The City of Tucson

The Tucson Charter Change Coalition (TC3)

Role of the city manager compared in Tucson and Phoenix

Unless otherwise noted, the following provisions are from the respective city charters. Paraphrases are in brackets.


Comparison information


Chief administrative officer of city

Tucson
Subject to the control of the mayor and council, the manager shall have the general supervision and direction of the administrative operation of the city government.

Phoenix
The City Manager shall be the chief administrative officer of the City. He shall be responsible to the Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the City.


Qualifications

Tucson
[Not included.]

Phoenix
The City Manager shall be chosen by the Council solely on the basis of his executive and administrative qualifications with special reference to his actual experience in, or his knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of his office as set forth in this Charter.


Term of office and removal

Tucson
The city manager, hereinafter in this Charter designated "manager," shall be appointed by the mayor and council and shall hold office until removed by the vote of two-thirds of said council voting affirmatively therefore.

Phoenix
The Council shall appoint the City Manager for an indefinite term and may remove him without cause by the affirmative vote of two thirds of its members: provided, that for incompetence, malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of duty the City Manager may be removed by the affirmative vote of a majority of its members.

[Before the council can fire the manager, the charter requires the council to give him 30 days notice by passing a resolution for his removal. The manager may reply in writing and may request a public hearing. After the hearing, if one is requested, but not earlier than 30 days after the passage of the preliminary resolution, the council can fire the manager. If the manager is not fired for cause, he is to receive severance of three months’ pay. At this point, the manager has no appeal; the charter says the council’s action is “final and conclusive.”]


Powers and duties of the city manager

Tucson
The following is a summary

Phoenix
The following is a summary


Council’s dealings with the city manager and the manager’s subordinates

Tucson
[Not included.]

Phoenix
Neither the Council nor any of its Members shall direct or request the appointment of any person to, or his removal from, office by the City Manager or by any of his subordinates, or in any manner take part in the appointment or removal of officers and employees in the administrative service of the City. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the Council and its Members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the City Manager and neither the Council nor any Member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the City Manager, either publicly or privately.

Any Member of the Council violating the provisions of this section, or offering a resolution or ordinance in violation of this section, shall be removed from office as in this Charter elsewhere provided.


City departments

Note: The Tucson departments listed are created in the city charter. The Phoenix charter does not name the departments. They are listed instead in the city code.

Tucson
Attorney, Clerk, Engineer, Finance, Fire chief, Human resources, Magistrates, Parks and recreation, Police chief, Superintendent of streets, Superintendent of water and other departments created by the City Council

Phoenix
Aviation [Phoenix Sky Harbor], Budget and Research, Community and Economic Development, City Auditor, City Clerk, Development Services, Engineering and Architectural Services, Equal Opportunity, Finance, Fire, Human Resources, Human Services, Housing, Information Technology Services, Law [City attorney], Library, Neighborhood Services, Parks and Recreation, Phoenix Convention Center, Planning, Police, Public Transit, Public Works, Street Transportation, and Water Services


Departments not supervised by the city manager

Tucson
City attorney, City clerk, and City magistrates

Phoenix
None


Department heads provided protection under the civil service system

Tucson
Police chief, Fire chief, City engineer, Superintendent of streets, Superintendent of water department, Director of Human resources and all other department heads except the Director of Finance and Director of parks and recreation

Phoenix
None


Department heads not under civil service

Tucson
Director of finance and Director of parks and recreation

Phoenix
All


Department heads appointed by manager, with mayor and council approval, but fired only by the council

Tucson
Police chief and Fire chief

Phoenix
None

Mayor Roles: Phoenix vs. TucsonGovernment Information on Comparison Cities