The Council-Manager form of government is established in the Nogales City Code. According to the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Council-Manager form of local government combines the strong political leadership of elected officials with the strong managerial experience of an appointed professional local government manager.
This model is used widely throughout the United States and by virtually every local government in the state of Arizona. It is most closely compared to the model used in the private sector where there is a board of directors, and then there is a chief executive officer that reports to the board and manages the day-to-day operations of the company.
The chairman of the board would be compared to the mayoral role in the Council-Manager form of government. The chief executive or administrative role would be closely aligned to the role of the City Manager. In the Council-Manager form, the City Manager works closely with the Mayor to ensure the policies of the City Council as a whole are implemented.
In Council-Manager communities such as the City of Nogales, the Mayor presides at City Council meetings, serves as a spokesperson for the community, facilitates communication among elected and appointed officials, assists the City Council in setting goals and advocating policy decisions, and serves as a promoter of the community.
The City Manager is hired to serve the City Council and the community and to provide the benefits of training and experience in administering local government projects and programs. Some of the City Manager's responsibilities are:
- Preparing a budget for the City Council’s consideration
- Recruiting, hiring and supervising City staff
- Serving as the City Council’s chief advisor
- Carrying out the City Council’s policies
- City Council members and residents count on the City Manager to provide complete and objective information, including alternatives and long-term consequences.