The Office of the City Manager

In a Commission-Manager form of government, the City Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the City and is responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of City Commission policies. The City of Abilene has been managed by a City Manager since 1939 and has had thirteen City Managers since the inception of the Commission-Manager form of government. Abilene is one of the earliest ICMA-recognized Commission-Manager forms of government in the State of Kansas.

According to the International City/County Managers Association, "professional managers bring together the leadership, vision, and focus on results needed to create better communities." The City Manager is responsible for managing financial and human resources, delivering public services, planning strategically for community development, using performance metrics to drive continuous improvement in public services, and committing management and service deliver to high ethical standards. In many respects, city managers are similar to executives managing private sector corporations.

Section 1-204 of the City Code summarizes the duties of the City Manager as follows:

  • Assure that the laws of Kansas and ordinances of the City are enforced;
  • Appoint all department heads, officers, and employees of the City.
  • Remove or discipline all department heads, officers and employees of the City;
  • Examine the conduct of business of any department or the conduct of any officer or employee;
  • Prepare and submit the annual budget to the Governing Body;
  • Keep the Governing Body fully advised as to the financial condition and needs of the City;
  • Make recommendations to the Governing Body on all matters concerning the welfare of the City; and
  • Perform such other and further duties as may be required by law or ordinance.