compare and contrast the several form of municipal government

There are principally two of optional forms of municipal government as stated by Bush G., (1983) in the 11th Chapter of his classical work and these include the council-manager form and the council-mayor, otherwise called strong mayor form by some other authors. A city or a town may make use of voters so as to choose some other traditional forms as they may deem fit hence the third type which is often termed an alternative form. In the council-manager form and council-mayor options, legislative and executive functions of government are clearly separated. The council-mayor form operates like that of the known Federal and State systems. It possesses a legislative branch and also goes with an elected executive, a mayor. There exists the fourth, fifth or sixth form based on the different flavors of the appointment of the mayor.

In the council manager form, there exists a legislative body which is usually elected. It often hires the service of a professional executive officer also known as the city manager. One key way a town or city may experience the third form of government, the alternative form, is where an election is held i.e. the people decide they will want to exercise their power of vote. Such an election may take place either when the city or town is integrated or organizes a special election held for that purpose. Once this form is chosen it cannot be stopped or changed except for the organization of another election.

In conclusion from my point of view the council-mayor form of government appears to be the best due to the existence of the legislative and executive functions of government.


  1. Bush, G. (1983). Local government in New Zealand. Local democracies: A Study in Comparative Local Government. M. H. Bowman, W. Melbourne, Longman Cheshire.

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