I ran out of time yesterday, but let's dig into the part of Sam's comment about the City Manager style of government.
If you look at the city council's actions under Neil Dillard's leadership, they knew the city manager was doing a bad job on business development. The created the Carbondale Business Development Corp (CBDC), funded it for $250k per year and took away the city manager's responsibility to do biz-dev. Then no one monitored that relationship and business development stopped in Carbondale for many years.
The CBDC had offices outside of city hall and so there was no communication. Prospective business would come to city hall and the city hall employees would cheerfully crap all over them and give them a brouchure (with a smile) about CDBC. The quote I got 5 some years ago was, "we can't help you start a business in town, that is CDBC's job." A classic, please go where you are wanted, which isn't Carbondale, message.
I agree about the way a City Manager led city might work, but the implications that Carbondale is getting acceptable results, I can't agree with. In Carbondale we have had both a city manager that didn't do the job on business development and after that responsibility was removed from the city manager's hands, the mayor and city council didn't care enough or have enough energy to track results.
It was a failure on all fronts. The buck stops here blame is with the mayor and city council, they just didn't have enough time and energy to manage the city's processes and results, taking action when things were going wrong. For this we have to blame, the nice man, Neil Dillard and the rest of that era's city council members (Steven Haynes).
But if you don't want to blame Dillard, you can blame the system of City Manager led government we have in Carbondale. Running a city government is too complicated to leave to people working 10 hours a week.
Your comments are welcome.