Alternatives to city departments
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This chapter explores the alternatives to city departments for providing municipal services. City officials have a strong bias toward service provision via city departments as the arrangement which gives them greatest control over service delivery. Identifying service provision as the rationale of local government easily leads to the presumption that municipal services should be provided by a city's own employees, through "city departments." Provision of any municipal service includes three activities: planning, finance, and production. Elected officials, city managers, and senior municipal administrators appear to be the primary participants in discussions to alter service delivery arrangements. At the level of national policy, some incentives for the development of cooperative intermunicipal arrangements already exist. The prevalent attitude concerning municipal service delivery–among municipal officials, citizens, and academics alike–identifies city departments as the sole, most likely, or preferred provider. Lower expenditures for municipal services should result from greater use of alternatives to city departments.
Kirlin, John J.; Ries, John C.; and Sonenblum, Sidney, "Alternatives to city departments" (2019). McGeorge School of Law Scholarly Books. 75.