Interpersonal Relations: Personality or Power Conflicts Among Elected Officials and Staff

Behavior:

  • New mayors who may think or act as if they are operating in a “strong mayor” system with more significant executive authority than they actually possess under their form of government.
  • New councilmembers and county commissioners may not understand that the council/board is “one boss with five or seven members” and not a “group of five or seven individual bosses.”
  • Staff may try to control the agenda from their respective position, undermining the policy making role of the governing board.

Concern:
Role confusion, unawareness of the differing perspectives of elected officials and staff, and lack of appreciation for the unique contributions of each can get in the way of effective operations and even break out into a tug of war.

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