At some point in a long civic career, you may face a skillful liar who is elected to an important local office. Here’s how to fight back in a way that doesn’t leave the city deeply divided.
How can you have better politics in your city? Elect better candidates. And that starts by writing job descriptions for elected officials, judging candidates by those descriptions, then engaging citizens in a long-term conversation about what we should expect from our elected leaders.
A professor left an Ivy League university to work in city government. What he learned in city hall was important, but what he missed was even more important.
Compromises are ways of opening the door to change by reducing the objections of interest groups. They are at the heart of decision making in city halls and are the closest thing in politics to an art form. Here’s what reporters should know about how compromises come about . . . and why.
Perhaps the most underanalyzed but important part of local government is the city council. The key is knowing how much councils are shaped by their form of government and election processes. Here’s a look at how council members work with mayors, city managers, and one another, and how these habits are influenced by structure and representation. Don’t worry: There are some good story ideas here, too.