The city manager is hired to serve the council and the community. The manager brings to the local government the benefits of his/her training and experience in administering municipal projects and programs. The manager prepares a budget for the council's consideration; recruits, hires, terminates, and supervises government staff.
Council members and residents count on the manager to provide complete and objective information about local operations, discuss the pros and cons of alternatives, and offer an assessment of the long-term consequences of their decisions. The city manager makes policy recommendations to the council for consideration and final decision, serving as the council's chief advisor.
The city manager is bound by whatever action the council takes which is always in the hands of the elected representatives of the people. Appointed managers serve at the pleasure of the governing body. They can be fired by a majority of the council, consistent with local laws, or any employment agreements they may enter into with the council.