Sitting in a small television studio on the fourth floor of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., ICMA members Pat Martel and Scott Hancock declared, "We're proud to be city managers. We've done good things in partnership with our elected officials throughout the years."
ICMA hosted a satellite media tour on January 23, featuring Daly City, CA, City Manager Pat Martel, and Maryland Municipal League Executive Director Scott Hancock. During live and taped interviews with 14 different radio and television stations across the country, Martel and Hancock answered questions on a wide range of issues to raise awareness about professional local government management, ICMA's 100th Anniversary, and the Life, Well Run campaign.
Many of the radio and television hosts were not familiar with the role and responsibilities of a professional local government manager. The two most common questions were, "What does a city manager do?" and "Are professional local government managers elected?"
"Professional local government managers are hired to implement the policies and community vision of the elected officials," Martel said. "They are hired to manage the day-to-day operations of a city, town, or county. Managers ensure that municipal services are delivered effectively, efficiently, and ethically."
Hancock added that "professional local government managers are nonpartisan and apolitical. They are not involved in the political process."
Accountability was another recurring question during the interviews. If managers are not elected, to whom are they accountable? Martel said, "Professional local government managers are accountable to the elected officials who hired them, the community, and their peers."
When asked about the benefits a community gets from having a professional local government manager, Hancock said, "Managers stand by an ethical code that is higher than what the law requires."
Martel added, "Professional local government managers help improve quality of life and keep communities sustainable."
Both Martel and Hancock concluded each interview by encouraging listeners and viewers to learn more about professional local government management by visiting icma.org and LifeWellRun.org, and by encouraging young people to consider a career in this profession.
"If you have a heart for service, you should become a professional local government manager," said Hancock.
The stations that participated in ICMA's satellite media tour were: KLSR-FOX in Eugene, OR; the "Brynne Project" on WCHE-AM in Philadelphia, PA; KDEE-FM in Sacramento, CA; "Tron in the Morning" show on KCMN-AM in Colorado Springs-Pueblo, CO; "Pickins AM" show on WYYZ-AM in Atlanta, GA; "Valley Happenings" show on WYAM-IND in Huntsville-Decatur, AL; the "Mr. K & Company" show on KWCC-IND in Seattle-Tacoma. WA; WTBQ-AM in New York, NY; the "13 WHAM News This Morning" show on WHAM-ABC in Rochester, NY; "Kiosk Presents" on WNYO-IND in Buffalo, NY; "Good Day Live" on WTWO-NBC in Terre Haute, IN; "North Carolina's News with Brian Freeman" on the North Carolina News Network-AM Regional; the "Breakfast with Bob" show on WAMV-AM in Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA; and "News Update" on ION TV-National.
ICMA is putting together a compilation of clips from the interviews to create a video of highlights from the satellite media tour. The video will be available to all and distributed to the national media in the coming weeks.
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