ICMA Survey Results Indicate Collaboration among Local Elected and Appointed Officials

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a time when collaboration appears to be nonexistent at the federal level, collaboration at the local government level is earning high marks. This is one of several findings of ICMA's national State of the Profession survey, which was sent to 7,550 city-type local governments with a population of 2,500 or greater and to 1,306 county governments with an elected executive or council-administrator form of government. The overall response rate is 24%, with 2,079 cities and counties responding.

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Collaboration between the local elected officials who set policy and the chief appointed officials who implement it is essential to meeting the needs of residents and businesses across the United States. ICMA's State of the Profession survey found that

  • Nearly 90% of chief appointed officials report that their relationship with the elected officials to whom they report is "highly" or "generally" collaborative.
  • 47% of chief appointed officials report that their relationship with the elected officials to whom they report has improved over the past year compared with 37% in 2006.
  • 70% of chief appointed officials report that the relationship among council members is "highly" or "generally" collaborative.
  • 25% of chief appointed officials report that the relationship among council members has improved.

Because many community factors affect policy implementation, it cannot be established in a vacuum, and implementation must align with and respond to the intent of the policy.  A successful marriage of policy and implementation requires collaboration.  ICMA's State of the Profession survey results reflect that

  • 87% of chief appointed officials support the governing body by identifying community needs and initiating policy proposals.
  • 88% of chief appointed officials play a significant role in policy initiation through advice and recommendations to the governing body.

The results of ICMA's State of the Profession survey, which indicate that collaboration between elected and appointed officials to solve local problems is a widely accepted practice, may well support other research that shows that higher percentages of people report trusting  local government to solve problems than do those who report trusting state or federal government.[i]

To access the results of ICMA's 2012, click on the following link: http://icma.org/en/icma/knowledge_network/documents/kn/Document/305096/ICMA_2012_State_of_the_Profession_Survey_Results.

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/5392/trust-government.aspx

About ICMA

Founded in 1914, ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. Our mission and vision is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build sustainable communities that improve people's lives worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,500 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.  The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.



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