The City Manager position is not meant to be involved in elective politics.

At least, those are the thoughts of City Manager Rick Daniels, who wasn’t too pleased to be brought into the political game when a quote of his was used in an editorial endorsing the re-election of incumbents in his city of Desert Hot Springs.

Daniels wrote in a letter to the Desert Sun newspaper: “It is inappropriate and unethical for any city manager or staff person to get involved in the elective politics in the community in which they serve. I do not get involved in our local elections and I enforce that principle strictly among my fellow staff members.”

The ICMA, an organization fostering local government management, lists in its Code of Ethics a theme that local government management should steer clear of political activities.

In other words, the voters elect officials and it’s the city manager’s job to work with whoever is elected.

What’s your take? Since the City Manager works directly with elected officials, shouldn’t his valuable recommendation be heard? Or is Daniels correct that it is not the city manager’s job to get involved in elective politics in the community he or she serves?

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