Secure Online Order Form

Price: $49.00 manual & CD; $29.00 CD only.
33 pp. ISBN 0-927160-06-4.

Many constituents today often expect the professional local government manager to behave like politicians. And in many mayor-council forms of government, part-time mayors with full time administrators are increasingly insistent on exercising all of the powers of the CEO. A variety of skills are required to resolve the inclusionary issues of who does what, when and how, and to survive the political issues. Avoiding the lighting rod of local government management has never been easy, but now more than ever managers need tools to help them make their tenure longer and more secure. The ICMA Council-Manager Task Force studying the future of the local government profession foresees the need for managers to become highly sensitive to political issues, necessitating perhaps a stronger role in political leadership. With that will come more volatility, higher risk, and more discomfort for the professional manager.

Accordingly, in today's dynamic and often volatile community environment, the professional local government manager needs survival skills and some protection in order to operate successfully in a profession which has become replete with hazards. The intent of the Survival Kit for Local Government Managers is to provide the local government manager with helpful information to negotiate a mutually beneficial employment agreement, and if necessary a separation agreement. The survival kit addresses common challenges faced by managers during the selection process, employment and firing or separation. The manual is also full of tips and helps on getting along with mayors, councils, department heads, the media, and citizens. The focus of the Survival Kit is to give managers practical tips, tools and reality checks they can use to help them gauge which way the political wind is blowing, spot and remedy common problems and gives real life examples and forms that can be modified to fit a manager's unique situation.


Manager will be able to develop employment and separation agreements that protect him/herself and family and are fair and equitable towards the council.

Manager will understand the nuances associated with performance evaluations and how to make them work for his/her advantage.

Manager will have more tools at his/her disposal to build a mutually beneficial and effective relationship with the governing body, staff, community groups, and the media.

Manager will be able to handle press inquiries more effectively by knowing what they look for and how to tailor the local government's response.


1. Employment Agreement Language This section was developed from actual local government manager contracts. It includes: why an employment agreement, checklist for employment agreements, sample employment agreement language by subject (containing various examples of terms, duties, compensation, fringe benefits, residency, relocation, performance evaluation and much more).

2. Three complete sample employment agreements.

3. Negotiating Employment Includes: What type of contract?, negotiating starting salary, fringe benefit considerations, a worksheet which can be used to compare positions, an in-service pay Increases.

4. Performance Evaluations Includes: purpose of performance evaluations, pros and cons of formal evaluations, joint approach to evaluations, how formal an evaluation?, when should evaluation be held?, criteria for evaluating local government managers.

5. Separation: Transition Tango or the Texas Two Step Includes: symptoms of managers in trouble, the use of separation agreements, two sample separation agreements.

6. Effective Council-Manager Relations Includes: managing information, managing roles, managing diversity and operating environment, retreats, conclusion and summary.

7. Effective Manager-Staff Relations Includes: roles and relationships, manager's style and key staff performance, building a positive, supportive work environment with key staff, aligning key staff needs with organizational goals, thoughts on motivating staff, division of managerial responsibilities.

8. Effective Community Relations Includes: matching management style with community type, image and identity, tips for improving community relations, managing community issues.

9. Effective Media Relations Includes: managing the media, profile of the press, when should you talk to the media, what are they looking for in stories, how to talk to the news media, handling problem questions, how to generate positive news coverage, questions the media wants answered in crisis situations.

Order your copy of this important manual today. It could make or save your career!

Copyright 2010 Local Government Institute. All rights reserved. is a registered Service Mark of the Local Government Institute.  Phone: 253-565-6253  8a.m.-5p.m., M-F Pacific Time. Fax: 253-565-2575. Disclaimer Policy.