City Manager

The City Manager is the Chief Administrative Officer and head of the administrative branch of City government. He directs and supervises the administration of all departments, offices and agencies of the City and is responsible to the City Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the City.

The City Manager's Office provides: professional leadership in the administration and execution of policies and objectives formulated by the City Council; effective management to the City organization; accurate information about City services and issues to the community through a public information program; and promotes the City's best interests in interactions with other levels of government.

City Administration responsibilities include: providing professional leadership in the administration and execution of policies and objectives formulated by the Council; developing and presenting to the City Council solutions and strategies in response to community issues; and planning and executing programs to meet the current and future needs of the City of South Haven.

Council/Manager Form of Government

The City of South Haven operates under the Council/Manager form of local government which is one of four forms of city government in the United States. The present City charter was adopted November 5, 1991. The primary features of the Council/Manager form of government are: (1) reservation of legislative authority and responsibility in an elected Council and (2) centralization of administrative responsibility in a City Manager appointed by the elected City Council. This provides a system which combines democratic principles with efficiency of administration. The Council is the governing body of the City and the Manager is the Chief Executive Officer in carrying out the policies which Council defines.

The City Manager

The City Manager is appointed by the City Council on the basis of merit, professional training, experience in city management and demonstrated ability. The Manager does not run for elective office and is not appointed for a fixed term. Rather, the Manager serves at the pleasure of the City Council.

The duties of the City Manager, broadly stated, include (1) to assure that all laws and ordinances are enforced; (2) to appoint and remove department heads and employees on the basis of merit; (3) to exercise control and supervision over all departments; (4) to keep the Council advised of the financial condition of the City government; (5) to prepare and submit to the Council such reports which may be deemed advisable or as may be required by the Council; and (6) to keep the public informed, through reports to Council, regarding operations of the City government.

Administrative Staff

Appointed by the City Manager to assist in the administration of the City is a staff of professionals with experience and expertise in the various functional areas of municipal operations.