The US has different forms of municipal governments. The main types include council-manager, mayor-council, commission, town meeting, and representative town meeting. Many types of budgeting approaches are available in municipalities. The budgeting process is inevitable and critical in ensuring the prudent utilization of financial resources while providing essential services to the targeted populace. Usually, municipal budget preparation tends to be tedious and cumbersome.
Council-manager, as a form of government, has unique characteristics. For instance, the city council oversees the general administration to ensure the policy’s alignment with the set budgets. The council also appoints a professional city manager to conduct day-to-day administrative functions within the locality.
The major is handpicked from the council on rotational voting patterns. According to recent reports from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), council-manager has grown significantly from 48% to 55% in usage (1996-2017%). It is the most popular form of municipal government in cities with a population exceeding 10,000, especially in the Southeast and Pacific coast regions—Arizona, Topeka, Kansas, Texas, and Maryland.
In my current location in Midland, Texas, the council manager is the most common form of municipal government, helping in attaining prudent management of financial resources while providing essential services to the residents. The City of Midland adopts the traditional line-item budgeting in determining its operating budget. The budgeting process entails examining the existing programs and reducing or reallocating financial resources to attain improved efficiency in the management of public resources.
The regular process of evaluating programs allows the city-manager administration to respond to the changing economic and political environment, including the community, citizens, and employees’ needs. Usually, the budget development process is a formal approach that enables the city to create its program priorities, including setting goals for service delivery in every fiscal year.