New Paper on the Evolving Role of the CAO/City Manager

A new paper, released this week by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, explores how the relationship between elected officials and the public service has changed over time, and how the role of the CAO is important for ensuring effective council-staff relations. The paper, authored by Michael Fenn and David Seigel argues:

The often hidden, but very important, relationship between the municipal council and the public service is a key determinant of the success of any municipality… We believe that the CAO model performs better than either the council-committee model on which it was superimposed, or the U.S.-style “strong mayor”/political executive format that some favour. But the CAO model in Ontario is still relatively new and continues to evolve.

The paper also offers some suggestions for positive ways that the CAO model can continue to evolve in the future and highlights risks for the model going forward.

Read the full paper here.

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