MICHIGAN BICYCLIST | Spring 2010
I’ve been honored to serve many community organizations, and a numberof governing boards, including leadership stints. In many ways, they’re thesame; in some, they can be quite different. Because organizations comprisehuman beings, they display the gamut of human personality types and behav-iors. Participate in enough groups and you’ll see (and sometimes be) the good,the bad, and the ugly.As an elected ofcial, I became familiar with the political model, whereconstituents communicate in many ways. They call people hired to run the city, from the copon the beat to the highest appointed ofcial. They attend public meetings, whether citizenboards or city councils. They also contact ofcials outside meetings. Surprisingly, given theheat in public meetings, they do this less often. Of course, they can always express ultimatedispleasure on election day.There’s an important distinction in cities, towns and villages, between “Strong Mayor” and“Weak Mayor” systems. A “Strong Mayor” actually runs day-to-day city operations, like anychief operating ofcer (COO). The “Weak Mayor” system, hires a separate COO (called a CityManager) to keep streets clean and people safe.During one mayoral terms I received a fellowship to the Kennedy School of Government(KSG) at Harvard. (A couple of years later, our City Manager was also chosen.) There I learneda key concept: ofcials almost invariably t one of two archetypes, each named for members of Washington’s Cabinet. One is the Hamiltonian, whose mantra is “Get ‘er done,” whether buildinga bridge or levying taxes for it. She has no patience for debate, and doesn’t mind stepping on toes.The “Jeffersonian” is not interested simply in goals, but in how she meets them. She caresabout democratic “process,” through which free people reach consensus on society’s goals. Evenmajority rule is not democratic enough; she is just as concerned about minority rights.Not surprisingly, most mayors at Harvard were Jeffersonians; most city managers, re chiefsand public works directors, Hamiltonians. Neither is best or worst. Democracy needs both activelyinvolved. They will always conict. That’s healthy. It’s unhealthy, dysfunctional, for either todominate, or to fail to engage in setting goals and managing their implementation.Though different from municipal governments, other organizations share many of theircharacteristics. It is important for any organization’s members to understand its leaders’ rolesand their own relationship to the group’s leaders, employees and fellow members.LMB is very like a “Weak Mayor” government. Except for chairing board meetings (andwriting this column), the CEO (Chief Executive Ofcer) exercises no special powers. He’s aboard member with a gavel.The board wields one strong power: hiring and ring Executive Directors. This is not par-
By DANTE LANZETTA, LMB Board Chair
Editor, Art & Design:
GARY L. HOWELetters/Comments/Advertisements may bedirected to:
Visit our web site for contact information, advertising rates and much more.www.LMB.org
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The League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) is a501(c)(3) non-prot statewide organization devotedexclusively to the advancement of bicycling. Ourmission is to promote bicycling and increase thesafety of bicyclists on the roadways in Michigan.
is a benet of membershipin the League of Michigan Bicyclists.
is published four times a year as partof the League’s continuing efforts to informMichigan bicyclists.
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Printed on100% Post Consumer Waste
Zeke Boldy rides his “re bike” in the2010 Traverse City Earth Day Parade.The parade is organized each year by theLittle Artshram. This year's theme was"pedal power," displayed here in a bannerat the front of the parade. Recently, “Complete Streets” advocates have beenparticularly active in the city workingto implement a community-planninginitiative called
The Grand Vision
, aswell as holding the city governmentaccountable for policies that call for morecomplete streets.
Photos courtesy of Gary L Howewww.MyWheelsareTurning.com
On the Cover
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