Leadership and Governance

Overview

Leadership and Governance

Leading public organizations and governing with colleagues on a board or council is a challenging art of community service. The Institute recognizes that many aspects of leadership and governance are not intuitive. Essential skills for both officials and public administrators include understanding how to work with residents, staff and fellow elected officials.  This section of the Institute's website offers resources and materials on responsibilities and powers, making decisions, developing community leadership, working with media and more.

Leading public organizations and governing with colleagues on a board or council is a challenging art of community service. The Institute recognizes that many aspects of leadership and governance are not intuitive. Essential skills for both officials and public administrators include understanding how to work with residents, staff and fellow elected officials.  This section of the Institute’s website offers resources and materials on responsibilities and powers, making decisions, developing community leadership, working with media and more.

Overview

Effective Leadership

California’s cities, counties and special districts need the best of leadership and management to effectively govern. When elected officials and top management professionals partner and govern efficiently, the municipal agencies can more effectively serve their constituencies.

Overview

Working with Staff

An agency’s professional staff will be an important source of information for newly-elected officials. If your agency does not have an orientation for newly elected officials, make an appointment to get acquainted.

Some questions to ask include:

  • What issues does the agency executive see as most pressing?
  • What process does the agency use for developing and approving its budget? What are the key budgetary challenges?
  • What is the status of long-range plans and capital projects?
  • Are there other key staff members with whom the official should meet and be briefed by, based on their particular interests?
Overview

Responsibilities and Powers

This section of resources is devoted to informing newly elected and appointed officials, staff, public and media about the roles, responsibiliites and powers of local agencies.  Topics include the authorities and limitations of local agencies, sources of law and descriptions of individual agency functions as defined by statutes and charters.

Overview

Making Decisions

Decision-making in the public sector is a much different process than what they are used to in the private or nonprofit sector.

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Shared Services and Joint Use
Intergovermental Collaboration

Working Together in Service to Shared Constituencies

Counties, cities, schools and special districts are distinct legal entities that have no control over each other (except for dependent special districts). Yet these entities usually have overlapping constituencies. Those constituencies provide financial support to these local agencies through taxes, assessments, fees and other kinds of service charges.

Overview

Leadership Resources for Local Officials

Being a leader, particularly in local government, isn’t easy. Institute for Local Government makes a priority of making resources available to local leaders to help them in their service to their communities.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.–Peter Drucker

Overview

Media Relations

Working with the media, elected officials have an opportunity to communicate key messages and information to the public a local agency serves.

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When Bad Things Happen

Despite best efforts, unfortunate things happen. The resources below offer thoughts on how to respond. 

Additional suggestions for resources welcome. Contact ILG.

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Developing Resident Leadership

Resources and case stories to help local agencies inform residents about local government and civics, develop community leadership and participation, and create effective citizen academies.

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Personnel and Labor

Materials presented here provide local agency officials and staff with information about public agency personnel and labor-related matters.

Overview

Health and Human Services

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Local agencies provide a variety of services to constituents including health related services to older adults, children and families. Health and Human Services information is available in this section of the website.

Overview

Local Government Basics for Those Leaving Public Service

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As an elected official departs from public service, there are legal documents to be completed. In addition to ending one’s term, the official may have campaign monies to distribute. In this section of the Institute’s website, resources are provided to help local officials in leaving public office.

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