The Tribune story naming Anoka as a dysfunctional city noted one of the root causes was "not understanding how local government works." See how you do on the Scenario test:
Mr. X, a known 'predatory landlord', storms into city hall demanding special treatment (and threatens to get the building official fired) because he (Mr. X) bought the council.
Which of the following would you prefer your city manager do:
A. Call together an emergency meeting of all available staff to attempt to appease Mr. X.
B. Call the police or a county investigator to get a statement from Mr. X on how exactly he 'bought the council'.
C. Show Mr. X the door.
The answer, of course, depends on what you expect of a city manager:
1. Uphold the charter according to city manager job description.
2. Government by special favors, arbitrary and capricious actions and decisions.