The current trouble with the governance of Columbia and American cities has its roots in the middle of the 19th century. Cities began to grow during the Industrial Revolution, putting pressure on housing, public health and sanitation, transportation, electrical and other systems. Mayors were elected as chief executives, prone to giving public jobs to political supporters who, in turn, tended to be ignorant of the technical aspects of their jobs. The council/manager form of government, now followed by Columbia, was the response to these conditions. It stripped the mayor of his administrative duties and placed them with a professional manager. Policy-making was left with the council. The current trouble in Columbia is that the council makes policy on an ad hoc basis.
GUEST COMMENTARY: Policy formation enhances government
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