“There is an innate challenge in teaching something as complex as city management. It’s not just public finance and organizational behavior, not by a long shot. It’s a delicate balance of practical skills, political savvy, on the job experience, and service. Here in California, we are fortunate to have a plethora of top tier institutions geared up to instill the basics, but debates rage over how and what to teach aspiring City Managers. Should we acknowledge that not every student will eventually step into the role of City Manager? How do we identify potential and nurture it? Can good city management be taught?”
Ken Pulskamp, Executive Director of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF), and Wade McKinney, City Manager of the City of Indian Wells, authored an essay asking these very questions. Given the complexities of an ever changing local landscape their insights, and the opinions of the seasoned local government managers they interviewed, warrant a revisitation. One can certainly argue that there has never been a greater need for civically driven leadership.