Why Does Nate Still Hate Bob La Follete? (Another History Lesson)

As I have discussed before, our buddy Nate is slowly trying to tear down Bob La Follette's Legacy.

First he went after the open primary system, and now he is trying to shoot down the Council-Manager form of governmtnet in this comment on Babblemur.

nate wrote:
I am confused, what the hell is a city manager. Is that something akin to a Mayor in a democracy. Is that something leftover from the mining days.
Posted on 19-Jan-07 at 5:28 am

Well, Nate - here's a history lesson, the Council-Manager form of government is a major reform of the Progressive Era lead by La Follette:


Many progressives hoped to make American governments better able to serve the people's needs by making governmental operations and services more efficient and rational. Reforms included:


Many progressives argued that governments would function better if they were placed under the direction of trained, professional administrators. One example of progressive reform was the rise of the city manager system, in which paid, professional administrators ran the day-to-day affairs of city governments under guidelines established by elected
city councils.

Regents US History:

Progressive reform began at the local or city level because it was easier to implement than at the vast state or national level. Urban corruption from political machines was a major focus, resulting in the reorganization of local government using the commissioner-and city-manager-styles of management.
City Reforms
CityCommissioner Plan

Cities hired experts in different fields to run a single aspect of city government. For example, the sanitation commissioner would be in charge of garbage and sewage removal.
City ManagerPlan
A professional city manager is hired to run each department of the city and report directly to the city council.

Encyclopeadia Britannica:

Despite initial differences among urban reformers, by the early 1900s the vast majority of them were fighting for and winning much the same objectives—more equitable taxation of railroad and corporate property, tenement house reform, better schools, and expanded social services for the poor. Even big-city machines like Tammany Hall became increasingly sensitive to the social and economic needs of their constituents. Reformers also devised new forms of city government to replace the old mayor–city-council arrangement that had proved to be so susceptible to corrupt influences. One was the commission form, which vested all responsibility in a small group of commissioners, each responsible for a single department; another was the city-manager form, which provided administration by a professionally trained expert, responsible to a popularly elected council (these two forms were in widespread use in small and medium-sized cities by 1920).

University of Arizona:

One of the key factors in good governance at the local level, advocated so successfully one hundred years ago in the Progressive Movement, is the professional public manager.(1) Professional public management, embodied in the council-manager form of government for municipalities and in the board-manager form of government for counties, requires an elected governing body to hire a professionally-trained public manager with broad authority to hire and fire department heads and to establish merit systems, competitive bidding procedures, and standardized accounting and auditing practices.
Nate, why are you trying to tear down Fightin' Bob LaFollette?


jody said...

Jef - you're the one who brought F-ing Bob into it, not Nate. You're also the one who seems to be pimping for your buddy Gordon Hintz' City Manager Employment Service and Drive-In Laundry.

Too transparent and not as entertaining as X-hibit. Dude, you need cornrows or dreads or something and
a little more baditude if we're supposed to watch this show on a regular basis.

vyborg said...


I read but no mention of La Follette. A city manager sort of sounds like the Democrats handing over war powers to Halliburton.