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Have more bus routes been added to provide transportation to a new shopping area? Has the small park near the lake been cleaned up so children can play safely there? Will a new performing arts center be built downtown? These are some of the kinds of questions a city manager faces on the job. Even the smallest community has hundreds of concerns, from quality day care options for its citizens to proper housing for the elderly, from maintaining strong law enforcement in the city to preserving the surrounding environment. Every day, local newspapers feature all the changes underway in their communities. The mayor introduces these developments, speaking to reporters and appearing on the TV news and at city meetings. But, it's the city manager who works behind the scenes to put these changes into effect. A city manager uses managerial experience and skills to determine what programs are needed in the community, to design the programs, and to implement them. The council-manager form of government is somewhat like a smooth-running business—the executives make the decisions about a company, while the managers see that these decisions are put into practice efficiently and effectively.
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