monopolistic-competitive status material as
related to population size of the city, this study, as was true of the
Florida study, is able to use the case-study materials for classification
purposes only. The results are even more "meager" than those of the
X2 = 1.44.
X2 a .87.
Florida study since the statistical test necessary can not be applied.
Also, due to the difference in size of the cities studied, this study
reclassifies the cities as to population size. Although the Florida
study indicated statistical significance of an acceptable level, the Ohio
study, as shown in Table 8, can offer no statistical test whatever.
POLITICAL STYLE BY POPULATION SIZE
Political Style 12,000 31,999 32.000 45,000
Monopolistic 1 2
Competitive 2 1
(Fisher's one-tailed test could not be applied to the given
In Table 9, however, where the Ohio study computes the number of
power exchanges per ten years as an index of political stability, similar
to the Florida study, the data appear to sustain the assumption that
monopolistic cities do, in fact, have fewer power exchanges per unit of
time than competitive ones. As the Florida study points out, regardless
of the "obviousness" of this assumption, it needs validation since, under
the definition of monopoly used in both studies, power exchanges with a
continuing monopoly status are as logically possible as power exchange
under conditions of competition.
Having shown that all but the last of the assumptions which were,
for the most part, verified in the Florida study, were refuted in Ohio,
the present study now turns to the hypotheses dealing with tenure and
POLITICAL STABILITY BY POLITICAL STYLE
Power Exchanges per 10 Years
Political Style 0 1 2 or More
Monopolistic 3 0
Competitive 0 3
(Fisher one-tailed P <.05.)
termination under these personal characteristics of managers. The ap-
parent refutation seen above should make the analysis of personal char-
acteristics of Ohio managers all the more interesting.
Table 10 provides evidence which indicates that variations in
personal tenure of the present manager, compiled from questionnaire data,
are in the assumed direction of showing a dependency of personal tenure
on the present manager's professional status, but short of the limit nec-
essary to show statistical significance. However, when dealing with the
outsider-local dimension, the data show that the relationship does not
hold true at all.
The apparent lack of correlation in Table 10 between the present
local status of the reporting manager and the manager's average personal
tenure becomes easier to Interpret when, as shown in Table 11, one notes
that in a very large number of cases the present local now occupies the
only managerial post he has ever held.
Contrary to the Florida study, where only one manager was found
to be both a local and a professional, the Ohio study found seven local-
professionals. Also, contrary to the Florida study, where eight cases of
0 3.9 year
4.0 years F
PERSONAL TENURE BY PROFESSIONAL STATUS
STATUS OF MANAGER
iure Professional Amateur
s 62% 29%
X2 a 2.71. df = 1. P<.10. X2 z .31 df 1. P > .5.
LOCAL STATUS BY NUMBER OF MANAGER POSTS HELD
Number of Posts Held
Local Status One Post Two or More Posts (N)
Local 100% 0% (12)
Outsider 44 56 (32)
X2 11.4. df : 1.
an outsider-amateur as manager appeared, In Ohio's sample only two ap-
pear. It, therefore, seems valid to conclude that three meaningful cate-
gories of analysis--local-amateur, local-professional, and outsider-
professional--can be established for Ohio managers and that the two cases
of outsider-amateurs can be excluded (thus differing from the Florida
study's three categories of local-amateur, outsider-amateur, and
outsider-professional). On the basis of these categories, Table 12 shows
a negative correlation of relationships in the assumed direction, but one
PERSONAL TENURE BY PROFESSIONAL-LOCAL STATUS OF THE MANAGER
Local- Local- Outsider-
Personal Tenure amateur professional professional
0 3.9 years 0% 83% 57%
4.0 years A 100 17 43
(N) (5) (7) (30)
P = .13.
that is short of statistical significance. This Is in contrast to the
Florida study, where a high negative correlation was shown between
professional-local status and the personal tenure of the present manager.
Additionally, the Ohio case-study data on voluntary and Involun-
tary terminations do not support the proposition that local-amateurs are
less likely than outsider-professionals to be involuntarily terminated.
Table 13 shows a differential distribution which is far from indicative
of a correlation significantly greater than zero in a statistical sense.
This is in contrast to the Florida study where statistical significance
Interviews conducted in the Ohio case-study cities perhaps shed
some light on why the result above was obtained. Each of the monopolis-
tic cities of Clover Heights and Meadwood had a local-amateur manager
whose term in office was involuntarily terminated, and in each case it
appears that he failed to recognize the dominant political forces in the
community. In each case the manager left after the occurrence of a power
exchange, Indicating that he attempted to maintain his relationship with
TYPE OF TERMINATION BY PROFESSIONAL-LOCAL STATUS OF MANAGER
Local- Local- Outsider-
Type of Termination amateur professional professional
Voluntary 2 2 3
involuntary 6 0 7
Tau = -.02. Z = .13. P *-.45.
the defeated power faction, rather than to adapt his views to the incom-
ing faction. Also, in each city, the conraunity was irnopolistic prior
to the power exchange (the only one in e:..;i city during the case-study
period) and monopolistic afterwards.
The other four involuntary terminations occurred in Streamford
and Feldstone, and, in each case, they could be tied to a power exchange
with a resultant loss of political support of the manager from the clique
in power. In these cities, however, "power plays" were also used to ef-
fect involuntary dismissal of managers. (See the profiles in Chapter
Viewing the relationship between manager tenure and professional
and local status from the perspective of political style reveals some
similarities and one critical difference between Ohio's case-study cities
and those in the Florida study. In two of the three monopolistic cities
in the Ohio study (Clover Heights and Meadwood) the dominant leadership
clique has selected amateurs and locals (one local-professional) rather
than outsiders and professionals. However, in Westburg, where the domi-
nant clique consists of good government" groups and business-oriented
groups, both generally middle- or upper-middle-class, all the managers
chosen have been outsider-professionals, due primarily, the interview
data indicate, to the technological and professional skills which the
leadership clique believes are essential to "progress" in programs. The
data suggest, therefore, that In cities where there is an overwhelming
reliance by the community and the government on organized business-
oriented groups to furnish support and personnel to the government and
to take an active part in community-wide decisions, the tendency will be
toward hiring outsider-professionals as managers. This may be clearly
seen in Feldstone where, once the basic decision was made to seek Indus-
try actively, and once industrial people began to take an active Interest
in local government, the demand was heard and answered for the need to
recruit an outsider-professional as manager.
It would also appear that the monopolistic towns of the type de-
scribed above--Westburg, for example--the manager Is more likely to be
involuntarily terminated for failure to carry out his administrative and
technical duties than for his views on policy matters. This certainly is
the case in Westburg.
The case-study materials did Indicate, in agreement with the
Florida study, that there Is a far greater chance that the "local boy"
rather than the outsider, either will be a part of the leadership clique
when he takes the managership, as in Meadwood, or will be co-opted into
the dominant clique after taking office.
Table 9 has shown that monopoly communities are more likely to be
politically stable than are competitive communities, at least in the
case-study cities. Power exchanges, therefore, occur less frequently in
monopolistic communities than in competitive conmunities; and, if we con-
cur:in the findings of the Florida study that Involuntary terminations
more often than not occur after power exchanges, then manager tenure
should be longer in monopolistic cities. Table 14 provides evidence that
in Ohio this Is not the case. On the basis of data from the question-
naires, where the present manager was asked whether or not he perceived
his community as stable or unstable, no statistically significant corre-
lation could be noted.
PROFESSIONAL-LOCAL STATUS BY PRESENT MANAGER'S PERCEPTION
OF POLITICAL STABILITY
Local- Local- Outsider-
Political Stability amateur professional professional
Stable 100% 83% 97%
Unstable 0 17 3
(N) (5) (7) (30)
Tau .03. Z = .03. P 3 .39.
In addition, as will be shown later In this chapter, the Ohio
study provides evidence that involuntary terminations more often than not
do not occur after power exchanges.
Unlike the Florida study, where data show that local-amateurs more
often tend to perceive their communities as politically stable than do
professionals and outsiders, the Ohio study indicates that the vast ma-
jority of managers in Ohio view their cities as politically stable,