American cities are a basic part of the fabric of our democratic traditions. Many of these cities are served by professional city managers and administrators. Cities that succeed at an outstanding level often employ professionals. Yet the average American knows little about the role of these professionals. City managers have seldom written about their experiences.
Blueprint for Building Community is a rare look at the career of a city manager. This career portrait is set in two Illinois communities --Park Forest and Woodridge--communities which hold high aspirations for their residents. City managers, partnering with elected leaders and citizens in these communities, have worked to fulfill those aspirations. This book highlights the values and relationships that must be cultivated by the city manager to successfully build community. Although the focus is on the role of the city manager, other key participants such as the elected officials, citizens, and employees can gain from the insights. Community building requires connecting the key groups in the community to the mission and “sacred things” dear to residents. Harnessing the energy of all the players produces tremendous results. For the many people who worked to build Park Forest and Woodridge, and so many communities across this country, this book is a tribute to their efforts.
This book is written to encourage the next generation of city managers to pursue the challenge of building communities. The author chronicles the lessons and principles that add to success as a city manager. He conveys the inspiration, passion and excitement to those who consider public service.
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