City Manager’s Office

City Manager Form of Government - What You Should Know

The City of Carnation has a unique government structure compared to our Valley neighbors. The Council-Manager form of government consists of an elected City Council which is responsible for policymaking, and a professional city manager - appointed by the council - who is responsible for administration.

The City Manager provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of city government, handles personnel functions (including the power to appoint and remove employees) and is responsible for preparing the city budget.

Under the Council-Manager statutes, the City Council is prohibited from interfering with the manager's administration. The City Manager, however, can be removed by a majority vote of the Council at any time.

The Council-Manager structure aims to improve public services and make them more efficient by introducing professional management and removing politics from the day-to-day administration. This is based on the model of a business with a board of directors that appoints a chief executive officer. Another familiar public example is the school board-superintendent relationship.

Unlike Mayor-Council cities, where the chief executive (Mayor) must be a resident and registered voter of the city, the City Manager does not need to live within the City. Instead, the manager is selected solely based on their executive and administrative qualifications and experience.

In Council-Manager cities, a ceremonial Mayor presides at Council meetings and is recognized as the head of the City for ceremonial purposes but has no regular administrative duties. In Carnation, the Mayor is selected by the City Council, and must also be a Councilmember.

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