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Who Really Runs County Government? The County Manager in the Budget Formulation Process

PAM, Vol. 16 No. 1, (2011)

The amount of responsibility county managers have in ensuring the deliverance of services in an effective and efficient manner cannot be understated. Over time however, manager responsibilities and influence have increased to such a point that the argument can be made that managers are indeed the primary entities that run many county governments. This study attempts to determine how influential county managers are in the budget process and therefore the policymaking process. Positive relationships with commissioners, the managers’ ability to provide acceptable alternatives in critical budget situations, and the acceptance of manager budget decisions by other elected officials all contribute to the managers’ influence.

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