A letter writer (TNT, 5-11) refers to “unelected bureaucrats” running Tacoma and the need for the city to catch up to “modern government.”
As an officer in the International City Management Association and a past president of the Washington City Managers, I would like to report that all but one of the 17 cities incorporated in Washington since 1970 opted for the council-manager form. During that same time period, 17 cities changed from mayor-council to council-manager, and eight cities changed from council-manager to mayor-council.
There are currently 52 council-manager cities in this state, containing 42 percent of the state’s incorporated population (more than 49 percent without Seattle). Nationally, there are 3,661 council-manager cities.
Today, nearly two-thirds of Moody’s AAA bond-rated cities are run by professional managers. The form of government will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013.
(Neiditz is the Lakewood city manager.)