True or False: The City of Sumter was the first municipality in the United States to adopt the council-manager form of government.
The City of Sumter adopted the council-manager form in 1912 before any other local governing bodies. The form was born out of the U.S. progressive reform movement at the turn of the 20th century.
The council-manager form of government is one of three forms of municipal government. Under this form, the mayor and council members are forbidden by law from interfering with the operation of the departments, offices and agencies under the direction of the manager. The other two are the mayor-council form (strong mayor) and the council form (weak mayor). The major difference is where the executive and administrative powers and responsibilities of the local government are vested. The legislative function remains with the council under all three forms of municipal government. About 12 percent of South Carolina cities and towns operate under the council-manager form, while most use the mayor-council form of government.
Want to learn more? The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers in-person and online courses. Elected officials who complete all of the required coursework graduate from the institute and are eligible to participate in the Advanced Institute. The next in-person sessions, to be held February 7, will be Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government Sessions A and B and Advanced Institute. The Advanced MEO Institute courses offered will be "Municipal Utility Policy and Administration" and "Advanced Advocacy and Intergovernmental Relations."