Myopia In Municipality Management-the Need For Better Planning and Control

Robert F. Meyland

DOI: 10.2190/8N43-EKYW-TQ0N-4PFQ


The concentration on short-term economic goals or plans at the expense of long-range well being expresses the idea of myopia. This deficiency of foresight or current discernment for tomorrow's problems typifies the management approach used by many of today's managers of municipal governments and public works administrators.

This lack of adequate planning manifests itself as constant reaction to adverse conditions only after they occur, or what is frequently referred to as a fire drill type of operation. It is the opinion of the author that this practice often fosters suboptimization in the utilization of limited resources. With the rising pressure of inflation coupled with expanded requests for services and a reluctance of taxpayers to continue to provide an ever increasing budget, management is currently forced to seek more efficient operational methods.

It is the purpose of this paper to reveal that deficience of long-range planning, inadequate budgeting, a lack of followup and control, and deficiencies of in-depth management capability are currently widespread throughout public works administration. The existence of these conditions is considered a major contributor to ineffective municipal management. Recommended techniques to recognize and reduce these problems are presented in the latter section of this paper.

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