Resources for the Interim or Acting Local Government Manager: New, Updated Edition Available

An updated guide to preparing for and responding to future management opportunities.

ARTICLE | Mar 21, 2018

When the local government manager's position becomes vacant, someone is bound to be tapped to serve in an acting or interim capacity. Often, the acting manager is selected from within the organization, and he or she is suddenly faced with an unfamiliar set of roles, responsibilities, and expectations. The decision to accept the role of interim manager can be a difficult one, requiring thoughtful consideration of where you are and where you’d like to be in your professional and personal journey.

In 2018, all local government professionals need to be prepared for and have the ability to respond to this opportunity, whether your answer is a thoughtful “Not at this time,” or “I can do that!,” or something in between. The 2016 ICMA Task Force on Serving as an Interim or Acting Manager updated and expanded Resources for the Interim or Acting Manager to help the interim manager make the most of a sometimes unexpected opportunity. 

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An Acting or Interim Manager's Guide for Success

Building on the excellent work of the 2004–2005 task force, the 2016 task force drew on personal experiences, reached out to colleagues, and conducted a survey of other managers who have served in an interim or acting role. ICMA’s greatest resource is the collective experience of its members. Following several months of review, discussion, and consultation with colleagues, the task force refreshed this resource and encourages you to use it as a valuable reference point for your next steps.

In Resources for the Interim or Acting Manager, you'll learn how to: 

  • Decide if the interim manager role is right for you.
  • Put into writing the terms of agreement for the position.
  • Conduct an assessment of the community and the organization and succeed through your interim position (60-day checklist).
  • Define your role as (interim) manager.
  • Be the interim manager during the search process. 
  • Garner the support of colleagues and staff for success.
  • And more!

Time spent as an interim manager can be a valuable experience for the advancement of your career. Download Resources for the Interim or Acting Manager and succeed in the opportunity.

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Thank You to the Following 2016-2017 Task Force Members

Ed Shikada, assistant city manager, Palo Alto, California, chairperson

Jason Bobst, township manager, West Norriton, Pennsylvania

Donna Brown, director of human resources, Scottsdale, Arizona

Gary Dyke, city manager, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Reyna Farrales, deputy county manager, San Mateo, California

John Goodwin, assistant city manager, Canandaigua, New York

Elizabeth Ladner, city manager, South Lyon, Michigan

Greg Larson, partner, Management Partners, Santa Cruz, California

Sara Ott, assistant city manager, Aspen, Colorado

Alan Pennington, vice president, Matrix Consulting Group, Edwardsville, Illinois

Christian Sigman, city manager, Brookhaven, Georgia

Jason Slowinski, city manager, Golden, Colorado

Diane Stoddard, assistant city manager, Lawrence, Kansas

Melissa Byrne Vossmer, city manager, Ingleside, Texas

Heidi Ann Wachter, city attorney, Lakewood, Washington

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