City Director

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Town clerk , in smaller cities and towns city manager or community manager , the name of the full-time head of the city or (velvet) municipality used to be (chief of the town hall). This office no longer exists in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony since the expiry of the North German Council Constitution , which was introduced by the influence of the British occupying power after 1945 . Until then, there was still a two-pronged city tip in their cities and communities. In addition to volunteer mayor (or integrated municipality mayor or mayor ), which Chairman of the Council and representative of the community , was the city manager (or city or [velvet] Village Director) was elected by the Council for a specific term. His task was limited to the management of the administration. In the meantime this office has been abolished and the tasks assigned to the mayor or (joint municipality) mayor. This is now full-time and combines both previous functions in the administration (single-track administration top ).

The term city director is no longer used in the municipal code for North Rhine-Westphalia. Instead, the local community code generally speaks of the councilors. The official title of First Alderman stands for the representation of the main administrative officer (Lord Mayor or Mayor) in his capacity as head of administration. As a rule, the councilors also lead a division (department). The main statutes of large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia with numerous councilors designate the first councilor and representative of the mayor in the administration as city director.


North Rhine-Westphalia

In North Rhine-Westphalia , the office of senior city director was abolished between 1994 and 1999 at the end of the term of office of the respective office holder and subsequently merged with that of the mayor .

Lower Saxony

In Lower Saxony , the office has expired since the introduction of single-track administration by the new Lower Saxony municipal code from 1996. Heads of the Upper Town, City, Samtgemeinde or parish in office could, however, remain until the end of their regular term of office. The office of the municipality director in the member municipalities of the Lower Saxony joint municipalities is expressly not abolished . There the honorary mayor is still elected by the council. The office of the municipality director can be transferred to the joint municipality mayor or another administrative representative of the respective joint municipality (Section 106 (1) sentence 1 NKomVG).


Between 1946 and 1950 there was also a senior city director or city director in Schleswig-Holstein as head of the city administration. Thereafter, this task was given to the mayor or mayor and the former mayor as chairman of the Council of the new titles mayor introduced.


In the English-speaking world, the two-pronged city ​​council usually calls the administrative chairman a council manager , alternatively, colloquially, city ​​manager and, more formally, in some cities, chief administration officer .

In French-speaking regions, gérant municipal (city councilor) or directeur général (general manager) is used.

United States

The first city with two-pronged Municipal Council ( Council Manager Government ) in the United States was Staunton , Virginia , certain first time in 1908 a town clerk; Dayton , Ohio was the first major city to have separate administrative presidencies in 1913. The first parish to permanently accept dual city representation was Sumter , South Carolina .

The two-pronged city council with mayor and senior city director is now the most common form of government in cities with over 12,000 inhabitants.


The dual track system was introduced in Ireland as a result of the turmoil of World War I, the struggle for independence and the civil war that followed. The first government found it sensible to disempower the old administrative boards and replace them with paid civil servants. This was the case in the largest cities of Dublin and Cork, among others.

For Cork a commission was appointed in 1926 from industry and citizens, which should work out proposals for a change of the administrative regulations. Experience from the USA led to the proposal of a city director appointed by the city council. Despite resistance, this was introduced in 1929. This was followed by Dublin 1930, Limerick 1934, Waterford 1939.

Administrative reform of the county government - proposed in 1940, in effect since August 1942 - then created the office of county manager , who heads the administrations of each county and borough. In 1955, the existing legislation was combined into a comprehensive city government act and has been incorporated into the Irish municipal legislation, Local Government Act 2001 , almost unchanged since 2001 .

Other meanings

The official title in the career of the higher service for civil servants in administration in many German countries is to be distinguished from the above-described office of city director . This is usually the head of a department or a unit. Therefore there can be several such city directors within a city. Occasionally, this is also called City Administration Director or City Director. Just like the official title of Oberstadtdirektor, it is about promotion or promotion offices .