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The Municipal Balance of Power: Lessons from Federalist 51

FREDERIC D. HOMER AND ROBERT A. SCHUHMANN
PAM, Vol. 10 No. 3, (2005)

The need to build constructive relationships between city councils and
managers is as important today as it ever was. However, in a world of
increasingly complex municipal service provision the obstacles to
productive manager-council relationships loom large. This paper
explores the complex relationships between elective officials and meritbased
staff, with a special emphasis on understanding the variability in
the sets of communication patterns that develop among city managers,
merit-based staff, and their elected superiors. In the end, this paper
explores the usefulness of Federalist 51 in designing and navigating the
rough seas of council-manager relationships.

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