ICMA’s Future of Professional Management Fund (previously the Endowment Fund and the Fund for Professional Management) was established in 1986 by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) to advocate and promote the council-manager form and professional local government management.

Below is a list of form-of-government efforts (2012-present) that have been supported in part by ICMA's Future of Professional Management Fund.


San Antonio, Texas (pop. 1,473,000)  — San Antonio is investigating potential charter amendments to address issues of concern in government. ICMA has engaged with the city to provide information, research, and data to inform questions regarding form of government and professional management. 

Aurora, Colorado (pop. 393,537)  — Voters submitted a referendum for the November 2023 ballot to change from council-manager to mayor-council government. ICMA engaged with local grass-roots supporters of the council-manager form of government in opposition to the referendum. Ultimately, local efforts to dissuade the public from changing to a mayor-council system resulted in the sponsor of the referendum from pulling it off the November 2023 ballot. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico (pop. 561,008) — The city council considering implications of changing from council-manager to mayor-council form of government. ICMA engaged with the Council and was invited to speak during a council meeting to help inform them and the public on distinctions between the forms of government. ICMA addressed the council and provided research and data that demonstrate the value of council-manager governance over mayor-council structures. The city council ultimately decided not to advance a resolution to change the form of government. (Jun) 

Tarrant, Alabama (pop. 5,910)  —  ICMA provided information to the city council on distinctions between the mayor-council and council-manager form of government regarding the administration of government. The city council voted by resolution to adopt a council-manager structure. (Jun)

Beckley, West Virginia (pop. 16,749) — ICMA offered technical guidance, research, and information regarding the forms of government. The council voted by resolution to change the form of government from mayor-council to council-manager form of government. Public push back on changing the form of government by resolution arose, and while the form of government was changed, there is a possibility that the issue reemerges in the near future. 

Orland Park, Illinois (pop. 57,511) — The mayor and the board sought to abolish the village manager form of government (council-manager structure) in favor of a "trustee-mayor" form fo government (mayor-council structure). ICMA supported local grassroots efforts to by providing editorial and messaging support, offering expert testimony at local community meetings, and providing technical support to public information efforts. The measure failed, and ICMA and grass roots activists helped preserve the council-manager system.  (Apr)

Salem, New Hampshire (pop. 28,776) — Salem sought to address concerns with citizen representation in local government. ICMA offered technical insight into implications of various forms of government. The council ultimately sought to adopt a village charter and elected council rather than the "Selectmen" structure of government. Voters approved adoption fo the charter and the new form of government. (Apr). 

Sturgis, South Dakota (pop. 7,170)  — When the city manager resigned to accept a position in Rapdi City, the council debated whether to abolish the council-manager form of government in favor of a mayor-council structure with a city administrator. ICMA provided technical guidance to clarify distinctions of the roles in each form. Ultimately, the council decided to maintain the council-manager form, but to give appointing authority on committees to the mayor with council consent. (Feb.)


Portland, Oregon (pop. 661,419)  — Following a 12 month process, the Portland Charter Review Commission recommended changing its form of government from a commission structure to a mayor-council with a city administrator. Voters approved the change in the form of government in November 2022. ICMA continues to offer technical guidance and insights on potential opportunities and challenges that likely will arise in the new form of government and how a centralized administration differs from the decentralized structure of the commission form of government. The city will elect the new mayor and council in 2023 and implement the new form of government with the hiring of their first city administrator under the new structure. (Nov.)

Portland, Maine (pop. 65,835) — ICMA worked with Maine Town and City Managers Association to help inform the community about the roles and responsibilities of the city manager under the council-manager structure. While the Charter Review Commission initially sought to eliminate professional management from local government, they ultimately recognized the value of the profession. Still, they recommended a change from council-manager to mayor-council with a city administrator. ICMA provided testimony, technical insights, and supported local efforts to challenge the referendum seeking to change the form of government, which led to the sound defeat of the measure and maintenance fo the council-manager form of government. (Nov.) 

Ithaca, New York (pop. 30,569) — Following a year-long study into the form of government, Ithaca decided to implement a referendum to change the form of government from mayor-council to council-manager. ICMA supported local efforts to inform the public about the advantages of the council-manager form of government, and in November, 2022 voters approved adoption of the council-manager form. (Nov.)

Red Bank, New Jersey (pop. 12,856) — The council supported presenting the voters with a referendum to change from a borough form of government to a council-manager structure. ICMA supported the initiative, which passed with 68% of the vote. (Nov.)

Evanston, Illinois (pop. 75,544) — The Rules Committee of the Evanston City Council reached out to ICMA for insight on forms of government. Specifically, they looked to understand how forms of government and ranked-choice-voting might effect their local government. With greater understanding of the forms of government, the city council expressed their support for continuing the counicl-manager form of government. 

Montreat, North Carolina (pop. 895) — The mayor and council engaged with ICMA to identify ways to better address the growing demands of the local government. ICMA offered research and insights into how professional management could address the challenges they faced. Ultimately, the city council voted to change to a council-manager form of government after a public hearing on the matter and changed the form through resolution. (May)



Sarasota, Florida (pop. 56,919) — As part of their 10 year charter review process, the question about form of government and whether to have a mayor elected at-large emerged in the Charter Review Committee discussions. ICMA was called upon to meet with the Charter Review Committee and provide expert testimony on the distinctions between mayor-council and council-manager cities. the Charter Review Committee is expected to bring final recommendation to the city council in 2022 for final recommendation to the voters. 

Buffalo, New York (pop. 886,000) — Members of the Buffalo Common Council have raised the need for greater collaboration and professional expertise in the administration of government. Following a number of debates, the common council called upon ICMA to provide expert testimony to help inform distinctions between various forms of government and to identify the potential opportunities that a professional administrator or a change to council-manager form of government might offer. No decisions have been made, but ICMA remains in dialogue to continue to help inform the common council's future decision-making on the issue should it come forward in the future. 

Burnsville, North Carolina (pop. 1,667) — To address the need for greater accountability in the administration of government, the ICMA provided information and technical guidance on how the council-manager system operates to assure greater accountability through professional administration of government. Following those discussions, the town council held public hearings and ultimately adopted a change to council-manager form of government and hired their first town manager in September 2021.

Ithaca, New York (pop. 30,569) — ICMA engaged with city officials in Ithaca to inform about distinction in form of government and to identify how the council-manager form of government might help the city to address the growing complexities of their local government. After a number of information sessions with government professionals, including ICMA and New York State City County Management Association members, the city council approved a referendum to create a city manager position, which will go before the voters in November 2022.

Portland, Oregon (pop. 661,419)  — As part of its required 10-year charter review, Portland is investigating alternatives to its current commission form of government. ICMA has provided expert testimony and organized two information sessions with the Charter Review Commission to help inform them of the distinctions between commissioner, mayor-council, and council-manager forms of government. Recommendations are expected in 2022. 

Portland, Maine (pop. 65,835) — As Portland conducts a review of is city charter, members of the Charter Review Commission have advocated for eliminating the council-manager form of government. With support from Maine Town and City Managers Association, ICMA has supported local efforts to inform the value of professional management in local government and the benefits of council-manager systems. The Charter Review Commission plans to deliver final recommendation in 2022. 

Harris County, Texas (pop. 4.7 million) — As the largest county in the state of Texas and home to Houston, ICMA provided information to the Harris County Commissioners Court and offered expert testimony during public hearings. The Commissioners Court voted to adopt a Commission-Administrator form of county governance and hired a professional county administrator. (June)

Bridgewater, Massachusetts (pop. 27,975) — ICMA provided information regarding the council-manager form of government to inform the charter committee during deliberations regarding the potential to change the form of government. Final recommendations for charter amendments included maintaining the council-manager form. (June)

Austin, Texas (pop. 961,865) — ICMA established a grassroots campaign to inform the public regarding efforts to implement a strong mayor system. Those seeking to dismantle the council-manager system in Austin successfully placed the measure on the ballot as "Proposition F." ICMA engaged with the community to address the critical differences between the forms of government and the potential implications for the future of Austin. Voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition F and the strong mayor system by an 86% to 14% margin to preserve the Council-Manager form of government. (May)

Elkins, West Virginia (pop. 6,934) — ICMA supported local efforts to change from the mayor-council system to a council-manager system by providing information and insight into the distinctions between the forms of government to their charter committee. The committee recommended the change in form of government to the council, and the measure was presented to the voters. The ballot measure to change to council-manager form of government failed 685 to 334. (March)


Baltimore, Maryland (pop. 585,708) — ICMA provided information on the value of professional management and the benefit of hiring a city administrator to manage the daily operations of government. Voters approved the ballot initiative to add a city administrator position to be appointed by the Mayor and approved by the city council. (Nov 3)

Sacramento, California (pop. 521,769)—Measure A was introduced on the Nov 3 ballot with the intent to amend the city charter to revoke council-manager form and implement mayor-council form of government. Residents rejected Measure A by 57-to-43 percent vote. This was the second time in six years ICMA helped defeat attempts to dismantle the council-manager form of government. (November 3) 

Saratoga Springs, New York (pop. 28,355)—Supported efforts to change the city charter from a commission form of government to council-manager form of government. The measure failed. (Nov 3)

Deer Park, Ohio (pop. 5,600)—Residents approved charter amendment to adopt a council-manager form of government (November 3)

Eagle Lake, Texas (pop. 3,739)—ICMA provided information on how Council-Manager form of government operates. Council adopted a resolution to replace the Alderman form of government with the Council-Manager form (November)

San Jose, California  (pop. 1,033,670)—Supported efforts to inform the community about the council-manager form of government. Local efforts successfully deterred the mayor from putting forth a measure to call for a charter amendment to implement the mayor-council form over the current council-manager form of government. (June)

Beaverton, Oregon (pop. 99,000)—Residents adopted charter amendment to replace the mayor-council system with the council-manager form of government (May)

Ashland, Oregon (pop. 21,621)—Residents adopted the charter amendment to replace the mayor-council system with the council-manager form of government (May)


St. Louis County, Missouri (pop. 996,726)—Proposal to consolidate 88 municipalities in county into a single “Metropolitan City” and adopt the mayor-council form of government put on hold indefinitely (Summer)

Cleveland Heights, Ohio (pop. 44,562)—Residents voted 64-to-36 percent to abandon council-manager government (November 5)



Amherst, Massachusetts (38,000)—Adopted council-manager form recommended by charter commission (March 27)

Ascension Parish, Louisiana (122,948)—Efforts to advocate professional management within the parish continue

Hillard, Ohio (pop. 35,939)—Voted 58.5 to 41.5 percent to adopt charter amendment and switch from mayor-council to council-manager form of government (November 6).

Clearwater, Florida (pop. 115,513)—Voters said “no way” to switching from the council-manager form of government by soundly defeating an initiative spearheaded by the city’s business community to adopt the mayor-council structure by a 59-to-41-percent margin (November 6).

Danville, Illinois (pop. 31,424)—Despite more than six month’s hard work by members of "Moving Danville Forward," residents voted 58.55-to-41.45 percent to retain their current aldermanic form of government (November 6). 


Canton, South Dakota (pop. 3,386)—Abandoned council-manager form in favor of commission-mayor (November 7)

Fair Oaks, Texas (pop. 8,645)—Adopted home rule charter, which paved way for council-manager form (May 6)

Lakeland, Florida (pop. 106,420)—Defeated proposal to switch from council-manager to mayor-council (November 7)

Saratoga Springs, New York (pop. 27,763)—Petition to re-count ballots in city's close (10-vote) charter change election in November denied by judge in February 2018, but petitioners haven't given up.

Shoreacres, Texas (pop. 1,600)—Switched from mayor-council to council-manager (May 6)

West Jordan, Utah (pop. 113,699)—Abandoned council-manager for mayor-council form by 63 votes (November 7)


Carver, Minnesota (pop. 4,147)—Adopted council-manager form (November 8)

East Providence, Rhode Island (pop. 47,149)Abandoned council-manager form (November 8)

Freeport, Illinois—Adopted council-manager form (November 8)

Snohomish, Washington—Abandoned council-manager form (November 8)



Sacramento, California (pop. 479,686)—Rejected mayor-council proposal for this capital city and retained council-manager form (November)

West Columbia, Souith Carolina (pop. 16,282)Rejected mayor-council proposal and retained council-manager form (October)


Columbia, South Carolina (pop. 133,358)—Defeated initiative to change this capital city's council-manager form of government (December 3)

Washougal, Washington (pop. 14,75)—Retained council-manager form (November)


Coos County, Oregon (pop. 62,282)—Unsuccessful attempt to create county administrator position (November)

McHenry County, Illinois (pop. 307,409)—Retained council-manager form 

Sarasota, Florida (pop. 53,326)—Rejected proposal to amend the city’s charter, split the charter position of city auditor/clerk, and create a new position of city clerk that would report to the city manager rather than city commissioners.

Saratoga Springs, New York (pop. 27,315)—Rejected proposal to change from commission to council-manager form

Westbrook, Connecticut (pop. 6,292)—Rejected charter review commission recommendation to create town manager position while retaining town meeting form (November)